Why not 4?

Chinese_babies People mean well.  I know this, with most of my heart anyway.  Sometimes I think that people say things when they don't know what else to say.  And sometimes those things are sweet and wonderful, and sometimes those words tend to pierce your heart- and hit you in the pit of your stomach where all your inadequate feelings reside.  Where all the times people told you throughout your life that you were not good enough.  Or that you just didn't quite measure up.

When we adopted Katie Mei, while most people were really supportive and excited, there were still some that asked "why" if we could "make our own".  While I understood that question, in a way, I also was reminded that the idea of adoption is still foreign to many.

When Katie came home, those same people would just be in awe of how perfectly Katie Mei fits in our family.  How she was designed to be ours from the beginning of time.  How "real" she is. I think the idea of bringing a baby home in any situation can be nerve wracking and exhilarating all at once.  And I think that people watched us as we became a cohesive family of 5.  With no cracks, no seams. 

A family of 5 is big.  In society today in particular, we, right now are a "large family".  And we have had comments about adding another to the mix.  Concerned people have commented "what about college?"  "you do private schooling have you considered that?"  "4 kids?  Wow- that is a lot".  Then there are the comments from other "large families"  "go for it- 3 to 4 is nothin!" "we could not imagine not having 4 (or 5 or 6) kids- it is amazing"  "the combinations of play is so fun".  Overwhelmingly, the support has been wonderful.

Then I got a comment that cut me to the core. "Well.  You already have 3 children.  Do you really feel the need to RESCUE another one?  You could just be content with what you already have.  Your life is so crazy now, can you imagine it with 4?  And, you said you spend 3 hours a week working out, shouldn't as a stay at home mom, that time be spent with your children and not away from them?" OUCH.

I cried.  I know the person meant well and loves us.  But I felt such guilt.  Such conviction.  And it just happened to be the next morning while I was working out that Katie broke her arm.  I cried and cried figuring that what I had been told was true.  I had too many kids already and I couldn't take care of the ones I have properly.  I told myself that I could have prevented the arm break if only I had not been so selfishly at the gym for that hour.  I could be such a better parent.  I could spend all my time devoted only to my children.  3 is more then enough.

But the Lord spoke to my heart.  Through my husband and through prayer.  The person who spoke those words to me, no matter how intended, was totally and utterly wrong.  I could not have prevented Katie breaking her arm.  It could have easily happened when I was home.  I need to take care of myself so that I will be a better mom to my kids.  And 3 hours a week during the summer away from my children is not a bad thing.  In fact, with the awesome babysitters we have, they have a ball. And I have never once for a moment considered adopting Katie a "rescue".  I adopted her, as my daughter.  She is a Markmiller.

So, in the face of a society that tells me that 4 children is WAY too much.  And to well meaning commenter's who are concerned with money, time and other factors, I say, Why not 4?  If Michael and I decide that our family is not yet complete, and we are on our way back to China to adopt another child, then we will be a family of 6.  Just a bit bigger.  But still the same crazy quilt made of many different squares.  No breaks, no seams.  So, why not 4?  I am not sure that I have an answer to that.  Perhaps that is the answer I have been waiting for all along.

15 thoughts on “Why not 4?

  1. You go on and “rescue” as many children as you need to make your family complete. B/c they are really rescuing you in a sense. Large families are the bomb and why does anyone care how many children a family has if those kids are well cared for and well loved? Whose business is it. Why leave children to grow up without forever families if you are able and willing to give them a forever family and a loving home. I would adopt more if I could but right now is not the time. And no flames I was borrowing the ‘rescue’ term from the commenter in the post.

  2. Oh Jenny. I am so sorry about that comment you received. YOU are an amazing mom and one who so deserves to take the time to care for her health and needs as an individual. I for one am a huge believer in your family and support you whole heartedly! My mother came from a family of 9, she has never complained. She always wished she had more children herself so that my sister and I could have had that comrodory (sp) that comes with large families. I so badly want to give that to my own family, I hope we can. In the end if you look at life…friends come and go, but FAMILY always stays. Having a family no matter how large is a beautiful thing.

  3. Some people just flat out suck.
    You know what… forget kids for a minute. You’ve “rescued” so many of us with your stories and your pictures. Our family, the one created and joined from following along each other’s lives, was formed from a link to a link from a link. We laugh with you and we share tears with you. Our hearts broke when Katie broke her arm and we smile over birthday celebrations, songs and family adventures. There are some of us whose lives have been touched and impacted in ways others will never know. There are some of us who get inspiration and strength from others and I’m sure there are some we give it to.
    We are a family scattered far and wide with a common bond of one sort or another. I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business how we choose to expand our families or if we can afford it or not. There are two people who know what dynamic is the best for your family the same as there are two who know the best dynamic for ours. We do the things we do because they complete us and if having another child is what completes us, then so be it. If not having any more completes us, then so be it.
    I’ll be the first to tell anyone Olivia has “rescued” me in more ways than I could ever dream of doing for her. I know all three of your children have done the same for you and the children of others who read this, biological or otherwise, will likely say the same things.
    Work out all you want to. Drink Starbucks if it makes you happy. Armchair quarterbacking seems to get some people going and, sadly, it’s all they have. There are so many dysfunctional things in our world today because some people can’t seem to stop being nosey and focus on their own.
    If you want a 4th, go for it. 5th..have at. Whatever completes your heart and family.
    There are more than enough of us out here to give the support and encouragement you need. Don’t let the sour pusses get you down. Come on over to Chateau L. We don’t armchair quarterback…we’re on the field embracing life.

  4. Yeah! Go Team Markmiller. Soon you’ll be like the Cash’s, and be able to fill an entire rocket car on Space Mountain with just Markmillers.

  5. I love all you guys- thanks for the kind comment. And Darcy- girl- thank you. And please, tell me what is up with that video? Maybe Curtis could do that little dance in between the curtains? : )

  6. I find myself choking back my own tears – you verbalize many of the same issues and feelings I stuggle with. I get a lot of the same kinds of comments – again. For me, it’s the comments from family that I find hardest to live with – that replay in my mind when my house is quiet. I know that someday, when our “one more” is here and loved, those comments will fade away in everyone else’s mind. I hope they do in mine too. Anyway, reading your thoughts is encouraging – and I didn’t even know I needed it tonight! 🙂

  7. Ahhh!!! Who is it? I’ll send them a letter. (wink wink) Go and multiply! Then by all means go workout. Then after your workout, go have a donut, you’re looking a little thin (wink wink). I know all too well about stupid things people say…yoy. What-ev-er! Luv ya!

  8. Hey Jenny,
    Your blog today brought tears to my eyes. I think you’re an awesome mom and if you take 3 hours to treat yourself then good for you! I go to the gym 4 days a week and put Celia in play-care there for the 2hours. I’m there to exercise and shower so I must be a horrible mom for not spending that extra 16 hours of a 168 hour week with her. Shame on us for wanting to do something to better ourselves as a woman, wife and mother. The nerve of some people! I’m excited for you guys. Keep us up-dated here on your journey! I love your blog it keeps me close to you guys as I’m so far away!!!

  9. I also got those comments and we only had 1 at the time and were trying to adopt again. “Why can’t you be grateful for the one you have?” “Maybe God only wants you to have one” were some of the comments I received. Now that Caroline is home, they understand better and our family feels complete. I no longer have that empty feeling that there is a child missing in our home and lives.
    You are a great mom and the exercise you are doing only serves to give you the energy to care for another child.
    And you’re right, Katie could have broken her arm at preschool, for crying out loud. Broken bones, being sick..it’s all part of childhood and life!
    I say the world could use more Markmillers! If God has called your heart to adopt again, you will. Nobody else’s opinion matters.

  10. Some people make me so mad. Do I need to whip out a can? Don’t even give it another thought. You know what God wants for you and the rest of your family, and we are here to please him first. I love you and support you in your decisions! Secretly I hope you are going back to China to bring back another beautiful girl. he he he

  11. you and uncle mike are awesome, aunt jenny. it’s such a comfort to know that even if something, such as adopting, not “rescuing”, another little one, is fought against by clueless, insensitive people, that God’s strength and love is more than enough to see you through times of doubt and confusion. even if adopting again seems overwhelming, God is on your side and He will certainly see that you and uncle mike are carried to wherever you are supposed to be, despite any snide comments ;). love you both lots and lots and lots. you are an amazing mother 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s