Monday, March 23, 2009

I am pregnant

I know this isn’t really news to any of you, but I feel like it is news to me on a daily basis.  Every time I pass a mirror and see my now huge belly, or sit down on the couch and suddenly my belly seems to leap forth and give my laptop a jolt, I think, “Wow, I am really pregnant. Me. ME! I have been given the gift of a precious tiny life in my womb. How did this happen to me?”  

I didn’t feel quite this way when I first learned I was pregnant.  I didn’t talk about my feelings and the last thing I felt like doing was posting them on a blog for the world to see.  The very few people whom I attempted to share my feelings with, didn’t really get it, and how could I expect them to? None of the had been a barren woman for 9 years of marriage.  None of them had walked my path of pain and of healing.  From anyone else’s perspective, there was nothing to feel but joy.  And I felt joy, but I felt quite a few other emotions that did not go over quite as well.  

If you have followed my blog, you know that over a year ago, Tim and I believed God directed us not to pursue any fertility treatment. We were tested at that time and told that both of us had fertility problems.  The tests confirmed that my problems were not cured by the weight loss, as we had hoped, and considering both of our issues, the doctor’s felt fertility treatment was our only hope.  Even then, because we were limited by convictions as to what we would consider in the realm of fertility treatment, the odds were very much against us.  With fertility treatment, we still had less than an 11% chance of conceiving. 

As I walked out of the clinic that day and the Lord confirmed that we should not choose this path, I felt such relief. I knew if it ever happened for us, it would be a miracle, straight from the hand of the Almighty.  Though I know He was capable of this, I did not believe this was the path He had chosen for us. I finally had peace. No fertility treatment. No more striving. No more rollercoaster. I was getting off and I felt free.  I am passionate about adoption and thought that with so many children out there to love, this was our calling, His plan.  I was healed of all the pain, I couldn’t tell you how I knew it, but I knew God had healed my heart. The sense of healing was not something I could conjure up, or determine by my will. It wasn’t some forced state of denial; I was aware that I was missing out on some things and I knew why so many others would not want to walk this path. But more than anything I knew that God’s plan was the best plan for my life, and if that did not include conceiving children, I was ready to not just accept it, but to embrace it.  

I was so excited to move forward.  I wanted to educate those around me about adoption. I wanted everyone to know that adoption was not a second choice, but a high calling. I was overwhelmed by a sense of gratefulness to God for my infertility, because I believed that it was the instrument He has used to bring about a beautiful calling in our lives. A calling to build our family the way He built His, through adoption.

But our second adoption wasn’t going so smoothly. No adoption agency seemed to be the right fit. No homestudy agency was on the same page as us. Still we pushed forward until the end of September, when our paperwork was finally complete and ready to send to Ethiopia. Something still felt wrong, just off. I remember lying in bed and nervously, telling Tim I didn’t feel like we should send our paperwork to Ethiopia and I did not know why. He felt the same way and we were both quite frustrated. Desperately wanting more children, but never wanting to run ahead of God, we waited, but we had no idea what we were waiting for.  One night a few weeks later, laying in that same darkness, I said to Tim, “the only way any of this makes sense, is if I end up pregnant.” He said nothing. 

And then I was pregnant. Really pregnant!

But I still wanted to adopt from Ethiopia. My heart for that country, my heart for adoption had not gone away with a pregnancy test. I looked at my son and there were so many questions in my heart. The plan was to have a house filled with adopted children.  What if we are completely healed and can have many more children? What if he is the only child we are able to adopt? Would he be my only child of another race in an all white family?  No, we the parents were supposed to be the odd men out, not my precious little boy. 

I had grieved the loss of not having biological children.  It had been my dream for many years, but then that dream died and a new dream was born.  Everyone kept saying that my dream had finally come true, and I knew they would never understand that it just wasn’t my dream anymore. I knew how ungrateful I seemed. Was I?  I wasn’t sure. I thanked God repeatedly for the child in my womb, because I knew with all certainty that His plans are the best, but really, I did not understand. 

Over time, God did the miraculous work that He does best.  He took a dead thing and made it alive again.  My dream of a biological child has been resurrected. The excitement and anticipation has grown through the weeks and there is a new joy in my heart. I am in awe of the work of God in our lives. I can’t say that I now totally understand, but I have stopped trying.  It is not required of me to understand. That is the greatest lesson I have learned in all of this: I do not need to figure it all out.  I need to follow and obey and allow the amazing plans He has unfold before me.  Will we adopt again? I hope so.  Will we have more biological children? I hope so. But I do not know, only He does and I know His plans are the best. 

And I am pregnant.  Really, really pregnant! 


Samantha said...

I want to see a pic of you! What an amazing testimony of learning to trust God. You are a WONDERFUL mom and I am confident God will give you a houseful of kids and I'm excited to see how he goes about it. I know what you mean about not wanting the adoptive kids to be the odd one out. We feel the same way. I don't ever want Princessa to feel like she was a "second Choice".

stella g. said...

this is such an honest post. thank you for sharing it. i can imagine the the initial confusion and hesitation. i had a little myself, given our own struggle conceiving. so thanks for sharing the real you. :)

boqpod said...

My wife, Judi and I, are reading your post together. We found you through Stella G's blog. God built our family (like His) through adoption.

Your words here are very gracious and very well said. Thank you!

Bob & Judi P. (Stella G will fill you in on who we are :) ) said...

Charlotte, this is the first time I found your blog.

What a beautiful post.

I love your heart, for God's will and timing, for a large family, for adoption... we have three biological children. We are both open to adoption as well... and Ethiopia was the country we both felt on our heart when we went to an initial seminar at Bethany a few months ago.

I don't know if God will grow our family or not. We've been talking about it for several months now... how large of a family do we want. We aren't on the exact same page yet, yet both of us are sensitive to the other's feelings and position.

Thanks for the reminder to wait on God's plan... and to focus on it over my plan and desires. I think lately I have been very focused on what I want and not so much on seeking God's will for our family.

Beautiful post.

Congrats on your growing family!

HouseOfSmooches said...

I don't know why but I got a little tickled reading this again because you are still pregnant.....a year later!! :) Hope you get to feeling better soon and that the first trimester flies past.