Guest Author: A Few Thoughts on Motherhood

Today’s Guest Author is my friend, Brianna, who also works for From HIV to Home. I found Brianna’s blog when we were in the early stages of our first adoption and have continued to enjoy following her journey at Just Showing Up. She inspires me and I hope you will enjoy getting to know her and her great family.

I don’t know about you, but my days pretty much all start the same. Wake up, feed the baby, get breakfast for my other four children, homeschool my daughter…I’m a mom to five children, ages 5 and under, and it’s busy. Even on a day when I don’t feel like I do anything, I do a lot of things! 🙂

My husband Kevin and I have three biological daughters (ages 5, 2, and 8 weeks) and twin adopted Ethiopian sons (age 5). This year marked our first year of homeschooling, and we moved to Denver from California nearly two years ago now. Kevin’s 29, and I’m 28. I suppose that’s us in a nutshell. 🙂

My life as a mom over the past five years has been, and continues to be, a journey filled with lessons in patience, love, and sacrifice. I am amazed by what motherhood will teach you if you let it, and nothing has brought Kevin and I closer than the births and adoptions of our children. Certainly there are moments of frustration and discouragement, but ultimately they pale in comparison to the deep sense of fulfillment that comes from parenting. It’s all quite humbling, really.

More and more I’m coming to see motherhood as a profound gift in and of itself, something to be cherished and celebrated amidst the crumbs on the floor and the neverending piles of dishes in the sink. This Christmas season especially, I find myself profoundly grateful for my children. Last Christmas I was pregnant, and on New Year’s Eve, while on vacation to California, I lost my baby. We were devastated. (If you’ve ever miscarried, you know that it is tremendously heart-wrenching. We’d also lost a baby in 2004, so this was our second one. It doesn’t get easier.)

Yet two weeks later, I became pregnant again. We were shocked! Still grieving our loss, we also happily rejoiced in the gift of another child, another pregnancy. And as I look at my beautiful 8-week-old Mary Lucille laying in my arms tonight, I’m reminded to not take things for granted, that every child is a gift from the Lord no matter how long they are with us, and that it is a true privilege to raise a daughter or a son.

I must admit that sometimes I feel a little like I live in a goldfish bowl–I think because you get a lot of stares and questions when you’re 28 years old with five children. 🙂 People tell me I have my hands full. They say I must be crazy to have so many little ones. They want to know if we’re done having children. All they seem to see are the numbers, and the chores, and the sacrifices that parenting requires. But I long to communicate to people that motherhood can be fulfilling, and joy-filled! Not that things are never hard (trust me, they ARE), but I believe the Bible when it tells us that children are a gift from the Lord.

About five years ago it occurred to me that I don’t really want to live a “safe”, predictable life. I got married young, and later left college to stay at home with my daughter. God led us to adopt twin 16-month-old boys from Ethiopia nearly four years ago, and we hope to adopt again one day–I especially feel for the orphaned children in Ethiopia living with medical needs, who are waiting for families. My husband and I also anticipate having more biological children in the years to come, remaining open to what God has for us. I want to take risks and be vulnerable and live the life that God has for me, to the fullest. Mothering is draining, and intense, and the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. But I love it, wouldn’t trade it for the world, and I know that God is using it to strengthen my heart and character.

There’s beauty in that, I think

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Ashley L. @ Missionary Moms
    December 26, 2009

    Touching post. I have been feeling less than eager to tackle the dishes and messes left over from my day today, but your post inspired me to view this as one very minor un-pleasantry of a joy-filled life.

    Reply
  2. JaneeNoel
    December 26, 2009

    Thanks, Brianna- I needed to read that this morning.

    Reply
  3. Heather
    December 26, 2009

    What a beautiful post! I have been contimplating that exact same thing this Christmas season, especially as I meditate on Mary and how blessed she was to be the mother of God's son. We are all so incredibly blessed by the children we have, and the wonderful way they help God mold us more closely to the person he wants us to be. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Ann
    December 26, 2009

    Thank you for a beautiful post. I always counter the "you must have your hands full" comments with a big smile and the reply, "Better full than empty!"

    I always receive a smile and nodding head in reply.

    We are (sadly) past the baby stage but I still find much truth in your post about taking risks and living life to the fullest, just as God plans.

    Thanks! Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  5. Shana
    December 26, 2009

    Great post, and I love the picture at the end!

    Reply
  6. chloeadele
    December 27, 2009

    wonderful, Brianna. so much joy from these little ones. *hugs*

    Reply
  7. Mama Mote
    December 27, 2009

    Brianna…it was so nice to see you today with your 5 beautiful children. Wish we could have visited longer, but I'm always glad to catch up here or wherever you write. Love to see how things are going. God bless as He continues to take you on your journey.

    Reply
  8. Jillian and Crew
    December 28, 2009

    A very beautiful thing indeed!

    Reply
  9. Dawn
    December 28, 2009

    Brianna you are beautiful!

    Reply

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