So it's no secret that not only do we have FOUR children, we anticipate having even MORE children. Oh, I know what you're thinking. Why do you want so many kids? Do you have a death wish? Who does that?!
I am an only child, so growing up, if a family had more than about three kids, it seemed huge to me!
And originally my little life-plan was to marry Kevin, finish college, give birth to a few kids after about five years, and call it a day. HA! God intervened with those plans in a major way when I got pregnant with Anna 11 months after our wedding. (This was a happy thing, we were thrilled, and someone as precious and "fearfully and wonderfully made" as Anna will NEVER be called an "accident"!!!!) After having Anna we thought, heck, being a parent is so amazing and this little baby such a gift, let's have a whole slew of them!
By this point Gary Haugen (I always give this guy shoutouts) and his work on behalf of the oppressed had so touched and impacted us that when Anna was a little over a year old, God pretty much told us, if Jesus cares about the orphans, why don't we? So we pursued the adoption of 16-month-old twins Yosef and Biniam, our Ethiopian sons. Four months after going to Ethiopia, God blessed us with another pregnancy, and sweet Kaitlyn is 3 months old today. Whew! Four kids in three years!
Okay so why would we want a bunch of kids? Adoption and childbirth are miraculous and sacred. Motherhood, priceless. God never promises (or even advocates) an easy, convenient life. He DOES however say I should care for orphans, love my family, be busy at home, that children are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. How many kids do we want? I don't know, but so long as there are children around the world needing mommies and daddies, I'll have a hard time saying, definitively, "we're done."
For right now though I like to say we're "at capacity" with our four: the older three need a lot of my energy/attention, and a three month old is a bit of work too (though totally easy compared to three rambunctious toddlers!) Plus we have some major life decisions to make at some point(read: the husband is tired of commuting.) But we know we are not done growing our family. I think about AHOPE (not a day goes by where I don't), or God's call on my life (how should my life look being a follower of Christ? How is it radically different?), or go to my adoptive friends' websites (Shana, Shelley, Mary, Avery and Heather, and the rest of you!), and find myself eagerly anticipating a return to Ethiopia for another child (or children.)
Anyway I thought I'd take a few posts to share our dreams, hopes, concerns, and thoughts on our "large-ish" family (and why that term is so relative!) Hopefully this'll help you know us Heldts better, and what we're all about.