It was September. I had just starting serving “very” part-time at a tiny older congregation. My oldest daughter started full-day kindergarten, my other daughter (with autism) would be starting full-day preschool in a few months, and I saw my 40th birthday right around the corner. I would be turning 40 and getting a little of my “old” life back, with my new job and the girls in school. While dealing with G’s special needs wasn’t easy, with her in school all day I could see light at the end of the tunnel. My husband was happy in his church call. We seemed to have finally hit a groove.
Then my period was late. I am NEVER late. I tried not to get too worked up about it. We were using birth control after all. Probably just a fluke. Except a few days passed and I STILL didn’t get my period. Damn. I was even afraid to buy a pregnancy test. If I bought one, that would mean there was a possibility…
C and I had decided NOT to have any more children. G’s issues were stretching us kind of thin, and we still needed time to give E the attention that SHE needed. Financially we were “ok,” but not more than that. With me going back to church work a few hours a week that would help, but we were definitely watching pennies. Two was enough for us. This could not be happening.
I won’t go into the gory details of the pregnancy test and the “strong” words I used when it was positive. Let it be enough to say that I was NOT happy. Miserable would be a better word. Stunned. I was about to get my life back. I had just started a new call. What the fuck? I can’t remember how long it took me to calm down and resolve myself to having a new child in the house, but it was not easy and it took a good long time.
By the time J was born he was loved by all four of us. The girls were thrilled with the idea of a little sibling, although I’m not sure either of them realized how it would disrupt the house. I KNOW that G didn’t get it. C was thrilled with a son, simply happy that he wouldn’t be the only male in the house! Happy as we were, we still weren’t sure how we were going to manage it all: three kids, one with special needs, and me having to take leave from my job because I’ve always wanted to be home when the kids were small.
Our unplanned addition entered our lives in person 7 1/2 years ago, and somehow we HAVE managed it. Not perfectly, but doing the best we can. We can’t imagine our lives without him. He has been a tremendous joy and gift.