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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Opening Windows

Today's story is a true story. It's something that happened before I had children, and it's something I want my children to know. I want them to know it happened, and I want them to walk into the future of their lives intrepid, ready to do anything they are guided to do.

The Warden and I became pregnant with #1 back in our college days. We were right in the thick of school. We were originally going to wait to have children until we had received our degrees, but it became quite clear, because of some very strong feelings that would not leave me, that we were to have a child.

image: aspanational.wordpress.com
Financially, we were at our lowest point. We had tried not to take out student loans, but it had become necessary right before this time. Of course, society makes you feel that you're an idiot for having children when you can't afford them, and this was a HUGE concern to us, but we also knew that we were being told from someplace we couldn't see, so we went for it trusting that we would be provided for and watched over.

I went in to see the doctor right before finals and was told that I was pregnant. "Was this planned?" was  the question. Well....yes? She proceeded to basically tell me what we, of the LDS faith, refer to as the "Word of Wisdom"--did I drink alcohol? did I smoke?....I was very happy to know that at least physically, I was ready to have a child, but I have to admit that I left the appointment with very mixed feelings.

image: blog.sysomos.com
I wasn't as thrilled as I probably should have been just because my faith wavered. Were we really doing the right thing? Did we really feel those feelings? Were we really going to be able to take care of another person's needs? So many doubts.

I walked into the apartment and told the Warden the news. Being the more feet-on-the-ground kind of guy (thank goodness), he knew just what steps to take to provide for us. We got set up with WIC. If you don't know, WIC is the Women, Infants, and Children's program put on by the government. We also worked with the Oregon Health Plan for the insurance needed.

These were great blessings at this point in our lives and provided the means to our end. My feeling during all of this, though, was that this is only temporary. We'll be okay. This is just one way we can provide for this child.

image: howdesign.com
When we shared with others that we were expecting, we received a mixed reception. One person approached me with a lot of misgivings. Of course, I knew this person had our best interest at heart, but we were faced with the question, "How on earth are you going to do this?"

This was my chance to finally verbalize all that had been in my heart. I shared that I knew that we were doing the right thing. I couldn't deny the feelings I'd had. This child was meant to be and meant to be now. We were attempting to be obedient to what we felt God wanted for our family. I shared that I knew that if we obeyed, we'd be blessed. At this point, we had nothing; less than nothing, and I didn't know how it was going to happen, but it would.

About a month after this conversation, I received a phone call from this person and was told that there were a number of items we needed to pick up. Some mutual friends, who had been waiting for quite awhile to adopt a baby had heard that we were expecting. Those friends had gathered up all that they'd stockpiled for their own baby and had brought it to this person to give to us. They were going out to buy new when their time came, and many of these items were used.

We went to get the items about a week later. What a huge blessing! There, before us, was a swing, a bassinet, a carseat--most of the expensive items you'd need for a baby--as well as a few other things. Wow!

After the fact, I thought it was interesting that these items came to us as they did. Almost as a witness to both us and this person who'd been so concerned about our well being. We learned that not only would be okay, but we were being abundantly blessed.

We only lacked one thing...a crib. At that time, I was teaching at the English Language Study Center in Monmouth, Oregon, just off the campus of Western Oregon University. After class one day, one of my students from the United Arab Emirates approached me. "Miss, you need baby bed?" I couldn't make out what he was asking, so I asked him to repeat it over and over again. Finally, I figured it out. He explained that his brother, sister-in-law, and their new baby had been living with him for a short time and had since moved on to Minnesota. They had left their crib behind, and he, as a single guy, had no use for it. Could I use it for my new baby?

Wow! Heck yes, I could.

#3 and Salem's crib
The Warden and I drove over that afternoon and picked it up. Each of our children, but the last, slept in Salem's crib.

I hope that my children will read this post in the future. I want you to know that I know without any doubt that when we obey, we are blessed. Become attuned to those feelings in your heart, and learn to follow them obediently. Your steps will be guided, and you will be abundantly blessed--windows of heaven...windows of heaven.

image: http://antelopeislandpix.com

By the way, the couple that had been waiting to adopt received a phone call less than a month later and adopted a beautiful baby girl. I believe windows were opened for them as well.

1 comment:

LeAnn said...

I really enjoyed this heartfelt post filled with faith and blessings that come from being obedient. This is a story to retell often to your children.
Blessings and hugs!

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