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.