someone, somewhere, dreams of becoming a parent. for the first time, for the fifth time. they picture the beautiful baby that will expand their family. +1 that day comes. announcements are made. cute pictures on facebook, an e-mail. a phone call. someone figures out a way to let friends and family know that there is going to be a child.
dreams are had. he will sleep peacefully during newborn photos with his little naked buns up in the air, and that cute hat on his head that was purchased on etsy. all will be right in the world as his parents blissfully smell his head, rock him to sleep, and spend each day staring at him.
once baby is here, reality may shift a little. new parents realize that their little just peed on mom's last clean outfit during the newborn shoot. he doesn't sleep at night time, like a normal person. he cries. for no reason. but, still, parents are in love. baby is well cared for, and plans are made for another little.
so when people hear our stories, adoption, special needs, doctors, hospital stays, and the potential of a lifetime of parenting, they sigh. 'i could never....' the list is endless. and it's not worth hashing out all the reasons this phrase isn't true. here's what i want to know.
where did you get your guarantee at? did you purchase it somewhere? did the ob office sell them, and i missed out on that because we adopted our kids? because from my own personal experiences, i would venture to say that just because your children are healthy now, doesn't mean that you won't someday be dealing with some of the same things i am.
i have multiple friends who were 'i could never-ing' only to find out that their child had a brain tumor, or cancer, or a genetic disorder that doesn't become apparent until slightly later in life. and suddenly they were parenting a kid with special needs, doing long hospital stays, and facing the possibility of parenting their child for the rest of their lives.
somehow, we believe we have control over these sort of things. the only people who those things happen to are those who didn't eat right in pregnancy, or exposed their children to something they shouldn't have, and on and on and on. we judge our way out of anything bad ever happening to us. we will not be faced with the possibility of a lifetime of parenting. our children will grow up, go to college, get married, have children of their own, and we will travel and see the world after retirement.
but, here's the deal. control is an illusion. you can hold as tight as you would like, but it's like trying to hold air. there's nothing there to hold onto. all you can do is take the world, one day at a time, and pray for the grace you need to face whatever lies ahead. because husbands get cancer, and children get brain tumors, and there is a list of a million more things that could go wrong.
so please, stop telling me, and a million other people like me, that you couldn't do what i am. stop making me a patron saint. for today, our family is healthy. we're doing well. and for that we are thankful. because tomorrow holds no guarantees. not for you. not for us. and the only thing different from my family and yours is that i am painfully aware of this truth.