Perhaps I knew the same way I knew my dad had died before my mom even picked up the phone to return the call from the hospital in Texas. Perhaps God prepared me early on. I can’t say with any certainty. I just knew.
My dream job was to be a mom, but for some reason I wondered if I’d ever be able to have children. So, I wanted to adopt. Or open a home for kids who needed a place to go. Or both. I wanted bunkhouses full of children. All ages. Babies. Teenagers. Any child who just needed to be loved. I just wanted to be a mom.
This was my dream.
My first baby was born before I felt like I was ready. I made lots of mistakes. When her sibling was on the way not even eight months later, I was understandably scared. But her sibling was born too soon. Within eight weeks, I’d conceived and miscarried.
The loss of my baby, my second child, changed the way I looked at my living daughter. Her life was infinitely more precious because of the reminder that life can change in an instant and often does.
After another loss, and closing in on three years of infertility, I cherished the times I had with my daughter. Were they perfect years? Absolutely not. You see… the idea of a child and the reality of a child are two totally different things. Children try your patience. Children wake up before you are ready for them to be awake. 2 o’clock in the morning is not my idea of a good time to play outside! But who can resist those sweet, sleepy kisses and a touch on the cheek as your little one says, “love?”
Has infertility changed the way I parent? I certainly hope so. With four precious miracles, and too many hoped for children in heaven, I pray that I am more deliberate and more conscious of how I parent these children than I might have been had they come easily and quickly.