Friday, November 13, 2015

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants


I've been really confused about the direction God is leading us. For almost 10 months, we've been praying that He would bring us a daughter and that, if that isn't His will, He'd make it abundantly clear and He'd CHANGE ALL OUR HEARTS. Emphasis on the ALL. It was all just so evident with Kate. We'd ask, "Should we walk through this door?" and it would fly open. It seems like He prepared our hearts for more than this. It feels like He'd make it clear if He wanted us to be done. But feelings are fickle and sometimes He calls us to walk through a giant pile of muck because knowing Him more fully waits on the other side of the swamp.

I had an emotional breakdown a few weeks ago. Not an earth shattering breakdown, I just let the tears slide right on down my face, uncontrolled, IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.

I cry in front of Troy. And that's about it. I've said it before and I'll say it again. If you've seen me cry you can count yourself part of an elite group. The five of you are connected by the shared bond of my excessive eye water. You're welcome.

Anyway, I'd had these fleeting thoughts that...I might not want a newborn. I might not want to start this whole thing over again. I might not want to not sleep through the night. I might not want the poop everywhere and the diaper bills and the formula bills and the itty-bitty helpless bundle of depravity.

Maybe, I thought, God is changing my heart.

And I'm going to just be 100% frank here because I'm keepin' it real. That thought pissed me off. It started a good two weeks of me being irrationally angry that He might just change my heart after all. HOW DARE HE? How dare He answer my prayer?

I kept praying and trying to come to grips with what all that might mean. I entered into a time of deep grief because it also coincided with the anniversary of finding out that Kate existed and that we were actually going to get to be her parents and all kinds of things that happened to just be a lot of a lot of all the feelings.

But there I was, wondering if my desire for a baby had been taken away almost as quickly as it had been given to me which was, well, nearly instantaneous. And then two Sundays ago came. I was rehearsing with the praise team and, out in front of me, my friend followed her nine-month-old as she crawled around. That sweet little girl was born during the precise moment that I was holding Kate in the mortuary and something about that connection makes me love that little crawling baby even more. She kept trying to get toward the stage and her mama would herd her in a different direction. I stepped down, scooped her up, and took her up on the stage with me. Every baby I've ever met loves microphones. As I sang, the baby reached out for the microphone. She leaned her head against my own, her hair tickling my forehead. She smiled, big.

(There was also this one, in which I was doing something that I intended to be playful but which, in actuality, looks like I'm eating the baby.)

The honest truth is that I don't love the newborn stage. I never really have. Oh, of course I LOVE the baby. Who doesn't enjoy the brand new snuggles of the tiniest of humans? Who doesn't look at them and say, "You're never going to be this small ever, ever again?" Who isn't in awe of the miracle of life? But the zero to two month stage has never been my favorite. Not even when they were my own. At various times, I wanted to throw both of my children out the window when they were newborns because I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. I HAVE FED AND CLEANED AND HUGGED YOU AND I HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL MY TRICKS AND WHY ARE YOU STILL CRYING? With Matthew, we added to that the fact that he slept ALL DAY and cried ALL NIGHT regardless of all my efforts to fix it.

But man, the smiley grins of a three month old. The way a five month old fits on the hip. The happy squeals of an eight month old. A nine month old trying to sing into a microphone. That's what I want. Still.

We've inquired on a couple other sibling sets. I've even done a little more research into international adoption (although financially, that one isn't really an option). I'm not trying to limit God. I also know He could very easily say, "Complete. Done. The end." But I definitely desire a baby on my hip.

I was reading a cyber friend's blog last week and I laughed until my sides ached. She has a preschooler. Any rational human being who has children in school all day does not want a toddler. Anyone who reads a blog about poop being anywhere BUT the toilet does not want a preschooler. However, I read this blog and wanted to do it all over again. I don't know why. It doesn't even make sense to me.

But babies singing into microphones and preschoolers having attitude problems and leaving patties of poop in places they don't belong is something my heart really does want. And my heart has a lot of changing to do if it isn't in the cards. So I'll keep waiting for clear direction and, one day, I will look back and see how God was clearly working through it all.

This I know is true.

1 comment:

  1. This post is spot on. It's spot on, because we're women, and we cover the entire spectrum of emotions, from happy to sad to angry to blah to "maybe I just need coffee and sleep" in five entire minutes. This exact same thing happened to us. We had a chance at adopting again just a little over a year ago. The expectant mother was a friend of our son's birth mom, and she had asked to meet us. I was stunned. And overwhelmed with thoughts about HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS ALL OVER AGAIN, WITH A SUPER RAMBUNCTIOUS TWO YEAR OLD? I went back and forth... I wanted that baby like crazy... and I didn't want that baby like crazy... and then I wanted that baby like crazy. I think it's all human nature. But the honest truth is that NO ONE ever says of a new baby, "Man! I sure wish we hadn't had that third child!" Nope. What they say instead is, "This third child has blessed us beyond measure." So we were in. And... in the end... that birth mother chose a young couple who had been waiting EIGHT SOLID YEARS to adopt. They'd had eight years of close adoptions, where the birth mother had pulled out of the race at the last second. They'd gone to hospitals for a birth... and come home empty-handed... more than once. For eight years, they had cried out to God for a child. When they were chosen over us (as this couple and our family were the only two the birth mom wanted to meet), I sobbed, thinking, "What was wrong with US? Why didn't she choose US?" And I cried for that "missing baby girl." But then my heart burst with happiness for this childless couple, who... after eight solid years of being on the adoption waiting lists... were holding their newborn daughter, which this birth mother had given to them. Which God had orchestrated exactly for them. Our attorney is our very close friend... she's the most wonderful Christian lady EVER... and she handled this adoption to the end as well. She sent me texts saying, "The new adoptive parents are over the moon, sobbing with joy." And do you know what? I sobbed WITH THEM! I sobbed with them, because they finally had a chance to share in the happiness that we'd already had TWICE. And then relief assailed me full force, because our little Thing 2 is BEYOND WILD, and I wasn't sure HOW we were going to handle his crazy antics AND a newborn... AND a teenager, too! The thing is... God knows. And we don't know. So we count the blessings that we have now... and we let God sit on His throne and keep working for our good. Yes, we cry when He doesn't answer the desires of our hearts as we think He should. Yes, we ache for more. But always know this... Our God delights in bringing us to our promised lands. For some reason, I don't think that this is the end for you and Troy and the boys... I think God is going to work something so big and gloriously wonderful, that it's going to take your breath away with pure joy when it happens. It took eleven and a half years for it to happen to us, but we now know that the timing couldn't have been more perfect in our lives. That's the thing... God has the timing down to a fine art. So... breathe in, and breathe out. Hold your boys close. Celebrate your God. And when the time is right, I suspect that God is going to reward your faithfulness and love for Him by filling another bedroom in your house. And then yes. You're going to experience long nights of no sleeping and poop on the floor and spilled apple juice all over the kitchen floor, so that you stick in it every time you walk through, because you're just too dadgum exhausted to mop it up. You're a gem, Lori... a genuine gem, and our family is praying for yours.