Monday, September 15, 2008

Don't Say That!!

I recently "ran into" a guy I graduated high school with on Facebook. He has three beautiful kids now. On his daily status update he said:
I'm so thankful for that vasectomy I had 2 years ago. The kids were psycho at breakfast!
As I read his comment, my shoulders slouched and my countenance went south. What a sad thing to say! I couldn't get it out of my head all that day.
Now, I should give you some history. I attended a Christian private school for jr. high and high school. Everybody in my graduating class was a believer. This sterile classmate of mine still claims to be a Christian. And I don't doubt at all that he is because sadly, this kind of comment is socially acceptable even in churches.
If we as Christians believe God's Word that
Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him
(Psalm 127:3)
then why on earth do we think it's ok to joke about what a burden they are??
Now, more than just worldly deception was on my mind when I read his statement. I immediately thought back to 2002, when Elena was 2 and Chloe was 6 months old. Kyle and I were sitting in the office of Dr. Urologist, discussing a vasectomy for Kyle. We both wanted this.
We knew we wanted to adopt and after having two children 18 months apart, we wanted to make sure that never happened again.
Imagining the joy we would have missed makes me absolutely sick to my stomach.

Kyle and I are both so very thankful that we didn't go through with it.


dkt said...

My Father-in-law preached a sermong once on how children are a blessing and he warned of the dangers of permanent birth control. Afterwards, two of the members of the congregation had reversals and there are two more little blessings running around now because of it. :-) Sometimes, we get so exhausted that it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. That's when we walk by faith though, and not by sight, eh?

Kyle said...

I am so glad too! I love my Lydia. She is so much fun. I can't imagine our lives without her. She is truly a blessing.

Faith said...

Woops, I jumped to conclusions based on your facebook status... Praying that one day I'll have the pleasure to happen upon your blog and find that you are pregnant again though. I think all the time about our infertility and that I wouldn't have my wonderfully, amazing 6 kids in my life if God would have chosen to let us get pregnant at that time. Praising God that you DIDN'T go through with it and have that little sweety Lydia!

MommaofMany said...

Sadly, many of our friends, even friends in church, have permanently sterilized themselves.

What is your opinion if the woman nearly dies during delivery? I know someone who only had two because of the very dire consequences of both her deliveries. She and her husband really wanted more than two children, but wanted her alive, too. They cherish all the children in our fellowship, I might add.

SeƱora Smith said...

We have also been asked whether we've been "fixed" to prevent pregnancy since we've already adopted 3 children. On the contrary, we would be extatic to find out I was pregnant! And we, like Faith who commmented above, are truly thankful for the mixed blessing of infertility; we would not have our three we now have had I gotten pregnant. And what we would have missed!! I just got tears in my eyes writing that sentence. It does break my heart when I hear believers make comments like your classmate did. Thanks for the post.

MotherOfBlessings said...

Many of our church friendS have gone the surgical route, even preachers! Other flaunt how they make sure they pratice "good birth control" to be "responsible". Others even have the nerve to call us "crazy" or "irrisponsible" because we are expecting blessing #7. It is very sad that children are looked upon as a burden, even by some parents and grandparents.

Jenni said...

Ginger, I ran into the same thing this weekend when we were in St. Louis. Two different women asked me if our son was our first child, and I smiled and said that no, he was our sixth. They both acted as though they were going to die. One of them looked at her son and said over and over to him how he was NEVER going to have ANY brothers and sisters, and the other one who was pregnant with her first said that she was never going to have more than one, and that in fact she did not want the one she was carrying either. In fact, she told us a story of how, one family came to stay at this place, (it is a place for families of children seeking medical treatment sleep at night) and they had 14 children, and did not believe in abortion or birth control. She thought they were insane, I was thinking how blessed they are!

Ginger said...


So what was your response to these women who seem to feel cursed with the children they have?
We were at WalMart last night (all of us) and the woman behind us said: I bet it's never quiet in your house! I said, Actually it is sometimes. When I ask them to be quiet, they are.
She said that she had 4 children, 18 yrs to 8 mos. I said: Oh that's wonderful!
She replied, We don't think it's wonderful!

Thankfully, she didn't have any kids with her. People are so thoughtless.

dr. g said...

I hate to be the fly in the soup as I have heard you blog about this before, so it is obviously something you feel strongly about.
I have 3 beautiful children that I thank God for everyday. After our infertility struggles, the twins are a double blessing (in more ways than one ) Like any other mom though, there are times I am frustrated with them. That doesn’t mean that I love them any less or don’t feel ‘rewarded’ to have them. I also probably wouldn’t post it on my space, face space, blog site etc. Not sure why your friend’s comments can’t just be seen as having a bad morning and needing to vent about it. If God were to bless his family with another child be it by adoption, blended family, failed vasectomy etc, I am sure that he would cherish that child too.

“Sadly, many of our friends, even friends in church, have permanently sterilized themselves.”

Being a recently converted Catholic, I have mixed feeling about this comment. What is wrong with being happy with what you have or wanting to stop having babies at some point? Just because it is many of your vocations to have large families, that lifestyle is not for everyone. That doesn’t mean that anyone is right or wrong, just the individuals that God has made us. At the same time, there are other ways to avoid pregnancy than permanent sterilization.

We get rude and thoughtless comments all the time when people realize that Sean and Kathryn are twins. I try to understand that most people are trying to be friendly and they really don’t mean to be offensive. Say a silent prayer for these people and go on your merry way!

Ginger said...

Kelley, I had no idea you were ever a Catholic! Learn something new every day. :)
I have bad moments with my kids like anyone else, but I would never say: Praise God we don't have any more of these awful kids!
In essense, that's what he was saying. Even when I have bad moments, I am still infinitely thankful for my children and as such, would never make light of another child being anything less than a blessing.
I agree that most people are trying to be friendly. It makes me so sad that people think it's ok to joke about how awful kids are as a way of making conversation. Why don't they just say how lucky you are to have twins?
Because negative comments about children are so very rampant, I go out of my way to be positive about my blessings. I'm not being unrealistic about the challenges; I'm just choosing to focus on the positive, because nobody else is. (It seems)

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
heartchild said...

I think we all get frustrated from time to time but comments like your friends' comment are rampant as you mentioned. It seems to me that if I have a bad attitude or joke about wishing I didn't have them or am glad I'm not having more, then it sounds like I am being ungrateful. I don't take the gifts that I have been given lightly and I am not ungrateful.

I wish so badly that I had not heeded my doctor's advice and had a tubal ligation. As my children grow, I see more and more the blessing that they are. I want all that I do and say to be a testimony of that gift to others and most of all to my children.

dr. g said...

I am the worst writer…what I meant to say was…
1. I just became Catholic
2. I would never post about my negative thoughts.

I just was sticking up for your friend bc I would hate for others to judge me if they knew my rare and fleeting thoughts. At the end of the day, I am overwhelmed with all that He has given me.
Although his choice of words were poor, what I heard in that comment was thank goodness my family is complete, bc I have all I can handle at the moment. I agree with you and your other readers completely that we have to stay positive and be vocal about our blessings.
Just this weekend, Kevin and I were leaders at a church retreat for engaged couples. I was so proud of Kevin when given the old saying…twin eh, double trouble … he replied no, double the joy and went on to describe how great our kids are in front of 18 young couples who are about to be married.

Ginger said...


Good for Kevin! That's awesome and a great testimony to all those young couples who need to hear that!
I understood what you meant about negative comments. You're a great mom and a good example to others.

MommaofMany said...

When I think back to when I had three children, aged three and under, I remember how very hard it was. People are often counseled to be surgically altered when they have two or three young ones, and at that time, it can seem logical! Life with Littles is hard!

I can't imagine, though, missing out on all my other children. Each and every one is so unique and adds so much to our family. Once they get to be 5 or 6, they begin to be more helpful and things are much easier on Mom and Dad. I always tell people that things were much harder with two than with eight! It's true!

That's why I allow my eldest three girls to be mother's helpers for our friends who are in the very midst of The Little Years. Those Ladies need the older women of the church holding up their arms and helping them through rather than counseling as the world does..."cut off God's blessings!"

Many of the people I know who have ended their fertility wish that they had not. They see our family with the Bigs loving on the Littles and helping so much and the Littles being so adorable and sweet, and regret that they have but the two the world says is the norm.

I am not totally 'anti-vas'. On occasion, couples might need to end their fertility due to medical issues with mom or the babies. I just hate to see it being practiced so rampantly for convenience sake.

Personally, I went into labor at 31 weeks with my first. She was born at 36 after 5 weeks of bedrest and strong drugs. Same story with number 2, except labor started at 6 months and she delivered at 37 weeks. I was told any future babies would be earlier and earlier and strongly urged to stop.

After much prayer, we did not feel like the Lord wanted us to end our childbearing. Our third, forth and fifth babes were term or term +.

The Lord must lead. I would never judge someone who truly believes that the Lord directed them to cut themselves off from having more children. I do feel bad for them when it's due to them wanting to go the way of the world. As I said before, many that I know who have done this regret it.

tina said...

As part of a couple that did go through with it, and now regret it, I sadly agree. :( Your children are lovely.

Dusti said...

"Just because it is many of your vocations to have large families, that lifestyle is not for everyone."

I am not sure what she means by vocation but my family is NOT a vocation! Yes, it is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of trusting in the Lord. We have done the vasectomy and reversed it after realizing that it should be the Lord controlling everything in our lives including our fertility. If every baby is a blessing and part of the Lord's heritage- Psalm 127:3 children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Then who are we to decide that God is finished. If God is finished, he has, can, and will close a womb. I wish Christians would stop jumping in front of God in this area!

"That doesn’t mean that anyone is right or wrong, just the individuals that God has made us."

God made us, correct. If we are doing something to stop the way HE made our body to work, how is that not wrong?

Dusti said...

I thought this quote was fitting:

"The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing.
But in our culture we apply for a curse and reject blessings.
Something is wrong with this picture"
Doug Phillips

musicmommy3 said...

Thank-you for the way you phrased your comment. It touched me deeply.

Jenni said...

My response to people is usually to say something to the effect of how much each one of our children are a blessing, how we cannot imagine not having each one of them, how much fun it is to have a larger family, and that yes I am busy, but I have such wonderful helpers in the older children now.

I don't say all of that to each person, those are just some examples of what I might say in response. I tend not to address their personal situation that much unless they seem to be having a very overwhelming time of it, and I let them know that we all have those kind of days, but that it is so worth it.

If they make that sort of comment in front of my children than I make sure to say something very positive about my children, and having children in general. Even with my efforts my almost 7 year old son, is already noticing the negative comments.

I have been known to share a sweet story about one of my little ones if the person seems open to hearing it. I like to encourage others, but I will not engage in a long conversation if it is going to put my children in a position to where they are made to think of themselves or children in general as a burden.

I hope that makes sense. :)

Julie said...

Ginger, I never could get my comment to upload right.
Basically my blog post said that I am just tired of hearing Christians brag about getting "fixed".
It really breaks my heart.
I will respect others rights to stop what God has deemed good for us, but I wish people would not brag and joke about it.