Two peas in a pod these girls are. I never imagined life would turn out the way it has, and now that certain experiences have happened, I’m grateful for it.
Having grown up with two older brothers, I always dreamed of having the same family dynamic: have a boy first. Maybe two. They can be the older, protective males in the family. And being the non-girly-girl that I am, I figured it would be somewhat easier on me if Phillip were the primary role model our boys could look up to (and I naively came to the conclusion that less responsibility would fall on my shoulders). As the youngest child in my family, I didn’t know what it was like to care for someone else in a motherly way. After all, I was pretty much a little kid stuck in a grown-up’s body, not yet ready to take on all the responsibilities of parenthood (or adulthood!).
My first pregnancy was a roller coaster in and of itself. What was supposed to be a happy, exciting time in our lives came to a screeching halt when we lost our first baby. At ten weeks along, I had miscarried. This could be an entirely different blog post, so I won’t go into detail here, but the short of it is that I know firsthand that things don’t always go as planned, and you can’t always fix it. As hard as it was, I had to embrace what happened—sad as it was—as part of life and move on.
When I gave birth to my first girl, I must admit I was a little surprised. We didn’t find out her gender ahead of time, so we were going to be surprised anyway—I was just surprised she wasn’t a boy. Whatever happened to having a son as my firstborn? Wasn’t this supposed to happen simply because I strongly desired it? As I learned with my first pregnancy, this was a resounding “No.” Proverbs 16:9 reminds us that “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” I have come to find this true over and over again, as I look back at my life. I can plan all I want, but the outcome is never in my control.
I would understand if, for some of you, the thought comes to mind, “How ungrateful! At least she could even conceive and have a child. Many of us can’t even do that.” And that is so true. What do I have to complain about? My main point I want to illustrate, however, is that it doesn’t matter what stage you are in life (already have kids, waiting, infertile, suffered a miscarriage, etc.)—the grass will always be greener on the other side. The wonderful thing is when you end up “wanting” exactly what you already do have.
Especially when it comes to having children, we dream and imagine what life will be like having little mini-me’s running around. Some of us imagine things in a very specific way, and when things turn out not the way we expect, there’s a bit of disappointment that initially seeps in. But now that I see and know who Jasmine (our firstborn) is, I can’t imagine it any other way. After a year and several months had passed I thought, “OK, now that I have my girl—which has been absolutely wonderful, mind you—maybe I’ll have a boy this second time around.”
We got pregnant again, and during a surprise reveal we found out we were having another girl. If you watch the video, you might notice a hint of disappointment on my face when I opened the envelope. Girls = 2, Boys = 0. I’m ashamed to admit I even felt the slightest bit of disappointment! I know there are so many other women who would LOVE to have girls—a whole house full of ‘em!
Am I disappointed now? Absolutely not! Jasmine and Juliette are by far two of the biggest blessings in my life. Who knew that girls could be so much fun? And oh how I wish time would slow down so that I could soak in every precious moment of their little-ness. Like I said earlier, I can’t imagine it any other way.
Now God has blessed us with a third child. I’m not pregnant this time, but we’re expecting a boy! We’re matched with a precious 2-year-old boy who is in China right now. Adoption is not something I ever considered before, or if I did consider it briefly, I certainly wasn’t willing to accept it as a legitimate path “for me.” The concept of adoption seemed unfamiliar and undesirable–“lesser than” in my mind. Thank God, He changed my mind and heart. Now, finally embracing His better plan yet again, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic. I think if I had to describe it, I’d say I shifted in my thinking from “God will give me my heart’s desire” to “God will mold my heart to His desire.”
Lord willing, our whole family will travel together in a couple of months to pick him up. We have gone through so many acronyms with our agency since our last update (LOI, PA, LOA, etc.) and we’re now just waiting on TA (Travel Approval).
I can’t post a photo of our little boy on social media yet, so instead I’m posting an old picture of my dad when he was 2 1/2 years old (the same age our boy will be when he comes home), which will give you a pretty good idea of what he looks like! Though our little boy isn’t biologically ours, he has a striking resemblance to the Pascuals, having the same small Asian eyes and furrowed brow. I repeat, this is NOT our boy–this is my dad, Alex, on the right and my aunt, Brenda on the left in 1955. When we bring little boy home, I’ll post their pictures side by side, so stay tuned!