Yes. The Question. Capital Q.
Shall I explain? Ok.
We have been getting The Question a lot lately. The Question entails some form of "Are you guys going to have another kid? If so, when?"
Since we've been getting The Question so frequently lately, I figured I might as well blog about it and answer everyone at the same time. Hopefully all this will make sense.
The answer is, yes, we'd like more children, if that is God's will for us. As far as when, that will depend on God's plan, as well as our own emotional health. That has always been true, and nothing has changed. We always wanted more than one child, and even if Caroline would have survived, we would want another one. The difference now is that Caroline did not survive, so we might have another one sooner than we would have had she lived.
I want to be 100% clear, however. We do not want another child because Caroline is with Jesus. We want another child because, if it's God's will for us, we want to glorify Him with each child. There are a lot of emotions and thoughts involved now because we lost Caroline, but I want to share a few things with you that Cameron and I have come to understand.
First of all, Caroline was, is, and will always be our first child. Nothing will change that. No subsequent children will replace her. Having another child will not make everything better in our loss of Caroline. I think a lot of people think that if we just "hurry up and get pregnant again," that having that next child will somehow alleviate the pain of losing Caroline, or make things less difficult. People can accept and relate to expecting a child. Not everyone can relate to losing one. They know what to say to people expecting a child. They don't know what to say when someone loses a child. In some ways, it will be easier on everyone if/when I get pregnant again, because the elephant in the room will be smaller. I don't say all this to be mean or callused. I just want to lay it all out there. Having another child will change nothing in regards to Caroline. We'll just have something else to look forward to here on earth.
But that child is still a gift from God, and is still only on loan to us while we're on earth. Someday, that next child will meet their maker as well, it just might not be at birth. It may be long after Cameron and I are gone. So we have to remember the lesson that God taught us through Caroline; our children are not ours, but God's. We still have a responsibility, certainly, to be parents. We won't neglect that responsibility, but we also have to realize that our children are still in God's hands. He is sovereign. His will is going to be accomplished, and He will be glorified. I have to trust Him to take care of my children. I have a responsibility to take care of my children in the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs that arise in their lives. But the ability to do that comes from God. He provides me the means to take care of them. He's still in control. I simply pass along His grace to my children. He loves them more than I can, and I love Caroline and will love any future children a whole heck of a lot. But I have to parent them with the understanding that God's the one in charge ultimately.
That brings me to another point. In order to be ready to have another child, I have to be ready to lose another child. No pregnancy guarantees a healthy child. Anyone can lose a child during or right after pregnancy. If I can't rely on God enough to trust Him to give me His best no matter what happens, I'm not ready. In other words, I have to be at peace with God's will, regardless. I have to be willing to accept that God may decide He wants us to lose our next child. I hope not, and I pray not, but the fact of the matter is, God may ask us to do that again. It may not be anencephaly, but it may be something. That doesn't mean I'm morbid, or that I'm expecting that, but I have to remember that God is my refuge, that He's sovereign and in charge, and that His will is what's best. His will is to bring Himself glory, and I play my part in whatever way He deems. I've come to the point where I've accepted that. If He requires me to lose another child, then to Him be the glory. I know He will be faithful to me and carry me through, just as He did with Caroline. Like I said, I hope that's not what happens, and I'm not expecting it, but I'm not in charge.
Cameron and I are in agreement on these things. Our ultimate goal is to glorify God with our lives, including how we parent our children. That includes how we handle pregnancy. It also includes how we think about things before God blesses us that way again, if He chooses to. I want to remember the lessons He taught us with Caroline. I have to love Christ first. If I love anything or anyone more than Him, I'm wrong. If I look forward to another pregnancy more than I look forward to knowing Him more and making Him known, I'm off. Does that means I can't look forward to another pregnancy? No. I am looking forward to it, when the time is right and God sees fit to make it happen. I don't know when that will be, if ever. But for now, I also know that my walk with the Lord is foremost. It's the most important thing to me, even though I am far from perfect in living my life.
I want to see Him glorified. I want to see Him known. And if He can use another pregnancy and another child to show His glory through me, then I'm all for it. If He has other plans, then I'm ok with that too. To Him be the glory, no matter what happens.