Thursday, March 24, 2011

Breaking My Own Rules

When I was a little girl, I had a perfect plan for how my life would be. Everything lined up in perfect little rows in my head, and I was certain that even though there might be bumps in the road, all my dreams would evolve as planned. For example, I would have six children--three boys and three girls. At the latest, I would be finished having babies by the time I was 35. There would be two-year gaps between each child. A bit idealistic, I'll admit, but if you're going to dream, you might as well make it good. Today, my plan has changed a little bit. It goes something like this:

Don't plan. Simply enjoy today and follow the promptings of the spirit because the Lord's plan, although more difficult, is far more enriching and eternally rewarding.

My husband and I have been blessed with four great kids (even have two girls and two boys--sounds almost perfect). We love them to death. They are so amazing, and we feel so darn grateful for them. But here's the thing. About a year and a half ago we started to wonder if our family was complete. Prayer led us to deciding it wasn't. My health then led us to think it had to be. More prayer led us to considering something amazing but seemingly impossible. Adoption. Even more prayer led us to filling out papers and embarking on a journey that would forever change us. Already this path has been incredibly difficult. The thing about adoption is that the highs are really high and the lows are really low. Until you get to a point that when a high is offered, you hardly dare hope it will really happen. When it doesn't, you find out what low really is.

Two weeks ago we received a much-anticipated phone call. It was like nothing we ever expected. The adoption agency called and asked us if we would consider a sibling group--two girls, one 3 months old, the other 17 months old. We hardly knew what to think. TWO was not in our plans, and yet as we seriously considered it, we soon became thrilled. How could we be so blessed? We had only one night to make a decision, and the next morning we called the agency and said, "Yes." That's when we reviewed our week and realized we had one of the busiest weeks ever. It didn't matter. We would make it work. This was Tuesday morning. The mother was supposed to bring her babies to Utah Friday morning. We would meet with her that evening, and then as soon as she signed papers, the babies would be ours.

All week long, I pushed myself to the point of exhaustion, trying to get through all my responsibilities so we could be ready by the weekend. My mother came to offer help, thankfully, but it seemed there was really little she could do. All I kept thinking was, "I hope the birth mom gets on that plane." We signed papers late Thursday night and were comforted by the agency's reassurance that they had just spoken to the mother and she was planning to come the next morning.

She didn't come.

It may be unbelievable to think a person can love children she's never even seen, but I loved those little girls already. We were devastated. That's when we prayed even harder--for this birth mother, for the little girls, and for ourselves, that we could move on. Peace came, and with it an even stronger desire to welcome a child into our home.

We are now planning to adopt a baby girl the end of May. Am I terrified? Yes. Does it seem like two months is an eternity to wonder if this too will fall through? Yes. Am I scared to allow myself to even get excited and plan for this little girl? Yes. But, even stronger than my fears is my faith. And the truth is, it simply isn't in our hands. I can't make anything happen in and of myself. But thankfully, I don't have to trust in myself.

And so, I'm going to get excited for this baby. And I'm going to prepare for her to come, just like I have all my other babies. And I'm going to trust that everything will work out, because it sure beats thinking it won't.

I'm breaking all my previous rules. I will be 36 years old when this baby is born. This little girl will ruin my even-gendered family, making three girls and two boys. There will be a four-and-a-half year gap between this baby and my youngest child now. And one other thing I never saw in my "life plan" but am so excited about: this baby is half African American, half Hispanic. What a wonderful way to add diversity to our family!

I've thrown my perfect little plan out the window. And honestly, although this journey is tougher, I've never been happier. God has been so good to me personally and to our family. His plan for me has always had surprises and unexpected turns, but it has always led me right to where I want to be in the end.

Besides, I've always heard rules are made to be broken!:)