A blocked path

I really hate it when what I want doesn’t happen. I have things all planned out just the way I think they should be and then the unexpected happens. Honestly, I don’t know why this surprises me, things rarely go just as I plan them. But it still surprises me and disappoints me. When I expect something and get something else entirely that leads to disappointment. This past year has been full of that. We planned to get pregnant with another child and we did, but then at 21 weeks we lost the baby. Not what I planned, for sure. We finally got the courage to think about getting pregnant again this past spring and it didn’t happen as we expected, we went through some testing and the doctor gave us news we were not expecting, we most likely will not ever have any more children. Not what we expected. I know that for some people they might look at our situation and think, “they have 6 kids, why are they even trying to have another much less disappointed if they cannot?”. And ultimately you are right. We know now how incredibly blessed we are to have the four biological kids we have had and the two adopted ones we have as well. We love kids and choose to be open to adding more to our family, but that seems to not be in God’s plans for the moment. Regardless of the circumstances we all experience disappointment at multiple times in our lives. It’s what we do with that disappointment that matters.

This news that we cannot have any more kids is a recent development in our lives. We are trying to process it, and we aren’t there yet but I wanted to share our process, as we are going through it, because I know we aren’t alone in this journey. There are many other people who find themselves in similar circumstances as ours. That comforts me. This news from our doctor was not what we wanted to hear, not what we ever expected, but here we are. As I have gone through many emotions about it all, I have come to realize it’s going to take time to find our new normal. Just as it did right after we lost Andrew and honestly, we are still finding that normal. I have mixed feelings about it all, depending on the moment. On the one hand, we now have two teenagers and moving away from the baby stage helps with the demands of raising teenagers who need so much more attention sometimes than kids do. It’s a whole shift in our family. We also still have a two year old, a seven year old who is developmentally 3 and a 14 year old who is developmentally 1, so I have three toddlers, basically. That’s a lot, on a daily basis. I am relived to not add a baby to that mix. But then there are those moments when you miss what you don’t have and will never have again. The first moments and all that. What is difficult is that we didn’t choose this. It was chosen for us. That is hard to process at times.

Disappointment means my reality doesn’t match my expectations. So there are two ways you can move forward with disappointment. Either you can dig your heels in and pout about what didn’t happen, be angry, sad, fight against it all, or you can adjust your expectations. If every month, despite the doctor telling us we have a very very small chance if every having a baby, I sit around expecting we will get pregnant, I will set myself up for more disappointment. I have decided to live in a place of adjusting my expectations. I don’t expect it to happen. I am not shutting the door entirely, if it did happen I would be thrilled, but I don’t expect it. It’s a complicated place to be. I have to live my life and not sit here stuck in one place of disappointment. Maybe at some point God will choose to intervene and we will have another child, He can do that, but will He? I don’t know. I still have hope that He might but I don’t expect it. I have to be okay with things as they are. I have to live in this moment, not some alternate reality I wish existed. This is the pep talk I am giving myself every day right now. Not easy. It’s a process.

If you are living with disappointment, give it to God. Adjust your expectations. It doesn’t mean you don’t have hope, but you don’t live in this land of disappointment all the time because you adjust your expectations to match reality. Whether what you desire happens on this side of heaven or not, you always have the hope of heaven, where all things will be made new and whole.

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