First trimester…

waiting

Let me talk to the moms out there for a minute. Remember when you first found out you were pregnant? Remember the excitement? The fear? The anticipation? Now, fast forward a few weeks. Do you remember how your days went on as normal?(Well, maybe some morning sickness kept you aware of the tiny human growing inside you.) Did you have those days when you wondered if it was real because it was too early to show a baby bump, too soon to decorate a nursery…so the days went on as normal. It’s a weird feeling. Emotions are heightened, there are definite signs of pregnancy, but to the world, they wouldn’t know you were pregnant unless you told them. Then, maybe there is fear. Fear your baby won’t be perfect, fear the pregnancy won’t last, fear that you won’t be the perfect parent you want to be (of course, no one is). For my friends and loved ones who have experienced those fears coming true, my heart breaks for you. I can’t say I understand, but I know that fear. The first trimester is a beautiful, awkward, strange place to be.

For all intents and purposes, this is my first trimester with our adopted “Zhen.” We are so new to this stage, so busy trying to balance paperwork and regular family life. It is emotional, overwhelming, surreal. I am reliving some of those fears I had when I was pregnant with Owen. Is this real? Is it finally happening? I want to plan, I want to make things ready for her, but it is too soon. Unlike pregnancy, we don’t have a solid time frame. We don’t know when our family will grow from four to five. So we have to carry on as “normal.” To the world, we are just living, but my heart is longing. My heart knows that there is a little girl waiting…and we are waiting for her.

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So what is an adoptive mom supposed to do with her thoughts during the first trimester? When I was pregnant the first time, I read a lot of books and articles about pregnancy and child birth and bringing home a baby. I filled up my time researching breastfeeding, sleep training, and best baby equipment. For the second pregnancy, I don’t know that I read any new books (other than for my masters classes), and I barely got a pregnancy book together for him. But with both boys, I spent a lot of time thinking of names. By the gender-revealing ultrasound, John and I had chosen boy and girl names for our children, all with special meaning to us. So, by baby #3, of course I have been thinking of names. But it feels weird. I don’t have a 20-week ultrasound to tell me the gender. We have already chosen a girl. I don’t have only 20 weeks left to decorate a room. It may be more than 20 months before this child comes home. When I ask John about names, he can’t really wrap his mind around it. It’s too soon.

So we wait…

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Dearest Zhen,

I don’t know what you look like, or what your name will be, but know that you are deeply loved, child number three. While we don’t know when we will meet, or what we will even say, you are prayed for, chosen, and held by God, each and every day. Just like your brothers before you, I can’t wait to see your face. There may be tears in my eyes, because in you I see His love and grace. My heart is waiting for you, wishing time would hurry on. But God’s got you, little one, and soon you will be home.

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