“Have as many as the Good Lord will give you,” she says as her smile, though tired and aging, exudes her joy.
I giggle sheepishly.
With her unadorned clothes and shoulder length hair graying at the roots, she looks plain by the world’s standard. But she wears her happiness (and her baby) like jewelry.
As I stood in line at the fabric store cutting counter flirting and dancing with my son, she came over to ask me what kind of baby carrier I had him in. We struck up conversation about ergos, mei tais, and nursing, but it quickly went deeper than that.
“We thought we were done, you know,” nodding toward the precious 15 month old girl on her hip, “we were so sure at 34 years old that 4 kids was our maximum. Turned out that God had some work to do in our hearts and 5 years later my husband had… a… reversal.”
Now she’s the one giggling.
She tells me of their journey and the feeling that the Lord wanted them to have more children but how they had a hard time conceiving at age 39. She talks about her family friend who was adopting a baby girl from Africa. She motions toward the toddler sitting in her cart.
“God knew what he was doing. We thought we had His plan figured out, but he had so much better for us.”
They had adopted Mary* from Rwanda not 2 months before discovering that they were indeed still able to get pregnant.
“My husband was so excited about it. I was so freaked out.”
But now, by the look on her face and the peace overflowing from her demeanor, I can tell she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Anyway… all that to say: Have as many as the Good Lord will give you.”
“We intend to.” I reply.
We both giggle.
*This is not the girl’s actual name, as it is not my child’s name to share.