I've done this with each new addition to our family -- be it through pregnancy or adoption -- I go through a mourning phase. I hate to admit it, but in the midst of the excitement and joy, I also feel loss.
As my husband and I left our apartment to be induced with our second over-due baby, I decided right then and there that Tuesday just wasn't a good day for me. Yes, I was 41 weeks pregnant and yes, I wanted to see my feet again, and absolutely yes I wanted to meet our first little girl, but it was the thought of our 2 1/2 year old son that made me want to put the kabosh on the whole thing and reschedule for maybe.....oh, sometime next year. It hit me like a ton of bricks: Our darling boy would never be the baby again. And I cried all the way to the hospital.
With our third baby, another girl, I mourned that our sweet Maddy Magoo was getting ousted from the baby seat. She was nearly five years old when her sister was born and with her brother in school, we enjoyed our days together, just the two of us. Now there would be someone else. Someone adorable. Someone precious and priceless, but life would change. And life had been pretty darn good.
I can't blame these episodes entirely on pregnancy hormones. With our first adoption, I cried as I put this darling girl on a plane to her grandparent's house. The rest of us were leaving for China the next day and never again would my Rose be the baby of the family.
Now it's happening again. I adore my days with this little sweetheart. She gives the best hugs and she knows my lap is totally hers. Soon, when she needs it, it may very well be occupied.
We leave for China in eighteen days, eighteen days until our lives change. I've been cleaning pantries, consulting packing lists, and giving lots of hugs to our current baby. The baby, who frankly, seems happy to pass the torch on to someone else. Still, I mourn the change that will happen.
But it all comes down to this: there's room for one more in this family. Each time we've grown, in the midst of my emotions, I knew that someone was missing. Do you see the hole in this photo? I do and I see a hole in every single family picture I've taken since we signed our LOI. He should be right there. "Move your legs, Rose, give your brother room."
When he does come home, I know there'll be some jostling on that porch swing, but I also know that these precious children will make room. They always have. And every time, our love has grown. We're ready to welcome baby number 5.