I have a “Mother’s Inspirational Calendar” that sits on my dresser, waiting to be flipped to the current day, ready to give me some motivational quote. It was a gift from my sister and I’ve enjoyed the little tidbits. However, I haven’t turned it since November 7, no matter how much I want to.This has been resonating so strongly with me lately. It feels like each one of my dreams that I held are now crashing down around me. Dreams have always meant a lot to me. I’ve always been a dreamer, thinking of all that could and would be. It is who I am.
I dreamt many things while pregnant with E… I often put us in Gilmore Girl-esque situations (with Ben there too, obviously). Where we were clever, hilarious, thick-as-thieves, and spoke so quickly that only we could understand each other. And now reality strikes: “non-verbal”, “language regression”, “autistic behaviors”, “severe cognitive delay”. Dreams have suddenly turned into (potential) nightmares. The girl I had dreamed of laughing and telling stories all night long with rarely graces us with giggles and may never utter a word.
Growing up, I had always dreamed of a house FULL of kids… Bursting at the seams with noise, mess, and a whole lot of love. From a young age that’s all I wanted, all I dreamt about what becoming a mother and making a house a home for my many, many children.With E’s syndromes being genetic, we had begun looking into other options for pregnancy. We stumbled across embryo adoption, a way for me to carry and birth a baby who wouldn’t have our genetic make up. Though disappointed that biological children may not be an option, we pushed forward with embryo adoption, beginning to dream of the baby that was awaiting us. We dreamt of how awesome it will be for E to have a sibling and how terrified but thrilled we would be to have another baby (hopefully babies, plural) in our home. Just this past week we learned that it would be extremely risky for us to attempt to adopt an embryo, the dangers posing many risks to my and the baby’s health and safety. Another dream dashed.
The biggest hurt so far is our dreams for the Emerald Isle. When we lived in Dublin, we walked the streets knowing that we belonged there. Our hearts were at home, the people were our people, seared on our hearts, and we knew it would only be a matter of time before the Lord brought us back. We dreamt of the home we would live in, the garden out back,and the parks that we would take our children to. We were thrilled at the thought that our children would be raised in Ireland. We made plans to return January 2016. Permanently.
When E came early, our dreams adjusted. We knew she would need time and any subsequent pregnancy I had would need to be followed closely stateside.Then, as E’s needs became more evident, we pushed them out further. Then came her diagnosis and a direct statement from her doctor saying, “I’m not sure you will find that care that E will require in Ireland.” Dreams. Crashed.
Our dreams were good. They were not for world domination, or any selfish desire that I can find: I simply dreamt of a big family, being missionaries to Ireland, and serving the Lord as He saw fit.
But there’s the thing: as He saw fit. Was that my truest dream? To live at the mercy and will of the Lord? To go wherever He were to call, even if it ended up being in Midwest doctors offices? To be a light where hearts are hurting and giving hope to the hopeless, even when I am feeling pretty hopeless? To realize that a home bursting at its seams will look more like hospitality instead of biological children?
I am slowly, painfully realizing that our dreams are not being crushed, crashed or dashed. They’re just being fulfilled in ways we didn’t think of. I’m not 100% okay with it, to be honest. There is a lot of pain to work through. But can we trust in what we know of God’s heart? That He is for our good? We can, and we can also dream of all the things that await us in His greater plan.