I’m alive!

Apparently one can make a full-time job out of feeding and changing a human baby.  I have not been able to come up for air.  It’s a strange life I lead since I spend almost all of my day and night lying on the couch or bed watching The West Wing.  It feels like I am doing nothing and yet I can get nothing accomplished (other than keeping a human alive).

Frederick has certainly added a new element of delight into my life.  Anything or anyone else who was this demanding all hours of the day and night would have been left out in the alley by now, but his cute little face and soft skin allow him to see another day.

It has not been easy.  Physical pain, extreme exhaustion and raging hormones make for a dangerous combination.  It is unfathomable to me that people do this more than once and in much more difficult circumstances.  I’ve come over the first mountain (meaning I don’t weep every single day anymore), but I know there are more coming. 

The Enemy attacked me hard during that first week or so.  He knows when we are weak.  I thought it would be easier, more natural.  I wanted to be a mom so badly and yet when the time came, I was overcome with feelings that it was too much and not a good fit.  The lies about who I am and what I capable of still come at me every day, but the Lord has been so merciful and faithful, filling me with his truth.

I have been so blessed with supportive family and friends.  We barely ever have to figure out what to eat for dinner.  I only recently started doing laundry again.  My sweet mother in law mopped the floors on her hands and knees for goodness sake! 

I hope to be back to blogging regularly.  I’ll leave you with a photo of my sweet boy.  Can you even handle the cuteness?

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Freddy My Love

It’s a boy! We are delighted to announce the arrival of our sweet son, Frederick David on January 15, 2013.

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Frederick (aka Fred, Freddy) is doing great. Born around 2 pm and weighed 8 lbs, 5 oz, 20 inches in length. He is perfect in every way. I am exhausted, sore and completely overwhelmed but totally in love. Who knew something so small could completely annihilate your life (in a good way!)?

BB is adjusting well and loving fatherhood. He is waiting on me hand and foot and now that we are released from the hospital, he is very, very happy. He was not a fan of those nurses and doctors telling him what to do. Also, wi-fi at the hospital was terrible, thus adding insult to injury.

I’m looking forward to sharing his birth story when I am not limited to typing on my phone while he eats. For now, I will leave you with one more photo. I think in this one, he is begging for someone to save him from his incompetent parents.

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Rest

Ask and you shall receive.  I’m not going to lie.  For three months, it’s been sort of nice just focusing on the day to day, dreaming about just having one little baby to take care of next year, paying off our debt, and otherwise enjoying drama-free life.

You have to remember that I spent four months of this year believing that I would be having four kids at the same time.  I started off 2012 adopting two kids, then we added a third in March, and by May, we were pregnant.  As my friend put it, we were collecting kids like some people collect bobbleheads.  It was nutty, people!  At the same time, it was exciting.  It’s fun to be pushed beyond your limit by a God who can provide all you need.  I liked really being able to test his promises and had been looking forward to doing it more so once we got the kids home.

Alas, life has been a little boring over here.  We are ready to spice things up.  No, there are no more kids to add in 2012 (as far as I know).  But, God is back at work – stirring up the pot and giving me way more than I can handle. I don’t have any details or news.  I can just sense that God is working to throw another wrench in my life.  My sabbatical will likely be coming to a close soon.

Yesterday, our pastor spoke on the fruit of the spirit.  Galatians 5:17 says: “For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”  My flesh wants predictability, ease, comfort, plans.  The Spirit is contrary to that.  The Spirit is fighting a war, bringing about big change in the world.  The pruning is painful and involves suffering. Rebirth is bloody and messy.

I don’t know for sure what God has in store for us (He never tells me his plans).  I’ve been “dating” a lot of different ministries for the past year.  I’ve got irons in the fire all over the place – waiting for my cue to jump in with both feet. My heart is on fire for about 10 different issues.  Last week alone I went to events on women in the sex industry, the church and the gay community and sex trafficking in America.  I’m ready for God to push me on one direction, and I think He will very soon.

I knew it wouldn’t last.  Rest on earth is always only temporary.  There’s work to be done, and I can’t sit on the sidelines (nor do I want to).  God has big plans, and I asked for them.

Then* comes a baby in a baby carriage.

*Not guaranteed, not easy, not always in the way you would expect.

Yep, that’s right my bloggy friends.  There’s a fourth child who has yet to be identified on this blog.   We’ve been keeping his identity protected for the safety of the mother and child (all those screams are hard on my hearing).  The medical community is expecting Baby Bean in January.  The parents are still in denial.

I found out I was pregnant in May. I had some suspicions but couldn’t bring myself to spend another $10 on a pregnancy test after losing a small fortune on them over the last six years.  Luckily, I discovered an old one in a drawer on a Monday morning in May.  When it was positive, I expressed my shock using some choice profanity, and BB said “is there any way you can put this out of your mind and just go to work?  We can talk about it in a few weeks.”  [We still haven’t talked about it.]

What the heck, God?  Can I be more confused? Don’t ask me to explain it.  I don’t get it.  Please also don’t try to explain it to me.  You don’t get it either.  The only thing I can say is that you can’t put God in a box.  I have learned that no matter how much I think I understand about God and his ways, it’s all a joke.  His ways are so much bigger than my little baby brain can handle.  I am now convinced more than ever that comparing me to God is like comparing an ant to a human.  It can’t be done.  No matter how much the ant tries, he will never understand the human.

We have felt every emotion possible over the past six months.  We have settled into cautious joy and denial.  I spent a significant time in anger and another significant period in fear.

Anger came at first because this was not my plan.  I didn’t want to be pregnant.  I wanted to adopt, and I was mad that God was throwing this on my plate.  At the time, I thought we were going to have four kids at once, and I didn’t think I could handle that.  I had spent so many years praying for a positive pregnancy test and a baby, and I thought it was cruel to give it to me after I was over it and moved on to a new plan.  I felt as if God was trying to break me.  I am still angry that I am another one of those stories of the person who tried to adopt and then got pregnant.  I hate those stories!

I feared losing the baby.  We had two previous early miscarriages.  We did IVF and had 12 embryos, all of which have died.  I didn’t want a thirteenth.  I still battle fear that this baby will not come to be.  God has not promised me a baby will be born so there is no such promise to rest on.  I feared that people would think that we pulled out of the adoption because we were pregnant or that we didn’t care so much about the kids because we had our “own” baby.

Despite these strong feelings, God has given us so much mercy and grace.  I have wrestled with God, and He remains faithful.  [I may have a slight limp, though.]  We have been overjoyed to hear the baby’s heartbeat and see him on the ultrasound.  What an amazing miracle!  We are striving to live in the moment and be grateful for what we have.  We are so grateful to have this child right now, even though we don’t know what tomorrow holds.

A few of the details that you may be wondering.  We don’t know Baby Bean’s sex, but you will see me refer to him as a him.  Don’t be confused.  Baby Bean is due in January 2013, which makes me about 6 months (27 weeks).  I have been feeling good, and Baby Bean appears healthy and happy.  No crazy morning sickness, just a little nausea at first.  Starting to get uncomfortable, and I have been assured that would continue.  Baby Bean moves like crazy.

The most difficult thing for me right now is that I still don’t fit in.  I’m not an adoptive mom.  I’m not a prospective adoptive mom.  I’m no longer officially infertile.  I am also not your typical expectant mother – I lack the excitement, and I have too many battle scars.  I can’t handle any more anticipatory conversations and celebrations.  I am once again floating somewhere in the middle of everything.  I think that will always be the case, and maybe everyone feels that way to some degree.

What I don’t want is to spend anymore time wishing away the present and trying to get to the future.  I want to live in the here and now because it’s all I have.  Today, I am a mom to a growing baby, and it is a gloriously wonderful thing.  I don’t want to worry about tomorrow because there’s enough evil to deal with today.