This first time volunteering happened the summer before I was married. It was also the summer after my general practitioner warned that with the ovarian cysts and endometriosis I was suffering (I still suffer from these), I may have a difficult time conceiving. And? It was the summer after my hubster had completed his chemotherapy to fight off the cancer in his body. His doctors told him he may not be able to father a biological child.
I remember arriving home from camp a wreck. I cried for days. I had long talks with my hubster (then, finance') about adopting...since we didn't think children were possible naturally. We agreed that summer that adoption is something we should do.
Almost a year after we were married, I found out I was pregnant. We wanted to try to conceive naturally and I thought I had it planned out perfectly... God decided His plans were better (and mine were adorable, clearly) and blessed us with a son. It was funny how even then, with the excitement of a baby of our own, I said "OK....we'll have at least 2 kids" because my heart was still wanting to adopt.
The hubster agreed. We revisited this conversation quite often over the years.
With baby number 2 and baby number 3, our hands were plenty full. Still, that vacant space was in my heart...where's that one we've been praying for?
And friends? It's finally time. This is finally beginning. We are getting licensed to be a foster home with the intention of adopting from the foster care system. WE ARE EXPECTING AGAIN!
I've cried about that, too.
If I were walking around with my belly growing rounder by the week, perfect strangers would be tempted to smile and touch my stomach. Now, I'm walking around with my heart growing and stretching bigger by the day: A hidden pregnancy. And while some congratulate, others ....well....their eyes can't hide their opinion from me.
I suspect this is just the beginning of that feeling and something I'm going to have to put on like skin and try to figure out "What in the world would Jesus look like in this?" (lol) In seriousness, though, these looks are going to be something I see and something I will choose to look past because I promise you, this child is worth all the stares and questions from onlookers who don't understand.
An interesting (and sweet) side note? Most people of faith would say that they understand God a little bit better after being a parent. But the heart of adoption? That will give you an entirely different lens to see faith through.
I'll keep posting updates as I have them on our licensing process and forward from there. I'm excited to take you all on this journey with me and my family. I hope you're as excited as we are.