I wished for a white picket fence.

I had a dream of a house full of boys, yelling at them to stop jumping on the couch so they wouldn’t keep hurting themselves, feeding them big plates of spaghetti and getting bundled up to go to the snow. I imagined six little feet pushed up on the side of the bathtub while I sudsed them down and six little hands sticky from eating cotton candy at the fair. I wanted a golden retriever for them to wrestle with and a white picket fence.

However, secondary infertility reared its head.  We have been very strongly urged not to have more children.

The reason we shouldn’t have more biological children is not complicated. I have one major psychiatric illness, and two minor ones. I take a number of medications that allow me to function in society, take care of my family and take care of myself. One is an amphetamine. I vomit during pregnancy excessively and will surely get dehydrated…. One of the drugs is toxic at high levels in the blood stream.

Adoption is also prohibitive. Most countries don’t want people taking psychotropic medications to be adoptive parents. On paper we look like a huge risk. I would not mind domestic adoption but we’re not at a point we can pursue this now.

Unfortunately during the time I was in the most pain six, yes six of my good friends got knocked up. When one announced her at Bible Study I went upstairs and sobbed and sobbed until I thought everyone had gone home. At story time two of them would sit on either side of me; It felt like they were flaunting their gorgeous bellies. One precious sister had tried everything to get pregnant and did just a while later than I did with my first, only to be surprised with number two less than a year later. I truly rejoiced at her miraculous news, as I did in different ways for all of you, but I couldn’t talk to you or be around the babies (or any of them) without choking up or breaking down.

I avoided them at church, didn’t accept invitations for coffee, play dates or birthday parties, didn’t go to baby showers, didn’t want to hold theirbabies, didn’t return calls, basically as I write this down I realize what I jerk I have been in my own quest for self-preservation.

This was two years ago and I am now recently at a place I can pray God multiplies your families as well as their joy.

It’s not the same, but I’m not sure I could handle the bustling family I once dreamt of. I definitely would not be able to write these devotions as often as I like. I couldn’t breaks like I need them, read as much as I do, and spend the time I want to with more than my little girl. She’s not The Source of my satisfaction, but she is A Source, just like my husband, my church, and my extended family.  I don’t know if three boys would have satisfied me too, but any road I chose has tinges of disappointment.

I am 33 years old, with one wonderful daughter instead of three, and little hope of more. I’m almost at the point that I do not want more. I no longer feel like I need more to have the life I dreamt of. The only thing I originally wanted that I got was a white picket fence, and we lost that to the bank.   Still, I am getting what I need.  My daughter bounces on her trampoline. We took her to the snow and she liked it. I wash two feet instead of six. We’re praying about getting a dog maybe next year, but it will be a small dog, not a big drooly retriever.

I often tell friends, “Delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4). It wasn’t a punishment from the Lord for not delighting in him, but I’ve gotten to this place by choosing to delight in Him and being incredibly thankful for the family I do have.


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