Finally told the last of the family last night, we are ready to share with the ‘world.’
The Buxton family will be making room for another little one at our dinner table.
That’s right…Joe and I are expecting number three. I am in my 11th week.
This means I have totally ruined my sister’s favorite time of the year….dragging me around stores on Black Friday. I found a drastic way of getting out of it this year!
The question we have gotten most…well…not everyone is brave enough to ask, but we can tell by the look on faces and tone of their voices that they are dying to ask this question….
“Wow. Were you guys planning on this?”
Well the answer to that question is complicated.
As some of you reading this know, Joe and I got pregnant one year after we had been married. We were surprised, yet thrilled. Most of our married friends had babies or were pregnant so we embraced the idea of becoming pregnant.
Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended in miscarriage.
We were both devastated, but it was that sweet baby in my womb that let us both know that we indeed wanted to begin having little Buxton’s around our home.
Over the course of two years, Joe and I walked through three miscarriages.
During this time of our lives our faith was tested. There we were following God’s call on our lives at seminary and crying out to Him to protect the babies in my womb.
Still…the pregnancies ended in miscarriage.
Those who miscarry children walk a tough road of quiet grief that most people in the world do not understand.
How can you mourn a child that you never knew? A baby that is only in your body for a few weeks?
Anyone who has ever had a positive pregnancy test knows that from the moment you see that double line, you start planning and dreaming about life with a baby. You mark the due date on your calendar. You start going through the list of names that you might use.
After two years of disappointment, we finally held our sweet baby boy Caleb in our arms.
In the joy of the moment of holding him, the bitter sweetness hit me. My heart was bursting with joy, but at the same time my heart ached to get to hold the other three I lost. At that moment of holding Caleb for the first time, I fully understood the lifetime of joys I would miss out on by not getting to be a momma here on earth to my first three babies.
The same mixed emotions hit two years later when I held our sweet Brooklynn in my arms for the first time.
A few months after Brooklynn was born, our family embarked on a huge transition. We decided to sell most everything we owned so that Joe could go back to school full-time to get a masters in Family and Marriage Counseling. To get him on the fast track, I became a full-time working mother of two babies and Joe was a full-time student, full-time stay at home daddy.
Exhaustion is the only word that I can think of to describe those 2 and a half years of our lives. We have so many sweet memories of that time in our family, but much of it is a blur.
By the time Joe graduated we were both in our mid-thirties. We had grown contented with being what the world calls “the million dollar family” (having one boy and one girl).
In the years following Joe’s graduation, our hearts began to turn towards something we had talked about since day one of our marriage. . .the desire to adopt some older children.
We are a part of an amazing church with an amazing adoption ministry, and we knew we would have amazing support to embark on the adoption process.
Though we cannot explain it fully, we never felt the green light to begin on the adoption journey.
Joe works every day with children and teenagers who come from unbelievable family circumstances. He spends his days dealing with traumas in these families. For the past few years, I have felt a strong urgency to create a safe haven in our home for my husband. A place where he can step away from the daily traumas he helps resolve and be rejuvenated to continue to do the amazing things he does each day at work.
All the while, my heart longed to have a bigger family under our roof. I often daydreamed about having all 5 of our kids sitting around our dinner table. These day dreams usually ended in tears and a jolt back to the precious family of four that I get to cook dinner for each night.
So, were we planning to have more kids? Always. Were we surprised that our family is going to get bigger with the addition of a biological Buxton? Absolutely.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day.
Always bittersweet for anyone who has lost a child.
In one moment of the worship service at church, I was worshipping God thanking God for the life growing in my womb and in the next moment tears streamed down my face as I remember the three sweet babies I never got to hold.
In one moment in the service, I was smiling from ear to ear as I watched friends dedicate their baby to the Lord, and in the next moment my heart began breaking for another sweet friend who was in that same service who had given birth to a premature baby last year that did not survive.
With excitement yesterday we hit the road to go celebrate Mother’s Day with Joe’s family, and to tell them our news. But all the while I was holding back tears as we told them, knowing Joe’s amazing sister and husband have been trying for 11 years to get pregnant.
God’s blessings are a true mystery to me
I have a difficult time calling myself blessed, because in my mind that means that the same cannot be said of my precious sister-in-law who seeks the Lord with her whole heart and desires nothing more than to grow a baby in her womb. And if I am blessed then this just might mean that my sweet friend who held her lifeless baby in her arms last summer isn’t blessed.
And then there are all my single friends who are following the Lord with their whole hearts, and yet they haven’t even had the chance to know the joy of marriage much less being a parent. Where is God’s blessing for them?
Though I have not figured out all the mysteries of God’s blessings, I do know that it is the difficult things in life that have taught me to count each moment as precious.
God has used all of the bittersweet to help me embrace each moment I have here on earth. It is because of the miscarriages that I embrace my two kids a little tighter at night.
Because I have walked the road of infertility with my sister-in-law, I can find joy in the hard days of parenting.
And it is because we have walked the road of life and death, that we embrace this little life growing in my womb and cannot wait to hold him or her in our arms. . .
…even at the ages of (clears throat) 38 and 41….I will let you guess who is older. Let’s just say now you know why Joe decided to shave the gray beard…to cut down on the grandpa comments!