I read blogs of God-fearing women that have lost children of all ages. I am on the prayer team of C.O.L.E.S Foundation that supports families and individuals (particularly children) with life-threatening illnesses and injuries. I have read their gut-wrenching words and cried thousands of tears for them. I have virtually and spiritually walked with them the final steps of their child's earthly journey. I have watched their reactions (at least the ones they're willing to share online, which I'm postitive are not even half of what they are truly going through) and witnessed them crying out for just 5 more minutes with their child or to even see the face and know their unborn child. I have close friends that have lost their babies before they ever had a chance to really know them. Oh what a void it leaves in their hearts. Thus far, I've not had to endure the sorrow and burden that these parents have bore.
I love my children. They continue to teach me so much with every day that goes by. I look at them sometimes in true amazement at how they've grown so quickly. My real amazement is that despite my failures as a parent, they have both turned out to be really good kids. The Lord has been so faithful to us. I look at the young woman of God that Tori is developing into. She and I are a lot alike and so you can imagine how we bump heads. The very things that bug me in her are the mirror image of the things I struggle with in my own life. There's nothing like God using your children to show you a reflection of yourself! But you know, the things that cause friction between us are the very things that will make her the leader she's called to be. It's my job to help smooth those things out and tame them down a bit. But overall, I'm glad she's the way she is. As for Reid, that little stinker is the complete opposite of his sister. And boy has he taught me a lot too. He has definitely taught me more patience. I don't always walk in it...but I'm much better than I used to be. It amazes me how I didn't want anymore children after Tori. I held out for 10 years proclaiming that I was done. Then, once I was pregnant with him I sat in his nursery floor in the middle of the night crying, because I was scared I would not be able to love him as much as I loved Tori. I even expressed concern to my nurse when I was in labor. One look at his little face totally engulfed me in unquenchable love. From that moment on, the journey we have taken with him has been adventerous to say the least...and I wouldn't trade that journey for the world.
As I said before, God has taught me much over the years that I've been raising my children. He's been so faithful to us. He's provided everything we've needed and continues to do so today. He has breathed His life into us in the times that we felt we had nothing left within us. He has given us wisdom and discernment in situations that were bigger than us. He's shown us how to be better parents and given us hearts that are looking more and more like His. His Word has been a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. It has encouraged us when we were in the valley of life. It has reminded us of the victory and promises that are already ours and our childrens'. The list goes on and on. So what's my point?
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to get with some great women and play cards...eat chocolate...and laugh. In the midst of this event, the Lord sat an unexpected opportunity in front of me...literally. I almost missed out on the opportunity, and I'm so thankful that I was obedient to the Holy Spirit. He showed me a lot that night. I expected to learn something because you can't get with these women and not learn another amazing thing about the Lord. (That's the great thing about having Godly friends that take the Word seriously and understand that "iron sharpens iron".) On top of all of that, I received some healing in an area that had been covered up for a long time. That's always a win-win. However, the neat thing is that one of the ladies there had a tremendous passion for more children...particularly through adoption. This lady knew her stuff, and I sat in amazement as she shared some of her knowledge with us. Passion for this oozed from her pores and she didn't know 90% of the people at that table but she didn't care...it was her heart and she layed it out there for all to see. She still to this day has no idea what it was doing to me on the inside.
Now the Lord placed adoption in my heart back when I was a teenager. That hasn't left me. It has been buried with sin and other junk at times...but it's always been there. When I finally agreed to have another child (10 years after Tori) I wanted to adopt....not physically have another one. But Richard wasn't in agreement and neither was the rest of my family...so I gave in (for all the right reasons) and got pregnant with Reid. Totally the will of the Lord for me to have Reid....no doubts! But I've continued to believe that adoption was/is somewhere in our future. However, Rich doesn't have the same conviction as I do. I've seen a glimmer of hope a time or two but nothing that would have me calling up China for a baby. I've prayed a little here and there for the Lord to line up our hearts with His in the area of more children. There have been times I've longed to have another baby. My poor husband falls out in the floor everytime he hears me say that.
We are blessed in many ways. We physically can have another child...there are those who can't. We have the means to adopt or have another child...there are those who don't. We have relatively healthy children...there are those who don't and can't have them. I can carry a child to term...there are those who can't. I have resources and family that can help provide a well-rounded environment for a child...there are those who don't. Through prayer, I can see the Lord align mine and Richard's heart with His when it comes to more children...some can't. I can spend more quality time with my children...many can't. I can provide for my children...many can't. I can teach my children more of the Word than I do...some can't. I can love on my children any time I want to...many would love just 5 more minutes with their kids...but they can't. I can pray down the Heavens over my children and see changes in their lives...some can't. I can...but many can't...so why don't I?