Some posts are probably more revealing than others I write. This is going to be one of those. I believe I've probably stated somewhere in my almost four years of blogging that we always thought we would have more children. Stopping at having two children was never in our plan. It's difficult for me that we haven't been able to have more babies. Many tears have been shed. I have this empty place in my heart that doesn't feel like it'll ever be completely filled because our family doesn't feel like it is finished.
Today, I spent the day with 5 kids. I picked-up my friends' three kids for the day. I took all 5 kids to the grocery, and it was fine. Now, these are very well behaved kids, so I really wasn't too concerned about this, though I know, for some of you, the thought of taking 5 children to a grocery store makes you squirm a little. We weren't getting a ton of stuff, so it was a quick trip.
One person at the check-out, an older gentleman, kept looking us over like I must be insane to have all those kids. He assumed they were all mine, a thought that I actually enjoy, and said, "I bet you'll be glad to see school start!" I replied and told them that they were all homeschooled, and I kind of wish I had stopped there just so he could stay stunned, but I actually went ahead and told him that only 2 of the kids belonged to me. Haha! It was kind of funny. I have friends with larger families who have told me similar stories. My sister, who has 4 sweet blessings, has people who make comments to her often, especially during her last pregnancy. Why do people have such audacity these days? It boggles my mind a little. Why does it seem so amazing to so many in our society that some of us would actually like to have a larger family?
After the grocery excursion, we came home for lunch. Feeding 5 kids isn't that different from feeding 2 other than the amount of food that disappears. Dinner time was a little more hectic. Tacos for 6 people with no other adult in the house (did I mention that Eric wasn't home for the day until after our 3 little friends were gone?) taught me something. I do too much for my kids. Triniti, who is 7, was more than capable of preparing her own plate, so why am I still piling food onto Lukas' plate each evening? It's one of those things I've never really thought about because I've never had to because I only have 2 children, you know? They're so much more capable than I realize sometimes. You can bet that Lukas will be doing a lot more self-service. I would say the same for Ava, but all she would have a diet rich in fruit, veggies, fruit, yogurt, fruit, and, did I mention fruit?
For all my fellow moms of larger families, I have to give you kudos when it comes time for baths. I think if I had gradually become a mother of 5, I would have developed some kind of system for getting everyone into and out of the tub. I'm sure you all have wonderful systems for such things in your larger family households. I don't, but, again, that's because my system only requires that I accommodate two children. Five towels, five wash clothes, 90 minutes and one very wet bathroom floor later, everyone was bathed. The Stone children were whisked away to go camping with their parents, and my kiddos were tucked into their beds.
And I was left with a longing in my heart for more. I find myself wondering if I'll ever stop wanting more, or if God has a plan to fulfill this longing. We've talked about adoption for more years than we've had kids. I am hopeful that God will provide for us in one way or another to be able to raise more blessings who can share His story with the world.
Sometimes I feel guilty for this longing in my heart. I am so grateful for the two blessings God has given me in my children. I know many people who are not so blessed, so how can I be so bold to desire more? I don't really know what to do with that feeling of guilt. I also have guilt when I sometimes look at those people I know who have been blessed with large families with a little twinge of envy in my heart, which I always confess. I'm happy for them, thrilled actually. I just want a bigger part of that than what I've been given, and, for that, I also feel guilty.
I will go to bed shortly dreaming of babies and a yard filled with children climbing trees, riding bicycles and swinging on the swing set. I will wonder if my mothering is all that God wants it to be. I will think about things that I shouldn't and doubt myself and then realize that God's perfect plan is just that...perfect. I will trust in His plan whether or not it includes more babies, but I'm not ready to give up on it yet. I have prayed for three years that God would take this desire away if it wasn't His plan and will for me, and, thus far, my desire for more children has not waned in the least. I will keep pressing on and waiting for the Lord to reveal His plan in His perfect timing.
For now, I will soon go to bed, and I believe I will sleep well. Taking care of 5 kids all day may be something for which I feel quite capable and well designed to accomplish, but it sure leaves a girl feeling exhausted at the end of the day!