Our Little Boys' Room
The story of how we waited on God for more children.
This room is never this clean...or this quiet. It usually has Legos on the floor, with matchbox cars and tractors thrown in, so walking through here is like a mine field. And there are usually dress-up clothes like Darth Vader masks and Captain America shields and Thor's hammer for two little boys that like to pretend they're super heroes. There's pieces of train sets and blocks and "worker tools" (that's what they call them), for when they need to fix stuff. And sometimes there's a baby doll or two and some dishes, when their sister convinces them to play house.
The blankets are usually strewn all over the place, from unmade beds turned into forts and from one little boy who always pulls his blankie with him wherever he goes the way Linus does. There are usually treasures stored in their "secret spots" so no one can find them. And books and toys hidden in their sheets to play with after they're supposed to be in bed sleeping.
And that's all ok. In fact, it's better than ok, it's truly an answer to prayer. You see, for years and years I had an ache deep in my heart to have more children. I already had 4, and for most people that may have been enough, but not for me. I love having kids, I love raising kids and at this time in my life my older ones were growing up. One had already moved out of the house, the other was busy with her own teen-aged activities, on her way to getting her own life. Just having two little kids wasn't enough...I wanted more, I needed more. I wanted more kids to love, more babies to snuggle, more children to teach.
Except, my husband didn't. He was happy with our life the way it was. He came from a small family and this was enough for him. Whenever I talked about having another baby, he wasn't that interested or enthusiastic. Our last child had a congenital defect (in the womb or from birth) and had many very difficult times, and he was worried if we had another child, that might happen again.
I tried to be happy and feel satisfied, but the ache and the longing only grew. I begged and pleaded to God to change my husband's mind or to take those feeling away from me. Finally, after several years there was hope.
For many years my husband and I talked about adopting. We had always felt it was right for us. I don't know why we thought this, only that it was something that we were called to do, something God had for us. We talked about it from time to time. Sometimes the feeling felt really strong. One time we thought God had picked someone out for us, but it didn't work out. My husband felt really strongly that we were meant to help someone who needed us, that we were meant to help change someone's life. And he thought the time was now.
We always felt like we should adopt from foster care, so we looked into becoming foster parents. Oddly enough, when I called, the next training classes were beginning the following week. We had just enough time to get in and get started. It was scary and exciting! The classes were informative and the paperwork was long, but we made it through and were approved to be foster parents and a foster family, since our kids were on board with this too.
It was hard to imagine what it would really be like to be a foster parent. Of course, we hoped and prayed that our placement would lead to adoption. We waited and waited for "the" phone call, with our first placement. Months went by. When we finally did get a call it didn’t work out. And the few calls we received after that didn’t either. By the time I would call my husband to discuss the details, someone else would accept the child being placed, or it wasn't right for us.
As two more years went by, I began to lose hope that this would ever work out. Finally I decided to surrender this ache, this longing for more children to God. If He ever wanted me to have more children, then it would happen. If not, I would be ok. I would choose to be happy with the life and children I had.
And then another wonderful thing happened. My husband changed his mind about wanting another baby of our own. When I found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic, overjoyed, thrilled, in raptured, gleeful, and happy to say the least!!! I couldn't keep it a secret! I told everyone and everyone celebrated along with us!
Weeks went by and I started showing, I loved rubbing my belly and connecting with this sweet baby inside me. The early hard times of the pregnancy, with the sickness and the tiredness were behind me, and I was feeling good. We were approaching the half-way mark, excited to know if this child growing inside me was a boy or girl. (With 3 girls and 1 boy already, many were hoping for another boy, but I didn't care!) This baby was so loved and so adored from the moment we knew he existed.
But, one night, three days before our ultrasound, I went into labor and miscarried our sweet baby boy. Something was wrong with the umbilical cord that had caused him to die a few weeks before. My precious baby, that was so loved and so adored, was gone and my heart was so broken. I never knew you could love someone so much that you had never met.
I was devastated, our family was devastated. We cried for days and days. But in the midst of all that the Lord whispered to my heart so clearly, "choose joy". I had to make a monumental effort to choose to be thankful for what I did have, instead of only focusing on what I had lost, because thankfulness brings joy, not the other way around. I knew that if I didn't try to focus on the good, I could get pulled down into a pit of despair that I might not be able to climb out of. I had to choose to praise God anyway, even though I didn't understand. So I did. I focused on the good that I had in my life, my husband and my other children, and the fact that my sweet baby was in the arms of my Heavenly Father, safe from the hardships of this world, and one day I will see him again. Those choices helped me heal. I got to the point where I didn't cry when I saw the baby clothes at Walmart anymore. We were all going to be ok and we could move forward, even though we would always love and miss our sweet baby.
Then the Lord spoke something else to me. That I would get a double blessing for what I had lost. He spoke it over and over. It was so clear. So I believed Him and I waited. I waited for many months until I got pregnant again. I waited through the pregnancy until we knew everything was fine and our first blessing, little miss Sofia, was born. I waited 7 months after that when we got a call one day for a placement of two little boys, a 6-month-old and a 2-year-old. I waited through the hard times of trying to help two hurt and abused little boys heal, while we fostered them and waited a year-and-a-half for the courts to decide their futures. We waited until the day in July two years ago when our second blessing was given and they officially became ours. God was so good and He gave us our double blessing!
And now, it hasn't always been easy. Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. Having three kids under 3 was probably one of the hardest times of my life. Helping hurt kids heal and learn to trust and function in a new life has challenged me in every way. It has made me question myself, question my sanity, and question whether I was ever meant to be a mother in the first place. But overcoming those challenges and watching them grow and our family grow to be healthier and stronger is what makes it all worthwhile.
Little boys who were once abused and neglected, who were so afraid to ever leave my side, are now turning into normal, secure, healthy little boys. Little boys who were left alone, who had learned to rely on themselves for what they needed, are now learning to trust and rely on us to lead them through this life. They have been given a home, where life takes root. They have been given a room of their own, that's safe, where they don't have to be afraid anymore. And it's filled with all the things they love, because they are so loved and adored.
God had such a better plan then I could have ever imagined. He knew the perfect timing of it all. He was faithful and true through the hard times and the good. And He has made us a family. Adoption - they may not have my smile, or my eyes, but they have my heart.
"This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her." Psalm 87:5