Dear Baby K,
Right now you have been growing steadily for about 30 weeks. Which means we are roughly 7 months along. You’re inside, doing your thing, making hair and nails and bones and learning to swallow, and we’re out here watching you punch and kick my belly like a tiny (adorable) alien.
Here’s the thing, sweet baby, according to all my baby apps and friends who have had kids and what our culture seems to say, Dad and I are really unprepared for your arrival. You don’t have your own room. You don’t have a crib. You don’t have a changing table, nor will you have a wipe warmer. We aren’t getting bottle sanitizer bags (we don’t have a microwave). You don’t have a dresser (you will have a tiny drawer for your diapers and an over-the-door-hanging shoe rack for your clothes). Most of the things we have for you/will have for you aren’t yours and never will be. Our sweet friends are lending us car seats and strollers and clothes and a co-sleeper and Bumpos and Boppys. We did register, but the list is short and not too fancy. The toys you will have with batteries will total…well, I can count them on my hand.
It’s easy, when I see friends getting baby rooms ready and installing brand new car seats and walking away from showers with van loads of baby acoutromon, to start to feel insecure. See we aren’t not getting you all these things because we have something against battery powered toys and changing tables, but because when you’re six or seven months old, we’re moving to Thailand. It would be annoying and expensive to check an excersaucer on an international flight. Dad and I moved into this one room apartment (which we love) when we decided to become missionaries in order to save money and be closer to work, family and friends. We knew we’d have you, and we knew that you’d be sleeping in our room and needing some of our space. We made this decision and we stick by it.
But still. It’s hard. It’s hard because already I love you so much. I want to give you everything, baby. And sometimes I can believe that lie that we aren’t being good parents and not giving you enough because we don’t have a nursery or because most of your things will be borrowed from friends.
So baby, let me tell you, and remind myself for moments when I feel overwhelmed or insecure or anxious, what we are doing to prepare for you: we are reading and studying what it means to be disciples and make disciples in preparation for Thailand, and we’re discovering that there’s not a ton of difference between discipling and parenting; we’re asking God for words and promises over your life and then we’re praying them and believing them; we’re reading the Bible to you on the regular; we’re paying off our debt; Dad is having massive surgery to heal him of his disease so he can live a long, long time and run and play with you and your siblings as much as he wants; we’re asking our friends and support team for tons of prayer; we’re reading books and watching sermons by our favorite missionaries and pastors who have gone before us (in mission and parenting) and trying to take in and apply all we can; we’re journaling to you, marking and remembering what God says to us about who you are and how we should love you; we are working on us, taking time to be together a lot, communicate well, work through insecurities/fears about parenting and pray over the future; we laugh a lot (get ready baby, Mom and Dad are down to party 24/7); we are leaning heavily on our friends with kids who are a season ahead of us to give us guidance, insight and support; I moved my scarves which were hanging on the closet door so we could hang your shoe rack/clothes holder…so, I made you a nursery :-).
All this, we hope, is making room for you.
Sweet baby, you may not have a dresser or a crib, but there is unlimited space for you in our hearts and lives. We are so prepared to love you. We won’t be good at it all the time, but we will never stop. Whenever you come, early or late, we are ready. We’re ready to add you to this family, to love you like crazy, to have fun with you, to go on adventures with you, to be a family on the mission field, to teach you to hear from and respond to God, to become the parents we need to be for you.
All our love and a little bit of our apartment,