Twas Jen who I first 'heard' the phrase from... and found it really beautiful.
Both hubs and I are intentional parents... we both knew we wanted families of our own even when we were still kids. We both grew up dreaming and daydreaming and planning for future families. Admittedly, hubs lost his way a little and spent some time wandering. But always, he's had these expectations he's set up for himself if he's to become a father (which was why he was shattered for a while with an unplanned pregnancy in his life).
I studied well... and later on made sure to keep my job. Eventhough i'm bent on being a SAHM, i've always felt that my kids deserve a well-read and empowered Mom. I also made sure I wouldn't get pregnant out of wedlock... bent also in an idealized dream that no child of mine would be unwanted, however initially.
When Jojo and I started going out, our talks would always be peppered with conversations about family life... what we both dream to give our kids, what we both stand up for. Years before we even really decided to get married, and that we're THE ONE for each other, we've already argued about letting our kids live in boarding houses... or join frats.
We didn't rush into our marriage. We allowed each other all the growing up we needed in order to make that leap of faith.
Hubs knew of my SAHM dream. I married him knowing that he will support that dream. And we both wanted kids, are both open to adopt so there was no question whatseoever in our minds about being parents. We agreed not to have a child yet during the first year of our marriage (the baby could be conceived, but not yet out within the first year) because we wanted to adjust to each other first. And when I was not conceiving, we talked and agreed up to how far we'd go in terms of fertility work-ups. Unlike other friends, however, we've agreed not to pursue adoption at the last minute, because being parents was more important to us than producing biological babies.
God being good, we were blessed with child early this year. Shopping for the layette came last (as we've only done it in the past month or so), because the minute we found out about Yakee, we tackled our views and expectations of family life again. We made plans. We came up with agreements. We tackled the changes in lifestyle. We attended a breastfeeding seminar when I was only some 3 months along. I brought up the idea of homeschooling a month after. We're still bargaining and clashing over differences in family cultures (e.g. attitude towards food, general lifestyle, etc). We're always revisiting ideas we grew up believing, and making up our own for our family. We started saving for the delivery and making allowances for the days that will follow. Career changes are even dictated by family needs and expectations.
We're intentional parents... we know we want this kid as much as we'll want our other kids. And we know we've done the more important things neccessary to make sure we can give any child of ours a good chance in this world... We went into this with eyes open, aware of the sacrifices we'll be making, excited over the rewards that we're bound to reap. The difficult first few months notwithstanding, we've had the luxury of really being proud to be infanticipating... and the luxury of having everyone's blessing.
I'm not saying babies who are initially unwanted, unplanned or unwelcome are loved less... or that parents who had negative feelings about their pregnancies go on to be less loving, involved parents.
I am saying, however, that there is an undeniable beauty to having really prepared oneself for parenthood... and an undeniable confidence that, though there will be hurdles, you will be able to cross them as a team, as a family :)
I just hope that Yakee, though he was conceived in really sad times... and though he will be born in really sad times (where our families are concerned), has always felt how wanted and loved he is by those who count: his parents. I hope that our love and aspirations for him will always cloak him and empower him to grow up in a world filled with hate.