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Little girl, how did this happen? You weren’t even supposed to be here, you know.

This would be the opening line if I wrote a book dedicated to my final “surprise” baby. Maybe I will someday.

You see, God works in mysterious ways, and if I had my story to write for myself, our family would have been complete after baby number three.

I never saw us being a crew of six. My husband would say the same. Four kids, people start to stare. Four kids, you have to upgrade to a minivan—there’s no way around it. A MINIVAN.

(I love you, minivan. Ignore that.)

And yet, here we are, on the brink of age two, and inside I’m harboring a jumble of salad-tossed emotions that I haven’t sorted out just yet.

Let me explain. When I found out we would be adding to our family tree, I was dumbfounded. I kept the news to myself the first few days, in complete shock and denial. When I told my husband, he couldn’t stop laughing.

I mean, it’s not like we’re old—not like, Sarah and Abraham old anyhow—now they had a reason to laugh. It’s not like it was a miraculous conception—we just thought (with fairly good medical certainty) that we were done.

I’m a planner, an organizer, a (recovering) Type-A all the way, and I like it when everything in life fits into neat little check boxes. Graduate college, check. Have first baby, check. Then second baby, third baby . . . check, check.

There wasn’t a check box for baby number four. There wasn’t a check box; there wasn’t a onesie or a diaper or a single remnant of baby prepared-ness in my home or heart when we discovered you would be joining us, baby girl.

Of course, we quickly warmed up to the idea.

I mean, I did have a little expertise in this area of unplanned pregnancies. In fact, you should know a little about my day job. I run a crisis pregnancy center.

Our amazing, humor-loving, life-giving Creator saw fit to drop into our lives a little unexpected “bonus blessing” of our own.

I seriously can’t make this stuff up.

For the first time, I truly understood (on a very small scale) that initial panic, that feeling of plans coming undone, of being scared and uncertain and . . . not in control. Those feelings our clients at the Center must experience, except compounded by so many other factors I can’t even pretend to fathom.

And you know what? I needed to feel it. I needed to be reminded that I’m not in control—and I never was.

For whatever reason, God allowed me to have a glimpse of these things first-hand, which in turn helped me to serve others better. Of course, He knew all along how that would work out, right?

And this baby—this growing, wild, ridiculously silly almost-two-year-old? She’s the embodiment of the crazy ride that defines our big, crazy family.

It’s like she knew what she was walking into; she knew instinctively she would come and nudge us out of our three-kid comfort zone, out of our house (literally, we had to move to a bigger one), out of every well-intentioned plan we had laid for years ahead of her arrival.

It was as if the party never really started until she burst into the world . . . and solidified our team in a way we never would have thought possible.

We couldn’t love her more if we tried.

And so, here we are just weeks away from the somewhat-official end of your babyhood. My mind says, “It’s about time!” My body says, “Hallelujah!”

But my heart? My heart isn’t sure it will ever let this baby go.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Brandi Jarrett

Brandi is a mom to 4 crazy, lovable kiddos somewhere in the Midwest. Besides writing, she also works as the Executive Director of a Pregnancy Resource Center, an organization that exists for the purpose of inspiring women to choose Life and Hope for their families during an unplanned pregnancy. In other news, she’s a total coffee snob (Folgers, no thanks), loves bargain hunting for antiques and finding new adventures in the online business world to keep the creativity flowing! She writes about parenting, faith, homemaking and more at www.chickenscratchdiaries.com.

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