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Years ago God changed our heart about how my husband and I view children when we experienced a tragic miscarriage. It was after our first child Josh was born. I went back on the birth control pill, and then I ended up getting pregnant while I was on the pill. And I miscarried that baby. It was really was one of the most traumatic things we went through as a young married couple because here we were enjoying being parents, holding this one baby in our arms and then realizing that we had inadvertently allowed another baby to be destroyed. And that was devastating.
At that point we really began to search the Bible to see what God says about children, because when we first got married we said, "We're not ready for kids, we're going to wait." And so we waited three and a half years before we got pregnant, and then it was four years into our marriage when our first child was born. We had this idea that we were just going to plan our family -- we thought maybe we'd have two or three children. We never dreamed we'd have this many (and with No. 20 on the way!).
But as we began to search the Bible we were so moved by what God says about children -- that they're a blessing and gift and a reward from Him. And we searched other words in the scriptures that talked about heritage, blessings, children, the fruit of your womb -- all these verses we looked up, and it was so amazing to me to find that everywhere that God talks about giving life that it was always a gift; it was always a blessing. Not something that we were to take for granted, but to really be grateful, because life really is a gift.
And so at that point in our marriage we said, "Father, forgive us and give us a love for children like you love children ... whatever gift that you want to give us, we will be so grateful to receive." And then of course right after that the Lord blessed us with twins, Jana and John David. I had actually developed preeclampsia with them, and they were born two weeks premature. Though for twins that wasn't very early since a lot of twins will come four to six weeks early. So they were good sized twins, and they were just a bundle of joy, two bundles of joy I should say.
From there we've just been so grateful for each gift that He's given us. We feel like we look in the faces of each one of our children -- and I know there's other parents out there that can identify with what I'm saying -- the struggles that we've gone through and the different challenges that we face with each different pregnancy; it's all been worth it. When I see their faces I think, "They wouldn't be here if I weren't willing to literally walk through the valley of the shadow of death," because you know that when you go through labor pains and you're giving birth, you literally feel like you're about to die when you are giving birth.
But boy when you hold that baby in your arms there are no amount of words that can express the joy in your heart that you feel. When you see that little one looking at you or cooing -- it's the greatest joy I believe this side of heaven to get to experience life like that. And whether you experience it through birth or adoption, that love between a parent and a child is just precious.
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