You know, I didn’t dream much about my future husband as a little girl. All I knew is that I wanted and needed to share my life with someone who I could laugh with daily. And I certainly didn’t think that I would find him so early in life.
But my husband is the perfect example of how God knows exactly what you need before you do. God knew that infertility and miscarriage was to be part of our life journey, and he knew just who I would need to survive this season of life. And when I think back to how we met, I can’t help but smile at God’s plan and timing… Steven and I met, because my best friend attended UC Riverside – a university she did not even apply to, but was accepted! – and I happened to visit her the same week Steven moved into her dorm hall. Since he was still 17 when he started college, he wasn’t able to move onto campus until later in the year. Seriously… I could have visited at any other time that year, and would likely have missed my opportunity to meet him.
There is no doubt that my husband is meant to be a father. He lights up around kids, and they light up around him. If you can’t find Steven at a family gathering, I guarantee you that he is out playing with the kids and asking them about school. Not too long ago, several of us were visiting my grandma in the hospital, and Steven took my young cousins outside. He managed to keep four kids, aged 4-13, engaged in some made-up-on-the-spot game. I walked out of the hospital to find them all laughing together around a table.
He’s SO great with kids that all my nieces, nephews, and young cousins are drawn to him. And it is so darn cute!! On several occasions, we have been referred to as “Steven and that girl”. Not even kidding. My nephew who lives out of state LOVES his Uncle Steven. We saw him last month at my Dad’s house. He opened the kitchen door and saw Steven sitting on the couch in his immediate line of sight. He ran through the house screaming, “Steven!”, jumped and landed right in my husband’s lap. They immediately started talking and playing like no time had passed.
I remember when Steven first met my mom and sisters years ago. After all the handshakes and nice-to-meet-you’s, he got cozy on the couch at my sister’s house and played Mario Kart with my niece. She was SO little at that time, and he let her beat him over and over again.
I enjoy watching these special moments between my husband and the kids in my family. I love the bond he shares with so many of the people in my family, especially all our favorite little ones. But, I must tell you… my heart breaks a little each time. I try to fight it, but my mind always wanders to the fact that he should be a father by now. He should be able to enjoy these special moments with his own kids. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
For the majority of our infertility journey, I carried so much guilt in my heart knowing that I have the medical condition preventing us from our heart’s greatest desire. It was MY fault that we can’t have kids. And when we started the adoption process, we were held up at one point for mandatory counseling due to some of my childhood experiences. The guilt set in all over again. It was MY fault that there isn’t a little one calling him Daddy yet. I can’t tell you what these thoughts did to my heart and soul. But these were negative thoughts I conjured up myself. All on my own. My husband NEVER said or did anything to indicate that he felt this way.
In fact, he did the exact opposite. He assured me, encouraged me, prayed for me, dragged me to church when I was feeling angry toward God, held me as I cried, made me laugh hysterically, and just loved on me. I’ll never forget the time he held me as I suffered one of my very intense guilt episodes, and said, “I didn’t marry you, because you can make babies. I married you, because I wanted YOU for the rest of my life. Kids or not.” Swoon.
He has remained so hopeful all these years. I can’t tell you how many times I prayed to God, “Help me have an attitude like Steven. Help me have hope like Steven.” What an absolute blessing it is to be his wife, and to have this amazing man lead our family.
On August 11th, we celebrated five years of marriage, and eight years together.
We have grown up from a couple of 19-year old kids to where we are now. Stronger than ever with our best yet to come. Infertility and miscarriage has been absolutely devastating, but we have used this season to strengthen our marriage, grow our love, and rely on and support one another. Not every day has been easy. But, every day has been beautiful for its own reason.
And the beauty of today is that Steven starts his teaching journey! There are 28 lucky kids who will walk into Mr. Rodriguez’s 6th grade class, and be blessed with a teacher who truly cares about them, their learning, and their future. What an honor it was to spend the last few days setting up his very first classroom! What a blessing it was to watch him sit at our dining table last night, and plan out his first day of activities! How it touched my heart to hear him randomly shout, “I’m so excited! My very own class!”
Thank you, Lord, for the season of unemployment years ago that led my husband to substitute teaching. We were so worried during that time, but it was all part of your plan to bring him to his calling. Thank you for allowing Steven’s gift of connecting with children of all ages be his everyday life. Thank you for sending me my life’s greatest blessing so early in life. No wonder I didn’t dream much about him as a little girl… there’s no way I could have thought of anyone better than him. I pray that you bless his first year of teaching, that you give him the wisdom to guide and teach these young minds, and that your presence fill his classroom each and every day! Amen.
Steven, this one’s for you. I am so proud to be your wife and to share this life with you. I would crumble to pieces without your strength, your laugh, and your never failing patience, hope, and faith. Thank you for loving me the way you do, and supporting me through this season. I can’t wait to watch you become a father. I know that is going to be your best gig yet. But until then, I love watching you as Uncle and Teacher. You are pretty incredible at those, too. I love you pishy.
P.S. I totally took his “First Day of School” pic, but am under strict orders not to post it. 🙂