I have been dying to tell you the wonderful news: Five in Tow is about to grow! Jeff and I are excited to announce that we’re expecting.
I know you probably thought we were done having children. Five certainly is a handful, at least that’s what the Costco sample ladies tell me when my kids clear out their toothpicked cheese cubes in one fell swoop.
There’s also the small part about how motherhood didn’t come easy to me. It took me about…well, five kids to get broken in to this gig, and for some time prior to that, I threatened to pack up my children and send them to Argentina.
But, this child, this sixth child, is something different. This child is not growing in my womb. This child has been growing in my heart since I was old enough to notice that not all children have it good.
Not all children are safe.
Not all children are wanted.
Not all children are loved.
And not all people who can do something about it are. Including me.
Many years ago, before I was married, I wanted to adopt all the babies. I had lived in third world countries and worked with street children and orphans. By the time I was nineteen, I had seen more unwanted children than I could bear. I determined to do something about it.
But then I got married. And pregnant. And pregnant again, and…every time I thought about adding another child to our home, life would get crazy and I would wonder what on earth I was thinking.
I began to believe that I really am terribly busy, and I have used those Costco ladies as my justification for passing up many opportunities to be Christ to this hurting world. I have my hands full already, thankyouverymuch.
But God’s been talking to me about being the Word, and it’s all terribly more self-sacrificial than I am comfortable with.
So I read all through the Word looking for some fine print that would exempt me from anything harder than where I am right now. What I found was Jesus telling poor people to care for poorer people. Jesus telling busy people to stop and bind up the wounds of the hurting. Jesus telling moms who pounded out their daily bread to feed the widows and the orphans with some of it. Jesus saying, “Hey, the harvest is ready, but the trouble is, none of you are willing to stop what you’re doing and labor for me.”
So we stopped. We prayed. We talked to our kids. We did the next thing, and the next thing more. Now, we are knee-deep in the foster licensing process with the intention of adopting a child out of the system. We have to get the licensing part done before Jeff deploys, which is so insane, our case worker is developing a twitch. But we have a set of fire extinguishers in our kitchen and fingerprints on file and a whole lot of friends and family with permanent hand cramps because they had to fill out pages of references forms on us.
It is labor, all of it. But with the labor comes great expectation, abundant joy, and a good share of nausea.
I hear that’s normal for expectant parents.
Hopefully, we can act like a normal family for a few weeks longer so we can wrap up the foster-licensing process. Jeff will deploy, and even though it’s not ideal to welcome a new child to the home while the father is away, we’re kind of over waiting for ideal. When it comes to foster care, there is no ideal.
Our hope is to foster-adopt, so we are praying that the Lord will bring us the right child right away so that we can begin the legal process as quickly as possible. Jeff will be getting orders to a new duty station soon after he completes his deployment, and we need to complete the adoption while we’re still living in Texas…or we might lose the child and have to start the whole thing all over again.
But even if we cannot adopt, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to love and invest in another child for as long as God lets us have her. When you think about it, that’s really what parenting is all about.
Won’t you pray for us? We’re expecting God to show up big time because this whole thing is crazy-scary and infinitely bigger than us. Those are exactly the circumstances God seems to like the most, when I have nothing of my own to offer and He gets to remind me why He’s God, and I’m not.
Pray particularly for this sixth child who may, at this very moment, be experiencing unspeakable trauma at the hands of those who are supposed to love him. Pray pray for the family who is so broken, a child isn’t safe in their care. Finally, pray that we will remain steadfast and diligent as we labor to make room for one more.
Six in tow? I kinda like the sound of that.