Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our children are not our own

I've heard it said that you never really know how selfish you are until you get married. You have to share everything, including things that you want all for yourself! At one point I would have said that was true, but now I fully disagree. I would say that you never know how selfish you are until you share your child with another woman. I know that sounds harsh, which I don't intend it to be, so bear with me.

As an adoptive mom I will forever share our boys with their mommy Kate. She carried them, gave birth to them and then entrusted them to us! I am still in awe of that selfless act and I will forever be thankful for what she has done and her obedience to God. You would think that because of that it would be easy for me to share them, but I am a selfish person and there are occasionally times where I want them all for myself. This doesn't mean that I don't love her in a way that I can only love the woman that gave life to our children. This doesn't mean that I'm full of bitterness and resentment or that I don't enjoy talking to her, visiting her or giving her updates (I really do love open adoption).  It just means that there are days when it feels like it would be "easier" to have them all to myself. But no one said that walking in the will of God would be easy, and if we were looking for easy, adoption was not the path to walk.

Recently I have felt called back to the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel. While going through infertility, I turned to the story of Hannah for hope and comfort. This time, I knew God was calling me there for another reason. As I read Hannah's story, I couldn't help but be amazed at her obedience to hand her son over to God and to allow him to be raised by someone else after waiting so many years to have him. I felt like it correlated so much with adoption. We have waited years for our boys. Our boys that have been shared with us and in return we also share them with their birth family. In every situation, our children are not our own. They are entrusted to us by God for a short time, yet we are selfish and only want to entrust them to God in certain situations where it's "easy" or at least "easier". We'll hand our children over to God when He calls us to raise them knowing Him, but if that means handing them over to someone else to raise them, or maybe take them to the mission field where it's not safe and they could get sick or hurt, we tend to shy away and say that's not God's calling on our lives, that's for someone else.

As I continually learn how to share parenthood, I am reminded that God first shared us with our earthly parents and it is an honor to be chosen to do the same.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A day in the life with twins

In case you were wondering what it's like to have twins, I will take you through a typical day in our house Tues-Fri when I work. The day starts some time between 6-6:30 most mornings. This is usually when Lucas gets up to eat and going back to sleep isn't usually an option. Elias leaves the house around 6:30, so I take mornings. I let Asher sleep as long as possible and in that time I attempt to grab coffee, eat breakfast and somehow get my contacts in, hair in a pony tail (showering the morning is pretty much impossible) and get dressed. I also have to change Lucas, get him dressed for the day, clean and prep bottles if Elias didn't have time to clean them, make sure the diaper bag is fully stocked, if I didn't do that the night before, and then I get Asher up. He eats and then I change him and get him dressed for the day.

We are then out of the house by 8:15 so that they can be to the sitter's by 8:30 and I head to work. I work until 1, pick up the babies around 1:30 and decided if it's a good time to run any errands that need to be run before they want to eat. Otherwise, we come home and usually within 30 minutes, someone is crying to be held, fed or changed and once 3:00 hits, they both prefer not to be set down. Sometimes Lucas has a happy period in the afternoon where he is content to lay on a blanket and just look around, otherwise the fussy time starts and they are both a little angry that mommy doesn't have more than two hands to juggle and soothe babies. This also means that nothing gets done and my mom or mother-in-law usually end up doing our dishes or helping with laundry. I do my best not to call grandma (my mom) the moment she gets out of work at 3:30 to help and wait until Elias gets home between 5:30 and 6:00.

From 4:00 on, the babies are not allowed to sleep other than a short nap so that we can get them in bed by 8:00 or 8:30. Elias gets home, showers and then we take shifts eating supper around holding the babies. Some nights we are able to get bottles clean and prepped for overnight before putting the babies down, otherwise, when they finally are in bed and settled (which sometimes takes 3-4 or more attempts) we do bottles then. Our goal is to get ourselves in bed before 9 so that we can function fairly well the next day. Overnight we take turns getting up with the babies who sometimes sleep 3-4 hours or only go 2. Asher will sometimes sleep through the night, but Lucas is not there yet and Asher is now more apt to wake up when Lucas cries which means we get up at the same time.

We have learned that we DO NOT go out in the evenings with babies if we have to work the next day or if we want to sleep that night. We made that mistake a couple of weeks ago and I did it again last night when Elias was having some guy time and I took the babies to my parent's for supper.

Our life has gone from 0 to 60 overnight, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Please don't mistake this post for complaining. I am NOT complaining, just sharing the craziness that our life is now. It's so much harder than I could have ever imagined, but so much more beautiful as well. I never knew how exhausted a person could be while still having to function. The first few weeks of work were so hard and I was running on fumes all the time, but things are getting easier and I'm feeling so much better than I did the first month. Elias on the other hand is still exhausted. He finished the semester and jumped into working construction full time, so prayer for strength and energy for him are appreciated.

The babies are developing well and growing so fast! Last week at 6 weeks old, Asher weighed 7.14 lbs and Lucas weighed 9.12 lbs. Both are healthy and their personalities come out a little more every day! They are so cute and so much fun even though they are indeed a lot a of work and exhausting. We feel so blessed to that God chose us to be their parents and that their Mommy Kate sought God's will and followed His calling on her. I remember when we were trying IVF and we would transfer two embryos and I would wonder, IF I got pregnant, would there by one or two? I always secretly hoped for twins, but I watched those dreams fade away. Never in my wildest dreams, would I have thought that God did in fact have twins for us in the future and that He would bring them to us via adoption. I feel so honored that He chose us to be their parents.