People would often ask Bonnie and I if we wanted kids and our answer was always the same: “Well, we really want grandkids…”
As I was only 27 years old when Bonnie and I first started dating and Bonnie was only 24, I figured we had plenty of time before we had to start thinking about having kids. Besides, we were young and focused on each other.
Growing up, I always thought that I wanted a big family. But as time went on and I grew more self-aware, I discovered how selfish and self-centered I truly was and I knew that type of personality wasn’t going to do well with kids, so I began to think less and less about having a big family.
After a couple of years of marriage that consisted of us traveling internationally and doing pretty much whatever we wanted, Bonnie started hinting at the idea of having kids. By this time, she was 28 years old and I was 31. Though neither of us were completely sure about having kids, we both understood that if we did want to have a big family that we were going to have to start sooner than later.
At the beginning of each new calendar year, Bonnie and I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions necessarily, but instead set goals that we would like to accomplish over the next twelve months. So in January of 2011, we decided to have a more serious talk about the future of our family and what we wanted for the coming year. Unfortunately, I was still completely on the fence about having kids. Yes, I still wanted grandkids and I yes, I liked the idea of having a big family, but I was still way too selfish. As such, I did the only thing I knew I could rely on and I took to prayer.
“God, if it is your will for Bonnie and I to have kids then I need for you to soften my heart. Right now, I don’t think I’m ready for that responsibility but I know that all things are possible through you. If it be you will…”
And we left it at that.
2011 was a pretty tight year, financially speaking. I was still getting my feet under me with my new teaching career and my freelance business was pulling in just enough to keep us afloat, which in my mind means that we had absolutely no debt, but no savings either. Seeing this made nervous about trying to provide for children when we were barely able to take care of ourselves, but I believed whole-heartedly that God Always Provides as I had been witness to over and over again in my life. From my parent raising nine kids off of blue collar wages and all of us working in migrant fields, to simply always having more than enough despite complete lack of fiscal responsibility, I knew that if God blessed us with children that he would do all that was necessary to provide for them.
Even so, I still had my doubts. So I went back to the words of my Mother.
I had heard her tell the story on several occasions: “When it came to having children, I simply prayed to God and told Him that if he were to bless me with a child that I would do my best to take care of them. I never really thought he would bless me nine! After the first one, I said the same prayer, but after number eight I really thought I had received enough blessings!”
Needless to say, I was number nine. Six years younger than number eight and twenty-two years younger than number one.
Knowing this story, I was even more reluctant to simply surrender it all to the will of God, but I knew it had to be done.
It was in October of 2011 when Bonnie mentioned that she had to run to the pharmacy as she had just ran out of her birth control pills.
“So, I’ve been thinking…” I started out casually. “Maybe it’s best if you not fill that prescription.”
“Seriously?” she responded.
“I don’t know.” I said. “It just that, I think that we’ve been controlling that part of our lives for a long time now and I feel like we’re supposed to surrender it to God. It’s not that I’m dying to have kids, and who even knows if we can have kids. The thing is, I asked God to soften my heart about this and apparently he has.”
I was honestly shocked to hear these words coming out of my mouth.
“So, you want me to stop taking my pill?” she asked as if to confirm the crazy talk I had been spewing.
“Yeah, I guess so. I mean, we talk all day about wanting to follow God and trust God and surrender to God and then we try to take very specific control of this situation. Like I said before, I’m not 100% sure about anything, but I think we need to trust Him with this. Who know… Maybe He’ll give us kids and maybe He won’t. I just think we should be open to the opportunity. I’m pretty positive He can be trusted and that He knows what He’s doing.”
To wish she agreed. It turned out that she had been praying for God to change my heart for past year and that this was actually an answer to her prayers.
That January, just a few months after this conversation, I had just gotten out of the shower and was getting ready for work when I walked out of the bathroom to find Bonnie sitting on the bed with a bit of a blank stare on her face.
“I’m pregnant!” she said with a slightly sarcastic tone and a nervous smile.
“Hold on, what?! That’s awesome!” I responded in a surprised and nervous tone.
At that moment, nothing else mattered anymore.
When I was younger, I really wanted to have boys as I was clueless about girls. But, the second Bonnie uttered the words “I’m pregnant” my only desire was for a happy healthy baby and momma. Boy or girl, it didn’t matter. God was blessing us with a child and we were going to love them with everything we had, no matter what.