A Family is Born
I crossed a new threshold with Christ and surrendered my plans to Him. He knew my heart so I simply had to trust in His time and His way I would become a mom or He would feel that void another way. Todd and I began to serve Him deeply in any way we could. At church, in our jobs, and in our prayers. I continued to pray for the family I longed to have, but instead of grieving what was not in my time, instead I basked in the things that were going on.
I was teaching precious special needs children. I could love them deeply and pour my heart into that ministry of meeting their needs while they were mine 8 hours a day. I loved them so much and the joy of partnering with their parents to help them learn to live in a world in which they didn't quite fit, was a challenged I desired and met head on. The more I focused on them, the less I felt grief for myself and my loss. The tumor was dealt with, decisions were made, and trust became an action, not a word and I began to know Christ in ways I have no words to describe. He became completely real and present in my daily life and heart, more than I could have ever planned on my own.
During that time, God planted the adoption seed in me and Todd. We began to open our hearts and minds to a family beyond the traditional. We surrendered our way to His and somehow knew that our family would become complete in ways we could not imagine.
We experienced three failed adoptions. They hurt almost as badly as the loss of my unborn baby. Every one was real hope and the loss was real pain. But we kept on. Funny, I remember feeling like every day seemed so long with prayers unanswered for our family. But to look back now, it was in perfect timing.
I will never forget the day it all changed. The doctor gave me the green light on my health and suddenly, I was with child. Just like that. After a little difficult pregnancy, the most beautiful gift arrived in the form of a chubby, red, wrinkled body and I felt my heart might explode the love was so rich and pure and true. I suddenly understood my parents love for me and the love my Father covers me in. I got it. It was a changing moment, never to return to the way it was before.
I was so content. The walls of our home could have fallen in and I never would have known I was so ennamoured with my child and the bliss of being a family. If this was the only child I was ever to have, it was enough. I would be content. But God had other plans. Just 18 months later, after a strong revelation that God was calling us back to the matter of adoption, God planted three more wonderful blessings of joy smack in the middle of our lives.
The three didn't arrive from my womb, they came in a Grey Cherokee, and they weren't fresh, red, and wrinkly, having the world suddenly as a blank slate for them to begin an adventure in. They came dirty, neglected, wild, and broken from the inside. To look upon them that day as they stepped out of the car, it was such a vastly different experience than when my first child arrived and I looked into that newborn face. And yet, somehow, the heart response was the very same. I knew they were mine and from that moment my name calling of Mama, grew to the number 4.
The next year and a half our lives just shifted, grew, and was complete bliss. My answers to prayer far exceeded my wildest dreams. I had three beautiful children. God even created the adopted children to look like our family. When people know some are adopted, they have a difficult time deciding who because we all just "fit" one another. Only our Great Creator could do that kind of behind the scenes work for a family in the making!
We laughed, loved, learned, and lived each life as we had always dreamed, together, surrounded by a herd of kids, chaos, messes, puke, and play all swirled into a tapestry of love that was the beginning of what will be a lifelong journey together.
Yes... a family was born!