Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lori's Story

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Growing up, I was one of those kids who absolutely loved going to school.  While I was in college it felt natural for me to major in education, my passion.  I was going to be an elementary school teacher and I prayed that, God willing, I’d also find a husband.  Those were my big plans, but I’ll be honest I was a little worried about the husband part back then. 

When I was just 16 years old, I learned that I’d never be able to have children.  It was very difficult news for me because I loved children and not only dreamed of becoming a teacher, but I also wanted to be a wife and mother one day too.  While the news of my infertility was life changing, through time and much prayer, I found acceptance and healing and my faith in God’s plan for my life was strengthened even more than I could have ever imagined. 

I met my now husband our freshman year of college.  We were the best of friends and he couldn’t have been more supportive and loving about my infertility.  When we began to discuss marriage and future babies, he didn’t even hesitate about what we would do.  Adoption would be how we’d build our family. 
 We were married the summer after graduation in 2004. 

I began teaching 2nd grade that September and absolutely loved it.  Three years later and a move to a new city, I landed a position at my absolute dream school, just around the corner from our first home.  My husband and I were happy with our jobs, our new house, and things couldn’t have been going better, but our hearts were yearning for a child.  We hoped more than anything in the world to become parents.

The years of waiting were some of the most difficult of my life.  About two years into our wait, we suffered an unbelievably heartbreaking failed adoption.  I quit my teaching job at my dream school to care for our new baby.  We were so in love with our little bundle of joy and I couldn’t imagine being away from him.  It was as simple as that.  Deep down I always knew I wanted to stay home with my children, but I finally realized the importance of the decision.  We spent 4 months loving and caring for this sweet little boy and I never regretted leaving my job to give him the best start in life possible.  Even though this adoption didn’t turn out as we had hoped, through it all, our faith remained strong. We grieved our loss and our hearts were broken, but we just knew God had a baby in mind for us. 
On a beautiful fall day in 2009, all of our dreams came true.  Words cannot even express the complete and total joy we felt.  We were given our 2 week old baby boy’s picture and tears streamed down my cheeks each time I looked at his sweet little face.  Two days later we were holding the little baby we hoped, prayed, and waited all those years for.  No job satisfaction, paycheck, vacation, or material thing could ever replace the time I now spend with him each and every day.  Being a mom has been a dream come true.

My husband and I have always hoped for a large family and we’ve been blessed beyond belief to have adopted two more children, another boy and a sweet little baby girl.  Just as I had poured my heart into teaching, I have poured my heart into my vocation as a wife and mother.  My babies and I have so much fun together singing, playing, dancing around, doing arts and crafts, and just enjoying each other’s company every day.  Yes, there are crazy moments and seasons of extra challenges that only life with little ones can bring, but truly, it’s the most rewarding job in the world.
Being a stay-at-home mom is a sacrifice for sure (we are a young family with student loans that we are still paying off…not to mention saving for adoption expenses), but through careful budgeting, miraculously things have fallen into place.  We live a modest, happy life and it’s all worth it.  If I had continued teaching I know life would be a little easier financially for a young family like us, but I’d much rather see my babies’ smiling faces each morning, feel their chubby little arms around my neck, and hear their giggles throughout the day than anything money could ever buy.
Each night when we tuck our babies into their beds, I thank God for the tremendous gift of motherhood and our three precious children that He has entrusted to our care.  They are our greatest gifts and I am so thankful that I get to spend my days with them. 

I have this little prayer hanging in our kitchen that I read often:

A Mother’s Prayer

Dear Lord, it’s such a hectic day
With little time to stop and pray
For life’s been anything but calm
Since You called me to be a mom
Running errands, matching socks
Building dreams with building blocks
Cooking, cleaning, and finding shoes
And other stuff that children lose
Fitting lids on bottled bugs
Wiping tears and giving hugs
A stack of last week’s mail to read
So where’s the quiet time I need?
Yet when I steal a minute, Lord
Just at the sink or ironing board
To ask the blessings of Your grace
I see then, in my small one’s face
That You have blessed me
All the while and I stop to kiss

That precious smile.  Amen.

Lori blogs here.

15 comments:

  1. What an amazing story!!! I love the prayer at the end! I have to print that! You have a Beautiful Family!!!!

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  2. Such a beautiful story and I'm so grateful for YOU and the blessings you get to parent how that you remained strong in faith of God's ultimate plan. Those babies are gorgeous and the love in your heart for them just shines through! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. So beautiful and wonderful! Thank you! Learning about all of you amazing mothers has been so inspiring. I leave feeling so joyful about the gift of life and children and motherhood.

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  4. Huge smile on my face. What lucky, lucky babies to have such wonderful parents as you two! <3

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  5. Love this series. Such beautiful writing and beautiful stories.

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  6. I have been reading this blog for years and check it more often than is posted. Sarah I read that you're trying to make your blog more personal. I follow many even bigger blogs, like your friend at 71toes, but I've found a lot of mentorship in your writings. Words of wisdom I wish had come from my own mom. I've also appreciated your honest at times when life is tough and a certain new baby rocks your world (I am there right now and have been there before!). Anyway... all related to todays post... this particular post is so beautiful. I just had the worst, most frustrating day I can remember in years. Starting with a cracked family-sized plastic container of yogurt onto my newly washed floors and ended with extra neediness and lots of patience with a crying baby. I needed this reminder today... of this incredible gift.

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  7. This guest post made me cry! Thank you to Lori for sharing her story and thank you to Sarah for hosting these guest posts and for posting wonderful insights on motherhood and life and books that keep me checking in. This blog has something that unites us--we are mothers for whom loving our children, being with them through life's big and little moments, is the best and most important thing we are doing on this earth; it is a tiny glimpse of heaven to come! Sarah, I get why you want to make your blog more private. I think you have important things to say and share but you also need to have a bit of privacy. That's understandable. I hope there's a way for you to find that balance. Good luck!

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  8. Sarah I'd like to echo Stephanie's comment about your mentorship. Your words and thoughts are just what us younger moms need as we struggle to stay home with our kids. Money is so very tight, my kids are in one reallllly exhausting stage, and I was about to fill out the paperwork to renew my teaching license. Days like these are hard. I thank God for your blog and your quiet leadership. Thank you.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this beautiful family with us! I love to read about the miracle of adoption, and about moms fulfilling their roles so gracefully.
    Sarah, I understand about wanting to keep your blog close and not be so public. I personally, and I am sure many others, read your blog to find encouragement and wisdom and good old-fashioned sense, in a world where those seem to be severely lacking sometimes. I hope you will continue to write this blog for your own family and let us read it. :-) Do you print it out for your children? I hope you do! And maybe someday you can take your favorite posts and put them together in a book for other people too. I would buy it. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and beautiful example with us. God bless you as you try to figure out where He wants you to go with this, and what will work best for your growing family.

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  10. What a beautiful story! God has blessed you with beautiful children, and I pray that you have great years ahead of you and your future endeavors with your family! xxx

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  11. God Bless :) Beautiful Family!!
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  12. Hi Sarah - thank you for sharing these stories with us. It is so wonderful to see so many women embracing the gift of raising children. I have recently resigned from my teaching position - as much as I feel fulfilled by teaching my students, I need to be home with my own children at this stage in my life. My kids are a bit older - 9 and 12, but I do feel that as they get older, they need us even more. I have turned to your blog for many years - for mothering advice as well as home inspiration. I completely understand that you want to make your blog more private, but I do have to tell you, you will be terribly missed!! I know that if we lived closer, we would be good friends. It's so hard to find someone who shares your values about raising children and your philosophy on living a simple life. God bless you and your beautiful family!!

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  13. A beautiful post and a beautiful family. God can bring dreams come true and your post is proof of this. Thank you for sharing your journey. You've made me appreciate being a mum all over again... not that I dislike being a mum - in fact I love it, but there are days where being a mum can be overwhelming and that poem sums it up perfectly.

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