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.