As far back as I can remember, my heart was already growing a special place for adoption. Even as a young girl growing up in a small town in north Texas, I was passionately intrigued by stories of adoption, and not just the novelty of it, but actually having an intense desire for it to be a part of my life.
Before I met Ben, MY plan was to have 3 boys (no thought ever really went into HOW these 3 children were going to come to be), stay single, live in an awesome cottage with TONS of land in the country with a short commute to a big city-yep, basically your everyday Angelina. Thankfully God had so much more amazing things in store for us! I met Ben and quickly threw away any single-mom-of-3-in-big-city notions out the window. (oh you are an awesome mighty God!)
Even in the beginning we randomly threw around the idea of adoption but both agreed we wanted to at least try to have children of our own. Again, God blessed us-in ways we didn't even realize at first. Isabella Grace was born in July 2006-we fell instantly in love and she has had us wrapped around her adorable (yet, at times, wiggly bossy) finger from the moment we laid eyes on the first of at least 10 positive pregnancy tests. Less than 2 years later, Ben was welcomed home by a little surprise:
Hunter Thomas was born December 2008 (thankfully NOT on his due date!!) and we became the May Quad. Flash forward 4 months, I hear the words, "It is cancer". Totally unexpected and unimaginably life changing. I was growing cancer at the same time I was growing our sweet baby boy. God is an all knowing God, and if Mr. Hunter is not proof of that, I'm not sure what is.
April 28, 2009 I had a radical hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy and removal of 12 lymph nodes in the pelvic-abdominal region. In layman's terms, basically every internal female organ I once had was no more. I would never again grow a baby in my womb. At first, this thought did not phase me-I was in warrior mode just trying to literally live each day and defeat this disease. So what if I was missing a few parts... I was alive! After 28 treatments (every weekday for 6 weeks) of external radiation and a blood transfusion (aka my vampire treatment) and my first post-op, post-radiation CAT scan, I was declared cancer free!!! I never knew such sweet words!
Life sloooowly began to creep back to normal-or more like our "new normal". This new normal consists of us having to tenderly broach the subject of "Mama is going to the doctor" with Bella anytime my check-ups come around (every 3 months) because her precious heart cannot let go of that raw fear of that one time Mama "went to the doctor" and didn't come home for almost a week and how much it changed her sweet, innocent life. This new normal is me being thankful every day that Hunter was only 4 months old and will likely not have any fear-filled memories of his mama's cancer conquering days-even though I still weep over the days I missed holding him in my arms, bonding through feeding him my milk, and having to hear his giggles seep through the walls as I lay in bed struggling to overcome fatigue. This new normal is me, finally crossing over to "the other side" where I AM cancer free but have lost the ability to ever again surprise my husband with a pregnancy test. This new normal is me feeling my heart well up and overflow with the thought of the ability to once again bring home a baby for my family to surround with love, acceptance, awe, and a yearning to show God's love. Can you "hear" the celebration in my voice?
The seed really got planted when my sweet Mrs. Kathy (part of my Cancer Posse-diagnosed at the same time and our radiation appts were back to back so I was immensely blessed by her hugs and sweet notes each afternoon-she kept me going!) showed me a picture of her newest grandbaby, Sosi. If you don't fall in love with that sweet face, you need to get your heart checked out!!! I followed the Rusch Family's story as they experienced their "Gotcha Day" and brought beautiful Sosna Elle home-and every time (even AGAIN today) I watch the story unfold through their pictures, I end up bawling (poor Ben keeps thinking I forgot to change my hormone patch LOL). It has awoken something in my heart that I had long forgotten (or maybe just pushed aside for a bit til God knew it was His time to gently remind me). And God has worked through me to gently re-awaken the same in Ben (ok, so a bit of a slower process there but we gotta tread lightly with the old folks LOL). This is still very very very much a tiny work in process (though my heart is saying, "Hello, this is HUGE!!!") and only in the very beginning stages of even thinking of possibly considering, but I have a feeling it is something that will not leave my heart or mind or prayers for a very long time.
Please just pray that if this IS indeed God's will, that He will prepare our family (emotionally, spiritually, physically in health, financially, etc), that He will bring forth the child that he has already designed specifically for our family (and us for this child) and that He will pave the way to bring us together. I named this blog "Chiduben" or "guided by God" in the African language of Igbo. I just pray that this whole process will truly be guided by God.
Off for now to do my normal Danielle thing-research:)