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.