Our Family ; Designed by God

2373 Sacred Scripture and the Church’s traditional practice see in large families a sign of God’s blessing and the parents’ generosity.163
(Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Most people know we are expecting our 8th baby this October. When I found out, shock was an understatement and it’s taking a while for it to truly sink in.

I was still very much grieving from losing our baby last November and even though, initially after the loss I wanted to fall pregnant, that feeling went away and I felt content just being with my children.
My pregnancies are never easy and that in it’s self brings a lot of anxiety and stress. So honestly, mentally I wasn’t prepared or ready.
I was in fear of becoming attached to this baby , only to have another miscarriage and I was in fear of the Hg I experience every pregnancy.
Though it has already been a bumpy start, once again God has spoken and His word has become flesh.
From my first antenatal appointment I have had hurdles thrown at me to overcome.
I have been once again reminded that God has handpicked me for various reasons, I don’t always comprehend but I am slowly trying to understand.
It’s not that God puts more on our plate. It’s more that He knows how far we are willing to go for Him.
He knows how far our yes to Him goes. He knows if our yes has limits or if it is limited.
This yes is what defines us in our faith. But I also realise that it is God , Himself that defines our family.
After reading an article about a family with 18 children, which quoted the parents as saying their faith defines their family ( http://m.ncregister.com/blog/kwarner/our-catholic-faith-defines-us-says-family-with-18-kids#.WPVm325_WaN ) I felt relieved that there are other families who felt the same. Who strive to put God as the center of their family in everything they do.But for me I felt like the definition of our family was more than “just” our faith.
God Himself has designed and molded our family. He has thrown in our uniqueness and qualities that reflect His marvelous love for us.
So when the look on my doctor’s face changed, after she realised I have been exposed to the chicken pox a few weeks prior and have no immunity to it, I knew God once again had a hand in all of this.My doctor started listing all the risks to the baby, which in all honesty, are severe, from retardation to deformed limbs, eye problems and heart defects. I sat there silently…. okay God, you have my attention, how bad is this going to be?
Than my doctor said that horrid word that I heard one too many times in past pregnancies.
Abortion.
She cautioned me that most woman would abort their baby because of the severity of the risks involved. But even though the risks were severe the chance of the baby actually being affected was less than 1%.God was silent in the background. But He knew my answer before I even said it.
Abortion is not and never will be an option.
Sure I was scared. Terrified in fact. What mother wouldn’t be? But nothing would ever justify killing my unborn child. Nothing justifies killing an defenseless, innocent, unborn child in its most safest environment- their mother’s womb. Period.
Everything felt surreal sitting there in the doctor’s office. I swear my heart stopped beating.
But at that moment I was prepared to fight and stand up for life for my unborn child.
Against anyone.
I was still in shock as I sat in the car on the way home. My pregnancies where complicated enough but to now have this thrown into it all was extremely overwhelming.I burst into tears. Not because I could have a deformed child or one with severe health problems but because I honestly wasn’t sure if I could be the best mother this child would need. I wasn’t sure how I would manage to give this child everything it would need and the care it would require if the worst was to happen.
It was daunting and overwhelming.
But in my husband’s words, when I asked the cliche ” Why is it always us?” , ” Because this child will be loved like all our others and because we both said yes to being open to life.”
God knows how far our yes will go, IS going.Too often people look at our family and we are defined by the size,miss understood because we have children on the spectrum, criticised because off our parenting skills ( or lack off I am sure some people would say ) and harshly judged because we are a Catholic family living our faith.But what people don’t realise is under all those layers that make up our family, the size, the Autism, the parenting and our faith, we are human beings with flaws and imperfections just like the next person.
So instead of gawking at us come on over and join us in our celebration of life.Try to understand us and what it really means to live with autism and how it affects not just the person who lives with the diagnosis but their siblings and parents. The closest people to them.
Don’t criticise our parenting skills , instead offer us a cup of coffee or a hand to hold,as parenting an autistic child is very different to parenting one that isnt on the spectrum.
Most of all don’t judge us on our faith and if you do, do know you are actually doing us a favor as God has promised heaven to those who are judged because of Him. Know the church is for sinners, from the Pope, bishops, priests and lay people of the church. Professing our faith in no way means, that we have professed perfection. Quiet the opposite actually. We acknowledge that we are sinners.
By living our faith we are striving to become better people so one day we may enter the kingdom of heaven.
So I ask with hearing the news of a new baby on the way, just simply be happy for us.
Don’t be scandalized by it ( or maybe if you are, question the reason..).Don’t make crude remarks or lame sex jokes. Most of all don’t ask us if we are going to have anymore because that is entirely between My husband,My God and I.

‘Our Catholic Faith Defines Us,’ Says Family with 18 Kids
“Sacred Scripture and the Church’s traditional practice see in large families a sign of God’s blessing and the parents’ generosity.” …
ncregister.com

 

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