My dream has always been to be a mom. Today, I am living that dream, but our journey to parenthood didn’t happen how we expected.
After earning a degree in journalism, I married my high school sweetheart. We were open to having children early on in our marriage. So, when I didn’t become pregnant after a year, we sought medical advice. I spent most of my twenties praying, crying in church every Mother’s Day and hoping that we could somehow become parents. My one regret about that time in our lives was that we were so focused on having children that we didn’t enjoy those early years of our marriage.
Meanwhile, I focused on my job as a journalist and taught a college class in newspaper design on the side. We moved back to our small hometown, where my husband raised livestock. We worked, volunteered as church youth group leaders and prayed every day that we would soon be mom and dad.
When it seemed like the door to the traditional way of becoming parents was closing, we looked at adoption. Because my husband’s sister, a few of my cousins and one of my best friends in college were all adopted, we both knew the beauty of this amazing gift.
We contacted the Nebraska Children’s Home Society and began the long process of adoption. Over the course of a few years, there were meetings, interviews, more meetings and background checks.
A few months before my 28th birthday, we received a call from a birth mother. She wasn’t ready to be a mom, but she was pregnant. She was the one who would help wipe away the tears I cried for the children I couldn’t conceive. We met her, attended doctor’s visits with her and saw our son on an ultrasound in her womb.
One weekend while we were finishing the remodel of our old farmhouse, we got the call. Our son was on his way into the world. It was about lunchtime, so we grabbed a quick bite to eat, a few clothes and set off on our journey three hours away.
We were hoping to make it to the hospital in time to see our son be born. While most moms can share funny stories of labor pains and delivery mishaps, I can share the story of our car dying on the way to seeing our first son be born!
We had stopped at a rest stop about halfway to the hospital, and when we got back into the car to leave, it wouldn’t start! We had recently traded off our sporty two-door Monte Carlo and bought a four-door Buick to prepare for our life as parents, and it had failed us! We contacted a car dealership nearby and finally rented a tiny Ford Focus. We arrived at the hospital at 7 p.m., and our son was born at 7:28 p.m. Our three-hour trip ended up taking about six hours, but it must have been meant to be.
A few days later, my 6-foot-3 husband squeezed into the front seat of the tiny red Ford Focus, while we strapped our son into the back with me next to him. We finally ventured home to our lives as parents.
God granted our prayer again four years later. This time, God’s sense of humor didn’t require a Ford Focus. The story of our second son’s arrival into our family is one of the clear signs in my life that God listens, and everything happens in His time.
And, then just 11 months later, a daughter joined us, and we became a family of five! My prayers were answered, and my new prayer became, “God, please help me handle all of my blessings!”
Our oldest son has now graduated from high school, and our other two are busy teenagers. Throughout their time growing up, I tried to balance a career as a writer and non-profit executive with being a mom. I have worked part-time and full-time and everything in between.
My daughter once described me as a photographer, a planner, and trippish (one who likes to travel). She is right! I love taking pictures, planning, traveling and discovering fun ways to spend time together as a family. I love family life and wanted to put my skills to work in a new way, so I decided to create something new — Nebraska Family Magazine. It allows me to use the skills I enjoy and to shine a light on all of the great stories and places to visit in Nebraska.
Nebraska Family Magazine shares stories of faith and inspiration, travel in The Good Life, tips from our state’s amazing sources on ways to live better, recipes and personal stories about everyday normal family life in Nebraska.
I hope the stories in this magazine inspire you to be a better parent and to find ways to connect with your family. Parenting is hard. And on the hard days, I know it can help just to read a little piece of advice from someone about organizing your home, quick and easy meals, how to keep your kids safe online or how to connect with other moms to pray for your kids.
“Finally, brothers and sister, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
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