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.