Monday, August 15, 2011

Taking the Bad with the Good

Bollinger and Guenther Girls
I love babies. (this is Billy) Little girls are my greatest weakness. I can’t wait to have kids. I’m not shy about it, either, and it usually surprises people. Much like most little girls, when I was a little boy I thought about what my family would be like when I was a husband and a Dad. Having a family was my biggest dream. Sure, I dreamed about sports, writing the next Harry Potter, and other exotic life paths, but I was pretty realistic, and mostly dreamed about any job that gave me the ability to support my wife and kids. I even had a name for my first son set in stone in 7th grade. I wrote it down, and Jess and I plan for our first baby boy to have that name. So, yes, I can’t wait to have kids (biologically and through adoption), and after falling in love with Jessica so that I now have a person to experience kids with - my desire for growing a family has risen exponentially. I’m 23. Jess and I started “not trying not to get pregnant” while I was still 22. In our culture this is young and that is what surprises people. They tell us we need to live life – that we need to experience things – that there’s so much we haven’t seen, and maybe I understand where they’re coming from, but seriously, my idea of “living life” is sharing that life with little sponges that I get to show, and teach, and love. I want to experience family more than anything else I can think of. I want to travel, experience new things, and see new places, and get to share that with my wife and babies. When I talk like this around most people my age it weirds them out. Our friends that know us well understand. We finished college fast, got married young, bought a house young, and want kids now. That’s just how it is. There’s many, many reasons Jess and I are soul mates, and this desire for children is just one of them – it actually freaks me out HOW MANY things we have exactly the same thoughts about. So, long story short, Jess and I have been trying to get pregnant. I like when it’s said like that because I like the idea that I get pregnant, too. It’s funny.

Wheelock Babies
Elliana Rose
Back in May, Jessica came down stairs and showed me a positive pregnancy test. You can’t imagine my joy. We agreed not to go crazy telling people because we know the risks in the beginning, and didn’t want to potentially have to announce the bad news later. Joy is contagious. We couldn’t NOT tell, and we ended up letting a few people know. Everyone was happy. Some annoying doctor’s visits and bad customer service later it happened. It was a Sunday. Jessica had a miscarriage. I had heard of people having them, but never thought, in any real way, that it would happen to us. Even though we’d never heard a heartbeat, and were barely into it (maybe 4 weeks or so) the sadness I felt was overwhelming.  Our first ever creation together, the thing we had both longed for for so long, just died. And for the first time in my 23 years I understood how hard it is to trust that the will of God is perfect, and that He will work all things for good. We have worked through it. We’re not sad anymore, but it doesn’t mean we’ll ever understand. We just trust. That’s what faith is. After a while I felt selfish. I was so worked up about this miscarriage because it was MINE, and it made me realize that my heart doesn’t hurt enough for the rest of the pain in the world – the kids starving, abused, dying everyday, and every other consequence of sin’s stain on the earth. Thankfully, it was as early as it was. Thankfully, we were less attached than we could have been. Thankfully, the whole process of it for Jess was actually as easy as it could possibly be. We can use these things to ease our pain, maybe try to sugar coat it, but when you get down to it, it can never be a GOOD thing. We’ll always have the memory. There is no perfect way to handle it, but it’s a chance for us to lean a little harder in to God. We get to walk in the “perfect understanding isn’t a prerequisite for faith in God” posture. We have a different perspective. When thinking about “living life and experiencing new things” that people long for, maybe they forget that you have to take the bad with the good. In times of pain Job would probably have the best wisdom, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10) We’ve experienced more now in our life together. We’ll never be entirely ready for what is to come, but God is teaching us, and we’re trying our best to follow Him. 

A flower Jess got from Camille the day she found out she was pregnant.

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