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I’ve been a member of my current church for the past, Oh, I don’t know, 6 or so years. It’s gone through so much member turnover. The senior pastor I knew left. All the elders I was close to are now gone. And I don’t really know anyone except one couple. I feel lost in my own church even though I’ve been there longer than a good part of the congregation. (There are still a few who have me beat by a long shot.)

No one really knows me. They don’t know anything about my life or my struggles. My husband hating his job, my miscarriage, my son’s behavioral problems. Believe it or not, finances are currently not an issue. But a surplus of money can’t make everything in my life turn out all right.

My son loves going to church. I think it’s great that he’s interested in learning and socializing. I’d like him to grow up and know God. One of my prayers before I had him was that if I had a kid, s/he would grow up in the knowledge and fear of the Lord. I’m a horrible Christian, terrible when it comes to reading the Bible regularly and even worse when it comes to daily prayers. (I throw a couple of “thank yous” and “pleases” at least once a day. Especially when I’m driving.)

But my son doesn’t know anyone. He’s shy at first. He doesn’t know his teachers and he doesn’t know his peers. That’s because my church attendance has been so spotty and I’d like to make commitment to go to church regularly so that my son gets the proper Christian education that he needs. We read Bible stories at night but I think Sunday School helps reinforce the lessons he’s learning. Now, to teach him to pray…

I try to attend community groups to get connected to others in the church. I feel out of place there too. Uncomfortable with some people. Wondering if anyone really cares or if my prayer requests are being sent out into a hearing void. I know God hears but does anyone else really care?

I’m also dealing with secondary infertility. I’m hopeless and pessimistic that I won’t have kids again. It’s not looking good for me. Poor egg quality, not being able to produce enough follicles FOR the eggs even though I’m on stimulation medication. I was hoping that my son could have a sibling but it’s not looking that way. I always hoped that I didn’t have an only child—if I was going to have one, I had to have two. I’ll be OK if my son is all I have. But I will grieve the loss of the child(ren) I’ll never have. Sigh.

Adoption is always an option but I’m so short tempered with my biological son that I can’t imagine treating an adopted child the way I do him. Isn’t it horrible? I don’t abuse or smack my kid. But he irritates me and I walk away. He doesn’t do something the way I want him to and I lose my patience. I tell him repeatedly not to do something and he doesn’t listen, doing the incorrect thing. And that kindles an emotional fire of anger.

I’m much more patient with adults. Kids are learning; I need to remember and understand that. My son is still learning—lots of things. It’s hard often to keep that in mind.

But I also wonder if adoption is really right for our family. I dreamed about it at one point. And now I don’t know if I could do it. I believe it takes a special kind of person or family to bring an existing person, not related, into your fold. As much as I idealized adopting a child, I just don’t think I am cut out for it. And I’ve never had the desire to adopt a baby either (babies are in hot demand for adoption). I would adopt a 2 or 3 year old. (I’m a toddler girl anyway. I love the little shits at that age.)

When I’m around toddlers, I’m so inspired. They have an amazing way of looking at the world. They learn things and you can see the light bulb go off in their head every time it clicks. And then they love it! And then they do it again and again and again and again. Ad nauseum. BUT that’s how they learn. And I love helping them learn. Chasing them around the room. Playing peek-a-boo. Reading simple board books. Or perhaps even watching a bit of educational TV. (Toddler shows are hellannoying but my son learned a TON from that stuff.)

But I also don’t know that I can handle/go through the baby phase again. If God doesn’t allow me to have another, I’m going to guess that’s it. Or maybe spare me another episode of postpartum depression. I’m not going to question what He does. All I’m going to do is pray that He answers my petitions and if He doesn’t, it’s OK because His ways are higher than mine and I certainly don’t know what’s best for me. He does. And I will trust Him.

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