Will you carry the words of love with you?”
10/15/2015: Our dear friends, Laura and Ryan, are adopting a child. Laura wrote the following on her CaringBridge site a few days ago. Moved by her heartfelt words, I decided to share them here (with her kind permission).
We had a wonderful day yesterday spending the whole day with our daughter! We went to Ihop for breakfast, went to the church she attends, and spent most of the time at the Mall of America! We love her so much! This Friday she will spend all day at our house! We can’t wait! (No school Friday.)
Some of you may wonder why I update with such little updates about our daughter (and so often!)…..to me, it is all in the process of having a bone marrow transplant.
You become sick and go through various treatments that make you sick. These treatments and sickness take so much away from your “normal life”….your job, friends, time with friends and family, etc. Then you need a bone marrow transplant. And that makes you even sicker. And takes away pretty much all “normal life” as you know it. You miss out on so many things, you lose so much…..and yet as the years go by after the transplant…..you just get sicker and sicker and have more and more complications as the result of the transplant that has saved your life…..but slowly, ever so slowly…..you begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel….and the complications become less….yes, they are still there….but they have become less and less severe….and suddenly some of the “normal life” comes back….but it is not the normal life that you once had or dreamed of…..it is a life altered and changed by going through something so complex and having so many severe, awful complications. Suddenly, you have to learn what your new normal is and accept the things that you have had to give up and won’t get back.
We always discussed that we wanted kids and that we would have them soon after marriage but getting sick the month of our wedding and being sick our whole first year of marriage and having the transplant ten days prior to our one year wedding anniversary changed those plans (along with so many others). Chemo and radiation to your whole body wreaks havoc on your body and changes so many things. But finally after years and years of major complications, I was getting healthier…. And we knew that we could bring a part of our “normal life” back…We started this process (adoption) at the beginning of January, the process to have a child, a child to love and cherish….and we have that child….a girl…whom we love so dearly…..and we are so excited….just as new parents are excited about having a baby….we are so excited about having our child and spending time with her….but for me it also brings back a slice of “normal life”….
I don’t say all this to complain or make people feel sorry for me….but for people to truly see just how much being sick and having a transplant can change your life, your goals, your dreams. I also don’t want people to think we are just adopting to fulfill a goal or dream….we are doing it because we feel we are at a time in our life where we are ready to have children and support them and love them as best as we are able to….and just as most couples want kids….so do we….and we have been given that chance through adopting our sweet and precious daughter….
So I write all the updates about her because really in the end….it is still a part of the process of the transplant….this may not make sense to people, but it makes sense to me, and that is all that matters…..a part where we are at the point where we feel we can have children….a ray of light from the light at the end of the very long tunnel….
For those who are new to our blog, Laura had her bone marrow transplant before Karen. Her strength and words of wisdom (and her cat, Simon) helped Karen gain the courage to go through with her own life-saving transplant a year and a half later. Over time, they found they had much more in common and declared themselves to be “transplant twins, separated at rebirth” (an inside joke of sorts – no, she was not Karen’s donor and not related by blood but is surely family nonetheless!)
Congratulations, Laura and Ryan! We love you and are happy and excited for you and your family. We can’t wait to meet our newest niece and to see all of you at Karen’s 5th rebirthday celebration next month.
Karen & Michael