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Little girl, how did this happen? You weren’t even supposed to be here, you know.
This would be the opening line if I wrote a book dedicated to my final, “surprise” baby.
Maybe I will someday.
You see, God works in mysterious ways, and if I had my story to write for myself, our family would have been complete after baby number three.
I never saw us being a crew of six. My husband would say the same.
Four kids, people start to stare. Four kids, you have to upgrade to a minivan – there’s no way around it.
(I love you, Minivan. Ignore that.)
Yet, here we are, on the brink of Two.
And on the inside, I’m harboring a jumble of salad-tossed emotions that I haven’t sorted out just yet.
Let me explain:
When I found out we would be adding to our family tree, I was dumbfounded.
I kept the news to myself the first few days, in complete shock and denial. When I told my husband, he couldn’t stop laughing.
I mean, it’s not like we’re old – not like, Sarah-and-Abraham-old anyhow – now they had a reason to laugh.
It’s not like it was a miraculous conception – we just thought (with fairly good medical certainty) that we were done.
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I’m a planner, an organizer, a (recovering) Type-A all the way, and I like it when everything in life fits into neat little checkboxes.
Graduate college, check. Have first baby, check. Then second baby, third baby…check, check.
There wasn’t a checkbox for baby number four.
There wasn’t a checkbox; there wasn’t a onesie or a diaper or a single remnant of baby prepared-ness in my home or heart when we discovered you would be joining us, baby girl.
Of course, we quickly warmed up to the idea.
I mean, I did have a little expertise in this area of unplanned pregnancies.
In fact, you should know a little about my day job. I run a pregnancy help center.
Our amazing, humor-loving, life-giving Creator saw fit to drop into our lives a little unexpected “bonus blessing” of our own.
I seriously can’t make this stuff up.
For the first time, I understood (on a very small scale) that initial panic, that feeling of plans coming undone, of being scared and uncertain and … not in control.
Those feelings our clients at the Center must experience, except compounded by so many other factors I can’t even pretend to fathom.
And you know what?
I needed to feel it.
I needed to be reminded that I’m not in control – and I never was.
For whatever reason, God allowed me to have a glimpse of these things firsthand- which in turn helped me to serve others better.
Of course, He knew all along how that would work out, right?
And this baby – this growing, wild, ridiculously silly almost-two-year-old?
She’s the embodiment of the crazy ride that defines our big, crazy family.
Read next: The Reality of Having Four Kids
It’s like she knew what she was walking into; she knew instinctively that she would come and nudge us out of our three-kid comfort zone, out of our house (literally, we had to move to a bigger one), out of every well-intentioned plan we had laid for years ahead of her arrival.
It was as if the party never really started until she burst into the world … and solidified our team in a way we never would have thought possible.
We couldn’t love her more if we tried.
And so, here we are just weeks away from the somewhat-official end of your babyhood. My mind says, “It’s about time!”. My body says, “Hallelujah!”.
But my heart? My heart isn’t sure it will ever let this baby go.
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