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Monday, May 3, 2010

Family of Two


That's what we've been for almost 12 years. A family of two. As much as we've wanted children and as hard as we've struggled to have them, I love my family of two.

I wish it could be that we'd chosen to spend 12 years of married life together, just the two of us, before deciding to have a child. I would much prefer looking back on those years without seeing the pain and loss we went through, but I know that having been through that, together, is part of what makes me so grateful for my husband and partner in all of the ups and downs of this life.

In all the years that we've tried to have children, I never liked to say that we were "trying to start a family." I'm not offended when others use those words to describe it, but I always preferred to say that we were hoping to add to our family. We already have a family! We have a family of two that began on June 6, 1998.

It has been a long journey together, and one full of waiting. Before my husband and I met, I'd never had a serious boyfriend. I grew up in a small town and spent my free time hanging out with my sister and my friends. My high school years were sometimes a bit lonely when I realized that most of my friends were dating or had steady boyfriends, but I was pretty content with waiting. Although I had a few crushes along the way, I somehow knew that I hadn't met my someone just yet. I prayed about it often, and I waited.

I met "Chuck" my freshman year of college. We started casually dating in January of 1996, and even though the relationship had become far more serious by the end of March, we knew that we would be spending the entire summer apart. He worked in Florida on a summer missions project and I went home to work as a camp counselor at a local Christian camp. It was a summer of waiting -- waiting to see if our relationship really had legs and was going somewhere. We wrote letters all summer, and on my last day of camp he sent me flowers with a note that read, "Anxiously waiting to see you again." I returned to school a little bit early before the fall quarter began so we could have some time to spend together before classes resumed. The end of that summer was when we kissed for the first time, a full six months after we'd started dating. (Talk about waiting!)

It wasn't long before we started talking about our future together. I waited another year before he proposed in August of 1997. We waited until he finished school and had been working for a few months before our wedding day in June of the following year. And yes, the whole time we dated and were engaged, we waited to be married before starting a sexual relationship. We were committed to that decision from the start and we have never regretted it.

That sounds like a lot of waiting already, but it was nothing compared to our next adventure. After three years of getting settled in as newlyweds, we waited nine long years for a baby. As you know, ours was also a journey through recurrent pregnancy loss. The wait was excruciating and the loss was great, but we made it through together. All these years later, I have never felt more sure that I made the right decision by marrying this man. The years have brought us closer together and made our love for each other so much stronger than I could have imagined.

I love this family that we've made. Scratch that. I love this family that GOD made. I plan to enjoy and make the best of these next four and a half months of being a family of two! It is the end of a chapter that, while it had many hard and heartbreaking times, taught us so much about who we are and who we want to be. We are both at a place where we are happy when we look back on our life together. We're even happier about putting an end to this particular season of waiting and moving forward with all the lessons we've learned and becoming a family of three.

We're walking into this next adventure hand in hand, having learned a lot about life and loss, and most of all, love.

18 comments:

Rebekah said...

I relate to SO much of what you said. I love your outlook. You guys are adorable!!! :)

Chuck said...

You know what's great? Before I can even finishing reading Stacey's post, there are already people leaving comments. I've said it before, but I truly appreciate the support of all of you out there.

We have waited for many things from having a baby to that Amazon package that seems to take too long to arrive. But in the end, it has always been worth it. Thanks for the reminder.

Jess said...

Your story mirrors mine in many way. Our 12th anniversary is in July and though I love being a family of two I am excited to add a little one to our family. So glad that your wait will soon be over!

A said...

What a beautiful, happy picture of you two!! I totally agree with your idea that you're already a family of two- and what a gorgeous one to welcome your little one into :) Many prayers for a continued happy, healthy pregnancy! Are you going to post a bump picture (please)?? :) (HUG!)

DeniFay said...

That's just a beautiful story, filled with the realness of pain and waiting, and the full truth of the love that grows through both the good and bad times!! I'm still praying for baby girl and can't wait for her to be here, but I agree you should really celebrate the last of your two person family time!!!

Life In Mazes said...

Stacey,

I loved reading this post! So much of yall's journey is similar to ous! I had to laugh out loud when you talked about waiting for your first kiss ;) Jessy and I waited what seemed like forever for our first kiss!! Well worth the wait!

Your comment about "starting" and "adding" made me want to remember what I say when I tell others of our desire for children. I agree with your perspecitve on that!

Being a family of two is joyful, so glad your family and your joy is growing ;)

Birdie said...

Beautiful post, Stacey. Even through the heartache, God has turned something terrible in to a blessing...the blessing of you & Chuck having a strong marriage & growing closer together through the years. Jay & I have just been married going on 3 years (in August), but we have wanted to add to our family almost since the beginning. I love your perspective on family & how you're already a family of 2! Great attitude! I totally agree with you! And of course, like you, we are so excited to become a family of 3!!

twondra said...

Thanks for the reminder! Too often we forget that and it's nice to have the reminder. I'm so grateful for my family.

Thanks sweetie. Can't wait for you to become a family of 3. :)

Ask or Imagine said...

I love to hear about a happy marriage! That will be the greatest give you give your baby (I believe). And four and a half months sounds really, really soon after all that waiting!!

Kathryn said...

Blessings to you both, your wonderful family, & joy that soon you will be "adding." :)

Michelle said...

This is so real and so BEAUTIFUL! I am so so happy that you will be adding to your wonderful family. Definitely enjoy all the things about being a family of two that was hard to enjoy before, in these next 4 months. Much hugs and happiness to both of you!

Erin said...

Stacey, once again you've nailed exactly how I feel about a topic. Sometimes I feel funny referring to just Scott and I as a family, because people don't get it. But we are a family - hoping to add more when we're able. Just last month we made plans to take some family photos. I'm tired of waiting to take them until a baby arrives. We as a family deserve to document these years, even if we haven't been blessed with a baby yet.

Thank you for sharing your perspective here, it really resonates with me and opens my eyes.

So happy your little addition is on her way!

Andi said...

I love your perspective - it's so balanced with your previous post. You're ready and WANT to sacrifice life as you know it but you aren't going to take that life for granted over the next few months either. Very enlightened, balanced, and healthy attitude if you ask me!

Just A Girl said...

I was thinking about this VERY thing yesterday. I turned to my husband and said, "Babe, by God's grace, come October we will no longer be a family of two..." There was joy there (of course!) but there was a teeny weeny bit of of jealousy that someone else will be in "our" family circle to share in the traditions and special small things that we've created...sounds weird but that's how I felt, and only someone who has struggled with iIF for years can really understand this. However, we're more than ready to share our world with our new baby :)

Sharon said...

I totally agree... Walter has been my family for 10 years and I wouldn't have it any other way! So yes definitley the right attitude to have!

Jana said...

:) I love your family of two! (but I can't wait to meet the third member!!)

Jenn said...

Once again, very heartfelt & beautiful. You are a very beautiful person. People Magazine just hasn't met you yet because you would be #1! :)

sah said...

Sweet!