It has been a busy month as the holiday season is in full swing. Our first Halloween in our new neighborhood was a blast, and next week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving. In between those holidays we hosted a pumpkin carving party, had Calboy's 6th birthday party, attended a few school activities, and managed to grow our family by one. Whew... I'm worn out!!
That's right, one more little Indian to add to the tribe. We found out on October 2nd that I am pregnant with our fourth child, and well, to be honest that was some of the scariest news I could have received. I did not jump for joy but instead felt weak and began to tremble. I did not make any big announcement to the world and in fact kept our news a secret at first. I wasn't thankful. I was frustrated. I have plans and this was not one of them. So through my tears, I had a nice talk with the Lord about the situation and how I had a strategy that would bring Him glory and would work out quite nicely if we just stay on track. And my plans did include a fourth child (eventually), but that child would be adopted, later... like, in a few years. What a ministry and testimony for us and for our future child. I laid it all out there for the Lord so He could see that I had put alot of prayer and thought into this. I told Him how I took into consideration our finances and schedules; compared domestic verses international adoption; and evaluated our support system and when they might be ready for this big commitment. I traveled all the way to Phoenix, Arizona to attend an adoption conference. We had even purchased a larger home that would accommodate a larger family. After all of that it made so much sense. Chris and I were taking this very seriously and even our boys were excited. We were all totally on board with this. It was a solid plan. It was sacrificial yet rewarding, and more importantly it was a God-glorifying plan. See?
So after a few tearful presentation-like prayers to God, like any humble, God-fearing woman I took another pregnancy test the next day. It was still positive. What? I had zero pregnancy symptoms. We were not trying to get pregnant and the timing didn't seem right at all. Unlike my plan, this did not seem to make sense. So then I started racking my brain for a reasonable explanation and came up with a very good one. My hormones must have been out of whack for some reason and that's how I had two false positives. My first theory was that September had been a really busy and emotional month and that combination could send a girl into a hormonal rage or just knock her right off schedule. The next theory came to me at the pharmacy. I went to buy prenatal vitamins and next to them were vitamins for women going through menopause. A light bulb went off in my head. I know 38 is kind of early for menopause to hit, but I had read somewhere that you could began having symptoms in your thirties. I so badly didn't want to be pregnant at 38, that I actually had an easier time accepting the fact that I could be at the beginning stages of menopause... a nemeses for many marriages. It's dreaded by most women and feared by all men. But that day, I was okay with it. Pregnancy at this stage in life is good for some but I was done. I did this three times already. My body must be confused. So I texted my sweet friend, Heather. Did she think that the onset of menopause could produce a false positive? She texted back an emphatic "NO!" Whatever, ...she's not a doctor.
Finally, I figured that because both tests came from the same box they must have been flawed, damaged somehow. I mean, Chris did pack them in the same grocery bag with a cold jug of milk. Perhaps the "extreme" temperature change compromised their accuracy. Or perhaps they were just cheap. Maybe it wasn't my hormones that were all out of whack but the tests themselves. Therefore, about two weeks into this drama I purchased a third test. After all, I was still not experiencing any symptoms (or at least not acknowledging them). This time I was smart. I got a more expensive test and a different brand. I took the test in the morning like you are suppose to, and I made sure to not look at it for at least 30 seconds. If you are wondering if I was taking myself seriously at this point, the answer is yes. Yes I was! Nothing else made sense. I wasn't ready for this. Not in any way - financially, emotionally, mentally, certainly not physically and clearly not spiritually.
The result,... it was positive a third time. I finally felt the way I must have looked... ridiculous. Being of somewhat more rational mind, I took a picture of the stick. Next time I found myself in denial I would look at that picture on my phone. This meant I had to accept the very probable fact that I was pregnant a fourth time; however, I still had a doctor's appointment three weeks away just to make sure. Before I could make it to the doctor the pregnancy symptoms kicked in full gear. I was tired, nauseated, making trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night and experiencing random urges to punch someone in the face for no reason (well, a few times it would have been justifiable but I refrained). At the first prenatal appointment we saw the little peanut-shaped body, the heartbeat and two little legs kicking about. I had never seen an ultrasound at this stage. We could clearly see the body, almost two inches long, and we could even make out the little facial features. Okay, that did it. I was convinced. We are indeed pregnant!
So what do I do now? There is no denying that there is a tiny life growing inside of me whether I like it or not; whether I think the timing is right or not. He or she is there because God created a life.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16
This has been His will for us all along. Despite my denial, my hesitation, my fears, my frustrations, even the resentment I felt about my own plan being tossed aside; despite all of my sinful ways, God has chosen to bless us for the purpose of His glory. I am so thankful for God's perpetual grace. I praise Him for His unyielding will and unconditional love for me. I am reminded that He wants us to find full satisfaction in Him. If we seek it elsewhere, like in the accomplishment of our own plans instead of His, then He will draw us back. Out of an abundance of love for us, He will redirect our path. For that I am thankful.
I am still a huge advocate for adoption, and I still think I had a great plan. I'm an adoption attorney and my husband is a pastor for goodness sake. We advocate for adoption all the time. I will continue to pray about how our family can serve orphans and encourage others within the church to do the same. It is a treasured command from our Heavenly Father to care for His children who have no earthly parents. I do hope that our home will serve to bless some of those little ones in the future, but for now God has a different plan. I do not know much about His plan for this new addition to our family but I know it is better than any blueprint I could come up with myself.
I'm still not excited about being pregnant again, but I love being a mom. I was overwhelmed with joy at the arrival of each of our three boys (and actually a little shocked that they let me leave the hospital with them). There is no doubt that I will feel the same way about this beautiful child now developing in miraculous ways at the hand of a miraculous God. I now feel so humbled that the Lord would entrust Chris and I with another one of His precious gifts. No matter how nauseous, tired, out of shape or moody I get, I will carry on with joy and pray for a healthy new baby to love and nurture as we have the other three. May God be glorified in this!
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127:3.