Tag Archive: babies

My husband mike and I decided to start a family at the beginning of last year and so I went off contraception and we started trying. We assumed it would be quick and easy, because we have only heard stories of people falling pregnant quickly – even in the first or second month, and with no complications. And so the first month or two we weren’t worried, we enjoyed the excitement of getting ready to become a family and waiting to see whether or not my period would come. But after six months I started to feel down. I was seeing pregnant women and babies EVERYWHERE, friends who weren’t even sure if they wanted babies yet were falling pregnant, and we were waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I felt more pressure to get it right, more pressure to succeed, but I didn’t know how to do it any better. And so we would try and inevitably fail month after month. I couldn’t understand how God could allow me to struggle with this when he knew how much I wanted to be a mother and how Mike and I longed for a family. I had to do a lot of soul searching (why do I want to be a mother so bad? If I never fall pregnant will I still love God? Do I trust God with the plans for my life?), and often I would spend worship time at church crying, willing myself to believe the words people sang with abandon. God is faithful, He is true, He fulfills his promises, He gives and takes away. For the first time in my life I had to ask myself if I REALLY believed that.

Before this time Mike and I had always talked about adopting, and after a year of trying for a baby the niggles in my brain (what about adoption?) became more persistent. We went to the gynaecologist to see that everything was all right and found out I have polycystic ovaries which means that we are not sure of when my egg is released and it is therefore harder to conceive because we do not know when I’m ovulating. This does not mean I can’t fall pregnant, but it does mean that it can take longer than normal. My gynae then gave us the option; keep trying naturally or go on medication to assist us. What a blow to my self-esteem! You keep thinking “what if I’m the reason we are not falling pregnant?” And then you find out – it is you, there is something wrong with your body. I felt so guilty, felt to blame in some part for the reason why we had ‘wasted’ a year trying for a baby. I had to come to terms with the fact that I could not control a hormonal imbalance in my body, and that it wasn’t my fault. That God loved me through this all, and that this was a blessing in disguise because by knowing what was wrong we could go ahead.

It was at this point that Mike reminded me again of our wish to adopt at some stage in life. We could keep trying and use medication to help, but if we were serious about adoption, why not go ahead with it now? We could try to conceive a sibling at a later stage because we now knew the obstacles we faced. And so, in March this year, we spent a weekend away talking, praying, crying (ok, that was mostly me) and setting aside all our doubts. We asked the questions that had been casting shadows in our minds: What if we don’t love them as much as a biological child? What if nature is stronger than nurture? What if our family or friends don’t support us? What if, what if, what if? But with every fear said in the open, peace descended and we realized that although a little bit of fear is good, we serve a God who can overcome every obstacle and redeem every situation. And so, petrified and excited, we made the decision to adopt.

And since that moment a lightness has fallen over me. I feel that the year of trying that we went through was a journey I had to take to grow in the knowledge of God and in trusting His ultimate plan for me. I believe that if we had adopted last year we would not have been given the baby God has in store for us, for they were not born yet! I believe that the pain I felt has been redeemed with hope, and I understand with a peace that transcends understanding that this is my journey. I am a mother, and my child is on its way. It’s just in someone else’s stomach. And I cannot wait to be a Mom. I absolutely love and adore my child. I don’t know what they look like or where they come from, but I cannot wait to find out who they are and to shower them with kisses and cuddles. And so, after finishing our screening through our adoption agency, we wait. And we get ready to start the next chapter in our lives together – Mom and Dad!

[Jane and Mike Hampton]

[To jump forward two years and hear some words from Jane and Mike since adopting, click here]

what is with people and ‘the next big thing?’ – you’ve been single forever and you finally get yourself a girlfriend and within a month or two (especially if you’re older) people are like, “so, when’s the big day?”

you get married and within a month or two (way before the plans settle on any kind of one year wedding anniversary preparation) it’s the knowing smirks and, “so, kids hey?”

and so on, and those are just two examples… too many people spend too much time in the future (shtupidt time travellers, but besides them!) when actually all we are trying to do is enjoy the life-to-the-fullness of the now…

i know people are going to be tempted to respond with something along the lines of how interested in you people are just trying to be and i would imagine that is the case sometimes, but more often than not it is people panic’ing and filling space kind of like a “how are you?” “I’m fine” when no-one is ever fine… you’re good, you’re bad, you’re ugly, there is no fine… you say it cos you panic, the question was asked because someone in a shopping centre bumped into someone else in a shopping centre they weren’t expecting to see and panic’d…

anyways my point being, for someone who is in a relationship where they are really struggling about whether to continue the relationship or not (cos of issues unseen to the casual observer) an innocent-intentioned question like “so when are you getting married?” is a piece of bamboo shoot (the thin sharp piece) under the fingernail… for a couple who has maybe just miscarried or who can’t have children or who – heaven forbid – don’t particularly want to have children (or maybe not want to have them now) the “when are you having kids?” question can be a highly insensitive question that adds to the frustration, pain, desperation, annoyance, whatever…

ha ha, if you follow me and tbV’s statuses on facebook you can guess which of these connect personally, but i’m trying to think bigger than us… one of the things i have enjoyed from i think possibly the last 4 weddings i’ve been to was the absence of the “throw stuff at single people herded into the centre” tradition – and i know some people dig it and good for them but i particularly don’t and that’s okay – and in each case the marriaged couple had an alternative – like giving the bouquet to the longest married couple in the room [which i completely dig!] which was rad… for a lot of single people who don’t particularly like being single [some do and i applaud that – contentment in all situations is the key] it is not cool for the focus to be put on them and their singleness…

and so the point of this blog is can we please just enjoy this big thing first? why rush the future? it’s gonna happen, and when it does we will want to celebrate that and not be rushing ahead to what the next further thing is.

i realise this is actually a huge, huge topic, because to really be able to enjoy this big thing, we also need to be able to let go of yesterday’s painful thing, but that’s another blog. live to the full today and celebrate life with me, us, now!

if you liked this check out part ii: can’t i not just start enjoying this big thing now [on looking backwards]

so botswana was hot. very hot. hotter than the camembert cheese (or lack thereof) in the monty python ‘the cheese shop’ skit was runny. and so a lot of the time it was a case of existing and surviving and seeking shade.

but there was some contemplation that took place, in between the gaps (surely you mean ‘in the gaps?’ – yes, quite, i clearly panic’d!) about life, the universe, and a whole bunch of stuff. well seven. seven stuffs. at least, and maybe eight.

but one of those was next year and for those of you who don’t know (or haven’t asked in a while), the plan for next year is waiting on God for a plan for next year. not a kind of random, let’s wait around and hope something turns up kind of waiting, but a more purposeful i-believe-God-has-lead-us-to-specifically-wait-on-Him-for-the-next-life-plan-and-journey plan kind of thing…

i resigned my job after working for 6 years at the vineyard church in stellenbosch and the beautiful val is in the final throes (or throws, perhaps) of finishing her masters thesis in development studies at the u of ct (first draft handed in, waiting for it back so changes can be made, if necessary, before final submission)

so we are waiting, and it is both tremendously exciting and slightly nerve-wracking cos what if God doesn’t show up? what if i heard wrong? what if a wood chuck could chuck all that wood, or if anyone knew what chucking was in the wood chuckian context?

and the closer it gets, the more nerve-wracking it should become i would imagine, according to latent locked-away mathematical propositionals lurking in the grey matter of my brain… yet botswana somehow proved the opposite… i really wanted to spend a lot more time in prayer and contemplation and thinking and dreaming and co-dreaming with tbv and so on, but the heat and context took care of a lot of that. but i did do a bunch. i managed to get up on a few mornings before manyone else and sat in the funky camp deckchair (with foot rest) next to the fire and mused.

amused. at times. and just plain contemplative at others. and chatted to God a bit. and read some ezekiel (wo!)

and i didn’t hear anything much. but i did feel a lot more peace. and calm. i really haven’t been much stressed about the whole thing at all, altho i think that is more likely more due to my ostrichsitis than my calm prevailing trust (which does exist, but possibly not quite as much as my maybeifidontthinkaboutititwillgoawayorjusthappen’ness) and botswana for me was a lot of just reducing the one and increasing the other, and so now, altho january is soon, i am fine with that. i have been still and known that He is God, and i really believe that He has this one. and it excites me.

and the moment i hear anything about next year and know what is going to happen, you will be one of the top ten to know so PLEASE STOP ASKING ME THE FLIPPIN QUESTION? cough. thankx. i know you care. it means a lot. but until we know, we don’t know. it’s that simple.

[oh and we’re not particularly wanting to have kids at any stage and val’s thesis is going well, thankx.]

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