December 31, 2015

making peace with having one child

Now that I've been a mom for a while, my mothering instinct has exploded and my family life is the center of my being. I can envision us being blissed out with two point five kids, fulfilling the nuclear family dream. And so, early this past year, I fervently prayed for another child. If God would choose to make the lightning strike once, why not again?

We took off the guardrails, so to speak. Or rather, I did.

A couple months later, I awoke during the night. I walked into the bathroom and the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to me: You're playing with fire, He said. It nearly stopped my heart. It's not really fair to your husband, is it? He said. I wept silently before returning to bed.

In the months after that I backed away from the desire for a second child. The yearning didn't really leave me, but I paid less and less attention to it and started seeking God's will more. This past fall, three of my friends gave birth to first or second babies. I was so eager to bring a meal and help in any way. And then, suddenly I felt like I needed to leave them all alone.

At 46, I realize now that what I have is all I will have. It's my age, it's my body, it's my circumstance. Adopting has never felt like a path we were meant to take, so there it is. We are raising an only child. It's not like this is a bad thing, just different. If we hadn't been so terrified of parenthood back in our early 30's, we probably would have had three kids and not just one (assuming my eggs were of good quality, that is. The specialist surmised we would've had trouble even then). Instead we focus on the blessing of our son.

As 2015 ends tonight, so does my desire for a bigger family. But acceptance leaves more room for grace and peace, and so I am not sad. Not really.