Wednesday, December 11, 2013

where are your kids?

When we first moved into our house in the inner-city, a five-year-old little girl knocked on our door and asked if we had any kids inside who could come out to play.

It made sense.  We moved into a neighborhood where everyone has kids.  That's one of the reasons we moved here.

Up until this point, it had been just me and my runner-man.  We had been married just under a year and were enjoying our lives as "honeymooners."  We were going on dates, doing ministry together, exploring the city and getting into new routines.  We bought a house with four-stories for the future.  Our lives felt full.

We had a joke that first year -- I'd tell my runner-man that I wanted seven kids {yesterday} and he'd reply that he would love to have a kid... sometime in the next ten years.

I knew he wasn't serious and that he wanted kids just as much as I did.  But we were newly married and our friends told us to enjoy it -- go on trips and see the world and make the most of the time you have alone as a couple.  Some of them even made having kids seem like doom, saying things like everything will change and you will never be more tired in your life than when you have kids.

I know what they meant.  And I know that parenting is no joke.  I'm thankful for this counsel.

But when the five-year-old little girl knocked on our door, something happened.  All of the sudden, it started to feel like something was missing.

I'd open the door or go for a walk and kids would ask, where are your kids?  I'd babysit for a friend and people would ask, Is that your daughter? Do you have a daughter?  Once, a kid asked us point blank why in the world we have so many bedrooms in our house with no one to fill them except us.

They did no wrong.  I was wrestling with my own insecurities.

A few months after moving in, we decided to stop-trying-to-prevent.  We got pregnant right away.  And a few weeks later, we lost the baby.

Where are your kids?  

It's complicated.

Several months later and while my body recuperated, we adopted the beast -- our rambunctious little lab-mix that we love and adore.  Everyone else loves her too, but I still get asked when we're going to have a real baby.

It's really complicated.

And now, almost a year to date after our first miscarriage, we have miscarried again.

Like I said, it's a terrible-horrible-no-good-complicated mess.

We have lived here a little over a year-and-a-half and I had hoped by now I'd have a better answer to this question.  Something normal and less messy like ... my kids are right here, want to hold them?

But this time around, when we are asked this question or questions like why Ms. Shelly hasn't really left the house for weeks or why bible study is cancelled again, we are trying to be as open and honest as possible.  It's challenging to talk about, but we are trying our best.

We are trying our best because this is what community is about.  It's about sharing and dwelling in the good, the bad and the really, really ugly together.

We are trying our best.

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