Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bountiful Blessings


Q:  Was this newest pregnancy a surprise? 

We get this question ALL THE TIME! :) It usually follows with other comments - "you know what causes this" and "surely, you're done now" and "how in the world can you afford all these kids" and my favorite comment of all "maybe you'll finally get your girl this time!" I have actually been caught off guard so many times over the past few weeks as I've had the opportunity to tell people that I am pregnant AND that we are adopting. You'd think that I would have my response figured out by now, but I always find myself stumbling and bumbling through my answer as I feel the need to defend myself and give an explanation for something that most people think is a little crazy! I normally leave these conversations feeling like I failed miserably at being bold in my faith and entirely ineffective and timid at sharing our convictions about the blessings of children and of a large family! So, I'm going to use this as my opportunity and my platform to set the record straight! 

I addressed this topic a little in the post A Different Kind of Overwhelmed when we shared the news about our pregnancy, but I will try to be even more straight-forward and to the point here! :) Yes, we were surprised to find out that I was pregnant because I am always surprised by this amazing miracle of the creation of human life! But you should also know that from the early days of our marriage, Will and I have trusted the Lord to grow our family. Instead of trying to plan, predict, and manage the number of children we think we should have and when we think we should have them, we believe that God knows better than we do. We believe that children truly are blessings and gifts from Him and that it should not be our decision when to say that we've had enough. Please know that this is our humble conviction and something that the Lord has placed on our hearts. We do not at all feel like this should be everyone's convictions nor do we stand in judgement of the many, many families and friends we know and love who have different beliefs when it comes to planning their own families. There is a verse in Romans that I have thought about many times - "The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God..." (Romans 14:22). This is our faith and our belief - that children are a gift from the Lord and that blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them (Psalm 127). Yes, we are called to be good stewards of the gifts that He has given us, and this is an overwhelming and challenging task. There are so many, many days that I feel the weight of this responsibility as we seek to raise these boys and train them up in a way that honors and glorifies the Lord. It is well beyond anything that Will and I could do on our own strength, and we know without a doubt that it is only by God's grace that we can do this job!

Palmer at two weeks old & Web on his first birthday
I had no clue what an adventure I was on...

So, yes, we were surprised, but no, we were not surprised! Does that make any sense? Yes, we know what causes this! No, I have no clue if this will be the last baby we have! I would love to believe that we will have more and also that we will have the opportunity to adopt again after Sophi! I can just imagine the look on some of your faces right now! :) We will trust Him if He chooses to grow our family in the future and also trust Him if He chooses to change our hearts and our convictions. Only the Lord knows, and I'm so thankful and relieved that I do not have to be the one to decide. Chasing after Web, Palmer, Hank, and Barrett is often overwhelming, tiring, and draining. Just the thought of adding a new baby and a little girl with special needs multiplies that overwhelming feeling. But as I have said before and will continue to proclaim over and over again, I am completely overwhelmed with the Lord's mercy and faithfulness as He has chosen to bless me and Will with these precious lives and hearts! Our hands are full, but they are full of such good, good things! 

Web (3), Hank (1), & Palmer (2)
Our diaper bill was outrageous when these three were babies! :)
At this point, I should have known that I was in for a wild ride...

No, I do not always know how we will afford all of these children! I cringe when I think about college! I don't like to think about our grocery bills and how many gallons of milk we go through each week! I would hate to add up the amount of money we have spent (and will spend this year) on diapers!!! After we have this newest baby and bring Sophi home, we won't all fit into my van, and that's a definite need that we are trusting the Lord to work out! We are attempting to make the most use of EVERY single space in our house to fit in 6 kids, and Will often jokes that we are "going vertical" as we are getting the full benefit of bunk beds! Ultimately, we believe that God will provide for all of our needs, but as our pastor recently said, "not all of our greeds." We have a lot to learn about what we think we really need versus what we want. This has been one of the biggest blessings of this whole adoption process! Although there have been some small sacrifices and lifestyle adjustments that we have had to make, they were much needed and they have been good for everybody in our family! We have much to learn in this area and tons more room for growth. The bottom line about how we will be able to provide comes down to faith. I love the simplicity of this quote by Saint Augustine, "Lord, command what You will and give what You command." And to this very day, I can testify to God's provision and proclaim His faithfulness! He is providing, and He is growing my faith through the process!

Web (5), Palmer (4), Hank (3), and Barrett (2 days old)
The boys prayed and prayed for this little baby, and we are still celebrating
God's faithfulness and perfect timing in sending us this child that we asked and prayed for!

I have gotten a lot of comments from people who make the assumption that we would keep getting pregnant or even that we would be adopting S just because we want to have a little girl. I love getting to address this comment more than all of the others because it gives me the opportunity to say how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my boys! I love being the momma to these 4 wild and crazy boys, and if I have 10 more of them I would consider myself the most blessed woman on the earth! The Lord knew exactly what He was doing when He sent us each of our boys, and He has used their little lives to sharpen me and shape me into the momma that He wants me to be! Oh, I have so far to go and so much to learn! Perhaps that's why He keeps sending them! :) I love them more than words can express, and I can honestly say that I have never once been disappointed or sad to hear my doctor say, "it's a boy!" I LOVE hearing those words! Of course, we would love and welcome a baby girl into our family, but if I'm making predictions, my guess is that this baby is another boy too!!!

How can you not love boys?
They are always moving! They are loud! They are stinky!
They do everything passionately, and they have the biggest hearts ever!
This is a perfect snapshot of our lives!

We also firmly believe that when S was born in Bulgaria that the Lord already knew that she would be part of our family! Her little life and the way it is being woven into our lives is one of the many wonders that the Lord has worked out, a plan formed long ago with perfect faithfulness (Isaiah 25:1)! Yet if I am going to be completely honest with you, I would tell you that I would have been more inclined to adopt a little boy. We know boys! We have closets full of boy clothes and more Legos, trains, trucks, and cowboy guns than you could imagine! We know (or, at least, we're learning) what to do with boys! But the Lord has made it crystal clear that this little girl is to be part of our family, and we could not be more excited about the story He is writing! Just as I am growing a baby in my womb, the Lord is growing her in my heart. I cannot even begin to convey how excited, antsy, and ready I am to bring her home. It is a time of stretching and waiting that is harder than any pregnancy I have ever been through! Even in this, though, I am trusting that the Lord knows exactly what He is doing and that His timing will be just right. S is a gift from Him, and I cannot wait to get her in my arms! :)


Here's a final and fun thought on our family. Will was the last male on the Blackmon side of the family who could pass on his family name... at least until all of these boys came along! :)

Summer 2011

But I have trusted in Thy lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Psalm 13:5-6


Please keep praying for our written referral to come SOON! 
I'm praying for good news from Bulgaria first thing tomorrow morning! :)

XOXO,
Melanie


3 comments:

  1. Melanie I could not have said this any better! We experience many of the same looks, comments, and questions as you and as you said, "this is our life and the life God has called US to." We are praying for your written referral and for this precious life growing inside you.

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  2. Well said, Melanie! God has called each of us to something different. He did not call us all to live the same cookie-cutter lives. Hallelujah! It would be so boring if He did. We must only answer to Him and no one else. Can't wait to hear that you have received your written referral!

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  3. Mel, I was excited to read your "Written Referral" blog that I completely missed this one!!! I love your boldness of faith and commend your courage to speak from your heart! I also love looking at the pictures of Web and Palmer together when Palmer was just a baby. Web looks more like a baby than a toddler in those pictures. Little did we know at that time what more God had in store. I love the picture of the three boys on the couch. Web is meticulously lining up his cars, while Palmer and Hank are laughing at who knows what! The picture of Barrett as a newborn reminds me of being with Will and Pops when the boys found out they had another brother. We were all so excited! As I look at the Sophi's picture, I can't help but plead with Jesus to bring her home quickly. Just as your boys have a special place in my heart, my love for Sophi grows everyday as I lift her to our Heavenly Father who holds her in His loving arms even while we can't. Blessing to you, Will, this new baby, Web, Palmer, Hank, Barrett, and Sophi as you live the life that Jesus promised in John 10:10--- life to the fullest!

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