A BitterSweet Announcement
January was one of the hardest months we’ve had in a long time. In fact, the other night John and I were talking about how January was the hardest month of our marriage. And in that conversation John said, “I actually think we’re entering a really hard season… it’s not going to be just the month of January.” It was sobering to soak in those words, but I knew he was right. We are just in a hard season of life right now.
As you noticed with my last post, we are in a really tough spot financially. We thought we’d have enough money to get through this ‘dry spell’ of John’s business, but we were wrong. And we’re now scraping everything we have together to try to make ends meet. And we’re only making it because (a) of the jobs you guys have given Dream Steam as a result of my last post (thank you!); (b) my parents graciously and generously helping us out wherever they can, and (c) generous donations by a few dear friends. We seriously don’t know where we’d be without you guys – our community! (Seriously. THANK YOU to each and every one who’s helped support us on this unexpected journey.)
So that’s why I got the bar tending job last month and started working 20+ hours a week to try to help fill the financial gap. So with the mental stress of our financial struggles and the reality of living with more bills than income, I was now in this constant state of exhaustion from working til 3 in the morning 3 nights a week and feeling like I could never catch up on sleep and feel like a normal human being. Made me realize that I wasn’t as young as I used to be. I could work late nights if I didn’t have two sweet kiddos to take care of full-time. But kids change everything. Just in case you hadn’t heard. 😉
But our/my stress went to a whole new level when I noticed my period was late. I looked at John with panic, and he tried to reassure me everything was okay. The next morning I took a pregnancy test, and sure enough, two lines appeared almost immediately. No need to wait the full two minutes – I was pregnant. I looked at John before crumpling into a hot mess of tears. I wept. For a long time.
We have worked so hard and so long to bring our adopted baby home. We have never been so driven to make our dream and our calling a reality. Even though we hadn’t been given our adopted baby yet, it feels like our baby has been taken away from us, and it truly has broken my heart. I spent the month of January just weeping, day in and day out – because of our finances and because of this sudden change in our adoption plans. Even now, as I type this, tears are streaming down my face.
I’ve had every emotion since the news of our pregnancy – everything from shock, grief, anger, resentment, sorrow, numbness… (okay, maybe not every emotion. Mostly just the hard and heavy emotions:). I was angry for most of January and mostly angry at myself (and a little bit at John, b/c hey, it took the two of us to tango:). When it comes to adoption, there is very little you can control. About the only things you can control are how fast you do the paperwork and not getting pregnant (if you’re a couple like us who don’t struggle with infertility). And so I was angry at myself for not controlling one of the only things I could control!
But not only did I feel angry, I felt guilty. I felt guilty for not being more ‘responsible.’ I felt guilty for working so hard to ‘take’ people’s money only to not be able to use it in the time frame we had hoped. (Amazing how guilt can change things like ‘donated’ into ‘stealing’ – I seriously struggled with feeling like I stole people’s money now that we’re not able to use the money right away – talk about a guilt complex! I need therapy, you guys:).
As someone who loves Jesus, Scripture, and theology, you would think I’d find great comfort in knowing that God is in control and had this all planned, but that line of thinking hasn’t brought me comfort because I don’t believe this pregnancy was necessarily of God’s will (we have free will, which John and I chose to use on a particular night in December). So while I continue to adjust to the reality of our family’s changing circumstances, I have found my greatest comfort is in knowing that people love us, have our backs, and will support us on this unexpected journey in ways that we need. And I think that’s okay – because I’m not rejecting God’s sovereignty; rather, I’m accepting his love in the form of community that he’s surrounded and blessed us with! And I am grateful knowing that this sudden change in plans isn’t going to be for naught, that good things will come of it, and as I’ve been reminded by family and friends, I won’t be able to imagine life without this little babe that’s growing in me.
So what does this mean for our adoption? It means we have to postpone our adoption until our biological child is 3 months of age (our agency’s policy). So over the next several months, we’ll be talking and praying about when to reactivate our adoption process (do we start right when our biological baby is 3 months old? or do we still want to keep about 2 to 2 1/2 years between our kids like we have been?) Lots of decisions to be made. In the meantime, we will continue with our adoption training since the trainings take place over several months and don’t necessarily have an expiration date. So hopefully that’ll be one less thing we have to do once we reactivate the adoption process!
And how does this affect our day-to-day lives? Well, it makes us tired. I’m in bed a lot due to the exhaustion from my pregnancy as well as from working late nights, which then impacts John as the household and child rearing responsibilities fall on him more since I’m in bed so much. My body then translates exhaustion into headaches which only adds bliss to a pregnant mama who’s already tired, bloated, gassy, and queasy, not to mention, stressed from everything that’s going on. And on top of that, I feel guilty for being an absentee wife, mom, and friend as a result of everything. So, I’m pretty much a wreck. 🙂
So if you think of us, will you pray for us? Pray for our family during this hard time. Pray for John’s business to pick up once again. Pray for me as I feel physically exhausted, emotionally fried, and zombie-like most days. Pray for peace for my heart, and please pray that I will bond with this child within me long before s/he is born.
In the end, please know that while we/I may have disappeared from the face of the earth, we haven’t forgotten you. We love you guys so much and seriously miss spending quality time with our friends. We’re hoping to emerge from this crazy phase come this spring. If John’s business picks up with the warmer weather, we’re hoping to have a little more room to breathe and the ability to give back as a result. Until then… thanks for having our backs. <3
P.S. Baby’s due in September. <3