This post has been rattling around in my head for a while now, but I wasn't exactly sure how to go about it. I finally know where I want to go with it, so here it is:
When I was a little girl, I was lucky enough to get to spend quite a bit of time with my grandma, Honey. Honey has 6 kids, but she always told me she would have had more if the Dr. would have let her. Maybe this is what made me decide that I wanted 12 kids some day, I don't know? (We're thinking three or four kids sounds like a better idea these days ;)
Like most kids, I had a few different career aspirations over the years. For a while, I wanted to be a waitress (I knew how to dream big) and then I wanted to be a nurse like my grandma. Good thing I didn't choose that path considering I can't stand the sight of blood and I pass out if I see a needle! After the 1996 summer Olympics, I decided I wanted to be a gymnast so I could be like Atlanta's Magnificent Seven- Dominique Moceanu, Kerri Strug- you know who I'm talking about. My dad humored me and let me bring a 2x4 in from the garage to be my balance beam. These dreams came and went, but I always knew that I just wanted to be a mother.
In high school, if asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you that I wanted to be a "soccer-mom". My class mates wanted to be doctors, and professional athletes and marine biologists...but not me. I just wanted to be a mom.
Fast forward about eight years to today. Here I am, still longing to be a mother. I know we're not supposed to understand everything and that God has a plan bigger than us, but I can't help but wonder why the girl who dreamed of being a mother from childhood is having such a hard time, yet it seems to come so easy to others-some that don't even want kids.
This weekend, we had a training. Lance and I, two people who want nothing more than to become parents, have to complete about 25 hours of training. At the training, I have to admit that I felt a little bit like we were being punished for not being able to have kids the old fashioned way. I definitely think the training was useful and I'm glad we went, but through this whole adoption process, I have felt as though we are being punished. Any random person can get pregnant whether they are going to be a good parent or not, but Lance and I, who have taken all the steps to do this the "right" way, have to go through endless hours of trainings, and multiple screenings and evaluations to make sure we are not criminals or crazy and then wait for an unknown amount of time before we will be "good-enough" to be parents.
Like I said, I've struggled with all of this, and I still do, but I think I'm starting to understand what God is doing in our lives. We always said we wanted to adopt some day, but would we have really done it if we were able to have biological children? I wish I knew the answer would be yes; but after seeing what a time consuming, and let's not forget, expensive process it is, we may have looked into it and decided not to go down that road.
I have also developed a compassion for all of these children. I have to admit that orphans didn't really cross my mind too often. Now, not a day goes by that I don't think about all of those children out there who have no family to call their own. These kids are so scared that they might not get another meal, that they gorge themselves to the point of vomiting, or they dig in the trash to find food because they are so afraid that they will starve.
I have also had the opportunity to talk to a mother who was planning on giving her baby up, and a mother who had her children taken away while she got her life in order. These two ladies gave me a whole new perspective on what it means to give your child up or have your children taken away. They were girls, just like me, who made choices that caused them to not be able to take care of their children. I also realized that these women didn't know any better and didn't have a support system to help them through the hard times. I can't imagine being in that position and I understand now, that it's not as black and white as I once thought.
I guess the bottom line is that it hasn't been easy, and sometimes I still get frustrated about the way it has worked out, but I know that this whole experience has been life changing in a good way, so how can I not be thankful for the way that it happened?
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