We were done having babies. So done, in fact, that we had given away all things related to infants, and we’d washed our hands of the baby mentality that dictated our lives for so many years. Somehow, though, our family never felt complete. I looked at photographs and knew with unexplainable certainty that someone was missing.
We chased down this feeling by starting the adoption process hoping to get a preschooler, but it was not meant to be, and just as we got our hopes up, mailed out our dossier, and dreamed of our soon to be daughter, it all came crashing down and the adoption was terminated.
We were devastated, but still we never considered another baby, because we were done with babies.
Until six weeks ago, when two pink lines showed up on a pregnancy test.
When people ask us if this was a surprise, I’m never entirely sure how to answer. I mean, we’re adults. We know how this happened, so in that regard, no I can’t say it was a surprise. But were we planning on expanding our family this way? Was this something we were hoping and trying for?
No. So in a way, this was very much a surprise.
Our children will be 11, 8 and 6 when this fourth little bundle arrives. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around going back to those early days of midnight feedings, burping, spit ups, and the ever-present fatigue that accompanies an infant. We were past all of that. Our children are self-sufficient. They can take care of themselves on a Saturday morning while I sleep in a little longer. They can dress and bathe themselves, and play outside without needing constant supervision.
We’re starting over?!
Add to that the fact that this baby is due to arrive just days before my husband turns 40, and you will understand a little more why his eyes grow large and wide when we talk about the coming bundle of joy.
It sounds terrible when I list out all the panic that has washed over us in the last six weeks as we’ve processed this new development in our lives. It’s not that we’re not excited, because we are – we’re just a little nervous. We were the young parents – the couple who would see their children all graduate and leave the nest before turning 50. Now I’ll be the “mature” mom at the Kindergarten round up, which in the grand scheme of life means nothing, I know, but it still feels a bit shocking.
As I’ve worked through all my emotions this last month, I’ve realized that I have to change my perspective on this pregnancy. There was a part of my heart that still mourned the termination of our adoption, and this pregnancy has become a balm of sorts to that wound. It’s provided a hope that I lost when the adoption fell apart.
It’s also been an opportunity to see my children in a whole new light. The sweetness they have shown since we told them the news has been more beautiful than I could have imagined. They ask adorable questions, and offer up the most precious prayers for their new baby, and I know without a doubt that welcoming this child into our home is going to be such a blessing.
Instead of thinking of all the fearsome aspects of bringing home a new baby (lack of sleep, bouts of unexplainable crying, eating/sleeping schedules, potty training, tantrums), I’m remembering all the beauty and joy that a child brings.
Sweet baby breath against my cheek
Baby giggles that light up a room
The thrill of all the firsts – first step, first word, first tooth
The innocence and purity that a baby brings to the world
The truth is, I cannot imagine my life without a single one of my children. They each bring a level of rightness to our home and to our family, and I know without a shadow of doubt that this child will fit. Of course this child will fit!
This is the one that was missing.