Wednesday, July 20, 2016

On Paperwork and Parenthood || A Marriage Letter



Dear Jason,

Well, we've done it and started calling ourselves pregnant. Not because we're growing a baby, but because we're in the process of expanding our family. It's not so much lingerie and sexy time as it's a hundred signature lines and parenting coursework. It's not about the stretch marks and hard contractions; it's about safety upgrades and orientation meetings.

Our first introductions to the agencies felt stressful and heavy. We had all the information; more facts and statistics and choices than we could form into a pro-con list. We had a litany of opinions -favorable and cautionary. We had brave hearts pounding in our chests, minds running overtime, and a conviction deep in our bones. We knew there'd be work, long hours, and the possibility of broken hearts. We felt like eighteen year-old kids, fresh out of school and overwhelmed by the promise of the world laid out before us. 

We said our prayers, crossed our fingers, and made a choice that came from the warmth in our guts.We said yes to work, to heart ache, to learning to let Him lead. We said yes to packets of paper, background checks, and locks on so many cabinet doors. We high five, smile big, and set out to tackle our list with expectant, pregnant hearts. We said yes to being asked a hundred different questions -yes we disagree over expectations, yes we're sexually compatible, no we don't have a drinking habit- and smiled at what looked like a thousand sticky flags marking all the places we're to autograph.

We've started enjoying glasses of wine at the dinner table turned desk space and curriculum review center. We've started talking about our baby -our God-ordained baby- when we lay in bed at night. We've started betting if it'll be a boy or a girl, if it'll be newborn or not, if we'll have it for temporary or for life. We've talked about the risks, the potential for loss, and every time we end back in the same place: this is our heart's cry, our Called Place, our invitation to The Feast. 

And, for the first time in a long time, we've approached The Feast He's provided with wonder and joy. Joy that bubbles over at the thought of seeing you called Dad. Joy that couldn't be written out on all the surfaces provided by the piles of paperwork we've completed. Joy that founds itself in the promise of being a Mama to the blessed child we have the chance to call ours. Joy that makes my hands beg for space to write, my feet for room to run, my heart for all the love. This joy isn't traditional -in any sense of the word-, but we've never specialized in living the expected way.

There's hurtles and regulations and processes we face, but at the end are our new titles: Mama and Dad. I'd work through all the yellow tape, sign all the black lines, cross all the Big Ts, and jump through hoops of fire if it means being a parent beside you.

Our one-day-in-the-future babe and I are a blessed pair,
Amber


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This letter is one in a series of letters I write to remember mundane moments of my marriage that would otherwise slip away. I write with a dedication to hold tight to him and to remember how life looks right now at this very moment. The chance for these letters to shed light on our marriage before children for our children because they won't know us as newlyweds is a much loved and added bonus.

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