An Unlikely Mom…


Book Club Readers: I would like to know if you have done any of the devotions in Songs in the Key of Solomon and how it went. You can let me know anonymously by clicking here. Thanks!

Warning: War and Peace was shorter.

In 1985 I should have been the happiest woman on the planet. I had a sweet, funny, romantic husband who had just bought me a brand new house in a great neighborhood. I worked for a great Christian woman and did interesting work. I attended one of those “mega-churches” filled with lots of opportunities to serve and learn more about God. I was part of a wonderful Bible study group that caused my faith to grow by leaps and bounds.

But I wasn’t happy.

The hubby and I were trying to get preggers and nothing was happening on that front at all. While other friends our age were getting pregnant right and left, we were jealous and as Christians, we felt bad about feeling jealous! In my head I was thinking, “A good Christian would rejoice with her friends when they rejoice. A child is a blessing.” But, I was just sad that it wasn’t me who was getting to have a baby shower.

My head was also thinking, “It makes sense that God is not giving you a baby.” Why? When I babysat children as a teenager, they often drove me nuts. I had very little patience with them, honestly. This propensity made sense. I was the youngest in my family and thus, never really learned to tolerate the boisterous nature of younger children.

I also grew up in a minister’s family where quiet weekends were very normal because Dad was either preparing his sermon and needing the quiet or because he had just finished preaching and ministering on Sunday mornings and needed the rest. Thus, loudness, commotion and silliness were not my favorite cup of tea. I preferred to read, listen to music through my voluminous headphones (It was the 70s–everything was big.) and watching old movies. I liked solitude and solitude is not exactly synonymous with children!

And I had a knack for overreacting and saying the wrong things. How was that going to translate into good motherhood??? And yet, there was this burning ache to have a child.

We kept this torment to ourselves for a long time, despite some extended family members making it plain that they were waiting for us to make “the big announcement.” We so wished we could have complied with their wishes. And yet, our sadness was so severe that we couldn’t admit to them why we weren’t able to make “the big announcement.”

Weeks turned into months and months turned into years. Finally, we consulted an ObGyn for help. If you’ve never been through this process, it’s pretty embarrassing. You have to expose the most intimate details of your relationship with your husband to strangers and let your private parts be open “for inspection.” Okay, so it feels like an inspection.

In 1985 in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogate pregnancies were just coming to the forefront of the infertility field of medicine. So, the hubby and I had to discuss exactly how far we wanted to go down the “fertility treatment road.” We finally agreed that if the baby wasn’t totally ours genetically, then we would stop treatments and procedures and start working on adopting a child.

Few realize that if a couple chooses to adopt, they basically have to have some time to grieve. Yes, grieve. Why? Because an infertile couple has to say goodbye to the notion of ever having their own child genetically. If a couple doesn’t do that, in my humble opinion, the consequences could be really unfortunate for the child they eventually adopt. To grieve this “loss” can take years. While adopting would have been great, going down the grief road wasn’t my idea of fun.

To boot most procedures (including adoption) costs thousands of dollars not covered by insurance. This generally hits couples when they’re hoping to pay off college loans and have a mortgage. There isn’t exactly a plethora of disposable income at their fingertips during this era of their lives! This was true of us as well.

We were both tested for possible infertility causes to determine the course of treatment. I was the culprit. Now, no matter how many times I, as well as the hubby and the doctors, said I shouldn’t blame myself, I still did. How do you not do that when you find out you’re not ovulating regularly and that you have endometriosis??? Again, it seemed to be confirmation from on high that I was not the right kind of person to be a mom. I felt pretty worthless.

We tried fertility drugs to no avail. Soon, it seemed prudent to do exploratory surgery on me to see what could be done about my endometriosis and to make sure other things were not hindering my ability to conceive. The surgery was going to be thousands of dollars.

We made the decision to tell our Bible study group, because they would wonder why I was in the hospital anyway. I will never forget what happened next–a first-time experience for me. They laid their hands on me and just prayed that that expense would not be necessary!

A mere month later, I was telling them I was pregnant. The Bible study group members literally jumped up and down at the news. Surgery averted. Prenatal vitamins started! Miracle granted!

Nine traumaless months later the oldest son was born. Four years later, with the help of fewer fertility drugs, our daughter arrived. And without any medical science at all, another son arrived four years after that. (I still refer to him as “the immaculate conception.”) Guess God thought this selfish, quiet-seeking person should be a mom after all.

I’d love to tell you that I was a great mom from the beginning. I was anything but. It took a loooonnnnggg time for God to work on all that selfishness and huge desire to crawl in a big hole when things got too chaotic  for me. And I wasn’t all that great an aunt to several of my nieces and nephews (Again, there’s a reason why this blog is called what it is.) But over time and with a lot of instruction from the Lord and other great moms, I learned how to be a decent mom.

But, God didn’t stop there. He chose to give me “the adopteds.” Most of them are friends and acquaintances of my kids and a few I picked up along the way as I worked at our local university. I’m privileged to say that a few are also from the extended family. I would die for any one of them just as I would for my own children. Just the other day at the local grocery store, I heard a happy voice call out, “Momma A!” And I knew that happy voice was hailing me! Sure enough, an adopted was waiting to hug and greet me.

Today I marvel at how God answered the sad, desperate prayers of a woman who felt so unworthy of motherhood in 1985. Motherhood, in any of its forms, is such a privilege! And when the next generation becomes the people they’re meant to become, I am so proud of each and every one of them and how they, themselves, are triumphing over the sadness and obstacles in their own lives. They are a marvel, as well.

Perhaps now you understand why I find myself stalking “Mommy blogs” right and left, even though my active years of parenting are well behind me. And why, I have chosen to put the “Top Mommy Blog button” in the right-hand column of my blog. It still stuns me that I can offer suggestions, tips and encouragement when being a parent is really trying! And it may stun you to know that MIP is currently # 25 in the most popular “Everything Else” Mommy Blog category and # 565 overall, despite just being approved for mention on their site a few short days ago.

So, do me a favor: When you read a post here, please click on the Top Mommy Blog button before you leave. That will help other moms find my blog. I am so hoping that something I say here will resonate with that hard-working group of people and that I can be a blessing in their lives as they have been in mine. If you’re a mom, clicking on the button may help you find some much-needed resources and other blogs to help you with that big job of yours. And if you have a few minutes, please leave a rating and a few words about what MIP means to you. Thanks in advance–it means more than you will ever know.

Point to Ponder 1: If you’re going through infertility right now, what’s the most important thing you can do today to help your situation, either mentally, physically or emotionally? Pray? Confide in a good friend or relative? Tell me about it here? Consult a fertility specialist? Whatever it is, take the first step today to make that happen. You need allies in this fight! 

Point to Ponder 2: Do you have a friend or relative going through infertility right now? If you’re a mom, may I gently suggest that you do your “mommy venting” with friends who already have kids and just pray for your friend and relative and let them know that you care about what they’re going through? Tell them that you probably don’t understand their situation, but you would love to know how you could help them best.

Point to Ponder 3: Do you have a wonderful mother figure in your life? Let her know today how much you appreciate her efforts and influence on your life! We never know when that gesture or kind word of appreciation is the last time we may get to let her know that!

Point to Ponder 4: Having a rough day “at the office” with your kids? Been there, done that. Let an older mom know that. She often has suggestions on how to get through those rough times. My suggestion? Throw out all of those parenting books and just trust your gut. God gave you those kids because he thought you were the best person to parent them. Submit a comment below if you need more encouragement. I’m happy to tell you what this imperfect mom learned as she was “in the trenches.” And veteran Moms? What suggestions do you have for newer moms who are struggling to succeed at raising the next generation? Submit away below!

Point to Ponder 5: Have you clicked that button up there yet? What? You haven’t. What’s stopping you? Get it done now. And thanks! 🙂

Friday’s Post: Slow Reader Friday and August MIP Book Club Selection Time!

You Might Also Like: Go Ahead…Hate Me; Would You Like a Family Like This?; 56 White Men; The Tyrant; and The Honest Truth and Yes, That’s Redundant

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at 10:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. July 23rd, 2014 | Chelsea says:

    I love this post. Thank you. Dealing with multiple miscarriages was the hardest thing Andrew and I have ever been through. It is such a lonely feeling. I treasure my sweet Riley Paige everyday and am so thankful God allowed us to be her parents. Fortunately, those rough times made us much stronger as a couple and in our relationship with God. Thank you again for such an honest and inspiring post!

  2. July 23rd, 2014 | maryann says:

    Thanks, Chelsea, for sharing a little bit of your journey down the “infertility road” here. I can’t even imagine what that must be like to endure. But, I hope God uses it to bless other women with similar situations so they know they are not alone and that there IS hope. God is so good!

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