I don’t know how to tell this story.
Across the globe, there are countless women grieving over a failed pregnancy test or a sudden miscarriage. I haven’t walked in their shoes, and I can only imagine the heavy burdens they carry.
Those women are writing such inspired pieces about their journeys, and I am often in awe of their faithfulness as they cling to a hope of carrying their very own child to the point of a healthy delivery one day.
I have had the ultimate honor of doing just this. I have rejoiced over the conception, pregnancy, and birth of my first-born, and what an incredible journey it has been.
All of the changes to my body, all of the kicks and punches, all of the first cries and giggles and yawns. My initiation into motherhood has been a glorious experience.
But before I ever planned to grow our family the old-fashioned way, there was a spot in my heart for another woman’s child.
A baby I did not conceive, whose kicks and punches I never felt from my own womb. A baby whose first cries and giggles and yawns I completely missed.
As I pulled back the bedroom curtains this morning, welcoming the bright sunlight and crisp breeze into the room, I took in some slow, deep breaths and lay back down for a few more minutes of meditation.
The feelings that panged my spirit were not new to me, but seemed to press more firmly into my bones than they have recently.
They are the same feelings I have when I see friends announcing new pregnancies. When I see families expanding naturally. When I feel weak and discouraged and think, I could do that, too!
My womb aches for life. My body longs to grow another human just as I did before.
When we started the adoption process, I didn’t expect the temptation to *fix* our desire for more children myself. But that seed of selfishness and desire for control is present. And I would be lying about the beauty of this story if I didn’t tell you about it.
There is an empty spot in my arms that is waiting so eagerly to welcome our next child into this family. Even though we have no picture, name, or even a specified gender to help us craft an image of this precious being, he or she is consistently nestled in our hearts and minds as we dream of the day we are a family of four.
I knew the wait would be excruciating. I knew the path would be unpredictable.
But I was so sure of the future God wanted for our family unit that I didn’t anticipate my body to react in such strong opposition towards the divine leading to adopt.
And yet, here again is the honest truth about the tension that exists because of Christ’s reign in my mortal body. It’s the same conflict every time my flesh and my spirit collide.
Me, wanting what I think is best for me, and the Father, wanting what He knows will teach me about His affectionate provision.
When I’m all wrapped up in the clash of different desires—namely, God’s and mine—I have to remember that I am simply a willing participant in the story my Heavenly Father is writing.
Only He knows best how to restore all brokenness and bring glory to Himself. He didn’t leave any of us as orphans spiritually, and there’s a little one who’s likely already living who He promised to not leave as an orphan physically.
That’s why my womb will have to wait. There’s something better for the four of us as we anticipate growing our family through this adoption-in-progress.
Restoration belongs to our God, the Creator of life and the Author of family.
From the day she flipped through her first National Geographic magazine as a five-year-old, Lauren Pinkston knew she had to see the world. Since then, she's traveled to five continents, read a lot of anthropology, and tried to figure out her place in a global community. Lauren currently works in SE Asia as a community development consultant while juggling language learning, cultural acquisition, and her own research in expat mental health. She's a husband lover, diaper changer, envelope pusher, justice seeker, and adoption advocate. You can visit her blog, Upwardly Dependent, and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
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