Today I’m am going to share about some venerable areas of my life and my family in hopes to be an encouragement.
Let’s be honest, sometimes families evolve differently than we originally imagined. Growing up most of us dreamed we’d get married sometime in our twenties, then buy a cute house and after a few years of marital bliss, we’d have a child (immediately when we decide it’s time). And this perfect little dream we dreamed probably included a several healthy children, at least one of each gender.
Over the years, I’ve had pregnant friends share they are struggling with the disappointment of not being pregnant with a particular gender. I’m sure this is a common feeling and many moms (and dads) can relate. Yet, in the past my first thought was, “I cannot relate.” If I were able to have a child easily I would be thrilled – no matter the gender. (Of course, these were just my initial shallow thoughts and never spoken aloud). This is a real struggle in their life and in mine, as they are my friends. Not too long ago, I asked God to show me how to be an encouragement and how I can relate. Their life was unfolding differently that they thought and I can relate to that.
Immediately, He brought to mind to last summer when He was refining our hearts and showing us how He wanted us to parent a child with special needs. This was a struggle for us at first because it did not fit our initial ideas of what our family would look like one day. Up until then we always prayed for healthy kids as most family’s do and there is nothing wrong with doing so. (I should add that we still pray for the health of our children). It took us a while to get over our fears and expectations. God knew. It just took us a while to get on board with His plan.
As I thought more about it, I was brought back to the day I received a phone call from my OB doc about my blood work. She said I was not ovulating because there were little to no hormones in my blood. They had never seen this before. Typically, women have a hormone that is off balance by being too high or too low. They are unsure if taking fertility any meds will work for me but we can try. This was crushing! All my life I wanted to be a mother. When I was little, I used to dream all my baby dolls would come to life. I would tell my mom that I wanted 12 kids. This doctor had never seen this type of case before, how could she say that medicine may not work? Still, I believed her. God knew and had a different plan. As you know, He proved her wrong.
Fast forward to September 2013, when we fell in love with a 2 year old on the waiting child list. He was considered special focus. From September to November we consulted multiple physicians about his required therapy & surgeries. We spoke with people who met him on a trip to his orphanage among parents which adopted kids with his same kind of medical need. We researched and googled. We prayed a lot and began to imagine him as part of our family. In November, we were approved to pursue the adoption of this child. In December, we had a conference call with our caseworker. She informed us that there was another family interested in adopting him and he may be a better fit for their family because of birth order. Again, we were heart broken – a loss. And one that not many people can relate to or understand. He is getting adopted! We should be excited. While this is great news for him, we were devastated! We would never get to hold him and tell him how much we love him.
God knew. Through these disappointments and unmet expectations, God brought us to where we are now. Through this child, we are now in the China program which is not the country were initially researching. Through this child, God opened our minds to more severe medical conditions that we might have pass up before. The label of special needs really isn’t scary anymore. We are actually excited about it. Some days are easier than others as He is still bringing us to a place of acceptance in His plan.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jerimiah 29:11 It’s amazing to think He knew every moment of my life (and yours) before it began. He knew every moment of our child’s life and he is slowly threading those together in His perfect timing – not ours.
As I am reliving this heartbreak, I’m thinking and praying for you – the one who is experiencing grief and loss of a child, loss of expectations in parenthood and family – whether that loss be through the adoption process, miscarriage, infertility or even a marriage or spouse. You may have waited much longer to be a mommy or daddy (or husband or wife) with more setbacks and disappointments – changing your expectations of time, family and children again and again. I may not know, but God knows and He loves you as His precious child! He has not forgotten about you. His plan may just look a little different than yours. As Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.” -2 Corinthians 1:6
“Testing of Your Faith Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” -James 1:2-4 What a great thing to ponder – endurance produces patience, patience produces faith, faith produces hope. Without these things we would not be the mommy or daddy, husband or wife God intended us to be. Stay strong and be encouraged! Remember that your hope is found in Him and not in the plans of what this world says your life should look like.