sugar & spice

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thanks to some friends who have gone through the process ahead of us
here's my adoption reading library.
I'm thinking I might as well get my master's in social work - it might be less reading!

I've always been afraid to admit that I would like to raise a little girl. I felt that somehow by admitting I would love to have a daughter I felt as though I was being disloyal to my son.

My dad has two daughters, and I remember  as a little girl wondering if he wished one of us was a boy. Not because of anything he did or said but because that's what popular culture seemed to tell me - mommy's want little girls and daddy's want little boys. But my father always assured me he loved having girls. I very clearly remember him telling me that he had always wanted daughters, that he had grown up with younger brothers and thought it would be fun to have little girls in his life for a change. I grew-up secure that my dad loved everything about his little girls - the pink, the tea parties, barbie dolls, prom dresses, etc. Once assured that he had wanted and desired me more than any boy I never wondered if he secretly wished he had a boy to play ball with rather than a girl to play princesses.  I was absolutely secure in his desire for me.

I LOVE having a boy. Not having any brothers I was incredibly excited when I learned we were having a boy-child and I would get a front-row seat into the world of men. It's been thrilling watching Landon's masculinity develop. The noises this kid can make when "driving" a truck! And never before did I know there were quite so many different varieties of tractors and construction trucks - cranes, excavators, diggers, etc. - the list is quite impressive.

But there is the part of me that lingers next to the pink tu-tus in baby Gap. And this adoption had brought all of my buried feelings about desiring a girl to the surface. Adoption is unique in that you have a choice in the gender of your child. It's a strange decision and quite honestly it felt a bit unnatural to me. I always assumed that if we adopted we wouldn't specify the gender of our child. However, thinking about the process and actually being in the process is quite different.

Also, by not choosing we would actually be choosing. In Ethiopia female infants are requested more often than males, so if we were to leave the gender field blank we would most likely be placed with a boy. RJ and I were really torn-up about this decision and we spend tons of time in prayer. We also sought counsel from other adoptive parents and pastors from our church. And during this process I finally gave away to my fear and admitted that I would love to have a baby girl.

But I worried that Landon would overhear me admitting my desire. I know he's only two but what if he remembered? What if he heard me say that I would like to have a daughter and he felt less desired? Or what if my admitting to wanting a girl caused him to feel that mommy likes girls better than boys? It's amazing how negative thoughts can consume you. And then the Lord whispered in my ear:

I place desires in your heart. I know you and I love you. Do not live life and make decisions from a place of fear. If you love and cherish your son he will know it. Fear is not from Me. 

Those sweet reminders from the Lord have lifted such a weight from my shoulders. We are not called to make decisions from a place of fear and worry. He has placed a desire for a daughter on my heart. And the desire for a daughter does not in any way lessen my desire for my son. What freedom!

Once I was able to open my heart and confess my desire the decision making was so much easier. RJ and I felt a unified peace. Since the greatest desire of our heart is for two children we have agreed to keep the gender open for two children - boys or girls.

So there could be three little boys in my future - bring it! I love dirt and baseball.

However, if the Lord only has one child for us then we feel as though a baby girl is the best fit for our family. And not just because I would like a girl but the best for RJ, Landon and our daughter as well - the best for the four of us.

What freedom I feel knowing that it's okay for me to ask the Lord for a daughter. He already knows my heart and I should not feel ashamed or fearful of my desires. He knows our family and I have absolute trust in my God. He will place the perfect little person or persons in our home. Be it Ethiopian prince or princess.

If we are blessed with a daughter I think this book might come in handy!


Holls said...

Great post Anna. I think about gender a ton... Not just in adoption, but bio as well. All of us have different upbringings and experiences that provide us with different ideas about what we would like our own families to look like. My brother and I often joke that having a boy and a girl is like winning the lotto. Even though it's not as rare obviously, it is possibly just as exciting. Being able to experience both is such a gift. I pray that god does give you the desires of your heart, cuz he is the one that placed them there! Oh, and as a mother of one of each, I can assure you there is no better one... They are equally awful and equally wonderful! And yes, hang on to that book... Cuz it ain't gonna be easy- but seriously so cool to learn about and be able to do!

Unknown said...

I love this post. I love how the Lord is stirring. I am so blessed by your and RJ's generosity and honesty. I can't even imagine how blessed your little one(s) will be!!

Brittany said...

The post from Neal is from me (brittany v). I was signed in to Google using our business account. Sorry for being a creeper!

Jessica G. said...

Anna, I love how you always share so openly and honestly. I also love how much you have sought the Lord in this decision. He already has your baby(ies) picked out and is making sure they are perfect for your family. I love that. And about the hair, my friend adopted an African-American baby girl and the hair thing has been quite the journey! Its fun to hear about things like different hair...things I never even thought about.

Jon Ryan and Christy said...

Why not a boy and girl twin set? I've heard of it happening before. It is seriously so fun to share this journey with you through reading your blog. I love it. And He does know your desires. Love the honesty.

Dallas said...

Regarding hair: funny story from my sister who adopted her little boy, Ashenafi, from Ethiopia.

After she first tried to give him a haircut, she was at a grocery story, and these two black women passed her and said, "the poor white woman don't know how to cut that little boy's hair. Someone needs to show her how to make that boy look handsome."


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