I have two good friends who are pregnant right now and it is so exciting! I really had to grieve not being pregnant again when we made the decision to adopt. As far as we know, there's no reason we couldn't have another biological child but we feel strongly that God wants us to adopt an orphan. I had easy pregnancies and Allyn's birth was picture-perfect (no pain meds, only in the hospital for an hour and a half before she was born, 6 hours total labor). I would LOVE to do it all again.
But God has called our family to do something different this time. So I'm enjoying my friends' pregnancies from afar. I know I will not have another biological child (if we do have any more after three, we will be adopting again). And I am at the point where I am very okay with that. In fact, I am so looking forward to adopting that when we had a tiny pregnancy scare last month, I was really upset at the thought that anything would derail this adoption!
My friends are nice enough to have timed their pregnancies particularly well (ha ha). One is due in January and I am hoping we'll get our referral around then. I'll need something to focus on when I'm stressing about getting a referral call and a friend's baby sounds like a great thing!! :) And my other friend is due in April - potentially around the time we could be traveling for court and then having to come home without our child for a little while. Another nice distraction! :) That friend of mine and I have been on the same track with our kiddos - our oldest are about 5 months apart and our youngest are only 20 days apart. She & I both are praying that God will keep us on the same schedule :) If she wants to go into labor the day I return home without my child from Ethiopia, that will be just fine with me (you hear that, Collins??)
This time I am "paper pregnant" (apparently that is what they call us wait-listers in the adoption world). I don't get to see ultrasounds, listen to the baby's heartbeat, or feel those little (and not-so-little) kicks. I don't get to watch my kids see my ever-growing belly and enjoy how they react to the idea of a baby in there. But my kids do know what's going on. In fact, when I told Riley that my one friend was having a baby, he said "Oh, is she adopting?" Adoption is what Riley will remember - he won't remember my pregnancy with Allyn (he was 14 months old when I got pregnant again). Bless her heart, Allyn probably won't remember anything.
Some of our friends taught Allyn's Sunday School class this past week and told me she mentioned her "baby in Africa." That is the first time she's ever said anything about it unprompted! I'm excited to think she is catching on! The funny part was that she mentioned it in response to them talking about Baby Jesus. Not quite the same, but whatever. Someday when her younger brother is bothering her, I can remind her she once compared him to Baby Jesus.
Years ago I began praying that God would change my heart so that my desires would match His. While I am far from "arriving" at that goal, it has been amazing to see how much He has honored that request. When we were first married, Rob and I were both grad students and I had a full-time job while he worked part-time. Not a lot of money coming in, but we never felt poor. I prayed that God would help me not want "stuff" and He really did change my heart about that. I continue to pray about that and I can honestly say that in my heart of hearts I don't want stuff. I am perfectly happy without a new handbag or clothes/shoes, cell phone, whatever. We have made some major financial sacrifices (me staying home with the kids, adopting vs. having a biological child) and are on what I call "the adoption budget." No extras. I thought it would be tough. It's not. We're just fine without the extras.
And now that we're going to be a family of five, I still pray that God will keep changing my heart. I was always interested in adoption and have been praying about it for years. When the time came for us to adopt, I was really ready to do it. We keep having to answer the question "Why are you adopting?" It seems like such a weird question for us. We're a family who wants another child. There are children who need families. Do we need to say more? It seems like a no-brainer to me.
You know what is so different about adopting versus being pregnant? I don't remember yearning for my biological children like I do for this next child. Maybe it's because when I was pregnant my children were physically with me. But my heart leans out of my chest when I think about how much I want to hold my next child. As if it is trying to move in his direction, wherever he is. I can physically feel my heart yearning to know him. In fact, I'm not sure I truly understood the meaning of the word "yearning" until now. He is out there and I'm not with him. ugh.
But every day gets us a little closer. There have been no referrals on the unofficial wait list since the last week of September. SOMETHING has to happen soon!!