My big dream as a child was to be the person who bagged groceries. For the life of me I can’t fathom the draw of that job but it had my attention. Was it the long hours on my feet or the gathering of endless carts in the parking lot? I don’t know, but I longed for the day I could put on my Kroger name tag and ask people if they wanted their milk in a bag or not.
Another dream that I just assumed would eventually happen was the whole marriage and kids package. The marriage did happen (love that husband of mine!) but the kids never showed up. For 6 years. All my friends were on their stinking third child and I was left well-rested with rock hard abs. That last part is a lie but you don’t know me so I can say things like that.
After grieving the loss of kids that would have looked like me (poor little dears) and having the whole pregnancy “experience” I always wanted, we started down the looooong road of adoption. This
forced me provided me the opportunity to be brave pre-motherhood.
You need to know I have control issues. I prefer to think of them as really-well-thought-out-plans-
So now, barren me has to sit by while someone else is carrying my baby?! What if they are not doing prenatal-yoga? Are they eating enough folic acid? Oh my word are they drinking? OR SMOKING?! Too much thinking about the mystery baby (who for all I knew hadn’t been concieved yet) left me very anxious and weary.
I am (believe it or not from what you’ve read thus far) a person of faith. I was able to calm down when I reminded myself of True things. I leaned heavily on this chorus from a Sarah Groves song:
From this one place I can’t see very far.
From this one moment I’m square in the dark.
These are the things I will trust in my heart,
You can see something else, something else.
As soon as I got calm, another call would come from the agency. Would you like to be considered for a baby whose mom drank throughout the entire pregnancy? How about a baby who was conceived during a rape?
Wanting to let God be the one to open and close all the doors we said yes to every heartbreaking scenario we heard. Heartbreaking for me because it didn’t fit my perfect plan and heartbreaking for every single one of those little babies.
We said yes to hard questions with unknowable consequences but God kept saying no. Six possible babies in the course of a year and none of them ours. God saw something else.
Being the creator of humor (and knowing I love a good laugh) God waited until we had let go of the adoption dream and dismantled the (now dusty) nursery. He waited until I was standing at the consignment shop having just sold every thread of baby clothes to show us the “something else” He had seen the whole time.
The agency call: “Hi Emily, we have a baby boy for you guys. You’ve been chosen already. He is yours if you’re willing.”
Now here is where I should have said something like, “It would be my eternal honor” but what came out was, “Can he sleep in a laundry basket?” They must have thought that was fine because 4 hours later I was holding him.
I have no idea what his birth mother ate for breakfast while she was pregnant. He was not delivered in a mountain spring with a harp playing in the background. He was not breast-fed and he now eats sugar more than he should. But he is ours and he is perfect.
In your situation now,
the one you would do almost anything to escape
the one you don’t think you can handle for one more day
God sees something else. He is working. He has not forgotten. Hold on, friend.
Emily once taught juveniles in the prison system, and that did not kill her. This is how she knew she could survive parenthood. Before kids she was a teacher, nurse, and world traveler. Now she mostly travels around her house picking up toys. Emily employs humor and candor to share survival tips, encouragement, and her personal motherhood misadventures in an effort to build up worn-down moms everywhere. You can find her at Mom Struggling Well.