Friday, April 9, 2010

::can i be content with one arrow?::

I always wanted a bunch of kids.  Like, four or five.  Two boys and two girls, of course.  Close enough in age to be friends and play well together, far enough apart to give my body a break in between pregnancies because from what I hear, labor and delivery are wicked rough on your body.  But still...several kids sounded nice.  And all of them looking like us with my eyes, his nose, my big smile, his long eyelashes. 

This, I think, is why infertility is such a hard pill to swallow.  Not only is it the death of a dream, it's the death of many dreams.  For many of us, it's not that we can't have a's that we can't have babies, children.  It's that someone shot a hole through our visions of a house bursting at the seams with children.  All of a sudden, you picture yourself decades from now mourning the constant quiet in your house, the echoing walls that never became kids' rooms, the deafening silence absent of infantile crying, sweet laughter, and childish imaginary play.  It's too much to dwell on...a future without children.  The years seem like they will stretch out in front of you, seemingly purposeless.  Infertility won't always translate into that, but it seems that way sometimes, doesn't it?

Having walked the path of adoption and finding myself blessed to be the mother of one, I ask myself often if I can be content with one child.  It's been the topic of recent posts here, and it's on my mind a lot. When I'm reading Scripture and run across Psalm 127, I wonder if I can be happy with one arrow in my quiver.
"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."  It sure seems to me like a lot of kids equals a lot of blessings.  I don't think it's wrong for me to desire that.

But, is it wrong to dwell in discontent as long as I've got one arrow?  For me, it always comes back to this...contentment.   I couldn't be more thankful for my sweet son, Isaiah.  He brings me so much joy.  My husband and I are savoring these precious moments at the end of our son's babyhood.  And now that we've got this beautiful kid, we now know what we were missing out on before.  And I think that's why we want more children....because we know what we will be missing out on if we don't have any more.

Right now, though, I've been hanging out in a purgatory of contentment.  I definitely long for more kids, but I'm really just trying to relish this, trying to truly grasp the sweetness of these days with my son.  I know that Lord willing, we have a lifetime with Isaiah, but these moments of smallness are so fleeting and have passed by so quickly.  I long to enjoy them again with another child or two or three.  But it's just not that easy to add to our family.

While I don't truly think our family is complete, I wonder if I could handle it if I knew that it was complete.  Would I reconcile myself to God's sovereignty over the size of my family?  It seems like such a backward question to ask when I look around me and see so many people who are quick to turn down the blessing of a big quiverful of children.  Just as many people don't trust God with the size of their families because they fear having too many children, I must learn to trust Him with the size of my family, though I fear it will be too small a family. This wrestling with contentment and sovereignty is truly the heart of the matter when it comes to my infertility.
Do I really believe that God is good in His design for my life?
Do I really trust Him, even if it means only one sharp little arrow?
Would I have believed it if my quiver had remained empty for life?
Will I ever be able to say with the apostle Paul, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances" (Phil. 4:11)???

 I guess I will find out. 

Oh Lord, help me to live in a posture of contentment. I have so many reasons to be content.


Kait said...

We are learning, slowly but surely, that while we know our family is not complete, we also know now is not our time to add to our family. We have two wonderful amazing daughters. And we could start the process tomorrow and have more great kids BUT we could also wait to watch God's plan unfold. We will adopt again, we will have more children, but right now it's our job to enjoy the two we have.

I hope you find peace in your journey as well. :-)

Amber said...

Your blog is so refreshing to me. I appreciate your honesty in how you're feeling. I have many of these questions as well...except we have no arrows (not by choice)! But, our God has great plans for us, no matter how many arrows we have, and I'm slowly learning to be content. Thank you for reminding me where my focus should be, which is on God!

LifeHopes said...

Wow. I feel like I could have written this post word for word. I am an infertile adoptive mother of one as well and feel exactly this way and so many times I feel guilty for it.

But you hit the nail on the head: Now that we know how sweet motherhood is, it almost hurts even worse to know that we cannot conceive our own by choice whenever we're ready. Or even, for that matter, adopt another one. Adoption is not an easy path and children do not just fall into our laps (or arms!).

What is your email address? I'd like to invite you to read my blog since we are in the same place. (its invite only)

Becky said...

I could have written this so many years ago!
Our first son, adopted when he was 8 days old, is now 10 yrs old!! At first, I couldn't even imagine having any more children, even one more! After all we'd been through and 7 yrs. of longing, I was so fulfilled and complete with just him!
I do understand where those feelings begin to come in as they grow and you see babyhood slipping away. When he was about 2 and 1/2, nearly 3, I felt that deep longing and desire for another child. My husband was totally content with one and didn't want anymore.

More than that, he didn't want to go through any more medical stuff, adoption waiting, failed placements, etc. He didn't want me to have to endure all the emotional rollercoasters again.
I still felt that our family was not complete so, I prayed that God would change my heart or his.

It took a little over a year but the Lord showed my husband that there would be another child for us. Once again, we had another failed match and we thought that we could not go on! Two months after that, we got our daughter at 8 days old. We didn't know how we'd even finance another adoption but God did and He provided!

Now, God has called us to adopt our great-nephew! I never imagined that I'd have another child to raise, esp. at our ages of 41. It's been a very hard adjustment for me but, we know that this is where he is to be and that God has ordained it.

He will show you! It's hard but just keep that contentment in your heart and trust in Him. You know that He's planned your family size and the way that it will be formed since the beginning of time. His plan will be made perfectly right in your life. If that is with one child, that will be a tremendous blessing to you!! Perhaps you wil have so many grandchildren you won't know what to do?!!

Thanks for sharing so honestly from your heart!
God bless you!!!