The teen years are a great time of friendships, school projects and activities. For me I enjoyed being a teen and everything about friends and family. I loved to play sports and worked hard in school to do well because it did not come naturally. In the middle of March 1990 a doctor confirmed a knot in my stomach as being a tumor and set me up for surgery. The results were a surprise to all, for it was a cancerous tumor so large it consumed my entire abdomen and destroyed my right ovary. The doctors sewed me back up, started me on chemotherapy that day, and gave me a 30% chance to make it through. Little did they know I had a God that could spare my life and show me His grace.
As treatment continued so did the side effects. The doctors informed my mom and me that two of the drugs given in the regimen were known to cause infertility. Knowing this did not necessarily concern me until my future husband came into my life, and we discussed the possibility of not being able to have our own children. Adoption would be an option if that were the case. We decided to let God direct in our lives and did nothing to prevent a pregnancy. I became pregnant eight months after we were married, but in the back of my mind I had always felt like this was going to be possible. We named our son Isaac.
After about a year we were ready for another baby. If I can have one then maybe more? Month by month passed and after another two years, I began having some changes to my body. My cycles became erratic, and I was having hot flashes. I took a pregnancy test every time I missed a month because I thought each one could be the month. I started skipping cycles for a month, then two, and sometimes three. The emotional roller coaster I was on made it tough to keep smiling.
I referred to Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh it is a tree of life.” I had learned this while I was waiting for my husband. I was married two weeks before I turned 26 and felt like that was an eternity to wait, but leaned on this verse often. Now I was using it again in my life as I longed for another child.
My husband and I decided it was time to see a specialist. I walked into the interview with the fertility doctor, and she proceeded to ask me questions to learn more about what was going on. After the interview, she told me her thoughts. I was pre-menopausal, and most likely I would be going through menopause in a year or two. I was only 33! The test results showed just that and another pregnancy was highly unlikely. She did not want to suggest any fertility treatment because of the small chance of pregnancy and high cost. To find that one egg that was fertile was not worth the time, money, and emotions. She encouraged adoption, which we had already decided would be the next step for us. We had a four year old, and we felt strongly about having a sibling for him.
We started adoption through the state, but it would take another year to get through; there was a home study and parenting classes, and then we began receiving names each month of children needing homes. We desired an infant and that possibility was very slim. Now it had been five years since our son was born and four solid years of trying to have a baby. “What next, Lord? We know You want us to have more children in our home.” He gave us a peace about private adoption, and that He would provide the funds. We put our rent home up for sale and would wait to use that money for the adoption.
Our rent home was not selling AND I had not had a period since November 16th. Six months passed and we headed on our annual two-week vacation, this year to the Northeast to visit my husband’s grandparents. I felt so ill that trip and threatened my husband with going to get a pregnancy test, but I had done that so many times in the past four years and it had always been the same result. I did not want that disappointment again.
The day after we got home, I had waited long enough and stopped to get TWO tests. I took them both and they were both positive. I called my husband to tell him, but I could not and should not do this over the phone, so I just said hi. I also called my OB/GYN and set up an appointment for the next day to have a test done. When my husband got home, I showed him the tests and told him about the doctor’s appointment. We would wait to see what they said. The doctor’s test was also positive and because I had no idea when I got pregnant, an ultrasound was performed and put me at seven weeks along. We were having a miracle baby! God’s grace. Why does He give us so much of His grace? I do not know how to answer that because I am a sinner, and I do not understand it, but I was saved by that grace through faith.
Ian was born in December 2009. He was named after his dad for Ian is John in Scottish and Hebrew, but it also means God Is Gracious. He truly is, and even though we are undeserving many times of that grace, He still gives it to us.