Thursday, June 20, 2013

Are You Ready For A Miracle?

I get a lot of comments when I am out and about with my crew. And let's face it, I would wonder how that happened too--if I saw myself shopping. I mean, three kids under 4...two that look like twins, but it is obvious that they aren't. One is thin and lanky, with beautiful dark skin and brown eyes, curly hair and the sweetest disposition. The other thick and stocky, with skin as white as snow, crystal blue eyes, white blond hair, and a defiant gleam in his eye.

What in the world is up with this woman??? Is she a nanny? Those can't possibly all be her children...she must get friendly with a lot of men--you know what I mean?

But out of all of the comments voiced to me, there is one that I get quite often that especially makes me cringe inside. And it probably is not what you think.

Once a person hears that we adopted our daughter, and in the process of adopting our son, found out that we were pregnant, this is what I get: "THAT HAPPENS ALL OF THE TIME!!!"

I cringe at this response because it "waters down" the miracle that happened in my life. The miracle that God performed.

And I don't really think that this adoption/pregnancy situation happens ALL of the time. What I presume is that this "coincidence" is so unbelievable, that if someone hears about it, it sticks in their mind forever.

So I decided to look up some 'tistics. And here you go...

"Although the majority of adoptive parents do not have a biological child subsequent to an adoption, virtually every new adoptive parent had heard about a person with this experience. It is unknown how many adoptive mothers become pregnant after adopting but probably well less than 10% have biological children after they adopt a child. In many cases, the pregnancy is unplanned because the mother presumed she was infertile." - Pregnancy After Adoption

The overall general statistic that I found is that between 3 and 10% of couples have biological children after adoption. That means that ninety something percent don't.

I may actually use this new information the next time that someone hits me with this least favorite comment of mine. But I digress...

Now that we know the statistics, and that it actually doesn't happen all of the time, let's get back to my point.

A miracle is defined as: 1.a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by nature or scientific laws and is considered to be divine. 2. A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.

In one of the DVD studies that we did, Louie Giglio discussed the fact that we, as a society, completely overuse the word and the idea of a miracle. And I agree with him. It is almost to the point that we do not even see them anymore. But in my life, this pregnancy was just that.

Nick and I had been married 10 years when I found out that I was pregnant. We had been off of birth control for 7-8 years. We had been actively trying to get pregnant for 4 or so years. That is at least 48 months of ovulation tests, temperature checks, and timed lovin'. I mean, doing all that we could to facilitate a meeting of the egg and sperm.

And it was all completely to no avail.

And then just out of the blue, 10 years after our marriage, when we are in the midst of paperwork and planning for our son, I find out that I am pregnant.

We were not trying to get pregnant. I have no idea when I ovulated, what my temperature was, or how that sperm found the egg-but it happened. Tell me that is not a miracle.

And then, God did more. I have a bicornuate uterus, and the greatest complication with that is preterm labor. I would essentially carry this baby in one half the size of a normal uterus, because mine is separated right down the middle with tissue/blood vessels/etc.

So we had absolutely no idea how this pregnancy would play out. But God had it. I took weekly shots starting at week 18 in hopes of relaxing my uterus to avoid early labor. Once we were in the "safe zone", around 37 weeks, I stopped taking them. I was completely fine with Linebacker coming right then. But he didn't. In fact, it looked like I was going to have to be induced. Two days before I was to be induced, which was 1 week PAST my due date, my water broke.

Did you get that? The greatest possible complication with my pregnancy was preterm labor, and I almost had to be induced a full week after my due date. My pregnancy was completely problem free, and I actually had to have a Csection because he was so healthy(LARGE)!!!!

A precious miracle.

I am not telling this story to say,"See how God blessed me?" Although he absolutely did.

Amen, and Amen.

Here is what I want to say. God did this in my life.

I am no one special.

I am not exceptional.

I am just one of God's children.

Just like you.

And He will bring miracles in your life as well. It may not be a child, or three:), but he does miracles for all of his children. So let's not water down the power of God. He does miracles every day. Let's try to keep our eyes open to these miracles, and thank Him for his awesome power.

"Then the Lord said, 'I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.' Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, 'After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?' Then the Lord said to Abraham, 'Why did Sarah laugh and say, Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' Is anything too hard for the Lord?"--Genesis 18:10-14

* Even Sarah didn't fully believe in miracles...until it happened to her*

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CAUTION: Parenthood Approaching!

So...I am really sorry for the short hiatus from writing. My kids got out of preschool, and there has been a bit of adjusting, to say the least--mostly on my part. OK...totally on my part. Everyone is now home all day every day, and I did not realize how hard that would be...or how much I loved school!!!

The appreciation of those short school hours is one massive revelation that I have had this summer.

But there are a few other things that I have realized in these hot summer months. Those things being--three observations of what happens when one becomes a parent.

The first thing that you should know when you become a parent is this: You are about to eat some serious words.

I know that I did. Because when Nick and I were childless, I was the perfect mother. My kids would never do (that). I could not believe that their kids actually acted that way. And who seriously lets their kids do (those things)?

Well, that would be me.

I would never have believed that one of my children would backtalk me. Or that my 4 year old would sleep with a pacifier. Or that I would laugh so much about poop. But it happened.

Do my kids act wild at the store? Yes. Do I care? No. If they expend their energy there, maybe they will sleep when we get home.

Is the pacifier thing a battle that I am willing to fight right now? No. Is everyone else in my family worried about it? Yes. Is my sanity more important to me? Absolutely.

When my kids pitch a fit, do I talk to them calmly--and all of a sudden all is right with the world? Not usually. Do I occasionally lose my cool like those moms that I couldn't believe? Um...yes.

So you get the point.

I have eaten some words. I had no kind of idea how difficult parenting could be. Or how difficult kids could be.

So if you are working your way towards parenthood...get ready!

Another thing that happens when you become a parent is this: everyone feels the need to tell you what to do. Unsolicited advice

And the kicker is that most of these people have no idea what a day in your life is like. I had a friend the other day tell me that I should video just one day of my life. I can assure you that it would be entertaining. Probably not quite Jon and Kate plus 8(may it RIP), but very entertaining nonetheless. So here is the deal-- no one is ever in the exact same shoes as another person, so let's give each other a break!

If I had a penny for every time that someone said to me, "You really should...", I would have a serious coffee fund.

You see, the fact that Sister sleeps with a pacifier is okay with me. So why is it not okay with anyone else? If that makes her happy and I can move on with the tasks of the day instead of going through a torturous meltdown, I am good with it. I never thought that I would have said that, but there it is. Pacifier at 4...small potatoes.

My house is normally a wreck. I let it be, until the end of the day rolls around, and then I do a quick sweep through to straighten up. If I do it before then, all of the toys will positively be pulled out again. So instead of putting them up 37 times, I just do it once. But if someone who was type A came to my house in the morning, they would undoubtedly attain a nervous twitch. I have a system, and it works for me. Did I ever think that I would live in such chaos? No...but here I am.

My kitchen looks like a surely to goodness pigpen after my kids have eaten. We have a plastic tablecloth under a Fisher Price picnic table, but the mess is literally unbelievable. I have been told to put them in high chairs and monitor their eating...but really? I am running back and forth cleaning up spills, re-filling plates, and trying to get myself a few bites in between. Mealtime is straight up madness. And maybe my system isn't the greatest--but it works for me. Did I ever see myself in a Tom and Jerry cartoon where food is flying from wall to wall? No...but Hello Warner Brothers.

The fact that everyone has such wonderful advice is actually quite funny to me because I have yet to find anyone that can handle all 3 of my kids alone. So if I am doing it and surviving...good for me!

One last thing that I have learned since becoming a parent is this: my parents must have really loved me to do all that they did to take care of me. Because I know how hard it is to take care of mine. Just the bare necessities are exhausting--bath duty at the end of the day honestly almost does me in. But then you have the things that you do above and beyond the bare minimum. Beach trips, dance classes, zoo days, park trips, and I realize that this doesn't even begin to scratch the surface because down the road will be ball games, slumber parties, etc.

We do these 'extras' because there is no greater joy as a parent, than seeing that ear to ear grin on a sweet little chubby face.

It is going to get ice cream when you really just want to go home.

Or cutting fingernails--in the dark--with a hat on--with a clip on light--to keep Little Man from having a melt down. (Why do they hate nail cutting so badly?)

Or being so completely wiped out that you can't even find the strength to brush your teeth, but you go into their room one more time to make sure that they are sleeping soundly, and that their covers haven't been kicked off.

Or using your last five dollars for Icee's all around, instead of that Caramel Frappaccino that you have been seriously craving.

The scenarios are endless. But the bottom line is this: a parents love is like no other. So if you are about to dive into the pool of parenthood, heed my advice. Get ready to eat some words, hear some amazing advice ;), and voice your thanks to your own parents. Because this job is the hardest, but somehow also the most rewarding!