Today R2M brings you a compelling story of infertility and cancer that altered the dreams Abby had for her future family. Sometimes the circumstances we find ourselves in force us down a new path. Sometimes, through faith and trusting in God’s plan, we find ourselves on the other side of the storm. From this viewpoint we can finally see His masterpiece; the perfect plan only He could orchestrate for our life. – Traci
A message from Abby:
“Cancer interrupted my road to motherhood. After three years of clomid, scans, blood tests, several rounds of intrauterine insemination- and two infertility specialists- no one could tell me why I couldn’t get pregnant. I never had a positive pregnancy test. My identical twin sister had babies. But then when I received the phone call from my surgeon, that much to his surprise I had breast cancer, my very first thought was this is why I haven’t been able to conceive. God had cancer in my plan. Yet I still had to grieve. I had to grieve my old life before cancer and grieve that becoming pregnant could bring my type of breast cancer roaring back.
During our infertility journey, my husband and I decided that we could grow our family through foster care adoption. We saw the need of so many children right in our own state. Two weeks after we received our home study approval is when we got the news about my cancer. Motherhood was put on hold while I underwent a mastectomy and reconstruction- a process that takes just about one year. The night before my mastectomy, I was packing my hospital bag. Somehow I always thought that I would be packing this bag because I was having a baby, not because I had cancer.
Three months after my mastectomy, I met with my gynecologist for my annual exam and to discuss ways to mitigate the side effects from my hormone therapy designed to suppress estrogen. She was seven months pregnant. That felt like another slap in the face and I couldn’t get to my car fast enough before the sobbing started. I was still raw from my dealing with my diagnosis and the reality that becoming pregnant could jeopardize my life. Raw from knowing that I wouldn’t be able to experience what my sister and so many friends had experienced. Raw that my husband and I wouldn’t have our own story of my water breaking and rushing to the hospital. Raw that I really did have to say goodbye to the little bit of hope in the back of my heart that maybe pregnancy would be part of my future.
Fear not; for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Four months after my last surgery in the breast reconstruction process, our social worker called to tell us we had been matched with a four-year-old girl. Four years old. That would have been the age of our child had I been able to conceive while on clomid. I prayed for God to take the pain of infertility, take the fear of cancer and with a humble heart to let me see His will for my life.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)
I prayed for the family that He wanted for me. So, our daughter moved in with us. Cancer gave us a gratefulness for life, a re-prioritizing of what we should be focused on. And adoption has given us a gratefulness to be able to teach our daughter about God’s love because He first adopted us as His sons and daughters. We’re grateful that we can show the world through our imperfectness, that God does have a plan for all of our families. We don’t have the picture of me in the wheelchair holding our baby upon being discharged from the hospital, but we do have the picture of our family on our adoption day. I still wonder from time-to-time what our biological baby may have looked like, but then I think about what my family does look like and it is greater than anything my human brain could have imagined.”