She is our love child.

Of all my children this is the child that physically and emotionally loves me the most.

This girl has big, bold, passionate plans for life and she’s not apologizing. Being her mama is such a blessing, and a creative challenge that I’m willing to accept. My assignment is to allow space for her to keep her spirit wild and her heart at peace.

Adaline’s story began before we even knew she would become a member of our family.  I wrote the other day about the time that God spoke to both Nathan and I about farming full time.  Adaline’s story begins the night that God told us to make her.  We were laying in bed after a long day of farmers market and the homeschool fall festival when both of us heard a quiet, but clear voice at the same exact time.  We looked at one another with this look that said, “did you hear that”?  Nathan said it first, “God just told me that he wants us to make another baby.”  I nodded letting him know that I had heard it too.
At the homeschool festival a woman walked up to me and said, “I hope you don’t mind, but God told me to come and tell you about my home birth midwife.”  Nathan and I weren’t even talking about having another baby at the time, but we had discussed that if we were to ever have another child that it would be at home.  Being fascinated with the topic of birth I listened to everything she had to tell me having no idea that another message would come that night.  All the details including a video can be found here on my blog, but about 41 weeks later sweet Adaline was born at home surrounded by our family, midwives, and friends.
Sweet Adaline came into this world in such a peaceful way.  It was very close to perfect in so many ways.  She followed along after three “easy” children and I had everything worked out in my head about what the future would hold.  Nathan and I were finding our way as a married couple, we were beginning to find our place of service within the community, I was starting to write publicly and find my voice for change.  Nathan was working towards his desire to farm full time.

I had decided that we had invested enough and worked hard enough that life should now become easy.  Oh-how naive I was to believe that life worked that way.  Thank God for a few very selfish years I was granted for they were the relaxing breath I needed as I moved from one life into another.

She has taught us to love ourselves in new ways while we love her in the way she demands.  She reminds me of myself-had I been allowed to fully be myself.  I’m not sure if my first three children were born “easy” or if I made them that way-through my over reaching plans and structured schedules and legalistic parenting style.  I’m certain that her very free spirit and inability to conform to her current social settings is caused by how busy and distracted we’ve been the last few years-but what I’m just now trying to decide is if that’s something we should wish we had done differently or simply be thankful that it’s how things worked out.  Maybe a bit of both, or neither.

Regardless, here she is.  She is our love child.

Me and this girl have nice, long talks fairly often. Talks about being yourself, working out the huge ball of energy that is bursting inside, the calling to do big things that no one understands, and the constant nagging that there is a need to apologize. Yep-we have long talks and I hope that she is ready to start out life strides in front of me.

She’s one of those people who makes you or breaks you-and I’ve chosen to be made-new.  She has taught me patience, kindness, a new way of being calm (when she’s unable to be).  She’s given me a much better sense of humor.  She’s taught me that plans are made to be broken and that “just another hug” is never too much.  She’s pointed out how distracted I often am by learning to ask me, “can I ask you a question” over and over again?

She’s taught me that saying “yes” to God isn’t about being made good.  Oftentimes-saying “yes” to God is about opening up a whole lot of things you never expected.

God knew that I needed her too.  He knew that I needed to know that my easy kids weren’t a reflection of how “good” I am.  He knew that I needed to slow down and think.  He knew that I needed to think more about the ways that my work could take the turn towards equality, acceptance, diversity, and justice.  Adaline-in being her real, raw self helps me do those things in ways I never would have learned without her.

Tomorrow sweet Adaline turns five years old and I’m so proud of the big girl she has become and her willingness to be herself no matter what.  I’ll never have to worry if I’ve loved her enough. This girl has the guts and the nerve and the gumption to take all the love she needs from me-and anyone else willing to keep up with her.