The thing about infertility

I have wanted another baby for many years now.
How old are the twins?
Almost seven? (Good grief.)
That's about right.
I have wanted another baby for almost 7 years now.

Infertility is both my biggest hardship and my greatest blessing thus far in life. 

Were I not infertile, I would have had a 5th, and then probably a 6th, years ago.
I would have done this without even thinking about it.
I'd be surrounded by a gaggle of thin-haired, scrawny children with the varicose veins to prove it.
I'd feel complete. And incandescently happy.

Sometimes I like to imagine a world in which this is my reality.
Where I'm in control and get to plan things my way.
Where I could choose not only the year, but maybe even the month in which my kids were born.
Oh, the delight.
(For the record I would choose April and October because those are my fave.)

But that is not my reality.

And for that I am eternally grateful.
Really and truly I am.
Because it means that I've had to learn to rely on the Lord a bit more.
To put my faith and trust in Him.
It means that I have gotten to experience things I never could have dreamed of.
And learn things I couldn't have learned any other way.
The good Lord has blessed me immeasurably.

I am a mother.
I'm a mother of boys and a mother of girls.
I am a mother of a singleton and a mother of multiples.
I am an adoptive mother. And a biological one.
The Lord has blessed me with many different "mothering" experiences.
Oh, the joy.

Each of my children is so different.
I know all mothers say that.
But I think it's safe to argue that different genetic make-ups create truly unique children.
It's delightful to get to know each one...to figure out how each mind works and what makes them tick.
To discover their personalities and talents.
It's challenging.
And rewarding.
The joy that Nathan and I feel from this experience is beyond my ability to put into words.

Side note: I'm not sure where I am going with this post.
It certainly isn't meant to be any sort of big announcement.
I guess I just need to talk through my thoughts and feelings... mostly for myself.

I have prayed about whether or not to add to our family for years.
The last 7 years to be exact.
There have been times that I have felt very strongly that it was not the right time.
And then there have been times, like now, that I'm just confused and unsure.
You see, when you're infertile you can't go with the "let's just stop all preventative measures and see what happens" approach.
It has to be deliberate.
There are lots of options...artificial insemination, in-vitro, adoption...and with that there's foreign or domestic, black or white, baby or older...
It's downright dizzying to consider all the possibilities.
And they all take time and MONEY...so you dang well better be committed.

And then there's the fact that when you are infertile, you're conflicted with questions and emotions that fertile women have never even had to think about:
Am I infertile because I'm unworthy in some way?
Is God punishing me for something?
Is there something I need to learn before God will bless me with another child?
Maybe I shouldn't seek to have more children because it's clearly not God's will that I have them.
Did God know that I would be a bad mother and that's why he's made it so hard for me?
(This is especially easy to think on your less-than-stellar mothering days, which for me, happen all the time.)

I doubt and second-guess myself every day.

But then I go to my husband so that he can tell me how ridiculous it all is.
And that in fact, I'm a pretty good mother (which I need to hear).
And then I try to remember and focus on all the many ways in which the Lord has blessed me and my family.
And I normally end up on my knees in gratitude.

Alright, it's getting late.
Let me end with one final list to put my mind at ease so that I can get some sleep.
(And because I love lists!)
Things I know to be true:
a) The Lord loves all His children.
b) The Lord is mindful of our families and they are important to Him!
c) The Lord knows the righteous desires of our hearts and holds them sacred.
d) Sometimes the Lord makes a couple infertile because He knows that they will be willing to adopt and He wants good homes for all His children.
e) Adoption is sacred and pleasing in the sight of God.
f) I want another child.
g) I have no idea what's going to happen, but I am going to spend each day loving and feeling immense joy in the family I already have. Because dang it, I have some amazing kiddos.