I have learned that it’s easier to not expect things in life and then be pleasantly surprised when things work out great. Like my wedding, for example. I had not planned to get married right out of college and had only attended the wedding of one cousin prior to my own. So I knew very little about weddings, wedding planning, or even cultural norms. My mom educated me (and my fiancé) on a few things. For example, she informed us that she would “not have a picnic for her friends” and “I can’t handle outdoor weddings…what if it rains?” As it turned out it poured all day on our wedding day, so it was a good thing it wasn’t outside. But whose wedding was this, anyway? We had wanted to make it possible to invite every person we knew in the hopes that they would somehow see Jesus through us at the wedding. It’s about glorifying God isn’t it? It’s about being married to someone you can serve Jesus with, right? No matter what happened on that day, rain or shine, cake topper or no cake topper, late to the airport or on time…we would still be married. That was our great expectation. And here we are.
Now on to children. How many could we handle? One, two, ten? How many should I expect to have? I had no plans. My friends were nervous for me. They wondered if I would make it since I had no expectations. Come what may, I did want to have kids…more than one and less than ten. Boys, girls…it didn’t matter. I can’t control that anyway. Why fret about things I can’t control? There are plenty of things to worry about that I can control. So after our first, we settled into the routine of diapers, crying, feeding, loving, and sharing responsibilities…well, not quite. I pretty much did everything for our first, while my husband enjoyed her when she was “fun” and “not hungry,” i.e. not crying. Whenever she would cry he would hand her to me and say, “She’s hungry.” So we made it through the first, and when the second came along things REALLY changed. All of sudden he HAD to do something. Our first night home from the hospital was a real dose of reality. Our two year old cried for mommy through her entire bath and bedtime. Nice! It got better from there, and we ended up with three lovely little munchkins, all about two years apart. Such blessings! I am not in control, God is. We exercise wisdom, trust, discernment and pray, pray, pray. But ultimately God is in control.
So it seems to be a good thing to have less expectations, and more trust. But when my husband announced that we were done after three I must admit, I struggled. How did we know three was the right amount? What if we stood before God and he said, “You should have had four.” I was worried. But my husband was not. He said three was good, and there you go. I wasn’t into having another without his support, so there it was. Three little beauties and I WAS GRATEFUL, SO GRATEFUL for God’s blessing. I could trust God and my husband that this was it. Praise God for his wisdom and provision!
I expected to move on and raise these three little rascals in all their creativity. After a few years, however, my thoughts and prayers turned to all the kids who needed a home. We had room for more, didn’t we? I never planned to adopt or expected to make it our mission, but suddenly I felt God tugging at my heart for all those precious orphans. The kids were totally on board. My eldest would pray for a sister and ask how things were coming. My sons said they would share their room and toys. But my husband, on the other hand, was not. He did not seem too keen on the idea. So we prayed. And we prayed. And we trusted God.
In the winter of 2015 I reached a point of desire, interest, and spiritual connection that I could not deny. I felt God was speaking to me to start the adoption process and see where it led. My husband agreed. Wow! Amazing! He was on board. So we met with Catholic Family Center. The social worker presented all the options. Many were not very expensive, and the child would fit into our birth order by being the youngest. Maybe we could adopt a 5-7 year old who would only be a year or two younger than my youngest son. Great! Things seemed to be going so smoothly! All the kids were excited. But my husband was not. He did not see how he could handle moving forward, taking classes, pouring over folders of potential kids, and paying for the adoption. The kids and I were disappointed, but it was in God’s hands. We expected God to work however HE wanted to, and we trusted Him. So we realized that if God wanted us to adopt, then he would make it possible. He would potentially put a child on our doorstep and my husband would be on board. So we prayed. And we trusted. I shared with my small group that if God wanted us to adopt, then he would make it fall into our lap. They laughed and giggled, and they all prayed the same prayer.
AND IT HAPPENED. Wow. Our son literally showed up on our porch in need of a place to stay, just a few months ago. Wow again. Here it was, our chance to meet his needs and have son number three. We don’t really know how long he will stay, and we don’t really know if this is permanent. We just expect God to be glorified. We give God the glory for answering prayer and making our family of five a family of six. We expected God to work and He did.