I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I was venting to my amazing husband the other night, and he simply said “Monica, you need to write this down. Others might feel the same way, and not know they share your feelings.” So while I know life is not meant to be led my emotions, the following comes from me wrestling with how I feel, specifically as it relates to our journey to become parents and have children.
Wesley and I have been going back and forth on when to make public where in our journey we are. Things can be so uncertain, and there is wisdom in not rushing into things too quickly. Like many people wait until a first trimester of pregnancy is over, we have had to try and sort out what our timeline looks like, and when to openly discuss things.
Currently, we are in the process of becoming licensed Foster parents, with hopes of one day adopting. This process is different than getting pregnant with a biological child, and it’s different than going straight to adoption. It’s full of unknowns and can vary from a very quick process to a very long process. Our first placement could be God, in His sovereignty, bringing us a child whom He already knows will not be reunited with their family and we will be able to adopt them. We could have many come into our home for us to love and share Christ with before one comes who can join our family forever. We just cannot know for certain.
But I’m tired of feeling like it’s too soon to be excited. This forward motion has been 4 1/2 years in the making. Seriously. Wesley and I had a discussion in Fall 2010 about beginning to try and have kids. And it’s been 4 1/2 years of nothing. Absolutely nothing has changed. We have yearned for so, so, so long- it hurts. I have felt like I have been standing still watching everyone else's life progress and mine stand still.
Until this week. This week, we took a step forward. Seemingly small to most people, but to us- HUGE. It’s actually happening. In about 4-6 months we will be licensed, ready to welcome a little kiddo into our home. True, a wait for a placement can take anywhere from a short time to a very long time. Just like with pregnancy, babies come really early or sometimes really late. But if everything goes as it should we will be parents in about 6-8 months!
Here is where I really struggle. And I mean- really struggle. If I told people I was 3-4 months pregnant (also making us parents in about 6 months)- there would be soooooooo much excitement around us. Knowing our struggle- I expect there would be shrill screams and all kinds of wonderful, joyful noises. There would be baby showers planned, talk of baby names, people asking how I feel, if I’m nervous or excited, we would get to register for fun baby items. I remember last year in Tampa having 2 women on our team get pregnant over the course of the year. And almost every group setting- something about the pregnancy or upcoming baby was discussed.
But I feel like we don’t get most of that. I feel like we get “oh wow! that’s exciting!” end of story. No oooohs. No ahhhhs. Will anyone think to throw us a shower? I mean- people realize we have nothing- right? What do you even buy for a couple who has no idea what gender or specific age they are getting? Does that mean we just have to buy everything ourself? Does that mean I don’t get the adorable nursery with a fun theme- but just whatever I can scrape up? What about all the churches I’ve been in where new parents get a meal train organized for them? Do we miss out on that simply because “who knows how long we will even get to keep the baby. And yes- I have heard people tell me that. Do people realize that even though our process is different- I’m still going to be a first time parent who has no clue what I am doing! If I was pregnant I would fully expect my mother to come help for the first little bit to make sure I don't let the little one’s head fall off or something. What happens when you are fostering? Why does it have to be so different? Can’t I share in any of the fun that pregnant moms get?
I know I am being a little materialistic- and ultimately when little baby is here I won’t care if the sheets match the decor on the wall- I will be way to sleep deprived to even notice. And I know I am enough of a learner that I will read about making sure the baby’s head doesn't fall off. And luckily I love Pizza Hut so we would never go hungry. So in some way- all these questions seem trivial and unimportant.
But in my heart- after waiting so long, it matters. It really does. I have dreamt of becoming a mother for so long, and where I struggle most with the Lord is feeling like our path makes me less of a mother. That I miss out on the “real” stuff. That somehow- this is less exciting to everyone but me. I just feel so second class. This process has really shown me my sinful desire for fairness. I covet having what everyone gets. I struggle feeling different and left out. When I sit in a room with staff from Cru and realize I am the only woman in the room who isn’t a mother. While I watch girl after girl that I discipled years ago have baby after baby. And while I know God loves me, I daily struggle with the feelings of neglect from Him. That He willed a lesser life for me. And while I choose to worship and love Him despite feeling like that, I get lost in the emotions of jealousy, self-pity, and despair.
But while I work through all of this (and I am trying to work through it all)- today I am choosing excitement! We are pregnant with hope, joy, and love. We are trusting God with the process we are on to bring a sweet little one (or two, or however many he desires) into our life, and that somewhere along the way our family will grow on a permanent basis. Just yesterday it really starting to sink in- this is really happening. We will be parents! In order to get our license- there are things we need to do really soon! Praise the Lord we have so much to be thankful for right now- there is hope ahead! So why hide our good news and wait for a more “appropriate” time? We are choosing to share now- how excited we are. Wesley, Monica, and little baby are ready to meet you all!