How much stress and pressure can a marriage withstand? I didn’t want to find out, yet I found myself in a very precarious situation. I just told my husband yesterday that I am pregnant with what could be our 7th child. Today, I was notified by our adoption agency that there were three siblings in Ethiopia that needed a forever family. Was this from God? Was it a fluke? Was it ill-timed? Were we in the Twilight Zone?
We have welcomed every baby into our hearts and lives- we absolutely love having a baby in the house. That wasn’t the issue.
I have a long history of miscarriages, one of which nearly took my life just a few months earlier. Whenever I get pregnant, the first thing that goes through our minds is “Will this baby make it?” and now “Will Kelly make it?”
The stress of another pregnancy, at age of 45 no less, wasn’t something that was met with great optimism. If it would result in a normal pregnancy and baby, then bring it on. But we knew the odds going in.
Our plan, prior to this news, was to adopt two more children to add to our 6 biological. That alone was a frightening prospect, knowing all of the risks and complications that can accompany internationally-adopted children. How would the situation look with a new baby and three adopted children, all at the same time? The baby would be due in December 2009 and we could be expected to travel to Ethiopia anytime from October 2009 to first quarter of 2010. Assuming that I carried the baby to term, I certainly couldn’t travel either pregnant or with a newborn. Mark couldn’t handle picking up three children and bonding all by himself. Further, could we bond with these new kids, in the therapeutic manner they so desperately need, with a nursing baby?
I was far too ahead of myself and my thoughts turned back to how to break this potentially exciting, but currently traumatizing news, to my precious mate. My sales experience suggested several different approaches, all of which required expert timing. Yet, we’re not talking about a sale, we’re talking about a life…a family…far too emotional to try to choreograph. I chose to just spill it.
When the children were finally tucked in for the night, I called Mark to the computer and pulled up the picture. Prefaced with the story about the phone call I made in October, I asked him to just look at the children’s picture and see if the Holy Spirit was telling him anything. “Three?? We never discussed three!” he said. “Yeah, I know, it wasn’t my plan either, but I think I felt something for them, would you just look at them and see if you feel something too?”
“Yesterday you found out that we’re expecting again, Kelly. You know what you being pregnant entails! We almost lost you!” my husband gently pointed out. “I know, and I didn’t plan any of this!! But if God want us and/or trusts us enough with 4 more kids, it’ll all work out. Will you just look at them?” I whined.
As I opened the window on the computer, and pulled up the very cute picture of the three of them, Mark just stared…very quietly. I stood behind him, trying to keep my mouth shut. I looked at the screen, then looked back at Mark several times. He said nothing. He only does that when he is either in very deep thought and/or the Holy Spirit is speaking to him.
“They’re the ones, aren’t they?” I whispered.
“I don’t know, Kelly, I just don’t know” my husband said. “We need to pray, we have a lot to think about”.
That was an understatement. We were either full of faith or absolutely nuts to even consider this….jury was out.
Thursday of that week found us both numb, trying to process the week’s events thus far. We told the agency that we would like some time to think about it and informed them of our pregnancy. They let us know that if we wanted to proceed with the adoption, that I would be required to submit an essay, describing my ‘plan’ to bond with our new baby along with these three new children. One heck of a writing assignment if you ask me.
Friday was like any other Friday, groceries to be bought, weekend plans to think through, etc. Then an unexpected phone call came, it was the Breast Center. “Your mammogram is suspicious, we want to schedule a core-needle biopsy right away”.
Say what? No way! Surely you jest. I am not a candidate for breast cancer, it doesn’t run in my family…no way!
Mark’s face dropped when I told him the news about the mammogram. It was at that point that we felt this could be a spiritual attack. We are not quick to give Satan credit, life is full of problems. Jesus said it would be. But it struck me funny that of all the areas of my body Satan could attack, it was my nurturing organ – my breasts.
To be continued…