Happy Mother’s Day!
Today as been a wonderfully blessed day. After an extremely successful yard & bake sale yesterday to help finance our adoption, followed by a refreshing date night with my dear darling Dan…I woke up this morning to a spotless clean house (what a perfect gift for a mother whose primary love language is – “acts of service”). We attended church service, enjoyed coffee & cinnabons (yes…my monthly “day off” the diet), took a couple hour nap, read the newspaper, talked with my eldest daughter in Hawaii & my mother in Virginia, had a take out dinner of Chinese food and ended the day watching the movie “Bella” (highly recommend this pro-life, pro adoption movie) while receiving foot massages and eating popcorn. A perfect Mothers Day!
This Mother’s Day I was reflecting on the great joy that having children has brought to my life. I also was pondering each of my seven pregnancies and the different reactions and responses that we received with each announcement of a the blessing of another child.
Pregnancy #1 – There was excitement and joy from everyone – our parents, siblings, friends, even people we did not know all enthusiastically shared their sentiments about the joy of children. The congratulations were abundant.
Pregnancy #2 – “Congratulations! Are you hoping for a boy?” While there was a general sense of happiness for us – although there was not the screams of delight or the huge grins experienced with baby number one. There was more a sense of being “status quo”.
Pregnancy #3 – “Trying for a boy, huh?” With this pregnancy the general consensus was that since we did not get a boy & a girl with our first two children…we must be “trying” again. My answer – “No, actually we are quite happy with having girls.” or “No, just trying for a baby.”
Pregnancy #4 – “Do you know what causes this?” My answer – “Yes thank you!” (and I rather enjoy it…don’t you? – which I only actually said out loud if I was feeling really ornery.) Most people who have reached a fourth pregnancy in this “post Christian” society we live in, have experienced this true lack of enthusiasm or acceptance for having more than the “culturally accepted – Planned Parenthood” amount of children.
Pregnancy #5 – “Of course, you are done now, right?” — My answer – “I don’t know. Ask God.” By the time we were pregnant with our fifth child people began to look at us with a bit of disdain and bewilderment as to why we would want more children. Why is it that when it comes to financial blessings – you can never have enough money…but when it comes to the blessing of children – many think that you can have too many?
Pregnancy #6 – “How many are you going to have?” My answer – “We leave the big important decisions to God.” (we keep busy enough trying to make the smaller decisions) By the time we announced the blessing of our sixth precious baby, people began to just keep their comments to themselves or just give us a look of shocked amazement.
Pregnancy #7 – “Have you heard about the lady in Arkansas with 17 kids?” This one made me laugh – it was as if we were now going for a Guinness Book of World Records, could have a TV show or were some type of “circus act” since we were headed towards our seventh child! And of course after Daniel was born we heard constantly (and are still hearing) – “You finally got your boy!” What kind of comment is that? It’s not like we see our first six girls as just a failed attempt at having a boy. One thing that I want to make pefectly clear (for the “umpteenth time”) is that we were never trying for a boy! We simply have always been open to receiving every life given to us as a blessing from the Lord….boys or girls….and whether we had one blessing or 20 blessings! Of course to have 20 biological children, I would have had to start much younger. Since I had my first child at age 27 and most people have a serious decline in fertility after 40 (3-5% chance of conceiving) and then another huge drop after 45 (less than a 2% chance of getting pregnant – the same chance as those of you on the pill) and then only a miracle chance of naturally having a baby after 50…I feel extremely blessed to have had seven children during my childbearing years. (which may not be over – only God knows)
The sentiments surrounding the blessings of being a mother were heard over & over today and throughout this past week. Yet, it seems that our society in general only has these warm, loving sentiments for two or at the most three children. After that you constantly hear comments like the ones listed above as well as…
- “I’m glad it’s you and not me!” (I’m glad it’s me too)
- “Oh my! You’ve got your hands full” (And my heart is full too)
- “Are they ALL yours?” – usually said with a look of chagrin) (yes thay are ALL mine & they all have the same Dad too, thank you!)
- “I couldn’t handle that many children” (I will take all the blessings God is willing to give me! And as a recovering “control freak” I stopped trying to “handle” things a long time ago)
- “You are crazy!” (ahhhh…what a nice thing to say to someone – read the sarcasm here)
- “Do you realize how OLD you are going to be when that last one graduates from high school?” (Yes, I can do basic math)
OK, I will get down off my “soapbox” now and end by saying – Happy Mother’s Day to all of you – whether you have been blessed with one child, a dozen or more children or any number in between! Children are a blessing and a gift from God.
P.S. – As we have been going through the adoption process for the last seven months we have heard almost no negative comments. Interesting huh? Either everyone has just given up on us, they are finally really convinced that we believe children are a blessing, they are “writing us off” as too far gone to bother commenting or perhaps adoption is more acceptable than having another child. I don’t know the answer but I find it very interesting that as we get ready to “have” (through the miracle of adoption) our eighth child – the comments are overwhelmingly positive!