Monday, February 22, 2010

What's best for them?

When I had my 3rd child, my 2nd child was only 20 months old.

My 2nd child, my daughter, was my clingiest baby and toddler of my 3 kids.

My boys were ready to walk on their own everywhere just as soon as they could. Not my daughter, she wanted to be carried all the time until she was two and a half. So there was a good 9 months after my 3rd child was born when I could be found either carrying 2 babies (my newborn one and my toddler one), pushing 1 in a stroller while carrying the other 1, or pushing both in a double stroller.

My boys both weaned themselves around 9 months old. My oldest just gradually started drinking less and less milk as he nursed over a month period. He was far too busy to focus on nursing. And my youngest just one day decided he was done, refused to latch on, and never did again. It was like, "I'm done with that, Mom!" But my middle child, my little girl? I weaned her around 12 months. It was my choice, not hers.

My boys both crawled really early at 6 months old and 5 months old. They had kitchen cabinets to unload!! My daughter? Was content to sit in the middle of a blanket and play happily and didn't crawl until she was 10 months old!

She is the one of my three kids that would have stayed my baby forever, I believe, had she been able to.

There have been many times I've wondered why God didn't allow her to be born last. Many times I felt guilty about having another baby so close in age to her and bumping her out of the baby position earlier than maybe she was ready.

But God? God knows what our kids need even more than we do. I think he knew that a fairly close-in-age baby brother was just what my daughter needed.

She's four and a half now. Today we had the spring conference with her pre-K teachers, and it couldn't have gone better. They had wonderful things to say about my daughter, and although she has an August birthday and will be a very young 5 year old to start kindergarten this fall, they believe she's 110% ready!

Two years ago, my little girl was a crying, withdrawn mess at school who didn't talk to her teachers ever the entire year! I really thought perhaps I had ruined her having another baby after her, but she's fine, even better, I believe, because of it!

I am writing this so I can remind myself of the message in about a year. As we've gotten further into our process of adopting a child from Ethiopia I've heard several stories of families who already had children and then adopted a child. The first few months after the adopted child came home they felt like they had ruined their family. The kids were all really difficult for a while as they were adjusting, but then after some time passed, the family emerged even better than it was before.
Jer 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.

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  1. Beautiful post!

    At one point, we had five kids...ages newborn to 6. It can be chaos...but I love how God has used and nurtured us thru it all! Loved your analogy...and glad to have "met" you.


  2. You're describing my 3rd child, too. Now she's 2-1/2 and baby's 15mos and I still wonder if I've ruined her. Your words today have given me encouragement. Thanks!

  3. I love your post! I had my last two children 16 months apart and I have often felt guilt about my middle daughter having to grow up to fast. I face the struggles you face with my last child and this post lifted my spirits!

  4. Sometimes I think it is birth order that dictates how a baby is. Other times I am convinced it is nothing but inborn personality. Still others it has got to be how "I've" interacted with such baby....Bottom line? It is all of these things put together. My daughter waa a lot like the way you described your daughter and she WAS the baby and a full 6 six years younger than the last boy. She was born in late July and the cut off date for the Christian school she went to was Sept. 1 ~ meaning she was the second to the youngest child in the class. She did better than ALL of my boys. She is the only one with a college degree and she at times seems to be one of the most independent of the group. She moved 1000 miles away right after she married at 22 and moved out for the very first time and never blinked an eye. The Lord had a purpose and a plan for them all. An adopted baby WILL change how your family is. There WILL probably be quite a few adjustments, including times where you might wonder just what you've done. BUT!! I have NO DOUBT you will all be soo much better with her in your family. She is the missing piece of your family. She belongs with you and the Lord will greatly bless you all. He knew before she was being formed in the womb who her mother and father and brothers and sister would be. She is to be a VERY blessed little girl, and you will ALL be very blessed as well. Have a wonderful day....Hugs, Debbie

  5. Great post! Have a great week. I will be praying for your adoption.

  6. I am scolding myself right now as I think about how I still carry my 4 year old around sometimes. But she is my baby and she is spoiled rotten.

    Praying for your adoption journey. I am sure that at first it will be an adjustment, but you really will emerge better than before.

  7. lovely post! my 3rd declared she will always be the baby until of course number 4 came along. it's amazing how much his birth has helped her to grow and become a "big girl". best wishes for your adoption - i'm sure your family will be richer and more full of love than ever!

  8. Isn't it refreshing to know that God knows best, and that his plans are perfect? I don't have any kids yet, but I'm keeping a "for the future" file in my heart from lessons I'm learning from all you wonderful moms. This is another one to keep! And, as always, I'll be praying for as the adoption process continues.

  9. God has a plan for us, and I know your kids will make the adjustment. I also know that you and your family will be praying for a smooth transition (as we all will, too).

  10. Your story sounds a little bit like mine in the sense that I have two girls that are 20 mo. apart and I sometimes don't think the older one was totally ready...but do think it's been good for her. It's encouraging to hear that your daughter is doing so well in pre-school- I worry about my toddler sometimes in that respect! God totally knows what our families will look like! I was thinking along these lines on my blog the other day as well ( though I think you put it much more eloquently than I did!

    by the way- I added you to my blogroll! I hope that's ok- not really sure what blog world rules are around all that!

  11. I am so glad that I read this post this evening! I have a 13 mon. old and am pregnant with my second and your daugther sounds just like my baby girl! She is so clingy, doesn't walk, has more interest in getting around, now, but didn't even start crawling til just a few months ago! And I was feeling very guilty and scared/worried/exhausted thinking about having another one so close to her! Thanks for writing this. I know that God does have a plan for my daughter and my for my new little one and being close to each other in age is part of that plan! :)

  12. Our two littles are adopted and we're bringing another home within the month and I worry over the same exact thing! Blessings to you on your journey and thanks for sharing the verse. I cannot be reminded enough. :)

  13. how awesome to look back and know that God is faithful and knows what he's doing!

  14. Love your post, I have two sons and a daughter as well, she was the most clingy, crying baby. She is getting ready to be 15 now, her brother came three years later, and he was carefree. I often felt guilty, however, now as I see the connection they have and how she has grown to be a strong, confident teen, I give praise to God, yes, he knew what he was doing :). Now my 2 year-old is the spitten image of when she was that age...time travels at a blink of an eye. Hold them a little tighter, kiss them a little longer.
    God Bless you and your babies!

  15. What a great, encouraging post. Every child is a gift from the Lord, right? And God DOES know what he's doing! :0)

  16. Aaah! We live them just they way they are!!! Very encouraging post!!!

  17. Your daughter sounds exactly like my son...he's 16 months old and I still say he's just a giant newborn! LOL My daughter, on the other hand, is exactly the way you said your sons were. :)

    Good luck on continuing your adoption journey! I'm so happy for you and maybe even a teeny-tiny bit jealous because I would love to adopt, but now isn't the time, unfortunately.


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