Saturday, December 17, 2005

I Believe In Signs

One of my favorite blogs suggested that hearing about stories of signs about the journey can help with the wait for a baby. I agree. For me, signs are like little knocks on the head that you are not in this situation alone, a higher being...whoever that is in your faith or creed is right along there with you. Signs can be confirmation that your path is the right one for the right time. A little nudge saying, keep trying, don't quit.

Signs led me to my daughter, no doubt.

By the fall of 2000 I was feeling like I had lived far more than the 9 months that the calendar showed on the wall. In that time I had endured a very painful IVF, gotten pregnant and then quickly lost the baby in an unexplained miscarriage. My husband and I were devastated since we were "the perfect candidates" for IVF. We endured years of unexplained infertility, I was only 30 and he was 34, we were both very healthy, or so we thought. I was disillusioned with my corporate job, I felt as if we were on a treadmill that was truly going nowhere.

Just as I was gearing up for another fertility treatment 3 months after the miscarriage a lump was discovered in my breast. It was not nothing as I was told by my doctor. Eight weeks after my 31st birthday I would not be having another go around at pregnancy. I would be deciding which chemotherapy would be best, save the breast or not, radiation now or later.

At this particularily low moment in our lives the 2000 Summer Olympics came to our living room. Every night as I laid on ice bags to soothe the repaired muscle under my right arm we watched the athletes. It was ironic, being obsessed that year with the human athlete's body in its top physical form from a couch nursing my failed ovaries and now gone breast, while contemplating what I'd look like without hair.

Then there was a sign. It was the Chinese women's (although they looked like little girls) gymnastics team. To us, they were no less than completely captivating. We watched them in awe. They were graceful, beautiful, disciplined. My husband looked at me and said, "Don't they have a lot of little girls in China who need homes?" I answered yes, wouldn't it be amazing if they would one day let us adopt a little girl. But then I snapped myself back to reality...cancer, chemo, surgeries, radiation. My husband just said, "Well, you know when all of this is over and you are better...maybe....

That was it. I knew that when I got better we would indeed adopt a baby from China. I knew she was out there we just had to wait out the sickness stuff and then go get her. I would think of her as I laid on a CAT scan table for endless amounts of time. I would think of her as a needle was tapped coming from my chest feeding red liquid into my body to kill cancer cells.

Several months later I was driving down the road listening to the radio. The man announced that there would be a free meeting for anyone interested in international adoption at the church my husband and I sometimes attended. Another sign.

When I told my husband about it he said "Do you want to do that this soon, already?" Oh yeah. I'm ready, let's get on with life and start living!

I pulled on the wig, attended the meeting, signed the application contract and sent in a check all within 24 hours. We were on our way.


M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Wow, Perrin, your story is amazing and beautifully told. What strength and grace you have. I wish I could press the fast-forward button and read about your first meeting with your daughter right now, because I'm sure it will be everything you dream.

Traci said...

I love that story Perrin! I love it because it is a story of survival! I've added you to my list of examples that I use when I go in to see patients who are starting their first chemo treatment. As I run the "red stuff" (or sometimes other drugs) into them I share story after story of survival. From the look in their eyes I don't think they get tired of hearing them!

I love your heart! Ava is a lucky girl to have you as her Mommy. Looking forward to meeting your Olivia!


Colleen said...

Perrin -
I love this post! And I most definitely believe in signs. I applaude you for your strength in being a survivor and overcoming HUGE obstacles to be where you are today.

I cannot wait to see you become a mother to #2! What a great story.