I am far from a secretive person. If anything, I am too open and sometimes my openness is not wise. My mother wrote me recently and said "well Dear daughter, no one will ever wonder how you feel about things." Maybe that is why writing has been fun for me, it is an outlet to feel it and work things through. All of that is just to say, keeping anything secret is impossible for me. In past pregnancies (I have had five prior to this one) I spilled the news at week five every time. This time around I did not even learn I was pregnant until more like six or seven weeks. I was so taken off guard by it that I could not share it until I could come to a place where it felt real.
I went back and read my mid February posts. All the crying, fatigue, emotional craziness ... I had no idea I had such a good reason for all of it until February 23. It was good to realize that crying every day for three weeks was not just my being tired of Haiti and needing a break. It is a little thing, but I was so discouraged with my intolerance of everything and everyone that it was good to have some sort of vindication for acting like a nut-ball.
The day I finally stopped my denial and took a pregnancy test - Troy was not home. I had not told him I suspected anything. I sort of thought it might be negative (denial is a powerful thing.) When I walked back in the room and saw the two lines... I was transported into a cheesy Lifetime Television Drama, as the main character ... I literally dropped to my knees and started crying.
When Troy got home I took him up to the prayer rock, away from the kids and employees. I had an envelope in my hand with the test in it. He said he thought I was showing him some sort of letter that said we had been fired from the mission. When he opened the envelope and saw the test he started laughing. Like a hyena. Then he sat there like a truck just hit him.
In 2001 a Dr. told us we would not have babies without huge and expensive infertility measures. That is when we gave up on infertility treatment and came to Haiti to adopt. Having struggled with infertility I am not insensitive to others who face that battle ... and I know that it is hard for a person who wants so much to have a baby to hear that I was not instantly thrilled with the news. Don't find me totally clueless, I get what losing a baby feels like and I get how maddening infertility can be. I just had a few weeks of panic. It goes along with being human.
We spent the next two days in a fuzz. My Dad was the only one we told. He was here to watch it unfold first hand. The crying jags continued, more pronounced morning sickness added in and things were tough. I wrote blog posts to encourage myself ... How big is my God?
There were many days when the conversation with God went like this:
God- I know you are in this. BUT. Here is the thing. I prayed and prayed and waited on Phoebe. For ten weeks I waited to find her. I even felt like I did a sort of good job at trusting you and your answers while I waited. I loved the way you delivered her to us in your God-sized way. I knew you were in it. I am so thankful for that answer to prayer. I know you love me. But. The thing is God. Uh. How do I say this ... I asked you for one baby. Not two. Does that make you mad? I just don't know if I can have two babies and seven kids. I'm scared. I did not plan for this. What are we going to do? How can we possibly do this? Why do you trust me with this? God... Do you know how HOT it is in Haiti? I am not one of these ladies that loooooves pregnancy. Did I mention it is hot in Haiti? Do I even have what I need to do this well? Please Help Me Lord.
Your scared and faithless child,
I share that only to point out, the mind takes you weird places when you are afraid. I spent the last part of February and early March very afraid. The combination of my Mom and sister and Dad and Troy and a few close friends being happy and encouraging me -- that with God we CAN handle another child -- that helped me climb out of my fear-pit. Since mid March I have been much more excited about the news ... still incredulous at how God works, but excited and looking forward to seeing how He will work out the eight billion logistics. When I saw the baby on ultrasound on March 20, I cried. All the denial I still harbored went out the window. God gave us this baby, the same way He gave me my other six children ... planned or unplanned - I cannot question His plans for this family. He has never disappointed me yet. When I said "God. is. crazy." I meant, crazy good. And crazy creative.
In all of this lies my test. How big is my God?
We will not legally be able to remove Phoebe from this country in time for this baby to be born. Not even close. There are lots and lots of logistics to work out, and we don't plan to leave Phoebe back in an orphanage ... so it will get interesting. None of us are ready to leave Haiti for good later this year. We are praying God will make a way for all the details to work out, that He will remove obstacles and show us the way. There are decisions for Britt and Paige and our house and this mission ... we need patience and wisdom far beyond what we possess.
I was so clear when we moved here that God was directing it, I do not get that same clarity about leaving here.
After talking to my USA OB Doc and meeting a very good Haitian OB -- we all agree having the baby in the states is wiser. The placenta abrubption and Noah's emergency c-section delivery make things a little riskier at delivery time. Plus, the Haitian Doc would want to do a c-section and I'm not down with that.
Please pray for all of us. I know you do ... I just think that as we wait for answers to questions and figure out finances and decide who will live where and when and ... and - and ... I just think we'll need big-time discernment and a REALLY HUGE sense of humor. Both Troy and I were amazed by the number of people who said "I sense things are really hard right now and we're praying for that specifically today." That was totally cool, to see God use people (some we've never met) to encourage us. We're blessed to have such a solid support system.
There is some irony in the numbers. 17 years ago I gave birth to a unplanned baby. 17 years later I will do it again. I am an old, oooold, old woman to be doing this. ;-) or so it seems at times.
Our kids have been so hilarious. Britt figured it out very early. I told Paige right away after that, not wanting her to be mad that Britt knew. Paige wins the award for cheese when it comes to the initial response. She said "MOM !!!! I have always wanted to be like Seventh Heaven (a TV show - family with seven kids that she loves), you made my dream come true!" Isaac just keeps doing his rain-man thing and saying "Mom is having a baby after I turn six." Hope looked at the ultrasound photo on the fridge and said to Troy, "Daddy, I really love that baby. I hope when she comes out she does not have blood all over her face." Hope knows a little bit about child-birth. :) Noah just requests a boy this time. Phoebe is FIVE months old today. She is just happy to be loved and fed. God is good. She is so sweet.
We're excited. We're abundantly blessed. We feel God's love. We're nervous. We're praying for the health of this baby. We want God's plan.
Now we wait to see what that is.
Matt is cooking tonight. He is an awesome cook. We stayed up until 1:30 talking last night. When my sister is here I cannot make wise sleeping decisions. It is so fun having them here. Mom - We will put photos of Porter and Phoebe up soon. Troy and Matt were friends in college and lived together when they went to the University of MN --- then when Troy and I got engaged we introduced Matt and Tina ... and the rest is history. Now Troy's close friend is also his brother in law. Isn't that fun?