I never wanted to have children. I was born lacking that "I want to be a mommy" gene that some women just seem to HAVE. When my nephew was born in 1998 I was 15 years old and had great opportunities to interact with him and become the awesome aunt that I am today! He was over at our house a lot, and over time I grew to love being around him. I started thinking that someday I might like to be a mother, but I still didn't want to HAVE children.
Zeke was a surprise pregnancy, but by that time I was used to the idea of HAVING children and I thought it sounded like fun. Fun, it was not. I had a great pregnancy, WONDERFUL birth experience, relatively smooth postpartum transition (thank you, Zoloft!), and an awesome baby, but I'm having trouble thinking about HAVING another one. I didn't enjoy being pregnant nearly as much as I should have, or as much as my friends did/do. My back hurt, my belly itched, things moved to weird places, and I was hungry all the time. The weight came right off and in some ways I am stronger and more fit than I was before I had Zeke. I looked great during and after my extremely healthy pregnancy, but there are some lasting effects on my internal self from HAVING a baby that I don't like; mental AND physical.
Being a mother has been amazing. Much different than HAVING a child. I love Zeke, and I love being his mom...but still, I am unsure about having another baby. My husband and I have talked a lot about him being an only child. Recently, I got to thinking about why I never wanted to HAVE children in the first place.
I have always wanted to adopt. Even when I was young, I wanted to HOLD my babies, not HAVE them. Working for just over 18 months at a private Social Services agency helped me see some positives and negatives to adoption, and at the end I decided to leave that job to raise Zeke. But there are some experiences with foster children that have burned memories on my heart. There is something to be said for HAVING your own babies, and HAVING a bond with a child who came from you. BUT there is another thing entirely to be said about HOLDING the baby another woman had and giving him/her a life that they would not have, were it not for you.
Because of my desire to adopt, the stories I'm reading about BRESMA orphanage in Haiti break my heart in a very real way. Please click here for more information, but the long and short of it is that there is an orphanage in Port Au Prince, Haiti (one of many in Haiti, I believe) that has crumbled to the ground following the earthquake. The children are sleeping on the lawn outside of the building...hold on a second...on the lawn outside of the building...please let that sink in for a couple of seconds. The kicker is, many of these children already have arms in the United States waiting to HOLD them. I don't know how to make this happen except through prayer and just giving it exposure in any way I can, but these children need to be brought to the United States, to their families, and to safety. And other children need to be given the opportunity to be adopted quickly into the United States, both the ones currently waiting, and the newly-orphaned affected by this horrible tragedy. Hold on a second....newly-orphaned. Let THAT sink in for a while. I pray that someday my husband and I will be able to adopt. Maybe one of these children, maybe another child somewhere else, or maybe we'll HAVE another of our own. I can't say what God has planned for us. But I know that we are open to HOLDING a child that is not our own, and THAT fulfills my long-awaited desire to be a mother.