Monday, April 4, 2016

Bountiful Blessings

From journal entry dated 3/31/16 while reading Who Are All These Children and Why Are They Calling Me Mom.

   Reflection Question:  Do I fully understand and accept God's desire to redeem my life?  If not, who can I talk to about it?

   I read this chapter a week ago.  It really spoke to me as we've just welcomed our own little surprise.  I struggled with an answer to the question though.  I don't feel that my life is a burden that needs to be redeemed.  I feel like my life is exactly as God wanted it, regardless if it's as I planned or not.

   The truth is, Gabe and I never discussed how many kids we wanted.  We talked about our dreams for our family and just always knew that those dreams included children.  Our family was built quite differently than most and even through foster care, you sometimes end up with accidental blessings.  The number of kids in our family may not have been planned by us but it was perfectly planned by God.

   We struggled with getting pregnant but wanted a baby as soon as we got married.  We didn't care that we were young.  He was just 21 and I was almost 19.  It took several years and lots of doctor visits, but in 2004 we welcomed our first son, David.  Sadly just a few days later, David passed away from SIDS.  In early 2005 we had a miscarriage and then in December 2005 we welcomed our oldest son, Elijah.

   We were the perfect 1 child family and were content like that forever.  Levi surprised us in December 2008, just a week after Elijah turned 3.  In May of 2012 we fell in love with Malachi, a foster child that had been placed with a friend.  We became foster parents and he was moved to our home in October of that year.  We hoped to adopt him and in February of 2015, he officially became Malachi McCormick.  In April of 2013, a beautiful little girl was placed with us.  We weren't sure about having a girl and with her race not matching ours, we agreed to see how it went for 6 months. That's been 3 years now and I still laugh about how scared I was over all that pink. Her adoption will be final later this year.

   In January 2014 we took a vacation to Gatlinburg, TN.  Our souvenir was born in October.  She was 8 or 9 months old when we found out that another baby was on the way despite the fact that I was nursing and we were using birth control.  We now have 6 wonderful kids and though it's tough at times, we couldn't be happier with the family that God has given us.

   I think God redeemed us long before we had kids, by never allowing us to have preconceived notions about our family size.  When we first began homeschooling, our first day at co-op, I learned who the Duggars are, and I met several moms of many.  I went home that night and cried because those people were so weird.  Fast forward 5 years and I'm one of those weird Mamas and I love it.  I'm so thankful that I never had expectations of how big or small the perfect family is, but instead I was open to God building our family to His specifications.

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