not brave enough

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Most days, I feel like I'm standing right on the brink of a cliff.

I can shuffle my feet 360 degrees and run back to my snug "known" life of three healthy children.

OR I can close my eyes and jump - welcoming a 4th baby into my body, taking over our lives and our hearts.

Truth be told, I'm petrified.

The ultimate brave act, I've always thought, is to choose intentionally to bring a child into your home - whether through adoption or your womb, whether it is your first or your fifth. Embracing a little one is messy and hard, forcing you to lay low and lean in.

I don't look forward to the stretching of my belly, the overcoming nausea, and the sleep that tugs on my eyelids. I don't pine for the body changes, the hard work of labor, or the weeping that accompanies those first few weeks of breastfeeding.

It would be nice to say sayonara to the sleepless nights, the scare of having a sick baby, the stubbornness of age one, potty training all over again. I'd like to sell all the baby gear on craigslist, to hop on airplanes 'round the world. I could plan my years, set my goals, and dot my I's.

Why, then, is there a still small voice that lingers? A whisper that says to my heart, "open the door once more."

Why do I always envision a fourth little face in our family photos? Why do I always want to add one more place setting to the table?

I'm not brave enough to say - yes. Sometimes, I wish God would just write no on the clouds so I can avoid the cliff.

And yet...Who knows what great joy we will forfeit without his or her little face? Who knows the impact this child will have on our family, on the world?

the baby who made me a mother - September 2006
the baby who made me a mother - September 2006
new baby, new mom
©2020 Stephanie Sheaffer - All Rights Reserved
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