I knew I just wanted a lot.
Matter of fact, when I was little, I even told my parents I would have enough kids to fill the biggest house I knew of in our town. I played pregnant and nursing mom non-stop. I taught my siblings words while sitting on the potty, because I was fascinated with how fast toddlers learn. I took pride in being 8-years-old and being allowed to bathe my little sister and sometimes lay her down for a nap. I loved being around kids and I have always wanted to be a mom.
Then I started growing up.
I faced decision after decision about my future. College, occupations, boyfriends, living place, moving out, fights with my parents, finding who I am and all that is part of truly growing up. My spirit was crushed in more than one way and I became an anxious young girl who didn’t know where she belonged. Nothing seemed like the right path to take.
Then one day while I was staying with friends in South Carolina, I met a guy.
He was American. He was in the army. And he was a single daddy.
Fast-forward 2 years and by my 21st birthday. I was a Green Card holder, married and a full time (step)mom to a 4-year-old.
I started to realize, full time stepparenting is about the hardest job a person can possibly have. I worried and fretted about messing up, all the while striving to do the best I could. I was not sure if I could ever handle more kids.
Fast forward 3 years and I was the brand new mom to a little girl.
I started to realize that the love of a parent is unbreakable and my life was forever changed. She was my heart walking outside of my body and I felt like I would break if anything happened to her.
Fast forward 2.5 years and I was the brand new mom to a little boy.
I started to realize, sitting back and enjoying the ride is a lot better than planning every single step out. I was able to relax more. I felt like life was complete and I looked forward to the next phase — older kids, trips, frequent date nights, building a blogging business and moving on with life.
Fast forward 2 years and I am expecting our 4th child, who is truly a miracle baby, defying all odds and planning. I couldn’t possibly be happier and more scared at the same time.
All this before my 30th birthday.
When I thought it all through, I was a bit shocked. How in the world did I end up on the other side of the world with all this?
Other people go to college and finish it first. Other people start from scratch. Other people don’t move thousands of miles and speak their second language for the rest of their lives. Other people don’t have 4 kids by the time they are less than 30!!
Am I crazy? Am I irresponsible? Did I make a mistake? Should I have done everything differently?
Then it all came back to me. The little girl that wanted to have enough kids to fill an entire house. The little girl who marveled at pregnant ladies and secretly always wished for the day when she would have her own miracle.
I remembered the little girl who knew not what “real life” was like and what other people do, she just dreamed according to her heart.
I am so glad I remembered her. Because I also remembered that I am living my dream. Forget all the heartbreak, all the struggles, all the pressure to be somebody I never became and embrace this: my life, with a loving husband and a house literally full of kids.
After making this realization I decided to embrace the dream planted in my heart long before I knew much about life. I fully believe it was there, for a reason.
My life is not a fairy tale (though I can be an evil stepmom sometimes and my husband does often act like Prince Charming). My life is full of times when I want to pull my hair out not knowing how I will ever make it through. But even though the roads down this path were not always clear or easy or necessarily my choice, I ended up exactly where I need to be. When I look at myself, I see a person who didn’t expect being 30 with 4 kids, having unfinished college degrees and living far from “home.” But now, it is my decision to live this life to the fullest.
My strength and hope is not found in this world. My life and those lives in my house are not an accident. My place on this Earth is not a miscalculation.
Maybe, when you look at yourself, you realize life took you where you have never expected to be.
Maybe that place doesn’t feel right and you struggle, or maybe you love it.
Maybe you are scared and devastated and wish every single day you could change something.
Maybe you are still dreaming about the future and the moment when you will finally see what life brings.
No matter where you are, until you breathe, you have a choice and you have a chance. You can choose to trust the One who gives life and who put you where you are today. You can choose to rely on His wisdom instead of your own and you can choose to face with Him whatever may come.
That is my secret to dealing with the unexpected of having 4 kids before I even turn 30.
I want you to be encouraged. There is hope beyond what you see.
Will you embrace your situation and choose to live to the fullest?