It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

H & H Assignment: Why and When to Start a Family.



My informal blog group "Homesteaders & Homeschoolers" met over the weekend. We decided it would be fun to get to know each other better by writing a few themed blog posts. This is the first one, and it is supposed to be about When and Why we decided to start a family.

I married young...very young. Like the week I turned 19.

That may be one of the biggest mistakes of my life.
(I think I just freaked  my husband out. That was on purpose!)

Yes, getting married the week of my birthday was a bad idea: Now my birthday and anniversary are squished up really close together which means one usually doesn't get celebrated. (In case you missed my sarcasm, marrying Michael even at a young age was not a mistake!)

Because I married so young...and moved home from my out-of-state university to do so, we had tongues wagging in our small town. The natural assumption with my young age and our only 6-month long engagement was that I was pregnant.

I am sure people were surprised that a few anniversaries passed before I did actually have a baby!
(Or I have the gestation of an elephant.)

Which reminds me, along with squishing our wedding anniversary and my birthday together...Mother's Day is just a few weeks before. I pretty much get all my yearly cake allowance in 4 weeks leaving the rest of the year sadly barren of celebrations where I am the VIP!

The young age that I was married leads to the young age that I had our first baby...22. How did we end up married and with a baby at that young age???

I had lots of plans to get out of my small town, enjoy my college years, and then settle down with a husband. What is the old saying? If you want to make God laugh, make a plan...or something like that.

Long story short: My freshman year of college involved not only a long-distance relationship with the love of my life but also the deaths of several people we loved. We realized (okay, Michael realized before me...another story for another time, but I will tell it one day) that life is too short to spend it far away from the people you love.

We got married. Knowing that "God laughs at plans" (okay, we really believe that God has a plan for our lives that is way better than the one we had)...we stopped setting timelines and instead set goals. We knew that we would start a family one day with the hope of biological and the plans for adopted children always in our heads and hearts.

Proverbs 16:9
In his heart a man plans his course, 
but the LORD determines his steps.

Our first few years of marriage included being transferred to a new town, being transferred back, moving 3 times, more death, my mom's diagnosis of stage 3 cancer, and a few other dramatic life events...needless to say, we continued to realize that life is short. And being the type of people who love kids rather than the type of people who are like, "Hey, let's go on more vacations." we opted towards the "not-trying-but-not-not-trying" approach to getting pregnant. (This was when my Mom was on the road to recovery. When she told us she had cancer, she asked us, "Please don't hurry up and get pregnant because I am not dying.")

The things on our list:
1. Be a part of a church.
2. Have  life insurance.
3. Have a house.
4. Have adequate savings.

Yes, you can laugh. Because now we know that those were poorly defined, not important, and silly....adequate savings? What in the world is that?!?

Well, we accomplished the things on our list...all at the same time finally. Next, we Not-Not-Tried until we were pregnant with Nan.

In less than two years, we would be parents to 4 children and driving a minivan!

We know that raising children is a privilege.

We know that our two biological daughters are priceless gifts from God.

We know that our lives are better because we have been blessed with 'borrowed' children: the children who entered our hearts and lives through DCFS and our sister/daughter/friend Jessica.

What we don't know is if our family is "complete"!
(No announcements.)

You can read the other H & H posts:

We would love to read your "When & Why". Please your share your story too!


  1. Bahahahahaha! You got me, that was funny! Did it get Michael? LOL!
    Thanks for sharing about your life! I love the reference to "If you want to make God laugh, make plans!" SOOO true! :-)

  2. Love this! I love the part about missing out on cake. I would demand the three days of desserts emphatically!

  3. Y' are pretty funny. :) Excited to read and see what other children get to be blessed by your love.

  4. This was GREAT! It is nice to get to know you through your blog.

    We are the odd balls who got married a little later in life than you guys. My dearest husband and I have both always wanted a large family (I had pages of day dreams about a HUGE family (took 2 twelve passenger vans to transport them all!)) Also traditional birth control made my husband apprehensive so he asked that I NOT look into it:-) So we were expecting our first child within the first month of our marriage! Now we have four kiddos ages 5, 4, 3, and 1. I wouldn't change any of that and I'm pretty sure our family is not complete, though I think it will be before we get to the 2 twelve passenger vans in the day dreams of my childhood!!