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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Another Boy Due In September

A few weeks ago, I spent most of the week writing about the joys and challenges of raising boys.  You see, we’ve overcome some pretty big hurtles as a family and I was feeling somewhat confident in my boy-raising skills. I don’t like to share personal details, but let’s just say boys have a way of humbling a mother, making her decide if she’s going to fall apart or become stronger.  I’ve had my days of falling apart, but more and more, I feel like I’m getting stronger.  My boys and I are communicating better, they all have amazing friendships with each other and the rewards are plentiful.  There’s a lot of laughter in our home, good food, lots of exercise, weight lifting, completing homework successfully, I’m mean, where on our way.  I love teenagers and I feel we’ve grown a lot as a family.  My oldest son Chandler just received his mission call to the Philippines, he’s graduating from high school and has some great opportunities that await him at ASU when he returns from his mission. 

So, this blog post about raising boys was just about finished. I wrote my tips and secrets to surviving a house full of boys, when we had a major episode that reminded me, “No, Laura, you are not out of the trenches. Who are you to share how to raise boys when most days you are drowning in laundry, tardy slips and sibling bickering?” I have high expectations and when they are not met, I take it very personally.

That blog post has been deleted until further notice.

But the truth is, I’m so proud of my boys.  Each one is such an incredible person, I want to share their successes, their personal victories, their own “best” moments because I see these moments more and more.  I am so thankful to be their mother and many of these victories, I hold tenderly in my heart and ponder the grace of God, the blessings of having such a wonderful and committed husband and the freedoms of living in a land where the opportunities for success are plentiful.

I’m expecting my 7th child, a little boy due end of September. I spent the entire month of December praying and fasting for a little girl.  I’ve spent nearly two years of my life practicing daily intermittent fasting.  I’ve read in the scriptures about how God hears the prayers of mothers and can grant a child to a willing mother. Was I willing? Had I done enough to petition the Lord for a daughter? Was I deserving? And what about Eden, my little girl who had prayed countless prayers for a little sister? I knew God would grant me my hearts desire.  Isn’t belief faith? Aren’t we told to have faith? I did. I knew she was coming this time.

Even at my age, I conceived a child without a glitch and I couldn’t wait to tell the world the power of prayer and fasting. I couldn’t wait to testify that dreams come true, to share the light of my new baby daughter with others. It was the perfect ending to my story of trying to adopt from India, how at our age, my husband and I didn't qualify to adopt, how I cried for her until finally, I accepted she’s not coming from India, maybe I could have another little girl on my own.  My pregnancy with Canyon just about did me in, but I’m stronger now, I knew I could do it.  For her, I would go through another pregnancy.

Right away, I became sick with morning sickness.  Some days, I didn't know how I was going to make it.  The fatigue has been difficult, but I take long walks outside and spend lots of time at the park with Eden and Canyon.  Spring in Arizona has been so beautiful and being outside helps. If I lay down, I feel worse, so I keep going and moving my body.  I've been doing yoga almost every day and it helps with body aches. 

And then, through a blood test at 12 weeks we found out we are having a boy, our 6th boy. 

I was alone with my husband when we read the results of the blood test.  Silence, breathless, shocked, he just held me while I sorted out my feelings.  Finally he fell asleep, but I was up all night. Didn’t God know the plan?  How much I needed this girl?  Didn’t he hear all my prayers?  What had I done wrong? Why wasn’t I worthy? Through my tears, I asked many questions until finally I fell asleep.  I woke up with swollen eyes. I returned the girl clothes I’d been collecting.  I didn’t want to see any pictures of my friend’s beautiful little girls all dressed up, doing summersaults, wearing flowers in their hair – no thank you.  Just line me up for more trucks and dinosaurs. I would be fine. But, for weeks, I wasn’t fine. It made me wonder, "When did I fall under the assumption that God answers every righteous prayer?" There are countless examples of prayers that are good and holy that are not answered.  As I listened to General Conference, a leader of our church talked about our new prophet President Nelson.  President Nelson's daughter Emily passed away from cancer in 1995 at the age of 37. Heartbreaking, President Nelson felt helpless not only as her father, but he was a medical doctor and an apostle.  He still couldn't save her and his prayers to save his daughter's life went unanswered. This example really helped me to put things into perspective.  God has His own plan and His own timing. It's up to us to trust in Him.

Then, something amazing happened. Slowly, with great awakening and amazement my sons pulled me out of my funk.   
(On Easter Sunday, we told our kids they we're having another brother. Canyon is holding his baby brother's Easter egg basket.)
I didn’t know it was happening at first, but it was like my “boy sensors” went on high alert.  My five amazing sons, all wanted, darling, affectionate, funny, successful people, they just take my breath away.  I know their not perfect, but they are mine and I will always fight for them. Their tall stature and strong muscles, dedication to the gospel, passion for sports and exercise, desire to do well in school, their fun friendships, their darling girlfriends, how everyday they become more and more like their dad who I love and adore – I just observed, completely humbled I am their mother. Yes, I’m here cooking food (most days unless I'm too nautious), running them around to sports and school activities, friend’s houses, church events, and on and on, but they are doing this too. Despite my weaknesses, they are doing all they can to become the men God needs them to be.  My insecurities and mistakes haven’t messed them up.  They are going to make it.  Not only can I do this, I am doing this.

How do I feel about having another son?  I am in awe.  I can’t believe it.  

I am so thankful he is healthy and strong. I am going to have some amazing daughter-in-laws some day.  As a family, we continue to sponsors three little girls in India.  We love and pray for them.  There are ways to support little girls without giving birth to one.  Hopefully one day, Eden and I will sponsor 100 girls of India.  That’s our goal, and if you’d like to purchase our coloring book My 100 Daughters 
Available on Amazon
or donate to Rising Star Outreach, that will help us get there. Eden was thrilled to find out she's having another brother.  She will be the little mommy helper to two darling baby brothers.

We have a name for our son.  I think about it and smile.  I already feel very close to him. He came to us and we love him with all our heart.  I can’t wait to hold him. He’s coming to a home ready to love and support him.  My friends and family are so supportive.

He has a daddy, a sister, brothers and a mother who will hold him tenderly, attend to his needs and show him the way.  I’ve worked things out with God. I trust He knows what He’s doing and I’m so grateful to be having this little boy.