Okay. It's time for me to spill the beans. I've had much to share for a while but haven't had the words or the energy to do so.
I'll preface this news by letting you know that a few years ago I started collecting snow globes. I've loved them since I was a little girl. I remember having one of those plastic ones that could fit in the palm of my hand. I'd shake it and then watch the snow fall around the tiny scene held inside. For this little Georgia girl who rarely saw snow, I loved being able to make it a miniature winter wonderland whenever I wanted.
As much as I love watching the snow fall in these little globes, I prefer to have my own little world sit safely on a shelf. A few months ago I delighted in the fact that our life was finally stable, that we were securely sedentary after years of being shaken.
But several weeks ago, I started not feeling well. (Little shake of my snow globe.) I ignored some things for a couple weeks then finally called my general doctor and spoke with a nurse. As I explained my symptoms, I realized this was the same nurse that took a gallon of blood for my adoption physical. After drilling me with questions she asked, "Could you be pregnant?"
I laughed and explained that it wasn't possible. Years ago we had decided we were done adding biological children to our family, that I am well into my fortieth year, and we have almost finished our paperwork for our second adoption. I explained that I was probably starting to go through "the change" (or perhaps my body was still holding a grudge from the gallon of blood she recently took). I reminded her once more that I am well into my fortieth year just in case she didn't catch that the first time. She said that she'd make an appointment but I could take a home pregnancy test if I wanted to rule that out before coming in.
Since my bathroom cabinets are stocked with anti-wrinkle cream--not early pregnancy tests--I headed to the drug store. I grabbed a generic one. I wasn't going to spend more than I had to just because some crazy nurse needed proof that I wasn't pregnant. The teen check-out clerk gave me a look that said, "Umm. Not an item I see many middle-aged women buy."
The next hour was spent alone in my bathroom. I have been there before many times--sitting with a pregnancy test in hand, too nervous about the results to actually do it. All the other times, what my heart wanted more than anything was for it to be positive. Many times I sat on the bathroom floor and cried because it wasn't.
The last time I took one of those tests was almost 7 years ago. Three months earlier, we had lost a baby boy at 35 weeks that died due to an umbilical cord knot (Luke's story is here). As much as I dreaded being pregnant again, we needed a new life to give us hope. I needed to deliver a baby that would cry, that I could hold in my arms, that I could parent till I'm old. My girls needed to come to the hospital--not to say good-bye to their new sibling, but to proudly bring him home. My husband needed to see his family heal and our family needed to see God's goodness and mercy in our lives. And God was so gracious to give us Brady, due exactly one year after we had lost his brother.
But once he was born, we knew that we were done adding to our family biologically. It was just too physically and emotionally difficult. We had always known God had called us to adopt and felt peace that this is how God wanted us to complete our family.
And so on the morning of November 1, I sat on the cold tile floor working up the courage to take the test. I knew that if the outcome was positive, I would once again have to go down a path that at times ended in overwhelming joy and other times ended in overwhelming pain. (I've had three first trimester miscarriages in addition to our full-term loss.) As much as I would love a house full of little people, I wanted the door marked "Pregnancy" to remain closed.
I finally took the test.
Within seconds that second line appeared telling me that I was pregnant.
Shake, shake, shake of my world.
I was truly so stunned that I couldn't process it. Sometimes my computer freezes up when it gets overloaded with stuff I'm trying to do. I just turn it off and re-boot it later. That's just what I wanted to do. Shut down and re-boot at a time that I'm able to handle it.
But since I don't have a Control-Alt-Delete feature, I just sat on the floor and wept. I wept out of fear of what might be ahead. But, most of all, I wept out of gratitude that God would entrust us with yet another little life. Humbled that, in spite of what I assumed was His plan for our life, His plan was always so much better.
My husband didn't believe me when I called him at work to share the news. Neither has anyone else. The typical response is: "Yea right. Are you kidding? You're not kidding? Wow!" Sometimes instead of the "wow" there's hysterical laughing.
Our four children were excited from the minute we told them. They were shocked, yet overjoyed. But their first question was, "Can we still adopt?" We had already chosen a little girl in China and for months had talked about her like she was already part of the family. We are still trying to decide what to do and I'll share more about her in the coming days.
And so here we are. I've reached 14 weeks so I'm finally able to feel excitement that this baby will be okay. This pregnancy is the reason I've been such a pitiful blogger and bloggy friend. The past three months have completely wiped me out physically and all I'm able to do is the day-to-day caring for my family, but I should start to get my energy back soon.
We are still diligently seeking God's will regarding the little girl we were about to adopt. Please pray for us to have wisdom and clarity with this situation.
We are learning that it doesn't matter how much you are shaken if your footing is firmly anchored in the One who sustains us. And we are grateful for the breathtaking snowfall of goodness and mercy that God has brought into our lives.