The Control Freak in Me-Learning to Live Without a Plan


If you are like me, you had vivid dreams of what your perfect family would look like in your younger years. Handsome husband, teaching job of my choice, and the magic of pregnancy. No doubt I had it all planned out. A healthy boy and girl just a few years apart in age. Please note, I am not only a dreamer, but a control freak that struggles to let someone else take the wheel. So, how did my plan end up? Well, I did marry the hottest man I know named Mike, my first teaching position was working in Indianapolis in a high poverty school, and I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis, which resulted in infertility. Hard to find magic in surgeries, hormone shots, rollercoaster emotions (poor Mike),  and ultimately being told that carrying a child would be very challenging. Those dreams had to be adjusted, and that rocked me to the core. I had no control and that created anxiety.

A little background first. My son Graham just turned eight. After years of infertility, it was more important to become a parent rather than taking more invasive measures to become pregnant. Adoption was a natural choice because I was adopted as an infant and always knew I wanted to adopt a child, in addition to carrying my own children. The call came that Graham’s biological mother was in active labor two weeks early! Well, the control freak in me would have to let go because it was time to meet our baby boy. His due date was in two weeks. We were not ready for his arrival, but are you ever really ready? You would think at some point I would accept that life happens on God’s time, not mine. My husband Mike and I locked eyes with Graham minutes after birth, the bond was instant, and we were a party of three. Getting closer to my plan. In a couple of years, we would adopt once again.

Mike and I were close to closing the door on another adoption because we are not “young pups” anymore. Graham just turned eight so the age gap would be larger than I dreamed. Remember, I planned to have a boy and girl a couple of years apart. Date night conversations consisted of downsizing our home, getting a convertible, and dreams of future retirement adventures. The moment I feel comfortable and confident, life gets messy in the most unpredictable ways. 

Fast forward to the present day. Two months ago, we received a call that a healthy baby girl was born and her biological mother selected Mike and me as the adoptive couple. If this was our girl, we needed to head to the hospital immediately. The control freak ignited once again because this time we didn’t even own a car seat, diapers, wipes, an outfit to bring her home…you get the idea. On the way to the hospital, we named our daughter. Mike and I have never discussed girl names, but we found peace in the name Grace. By God’s grace, our family was growing, and our girl was in the nursery waiting for our arrival. Grace was created perfectly for us, and her arrival came when we needed it most. Our family of four, a boy and a girl, that was my dream all along. Her arrival happened when I let go and let God.

Present life brings a healthy baby girl, a minivan, fewer date nights, more gray hairs, minimal sleep, and retirement dreams put on hold.  Proof again that God will provide and a humble reminder that I am not the boss! Friends shipped diapers through Amazon Prime, trash bags full of clothes were dropped at our door, meals made by loving hands that expanded our waistlines, and visits from our tribe of family and friends. I’m learning to say, “yes” to other moms generosity, rather than feeling like I have to be in control. The gift of giving is the love language for many, so let others love you.

Keep in mind that Graham had no warning that our daughter was joining our family, and either did we! If I’m being honest, transitioning to a family of four has not been easy. Graham was the center of our world, naturally. He was our “only,” and yes, the world did revolve around him. My mama heart is torn often because there are intense feelings of jealousy from Graham. Although he dreamed of a sibling, he was not able to control if/when that dream would become a reality. Children feel that need to control because it feels comfortable and predictable. The control freak in me wants to erase those feelings for him and keep life easy. Graham loves Grace and their bond will emerge over time. And it may not happen on my time, and the control freak in me is learning to see we are all imperfect and that’s okay.