From the ‘mother’ and ‘father’ in us Clarks:

Confession number TWO from me: just from today.

The first one, is putting out to the social media world about me eating my 6 year old’s doughnut. She brought it home from a birthday party. It was sitting on the counter and YES. I ate it. Over the period of two days, because…well, 1) calories and 2) in case she asked for it sooner (at least there’d be some remnant of it left). I was hormonal and craving something sweet. And that thing was sitting there like a beacon on a hill saying “Here I am.” So, long story short: She asked where it was, I confessed I ate it, I told her we’d get her a new one and that’s ‘all I have to say about that’. (Forrest Gump accent ended.)

Confession number two is that I’ve been watching my Facebook memories for the post I made this time last year regarding having girl #3. We found out Josie was wonderfully healthy and perfect…and that she was a girl. Our THIRD girl! On April 6, 2017 at 3:30pm–to be exact. Just in case any of you are about exactness.

Here’s the story of our candid, raw and truthful journey as far our parenthood goes.

The road to having a third child wasn’t about fertility as it is with so many. No physical challenges there, and I am thankful for that. Although, walking through this road with some very close to me is very strong in my spirit. Please know that I am one of your biggest cheerleaders if this is you. Infertility is a very real thing, and so heartbreaking, raw and sometimes…strangling. A good part of my daily prayers are with you. I know the end road is beautiful, and I am standing with you every.single.day. until this beauty or stud enters this world. From your body or another’s–I rejoice at God’s timing along with you! Until then…press on. And don’t let go of hope. As long as God is GOD, there is HOPE!

This is our story. It was more about one of us (me) feeling our family wasn’t complete and then Frank (my husband) feeling that we were complete as a family. This started early 2015’s for me. Now, I am not a “let’s have ALL the babies!” kind of gal. I didn’t have the traditional “baby fever”, but rather–something a little deeper. A longing for the missing puzzle piece that would complete our family. I had no idea. I just knew we weren’t done with making our puzzle what it was supposed to be. Missing that final piece.

Frank, my incredible husband of now 14 years, felt we were complete with the two beautiful, hilarious and amazing girls we had. No doubt: Life was full and beautiful. But that little heart-tug of “not done yet” kept nagging at me. So, what to do?

PRAYER. Lots of it. This is exactly what I prayed for almost an entire year: “God, YOUR plans are perfect. I am not. Change my heart and remove this nagging feeling of incompleteness or change his of completeness. Either way, whatever YOUR plans are: Make my heart at peace or change Frank’s. Whichever You choose, I will be at peace with. But please. Change one of us.”

It happened in October of 2015. God changed Frank’s heart. I wept and sobbed and PRAISED God for this like you can only imagine. Frank asked for a year before we started the process. I agreed wholeheartedly. (And gave myself plenty of notice for all-things-puke-nausea-aversions-PREGNANCY that I knew were headed my way.)

November 2016: Josie entered this world. Just in the most microscopic kind of way, but she was here.

Frank tells this in the best way from his side, so I know I won’t do this justice. But I’ll do my best and paraphrase: “I was obedient to the Lord. I am following His instruction and doing what I know I need to do. Have another child. Surely, Lord, it will be a son. I have two daughters who I love with my whole being, but I know through my obedience to You, You want to bless me with a son.” Frank is a 5th. His name is Frank Haddon Clark V. It would seem only fitting to have a son, and what an ending to this ‘perfect’ fairy tale! Yes, Lord, a son is that last puzzle piece You have for us, right? We would have called him Haddon. His full name would be Frank Haddon Clark VI, but, there’s already three Franks in the world who bear this name, and that would be a “Frank” too many. So, “Haddon” it is! Perfect!

Headed to the ultrasound, I felt ‘hopeful’ and kind of like…yeah. Anyways, if you’ve been here in these shoes you know what feeling I’m talking about. Expectant, hopeful and just excited to hear the words from the ultrasound tech: “Oh…..waaaiittt…yep…I see a BOY {or GIRL}!”

I laid on the lounge chair in my doctor’s office with all that ultrasound-jelly stuff on my belly and heard her say “GIRL!” My first thoughts, honestly, were…”Hey. Rewind another moment: Surely you said BOY.” She didn’t. Nothing went back any moments at all–it was going forwards faster than I could keep up with. She said a girl. It’s…a girl. Another girl.

I remember looking at Frank’s face. It was one of wonder to see the perfect baby in my womb who was kicking and who’s heartbeat was pounding steadily. His baby. She was kicking and twisting and almost smiling at us (knowing her now, she probably was). She had perfect kidneys and spine and skull and everything was whole and functioning in a textbook fashion. A beautiful baby. But…there was also a look of something else. And I’m not shirking away from the rawness, or…dare I say pain? It was there, and in my heart too. I felt it, but not as much as he did.

For about a week (or really, much longer, but intially), we ‘danced’ around each other with comments of stuff like “Oh my goodness…how blessed! SHE’S perfect! Another girl. Yay!” and then stuff like this: “…hey, you ok? are you…disappointed? wishing for something else? how are you feeling about this?” {cue the tears here and there from both of us}. And I’m sure there’s conversations he had with friends I don’t even know about from the amazing people he has in his life. God is GOOD, ya’ll.

And then. It happened. THE COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE. People. Well-meaning, sometimes not thinking souls. As we all are at times. I know I am so guilty of this, and I am adamant on becoming a THINKING soul. “Are you just so disappointed? POOR Frank! The only guy! Don’t you wish you were having a boy? Oh my goodness, how perfect would a SON be right now though? I am glad to hear your baby is healthy, but I wish you were having a boy! I wanted you to have a boy!” {…and, unfortunately the comments go on…}

Well. You know? Here’s the skinny on this kind of thing: It SUCKS to hear this from folks. As well meaning as they are and loving and even trying to be “funny”. I’m aaalllllll about some comedy, trust me! But this is one of those things that’s so very close to the heart and sensitive. It’s something that is LITERALLY and COMPLETELY out of our hands or control. We don’t choose the sperm. Haha! Seriously. We don’t. We love this baby no matter what, but of course hope for certain genders sometimes. God orchestrates it all though. He knows what we need or what this WORLD needs eons before we do. What a comforting thought, eh? The Creator of the universe still creates what’s meant to be. Haddon wasn’t meant to exist. Josie was.

I will say this too, because I know some of you have probably dealt with it, because I sure did: How can I possibly be “disappointed” with a life? No matter the gender, this is our baby. Are we to love less because we’re disappointed? In reality: No way. Sure, disappointment is a real thing. You know what? Let’s rear ourselves up and face it for what it is. Yep–there it is. Real, raw and tearful. It sucks. It causes silly words to be spewed out of human-feelings, it causes ruckus and pain. It causes comparison to be more than it ever should be. It gives the “WHAT IF’s” life. It’s terrible! In those moments of defeat, it causes hopelessness to get a breath of fresh air. That same breath of fresh air was never meant for “disappointment”: it was meant for GRATITUDE and WONDER and just pure THANKFULNESS.

**Real talk though: I hit rock bottom with this ‘disappointment’ thing at 8 months pregnant. I sat on a friend’s couch and drenched it with my tears. Hopefully the leather on her couch as recovered! Just being honest with you all. She didn’t know what our baby girl’s name was, because I didn’t even know. God knew though. But the amazing thing was, she comforted me with a story about Joseph in the Bible. (And Josie’s name is a derivative of ‘Joseph’.) She prayed with me and pointed me North again. A lot of it was was hormones, but some of it was truly: pure disappointment in it’s ugliest representation. I’ll always remember this. I want to be ‘her’ when others need me like I needed her words of God’s truth. Does that make sense? Look around you. Who’s hurting but doesn’t want to show it?**

We can’t imagine our completed “family” puzzle any different than it is now. Starting with us and our 3 girls: We both feel complete contentment and completeness. In an incredibly beautiful way. How we love our THREE GIRLS! If the Lord reveals something else, we’ll go with it. But from what we know now, “that’s all she wrote.” {Pun intended!}

Just for kicks ‘n giggles: Josie Evangeline is her full name. We wrestled with a name for MONTHS. The Lord had spoken to me very.clearly. that Frank would be the one to name her. I left it to him (NOT easy for my Alpha-Female-Control side!). I was about 4 weeks from having her when God {finally} revealed her name. Anyone ever left in the “11th hour” before? Her name means: “May God add a bearer of good news”. Oh my heart! I remember clearly being in the deepest hormonal and tear-filled pit I’ve EVER been in (same time as my friend prayed with me on her pretty leather couch) that I can remember: I saw a scrap piece of paper on the kitchen counter with Frank’s handwriting. He texted me that morning and said “Look on the kitchen counter.” I did, and I saw this: “Josie Evangeline. May God add a bearer of GOOD news!”

And may I add: I am the oldest of three girls in my family. My dad was the most tender, but strict, but incredible ‘girl dad’ ever. Frank is on this path and I see it more clearly EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am blown away sometimes! From what his ‘natural Frankness’ would be to what I see in him with these 3 girls is simply AMAZING. That’ll make the respect fly through the ROOF when you see your husband becoming this. And since this is our story: He’s got that girl-dad thing like my own dad did (and has). *cue the blogger’s tears*

Back to my confession number two of the day and what I was watching for. (If Facebook is good for one thing, it’s for the memories!) I posted this on my status on 04/12/17. And I’ll leave you with it (unedited and straight from a copy-and-paste from Facebook memories):

Dear friends! This message is said in love💓, and I wanted to share it with you all.

First, thank you SO much for all the congratulations on our girl #3, and sharing in our excitement!! We still have people saying how happy they are for us, and it warms our hearts!
I have also gotten texts/comments/messages out of love and concern of things like:
“Poor Frank”, “Didn’t you want a boy?”, “Are you going to go for the 4th kid?”, “Are you disappointed?” and Etc.

Here are some heart ponderings of mine about this:
–We don’t need sympathy for having girl #3. LoL!!😂 We aren’t the first family to have multiple kids of one gender.

–Were we ‘hoping’ for a boy? Of course! It would have been awesome for Frank to pass on his name (he’s Frank Haddon Clark V). And I know there’s a ‘son spot’ in parent’s hearts who have boys we’ll never know about.

–Were we disappointed? Truthfully, yes. A little at FIRST right after getting the news…it’d be a lie to say no. And ya’ll know how I like to keep it real! After the first day of knowing, however, the ‘disappointment’ faded quickly. I feel so silly for even admitting that, but it’s true.

–Are we THANKFUL? YES!!! A million time YES.
1) So many men/women experience fertility challenges and we don’t. So many folks will never know parenthood and we do.
2) So many parents get devestating news of a fatal deformity on an ultrasound screen, and our little is perfectly formed.
3) BOTTOM LINE: God is SOVEREIGN and He has a master plan! It’s a joy and and honor to entrusted with girl #3. Straight from heaven. He gives GOOD GIFTS. It would be a slap in His face to be ungrateful.

–What does it feel like when people ask if we’re currently disappointed?
I see it as us sitting around the Christmas tree exchanging gifts. I am excitedly opening a gift with the giver sitting beside me watching in great anticipation. Another person in the room comes up and asked me “Well, didn’t you want something else though?” OUCH. 🚫

ALL this being said–sorry it’s a BOOK!–is that we are thrilled and so thankful!! This little one will be our family’s completion and I can’t wait to see what her presence will add to our family!
We don’t need sympathy and Frank is just fine!! Haha. 😂😙✌ We love you all!!

 

 

 

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