In the middle of the night, I curled up with my sleeping son in the bed. I needed the comfort of his miracle to ease what I felt I lost. His breathing made soft echos in our room, and I was in awe that he was alive – we were alive.
On Friday afternoon, I found out through research that having cancer, even being in remission, is a disqualifier for international adoption in multiple countries. Kevin and I have always wanted to adopt: before marriage, before cancer, before the doctors took my womb to save my life. I felt crushed as the news was just the culmination of a bad week. When I got home, I escaped the house for an hour and a half to go pick out a dress for our family pictures on Sunday and left Shiloh with Kevin.
As I stood in the dressing room with all my surgery scars reflecting back at me, all I wanted to do was cry. It took all my energy to try on more dresses – each one looking awkward on my post surgery frame. Then I tried on a teal dress, the color of the Ovarian Cancer ribbon, and with swollen eyes and smeared makeup I felt pretty for the first time in months. I needed that moment because I needed to make a decision – whether to let depression drag me under and smother me, or to choose to find the beauty in the ashes and to be more grateful than sad.
I think it’s easy to sink into sadness, but I also think we have a choice. We have to pick ourselves up and choose to be more grateful than sad. I choose to be more grateful for my son’s life, my life, than upset about a situation out of my control. I know God gave me a heart for adoption on purpose, and He’s the same God who saved both me and my son when in our medical files it shouldn’t have been possible to survive. God makes the physical, even laws, come into accordance with His will – not the other way around.
So as I curled up with my son that night, his tiny warm body pressed against mine, petite feet on my thigh, and precious fingers on my cheek, I chose to rise out of the ashes.