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It seems to me, that life insists on providing the most to write about when one cannot find a scrap of time in which to write. The best stories—the blood, sweat, and tear tales—don’t leave much room for quiet reflection in the moment. They’re demanding, exhausting journeys with few rest stops.
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However, we need stories. We need to tell our own and then weave them together with the yarns of those around us in order to make some sense of the stretched and tattered but oh so brightly colored threads that make a life.
Author Glennon Doyle Melton says that for her, reading is inhaling and writing is exhaling.
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And if I’m honest a moment friends, I realize that I’ve been holding my breath for the better part of two years while flying through the pages of my story. I’m running out of air.
Thus, it’s time to pause and start catching up on the business of breathing.
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If you’ve read this blog much in the past or know me personally, then you likely know that my husband and I struggled with infertility for years. We always discussed adoption as a way to build a family, but we planned to have a biological child first. Like most, we wanted that quintessential life experience. After four years of marriage, we were ready to be parents, and pregnancy seemed the most logical, direct, and well-traveled route.
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However, after one positive pregnancy test ended in an early miscarriage, I could never get pregnant again. After a myriad of embarrassing tests and uncomfortable and expensive procedures, I was told it would never happen. For a while, I thought that part of my story was going to define the rest of my life, if not destroy it completely. It was lonely, heartbreaking, and so painful, but it moved us forward to the next chapter.
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Eventually, we began the adoption process, and we brought home our sweet Ellie two months after submitting our paperwork. Over time, we found a real peace with our infertility, and began excitedly traveling down our path as an adoptive family; we added Ian, Herdest, Karlos, and Micah in the next three years.
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Last year, after much prayer and discussion, we decided to pursue our first international, special-needs adoption, and we fell in love with the profile of a five-year-old little boy from China, our precious Chen Shuo.
And this, dear readers, is where the story takes a most unexpected turn.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Yup. I’m pregnant. (That’s the test I took in a Kroger bathroom….after the one I took at home.)
After years of no birth control. After going round and round on the crazy Clomid train. After carting Charlie’s sperm through the Starbucks drive thru, the sample cup nestled between my breasts to keep it warm, on my way to the next of four intrauterine inseminations. After all the pain and tears and doubts and humiliation. After finally finding peace and bidding an accepting adieu to the reproductive parts of motherhood. After firmly deciding we were done with the baby thing. After selling 90 percent of all our baby-related items in a consignment sale earlier this year.
We’re bringing home a special-needs son in August who does not speak English to join my baby Hulk-smash two-year-old and my super spunky five-year-old, and I’m pregnant. Therefore, by Christmas, I will have four children—ages barely 7, 5, 2, and tiny infant. <Insert
massive slight panic attack here.>
This isn’t news, of course, to anyone who knows me.
I did a crappy job of waiting to tell people, but in my defense, I had to tell. I process freak-outs socially. In order to handle big news, good or bad, I need people who will sit on the couch with me and squeal and cry and crack jokes. I need people who will read my crazy-long, rambling text messages and assure me things will be okay, and that it’s perfectly acceptable to eat half a box of Honey Combs in one sitting. I need people who will show up at my door with crazy generous gifts of baby equipment (even though the baby was only then the size of a blueberry) because it makes me feel less panicky. And I’m immeasurably grateful for all the friends who have been there to do all these things and more the past few months. I love you.
Now, for those of you who like the more practical details, here you go:
Due: December 21, 2016.
Currently: 11 weeks, 5 days. The baby is apparently the size of a lime.
Here’s my 11 week ultrasound.
Everything is looking good so far. Our little lime was jumping all over the place—waving, dancing, and stretching. I had no idea they moved that much this early. Completely amazing. Of course, I cried.
First trimester symptoms: All the things. The “my breasts are on fire, those eggs cooking are going to make me barf in the sink, I’m sobbing over an unforgivably cheesy Nicholas Sparks movie” things. Though lately, nausea has given way to an insatiable appetite, which is kind of fun. The exhaustion remains, and I could easily sleep 20 hours a day. If only….
So for now, this is our story, and it’s full of so many emotions. Joy. Hilarity. Fear. Stress. Anxiety.
Several dozen times a day, I look to the heavens and shout (not always in my head), “What are you thinking?!”
He chuckles, I think, but he doesn’t answer. The greatest Storyteller rarely reveals his next plot device, after all. We just have to keep turning the pages and trust we’re in the hands of a master, who holds the perfect ending in His hands.