Josh and I are embarking on the next Great Story in our lives: parenthood, and we couldn’t be more excited.
Almost a year ago, we celebrated our five year anniversary (dating+marriage). We celebrate this every year, because it is on Valentines Day, and it’s fun to think back over the time we have been together, and to see where the Lord has brought us, and the adventures that we have had together.
So, almost a year ago, we were on the island of Penang, Malaysia, with our World Race team. We were doing several different kinds of ministry-Josh was working with a homeless ministry, I was working with a creative arts ministry, other teammates and squadmates were raising money for a hospital. We were living, along with another team, at a YWAM base, and it was really fun. We decided that for Valentines Day, Josh and I wanted to get away for a few nights and stay at a hotel, thanks to some wonderful friends and family that donated to make this possible. I was excited, because I love staying in hotels, and Josh was excited that he would get some introvert time away from the team. We found a hotel that was about 45 minutes away by bus, was on the beach, and was fairly cheap.
We got to the hotel, and headed down to the beach. Unfortunately, signs reading Beware of Jellyfish were everywhere, so we were too nervous to go more than ankle deep. We went back up to the hotel room, and decided to order a pizza. I think it was Dominoes, and we were excited to get a little slice (pun intended) of greasy, American cheesy goodness.
As we sat on the bed, eating our pizza and watching TV, I got up the courage to ask a question that had been on my mind for awhile.
“So…I was thinking that maybe….sometime after the Race….we could consider having kids?” We had never really talked about specifics before; it had always been something that was in the future sometime, but there were other things, like traveling and missions, that were more in our immediate future.
“Yeah,” he said, “I think that would be fine.”
“Really?!” I was excited at the prospect of fulfilling a dream that the Lord was growing in me more everyday-to be a mom.
Fast forward to three months later-we are in Uganda, and we had just gotten back from volunteering at Sanyu Babies’ Home, an orphanage for babies to four years old in Kampala. The desire to be a mom was growing bigger and bigger, and spending the day with beautiful Ugandan babies had only made that part of my heart long even more for it. It didn’t matter to me whether my baby would be one that grew inside me or if he or she would be placed into my arms at an orphanage.
After returning from the orphanage, the Lord gave me His word that He would fulfill this dream.
“And, for the icing on top of the cake, tonight as my team and I were doing listening prayer (prayer where you sit and listen for what the Lord is saying rather than just talking at Him), He spoke to me about babies.
As I was listening, my mind was wandering a bit, and it wandered to the babies, and how much fun and how natural and at home I felt with them. Before the question had even formed in my mind, I heard Him say, “You will.” As in, you will be a mom.
And my heart was at peace.” (From my blog Bebe Fever Part 2)
Fast forward to the next month, and we were in the mountains of Swaziland, working at El Shaddai Ministries, a childrens’ home for orphaned, abused, or neglected children in Swazi. There were several different ways that our teams were helping at El Shaddai, but the only ministry I wanted to do was to work in the baby house. Every morning, a few of the other Racers and I would walk up to the baby house, and spend the day playing, cuddling, feeding, and hanging out with the kids. Most were preschool aged, but were far behind physically and emotionally due to abuse or neglect at their previous homes.
While working at the baby house, a little four year old named Musa caught my eye, and my heart, and we spent every day playing on the swings, reading books, and every day without fail, right before lunch, he would get too tired to play, and just wanted to be held. I would carry him into the bedroom that he shared with several of the other children, lay him in his bed, and sing and rub his back until he fell asleep. (Read my full story about Musa here.)
It was so hard to leave him at the end of the month, but again, God was growing my desire to be a mom more and more, and Musa, along with a few other kids that I met around the world while on the World Race, were teaching me how to open up that part of my heart that I had been saving for that unknown day in the future.
Fast forward one more time to Christmas 2013. We’ve been back in the States for five months, and we are spending Christmas Eve with Josh’s extended family. It is one of my favorite things all year-all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousins’ babies, all get together for what is affectionately called “Two Many” (long story). There are usually somewhere around 25 people there, and in a few years I’m sure it will be closer to 30.
Josh’s cousin Monique had just had a baby a month before, and he was being passed around to be held by several members of the family. When I was holding him, he was getting hungry, so Monique made him a bottle, and handed it to me to give to Braylin. As I gave him the bottle, Monique asked, “Are you guys going to have a baby soon?”
“Yeah, probably.” I said, at the same time that Josh said, “Uh, I don’t know.”
Monique laughed, and soon, it was time to go, so I gave her Braylin, and we headed out.
The next morning, after opening up presents with Josh’s family, we left to travel to my family’s house. After all of the rest of us had finished opening up all of our presents, my 1 1/2 year old nephew, Henry, still had tons of presents to open up from the grandparents.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if Henry had a cousin to help him open all of these presents?” My sister playfully asked. We all laughed, and I thought, yes, yes it would.
We got back home after visiting our families for Christmas for several days, and it was really late. I had to work the next day, so I pretty much went straight to bed.
The next morning, I woke up before my alarm went off, and I realized I had to go to the bathroom. As I thought about it, I realized that it had been awhile since my last period. Was it the week before Thanksgiving? I don’t know why, but I decided to take a pregnancy test. I remembered that we had one in the cabinet downstairs, and I took it, not expecting anything. If I was pregnant, I doubted it would be able to tell so soon.
I put the cap on the test, and set it on my lap to watch it. As it went across, I realized there was an extra vertical line. As soon as I saw the line, probably of medium faintness, my heart started beating faster. However, the line in the control panel was faint, and I told myself that there was a possibility that it was an old test, and therefore not accurate.
I went out into the kitchen, got a glass of water, and leaned on the counter to think, my heart still beating like crazy. I decided to go to Walgreens and buy a new test, and to take another one. I put on a jacket and some shoes, grabbed some Christmas money, and headed to Walgreens.
When I got back, I took a second test, really not expecting anything this time, especially since I had just downed a huge glass of water so I could pee again, and it would not be my first morning urine. As the test went across…BAM, there was the line, dark as could be. There was no doubt about it this time. I was pregnant.
I knew that there was no way I could keep it a secret from Josh for any period of time, so I decided to go upstairs and wake him up and tell him. I was excited, but I was nervous that he was going to get stressed out about the details right away, and forget to be happy and enjoy it.
I took a deep breath, put my hand on the doorknob, and went in.
Part 2: Coming Soon!