I'm so blessed that this crew is mine.
I never, in a million years, would have guessed that God would allow me to be the mother of four children. Not that I didn't want a big family, but I just figured it was a dream...something that most likely wouldn't happen. I mean, who's lucky enough to have four kids?!?
Afterall, I married a man who wanted two kids and could call it good. :)
First up....Ella. A biological beauty. A hefty pricetag which equated to an incredibly hard pregnancy. Five months of IV's and being tethered to a cart, ER visits, lots of needles, the list goes on...and yet the miracle of life right inside me. She was worth every minute of hardship and I can't imagine my life without her. I would do it again in a heartbeat for her.
Jason fell in love immediately with her. I remember literally going back and forth in the hospital
And now...almost 8 years later, this girl continues to amaze us. She's thoughtful, caring, smart, and compassionate. I so enjoy that she still wants to sit on my lap, have me snuggle in bed with her, or sit for hours and read to her. I love chillin' with this chickie.
Now as much as that pregnancy with Ella was hard, even if it had been easy, we could have turned to adoption next. I always had a desire to adopt and the challenges of the pregnancy only confirmed what I had been thinking all along.
Since Jason hadn't had a lot of exposure to adoption, and international at that, it was an idea that came with a lot of questions. I spent lots of time in prayer, and at the end of our first informational meeting, he was asking for the paperwork and what we needed to do next to get the ball rolling. God had opened his heart to adoption and called him to grow his family in this way.
Adoption is one of those things...a place where you get a front-row seat to watch God in action. An opportunity to see God's hand at work almost literally . Our timeline for Ben moved much, much quicker than the agency's expectations, and a mere 6 months after going to that informational meeting, we were in Korea picking up our son. Ben was still only 3 months old when we landed in Seoul. Timelines and ages like that are just not heard of anymore. Not only that, but shortly after we returned home, the Korea program started to change...drastically. As of today, a lot of the babies...well, toddlers, are around age 2 when they are united with their forever family.
I am so thankful that God had His hand in Ben's story. That nothing was left to mere chance...but that God had a plan all along. Because Ben's Korean mom placed him for adoption, God felt that we were the next best thing. And to be able to parent this child and have the pleasure of him calling me "Mom"...I'm just so grateful.
Jason was amazing with Ben right from the start. It has been so fun to see the difference in him being a daddy to a girl and then to a boy. Ben adores his Dad and wants to be with him any waking second that he can. No one can teach you hockey, how to ride a bike, or how to build things like your Daddy. And being the only boy in the family makes their bond even more special.
At 6 years old, Ben is growing up so much. He's all boy, smart as a whip, and has an energy and infectious laugh that makes you smile. I can't wait to see what God has in store for Ben...I can see him doing big things someday.
Lily. A girl's girl if there ever was one. Pretty hair accessories, fancy dresses, love of shoes, painted fingernails, lipgloss...anything to make a girl feel...well...beautiful. Or as Lily puts it: "It's so pwetty and pescial, mama." (Yes, we are still working on our "s" sound...so "special" is "pecial" and it melts my heart every time)
She loves to snuggle, steal the show with her twirls, and make her eyes "smile". She is full of drama, a real firecracker. And for such a little pip-squeak, she is the loudest one of the bunch. When Lily starts laughing, you can't help but join in. Her beautiful, big eyes can suck you in and if you're not careful, you will find she has just gotten you to agree to something that never should have been. Her prayers are so incredibly sweet and I can only imagine her Heavenly Father smiling so gently down at her when He hears her little voice thanking Him for all the things most people don't even think about. She sees the beauty in everything. At almost 4 years old, she is creative and artsy and I can't wait to see the talents that will flow out from her.
After two kids, I think Jason felt as if we had our hands full. Afterall, it was the perfect ratio. One child to one parent. No out-numbering...just a perfect match-up. I just did not feel like our family was complete. I so badly wanted to go to Korea again as my heart just ached thinking about all those kids there. And I knew we had more than enough to go around that we could easily handle a 3rd child in our family. Besides...why have a mini-van if you are going to stop at only 2 kids?!? I say "fill that baby up!"
After much thought and consideration, Jason and I begin to fill out the mountains of paperwork yet again. He also let me know (in no uncertain terms) that 3 children really were going to be enough to complete the Hubler family. Although I knew I could easily add more, I was content because never in my wildest dreams did I really think I would end up with three kiddos to snuggle and love. Yes, I decided I could settle for three. Not as many as I really wanted, more than I thought I would ever get, and a husband who had whole-heartedly come alongside me for these journies. I would pray, thanking God for these three blessings, for allowing me to parent three amazing children, and for entrusting into my care three eternal souls. And yet. And...yet...
...there was a part of me, a little voice way in the back, that after saying "thank you, God, for these three"...would ever so quietly and ever so gently say "but I think there's room for one more...". Funny thing is...no matter how quietly you say or don't say something...God knows. He knows the desires of your heart, He knows your longings, He knows the yearnings of your soul. And although Jason had said that "we were done...three is more than enough...", God had other plans for our family.
And that's where this little beauty comes in...
Cora Jihee. The best surprise I. Have. Ever. Been. Given. We didn't go in search of her, on the contrary, she came to us. Don't ever think that you can tell God what you are going to do. Because you may just find that He is about to give you the very thing you said would never happen. I think Jason knows better than to tell God that we are done with anything now. :)
With all that being said...I have to tell ya...this baby, well, she stole all our hearts. And in real quick fashion. Ask anyone in this family, and we would tell you the same thing: turned out our family was NOT complete...we were missing our Cora. She is the perfect addition and we cannot imagine our lives without her. This girl is amazing. She is spunky, crazy, affectionate, smart, and an absolute joy to be around. Oh, she has her moments, this girl doesn't take "no" for an answer. She's a strong one, a child with an opinion...on everything, and a fighter. But behind all that toughness is the sweetest and most gentle personality. It took a while for her to trust us and show us who was really inside, but I am so thankful that she did. I thank God for her, He knew she was just what I needed. Cora fills a hole I didn't know existed. Her kisses, hugs, and constant snuggles turn me into putty in her hands.
And Jason? Well...for thinking we should stop at 2 children, finally deciding to go for three, and ending up with four in the end...I know that he cares about all his children dearly, is the fiercest protector, and would never have imagined how his heart could swell with such a deep love for each of them. He is an amazing father. And I got to say...I picked the right man to spend my life with, to be a daddy to my children, and to grow old with.
Oh...the loves of my life.