three or four

I have never been very good at math.  But my recent counting issues have nothing to do with being mathematically challenged.  I simply fumble.  “How many children do you have?”  It seems like a straight forward question with a simple answer, but right now it is hard to answer.

If I say 4 – I feel like I am overstating (and the lady at the playground who asked is left to frantically look around for the 18 month old I must have left by himself at home since he is not hanging on my hip.)

If I say 3 – my heart screams against the lie.

The answer in between – “I have three children with one on the way.”  This statement always leads to a quick glance to my midsection and the confused question “When are you due?”  I have learned not to take a breath and dive in quickly with “we are adopting a little guy from China.”

I am an excited mom who is counting down the days to my “due date.”   I have a stack of papers to prove that things are progressing.   Yet, it is hard to explain this to the nice lady just expecting small talk at church.  “How many children do you have, dear?”  Ummmm.

While pregnant, everyone shares in the joy of waiting for the arrival of your new little one.  The weeks and months pass and those around you can see how things are progressing.  They count three heads at the park see your growing belly and add one more to your clan.  A beaming smile follows with a statement like, “oh you must be so happy.”   Through our adoptions – we are met with wide eyed wonder and awkward conversations.

My solution.  Taping a photo of Little Man to my forehead along with a check list of adoption paperwork to be completed.  I might add a t-shirt that reads, “I am not a saint, just an excited blessed, expectant mother.”  I know, I know….no t-shirt can hold that many words and my forehead isn’t that big.

So the real solution.

I guess I am still working on that.  I am slowly learning that part of adoption is being ready with a good explanation of the process in four seconds or less.  My job as an adoptive mom is to teach those around me that truly the blessing is ours in adding these amazing kids to our family.  I need to have the words to explain why boys are available for adoption and tell folks in no uncertain terms “there is nothing wrong with our future son-he is perfect and we are thrilled to call him a Williams.”   And, I even need to figure out how to claim my rightful position as an expectant mom.  Unfortunately, my math text book left out how to do all of this.

I guess for now all I can say is:

“Hi!  My name is Tammy Williams.   Hubby and I  have three children at home and one in China.  Yes, I am so very happy!!”

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