Bittersweet and Thankful

Matt and Stephanie. (May 2010)

We’ve been waiting for nearly a year to hear the news. Are biological children a part of our story?

You can read about when we first had to make the difficult decision to either proceed with my hysterectomy, or to hold off and harvest my eggs here . Thankfully, we proceeded with the surgery and I am still alive today. Cancer-free, mind you. Because my Oncologist understood our desire for biological children, and because my ovaries had not been touched by this disease, she decided to transpose them to a higher location in my abdomen; she moved them with hopes that they could be protected from the harmful radiation procedures. Three months after my last cancer treatment, we were told I could take a blood test that would determine if my ovaries were still in working condition. I took the FSH/LH/Estrogen test last week and we received the results a couple of days ago.

“Your current FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) is at a 48.8. A normal FSH is less than 10, and an FSH greater than 20 is generally not recommended to use your own eggs to try to get pregnant. At a 48, it’s unfortunately pretty bad news. It looks like your cancer treatments had a very bad effect on your ovaries, which is pretty common. It looks like that is probably not an option now.”

For those who have been close to us through this journey, you know that we just wanted an answer. Is it a yes or a no for “bio-kids?” Regardless of the outcome, we wanted to know what path we needed to further investigate. Although it’s bittersweet, we are very thankful to finally have an answer. And God is still good. We now can focus more on the process of finding our children, and not on the process of personally conceiving our own. Adoption is a life-changing journey for all involved, and we have spoken about this option before we even got married. Adoption has always been on the table. To be honest, we thought it would be just that… an option. However, we have now discovered that God has intentionally called us to this form of parenting. Although our fertility nurse has told us that it’s bad news, we are choosing to see it as a blessing. Our story continues to have chapters that few people experience, and for that not only are we grateful, but we think it’s pretty cool, too.

Being grateful is a powerful thing. When you can look beyond your circumstances and see the gifts you’ve been blessed with, your life will transform. My husband and I are thankful that I am still here on this earth. Because of that, I can continue to be a loving wife and will still have the chance to be a mother someday. We are thankful that God continues to reign over our story and direct our path. We are thankful that we have each other and are confident that our journey to adoption is going to be full of joy. We continue to look forward to uncovering God’s plan for our lives, and we will never cease our praise for the wonderful things He has done and will continue to do. Even though our hearts were set, God knows ultimately what is best for us. And frankly, how awesome is it that we get to go down the road less traveled?!

Alongside our grateful hearts, we are still grieving. Through marriage you learn the differences between men and women, and this adventure has continued to shine light on that. As a woman, I think we generally process things a lot quicker. I have been grieving since the day my reproductive organs were removed. It’s gotten easier as the days and months have gone by, but there are still moments where I am sad that I will never be able to feel my child from inside my womb. Men take a little longer to process change. Matt has held on and believed with great faith that my eggs would still be alive and well. With this news, it has brought a finality to the hope he carried. For him, it’s almost as if the grieving has just begun. We ask that you continue to pray for peace and understanding in this time. We are in this together, and continue to cling to each other on this roller coaster through life. The fact still remains: Matt will be a daddy, and I a mommy; We WILL be parents. No matter if our children come from our bodies or from someone else’s they will still be our own. It’ll be a momentous occasion when we can tell our children how truly hard we fought for them.

Now that we know how we will have children, many are probably wondering when we will begin “trying” for kids. We are blessed to have several friends who have chosen adoption, or who themselves are adopted; therefore, we have many close resources to turn to. We will begin researching, learning, and gathering as much information about adoption that we possibly can. However, we have decided that until I reach my two-year mark clean and clear of cancer, children are going to have to wait a little while. After all, we want to make sure that our children get a healthy mom and not a sick one. Until we decide to be open for placement, we will continue to fill our brains with as much knowledge that can fit. We will attend seminars, information meetings, and read as many articles on adoption that is available to us. We believe that the more knowledge we obtain, the better the journey will be.

We have been praying for our children for years, and look forward to when God chooses to place them into our life. For now, He’s got them…And I feel confident knowing, He’s the best babysitter out there.

Psalm 113:4-9 (The Message)

“God is higher than anything and anyone, outshining everything you can see in the skies. Who can compare with God, our God, so majestically enthroned, surveying his magnificent heavens and earth? He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash, seats them among the honored guests, a place of honor among the brightest and best. He gives childless couples a family, gives them joy as the parents of children. Hallelujah!”

3 Comments on Bittersweet and Thankful

  1. Bill Gary
    November 8, 2012 at 2:11 PM (6 years ago)

    My dearest Stephanie and Matt,

    As your grandfather, Stephanie and you as well, Matt (you inherited me) I continue to be amazed how God’s Spirit is leading you through this long, painful and challenging valley of pain and sorrow! I am so grateful for your trust in our living God, your testimonies of how you are being led and the hope you share with others who are suffering.

    My heart breaks that your dream for biological children is not possible now. However, I rejoice and praise God for your faith that God will work all things together for good for you and Matt. I will not be surprised if your journey will eventually touch’ bless and transform the “the least of these” Jesus calls his own, children in particular, that God will bring into your lives.

    Your Nanny and I continue to pray for you daily to be kept tightly and firmly together in God’s loving grace and mercy and our love grows for both of you!

    Reply
  2. Sarah Jackson
    November 8, 2012 at 4:06 PM (6 years ago)

    Steph, once again just the right amount of honesty and eloquence! Hugs and kisses to you and Matt. I have no doubt your journey will continue to have greatness in it and through it you will discover a love unlike any other (parenthood.) Love to you today and always and I will continue to keep you two in my prayers. I look forward to hearing more as you uncover the do’s and don’ts of the system. xoxo

    Reply
  3. donnajeanne
    November 10, 2012 at 9:42 AM (6 years ago)

    Dear Matt and Stephanie,
    This brought me to tears, as
    do your updates…
    You will NEVER regret listening to
    the Lord, and waiting on His answers
    to your longings…
    http://image-2-image.blogspot.co.at/2012/10/a-trampoline-and-ten-grandfor-adoption.html?spref=fb

    Praying for your lives, praising Him for the cancer-free place you
    are in right now, thanking Him for your example of accepting
    hard circumstances, asking Him to be your constant comfort
    as you grieve…

    Hope this video encourages and blesses you both!! :)

    Reply

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