Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.

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Blessings of motherhood kept tucked inside the pages

Organizing my office one day, I came across three journals I had kept, one for each kid. When sorting and getting rid of clutter, I keep in mind three principles: keep, throw out, give away. I’m toast when I sit down, lose all sense of time and, transported magically to the past, reminisce instead of sort. Time flies by, and I end up thinking, what was I supposed to be accomplishing here?

Sitting down, opening my first journal it began: “Today you are 47 days old … 6½ weeks along the journey of your life.” Time stopped and I read on, feeling that familiar sting of tears behind my eyes. I was a new mom trying to figure out how to be a mom.

For seven years, my husband and I had struggled with infertility. It was painful; emotionally draining and disheartening. I’d see pregnant women and hear them complain about back aches or swollen ankles or morning sickness, discussing ultrasounds and feeling the kicks, and I’d want to tell them, just stop. Then I’d pray, “Please, God, when is it my turn?” Baby showers were sheer torture, unshed tears burning at the back of my throat and behind my eyes and unleashing a torrent on the way home. Blessed relief at the release of pent up emotion.

We decided, finally, to pursue adoption, thus beginning a new and heart wrenching, joyous time. All worth it, as an end result, we brought our 12-day-old baby son home. My mom and dad were waiting for us, our big farm house lit from top to bottom to welcome us all home. It’s a memory that’ll last me a lifetime.

Five months: “Your vulnerability touches my heart. I want so much for you. I want you to grow up sensitive to others, compassionate and caring.” Six months: “We feel so complete now that we have you. We are the lucky ones; that you were chosen for us. Soon we go to court to end the long road of your adoption. You are already truly ours, but after that day you will be legally ours.” Eight months: “Everything is something to be poked at, tasted, touched, felt. The world is new and we’re seeing it again for the first time through you. Everything about you is precious to me.”

I journaled once monthly. This child was the one that gave me the title “Mom” and I was living fully every moment; throw ups, fevers, kisses and I love you Mommy, temper tantrums and wrap-around hugs. When he’d cry, I’d pull him close, snuggling and soothing. Everything we did we did as a family.

When our son was 2 years old, we decided to expand our love and applied to adopt once again. We were blessed with another little boy, bringing him home at just three weeks old. A family of four — we could sit in a booth at a restaurant. We could golf as a foursome. I was ecstatic, my prayer was answered so completely, I was beyond grateful.

Oh, He wasn’t done with me yet. Four years later and after 16 years of marriage I turned to my husband and said the words I had longed to say those first years of our marriage, “I think I’m pregnant!” Oh, God. Oh, my precious Lord. You heard my plea and have answered me so most completely. We were blessed with a baby girl. She came into our lives, joining her brothers and those boys positioned themselves, one on either side of her, like stoic soldiers. Just recently, they each got a tattoo, the initials of their first names, “jjj,” bonding them to one another forever.

At one month old, in my daughter’s journal I had written, “You have captured all of our hearts. Your oldest brother especially loves you. He tells me that. He likes to sit by you and tell you stories or explain his toys to you. You look and look at both boys with big round beautiful eyes.” I remember our newborn daughter would turn her head to our middle one’s face whenever he talked, recognizing him, because he had always talked, (and talked a lot) to my belly. She had heard his voice in the womb. How astonishing is that?

Later, at three months, “I look at you in amazement and wonder at the miracle you are. How perfectly and beautifully our Creator made you! It leaves me beyond words.”

I never remembered the kids fighting as they grew but they must have, for when our oldest was 12, one month I wrote in his journal, “The one thing I want from you is your thoughts and feelings on things. You can’t give us what you’re thinking about important things, like how you’re changing and what it feels like. You get ornery and sullen and very impatient, especially with your little brother and sister: ‘Make her be quiet. Does she always have to sing? Tell him to stop doing that dancing around. Do they have to be so loud?!’”

Our middle one, along with his life’s chosen profession, absolutely loves sports and does standup comic gigs on the side. When he was 5 years old, I wrote in his journal, “You have such a flair for the dramatic. You go to great lengths to entertain!” Again a month later, “Your teacher can’t get over how much you know about sports, giving her an almost play-by-play account of the games. She likes the Dolphins, and one Sunday they lost, and you cried saying, ‘Teacher’s gunna be sad now.’” He was only 5. His journal turned out to be almost prophetic.

It was lively, that time in our lives. We nurtured and protected and pushed and held back and did the best we could, teaching our children how to be accountable, how to work, how to treat people, how to love God and each other, and to always be there for each other, no matter what. My momma heart’s deepest desire is to know our children are not only siblings, but friends, too.

This mothering thing. It’s the most terrifying, beautiful, heart wrenching, magnificent, cherished, privileged title in the entire world; to be called Mom.

Love beyond words. Life giving. Heart captivating. The blessings of motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.

(“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? The fruit of the womb His generous legacy?” Psalm 127:3, The Message Bible)

Kay Reminger writes about farm family life. She welcomes comments on her columns. Contact her at news@newmedia-wi.com.