on why we're not choosing the gender...

As long as I can remember, I've wanted to be the mother of girls.
I was from a family of all girls and I'm a girls girl to the core. 
My husband, on the other hand is the exact opposite. 
The eldest of three boys, no sisters. Guys guy, wanted boys. 
So weren't we a happy pair of expectant parents? 
Conflicted, yes. But thankful that God would ultimately decide and his decision would be good.

So I wanted a girl, but throughout my whole pregnancy people said I looked like I was carrying a boy. Like, all people. I was never told, even once, that I looked like I was carrying a girl. 
And you know what? The idea grew on me a heck of a lot. 
I started hanging around my friends then 4 year-old son and getting attached. 
The mama who always wanted a daughter was starting to REALLY want a son. 
I was certain, like everyone else that my first would be a boy, and my heart caught up to the idea and I even wanted my first to be a boy.

Then at my 20 week ultrasound,
we heard the three beautiful words: 
it's a girl!

It took my heart and head a second to register that my first would not be Oli (the name we'd chosen if it were a boy) but Lily instead! Immediately the ideas and excitement about a son disappeared and I was thrilled to be on the pink team. 

I thought I knew what I was having and what I wanted, and I was wrong.

Fast forward to my second pregnancy. Our first few months with Lily had been glorious. We absolutely LOVED having a daughter. Both Brad and I were secretly hoping our second would also be a girl. Since we're frugal, it meant we'd have everything already! And since our experience with Lily had been bliss, it meant more of the same (a pregnant mom can hope, right?)! 
I was convinced that I was having another daughter. 
I pictured Lily with a sister, I pictured them being best friends like me and my sister Lisa were (and are!). 

Then at my 20 week ultrasound,
we heard the three beautiful words:
it's a boy!

I was in shock. Slightly disappointed, I'm embarrassed to admit. 
But then a few minuted later (and much more as the days and weeks passed), my heart rejoiced. A son. A boy. The Lord has entrusted me with another child and now we have our Oli! 

I thought I knew what I was having and what I wanted, and I was wrong.

Now I have two lovely children, both of whom I thought I wanted to be the opposite gender they are, and both of whom I'm thrilled are exactly who they are. 

And we're adopting...
With the dangerous (for us) ability to pick the gender of our next children.

If I had of chosen for Lily I would have chosen BOY
If I had of chosen for Oli I would have chosen GIRL
I'm so glad I didn't get to pick, and that God's will was done so beautifully in our family.

So with the option to choose the gender for the child(ren)we're adopting, I just don't trust myself. 
I don't know God's will for us, and I have learned from two experiences that what I wanted was not what he wanted, and what he wanted was best.

I'll be honest, the idea of 1 girl and 3 boys seems slightly overwhelming to me, but if God has two boys who need a Mommy & Daddy (and a brother & sister!) and decides they're for us, we'll happily welcome them. So we'll see. It's not in our hands. We're choosing to have no preference with gender, but to prefer wholly, God's plans for us, that we do not yet see.


raising kids of another race...

It's definitely occurred to us that when we opt for "no racial preferences" and "no gender preferences" as we're adopting from the foster care system in Quebec, we're practically enlisting to adopt a black male
That is 100% perfect and even exciting to me.

{Louie, Sandra Bullock's son was adopted from
the foster care system in the USA}
We have no problem whatsoever with adopting a child from another race, but we'd be naive to say that it won't be a challenge, and that our parenting experience with our black children will be exactly like that with our white children. It will be a challenge and it won't be the same as parenting Lily and Oli. 

Oddly enough, folks would rather not talk about race at all these days, for fear of appearing racist, but in doing so they're ignoring a God-given quality to someone (God decided that there would be black people in this world, and it is good that there are!), and doing a huge disservice to these people. To our potential child(ren). And so, I've been thinking about it. And talking about it. Because it's real and good. 

This post addresses some of the challenges a white mother faces raising her two black sons (alongside her two white daughters), and it was a great resource to me today. I also follow My Brown Baby, a blog she references in the post, and White Sugar Brown Sugar.
Would love any suggestions of resources or blogs about the issue if you know of any!

Here's a excerpt:
There is one aspect of parenting black children that is outside of something I can just learn though trial and error, though – and that’s how to teach my kids how to interact with the world as black men.  The question of how white parents can teach black children “how to be black” is one that is often thrown out by opponents of transracial adoption.  I don’t love this question because it implies that there is one monolithic experience of being black, or one right set of behaviors, attitudes, and experiences that somehow denote a person’s acceptance as a black person. I reject the idea that “being black” is something that my boys need to learn, because they ARE black.  The idea that some would view them as having “lost their black card” by way of having white parents is frustrating to me. 


no fever over here!

Guess who hosted a baby shower last week,
held a precious 6lb baby boy,
and didn't get baby fever in the least?


It was a beautiful moment, holding little Zachary, the 4th child of my dear friend Loni, but it was also really cool and affirming when I didn't feel any desire to have another one.

Can't wait to adopt, and am so excited to adopt a toddler or child :)


little women.... {yikes}

I read this article in the New York Times and it really startled me. It's an interesting and really uncomfortable read for moms with daughters, but probably good to check out. 

The gist is that girls are entering puberty as early as KINDERGARTEN.
And one of the largest contributing factors is stress in the home (defined as absent fathers, present step-fathers, adoption and integration issues, etc).

Here's an excerpt:
Family stress can disrupt puberty timing as well. Girls who from an early age grow up in homes without their biological fathers are twice as likely to go into puberty younger as girls who grow up with both parents. Some studies show that the presence of a stepfather in the house also correlates with early puberty. Evidence links maternal depression with developing early. Children adopted from poorer countries who have experienced significant early-childhood stress are also at greater risk for early puberty once they’re ensconced in Western families.
Things it's reminded me of:
  1. Childhood traumas (even from such a young age) have such a impact on children down the line.
  2. There will be damage that we will never be able to un-do 
  3. The family unit, when thriving, does so much to bless a child or children. Far beyond what I'd imagined, even to the physical development of a person. Wow.
  4. I need to be praying for our future child(ren) in specific ways. Thinking right now if we adopt a daughter, how she may be impacted and how I can be praying...