Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Destined To Be A Mother- Helping A Friend In Need

I came across my friend from high schools story when another friend posted a link to help cover the costs of bringing home her and her husband's soon to be adopted son.  As someone who as always wanted to be a mother herself, Angela's story struck a cord with me.  I remember how much she loved helping to take care of her brothers and talking about wanting to be a mom.  I truly feel that every woman who wants to be a mother should have the opportunity.  In hopes to share her amazing story and help raise money to help them bring their son home I asked Angela if she would be willing to share her story.  She is so strong, called on her faith and family and is on her way to becoming a mommy.  Please take a moment to read her story.

Angela's Story

My entire life has been framed around the day I would become a mother. Every choice I have made from the time I was a young girl, I made with my future children in mind. When I learned how to swaddle my baby dolls, kept a list of baby names in middle school, started working at a childcare center when I was seventeen, said no to peer pressure, joined the teaching program at Central Michigan University, said "yes!" to my caring, patient husband Ryan, bought an economy size washer and dryer, moved into the cul de sac of a subdivision and amassed a giant collection of children's storybooks I did all that with a clear picture of how it would affect the babies I would one day bring home.

 Caring for children has always come naturally to me. I spent my time while growing up babysitting my little brothers, neighbors, and many other families. I volunteered in the church nursery, and taught Sunday School and VBS.  It made perfect sense that I would study elementary education and childhood development in college and begin my career as a preschool teacher upon graduation. Mothering children was ingrained in my personality, it was my identity.  When I married in 2006 and my husband and I tried to start our family we were filled with hope and joy and the deep certainty that our "real" lives were about to begin. That was not to be, the future we had blissfully imagined was not God's plan for our lives.
  What was in store for us was a lot of painful growth down a path of struggle  We continued trying to conceive, on our own and with the help of doctors. We had no success.

In 2008 I was diagnosed with a rare, often deadly cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. A tumor had grown from my left kidney, through my renal vein into my inferior vena cava all the way to my heart. Over the next year with the support of my family and friends, the prayers of many, many people, and the help of my amazing doctors I endured twelve rounds of chemotherapy and a radical nephrectomy. By the grace of God, I survived and was allowed to remain here on this Earth with my loved ones.

While I was battling my disease I took comfort in the thought that perhaps this cancer was what was standing between me and motherhood. As soon as I completed treatment I begged my doctors to allow me to return to trying to become a mother. By 2010 I had their permission and went to see a reproductive endocrinologist. For two more years my husband and I went through the many invasive, painful, and expensive tests and treatments forced upon those desperate to become parents. One of my worst days came when I was told that the chemo that saved my life most likely took away my ability to conceive and give birth to a baby. Ryan and I were devastated, heartbroken, and lost.

We had no choice but to continue to live our lives and show love to the several nieces, nephews and godchildren we had acquired by then. Often, it hurt deeply to be around my students and other people living our dream when it seemed so out of reach, but each of the little ones we cherished would only be young for such a short time, and we refused to allow our grief to rob us of precious memories with them. We prayed that God would grant us a child of our own, and we were not choosy about how he would bring our baby home. We were open to foster care and adoption in addition to having our own biological children.
As the years crept by we began to pray that God would prevent our hearts from growing hard and bitter while we waited, and waited, and waited.

Then, unexpectedly, in May of 2014 a birth mom came and literally dropped her good news right on our doorstep. As a close family member of mine, she had observed Ryan and I on our long journey and wanted so badly to ease our suffering. She witnessed the love we have to give a child and chose us to raise her little one.  I don't know why God lead us down this long and lonely journey to parenthood, but I do know that He has brought THIS baby boy to us and I believe that we were meant to be his parents. We have delighted in preparing for his arrival, choosing his name, and attending doctor visits and ultrasounds.

 My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Through the sadness and despair, I have held tight to this message and cannot wait to get to know our sweet baby, and watch him grow over the years.

We are grateful beyond words for the indescribable gift our birth mom has bestowed upon us. We are also overwhelmed by all those who have reached out to support us with financial and emotional assistance as our greatest dream comes true. We consider ourselves immeasurably blessed and just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
~Angela & Ryan Edmond

To help Angela and Ryan cover the expenses of bring home their son a friend has set up a Donation Page.  Every little bit helps.  If you feel that you are able to help, please visit their donation page.  It's up to us to help those in need and to always Scatter Kindness.
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Sunday, October 5, 2014

A New Month + Scatter Kindness

 I really can't believe that we are already 6 days into October.  Is this year just flying by or what?  I keep sitting down to write a blog post and something always interrupts me...but today I really wanted to share a few things with you all.  So here I am on this chilly fall day writing a post I have been meaning to write for 5 days now!  I love new months, it always feels like the beginning of something new with new opportunities.  Fall is one of my favorite times of the year, but for some reason I have been having a few "down in the dumps" days.  I know that we all have them, and I am human I have them too.  I think this happens when I am focusing on the wrong things.  I try to take a minute and figure out what is making me feel down and then decide what I can do about it.  I think one of the things that has been happening is that I am taking things to personally...have you read The 4 Agreements?  If not it is a wonderful book that I always refer back to when I need to evaluate how things are going and how I am feeling.  Of the the agreements is "Don't take anything personally."  This for me is the hardest one.  We are all so quick to think that everything is about us (it is in our nature).  I do this all the time.  If someone doesn't return a phone call, message or e-mail, I wonder what I did wrong or what that person didn't get back to me, and then I can get down about it.  If I remember not to take anything personally then it won't bother me.  It always has to do with the other person, most likely they are busy and have things going on that I know nothing about.  And more times than not they eventually get back to me.  I have been working on remembering this agreement and it helps to pick me up when I am feeling down.  I also call up a good friend (you know who you are), go workout, take my daughter for a walk or think about all the blessings that I have in my life.  At the end of the day, I am blessed to be exactly where I am in life.  I am taking the beginning of this new month to re-direct my thoughts and to remember the 4 agreements in my daily life.  Here are The Four Agreements, if you haven't read it I highly suggest it.  I have mine on my Nook and re-read it often.  What do you feel is the hardest agreement for you?

I have also started thinking about what I can do to help others.  I feel like I have so much to be thankful for that I want to find a way to help out and scatter kindness.  We all get so caught up in the day to day that I think we forget to give thanks for all the good that we have in life.  There is a saying or quote that goes something like: "Someone else is thankful for less than what you have".  Which makes me stop worrying about all the little things and give thanks for what I have in life.  I have a healthy and happy family, I have my health, I have friends that I love and who love me, a home to keep me safe and warm and food to eat everyday.  I want to start doing things for others...scattering kindness.  I would love to hear some of the things that you do to help others.  I am going to collect all the coats and blankets in my house and find a shelter in need of these items.  I want to find something each month that I can do for others.  If we all focused on what we are thankful for we would all be so much happier with what we have.  So, let's start a new trend of scattering kindness wherever we go.  If you have the opportunity to make someones day a little brighter...take it!
Lastly, I want to talk a little about my health & fitness goals for this new month.  It is always a great time to take a look at your goals every month and commit to your program.  No matter what your goals are if you decide what you want to achieve, make a plan and commit you can reach those goals.  My goals are to get back to keeping my workouts fun and exciting.  I think it is easy to get stuck in a rut, which seems to have happened to me.  I have added some Jillian Michaels workouts in, added boxing intervals and am adding my HIIT treadmill intervals back in.  I will keep lifting heaving and working on my functional strength too!  I love lifting and I always feel so amazing after a great workout.  What do you do you keep your workouts exciting?  In the spirit of new opportunities I have a new giveaway for October.  I will be giving away my HIIT E-book full of workouts and a GymBoss has given me an awesome interval timer to giveaway so you can do your HIIT workouts wherever you are.  I have had my GymBoss for years and would be lost without it during my tababta and boxing intervals.  Head over to the giveaway page for more details on how to enter.

Thank you to all my readers and those who stop by to my little piece of the Internet.  I am truly grateful for each and everyone of you.  It means a lot that you take the time to read my posts, really truly, thank you!
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