Saturday, September 13, 2008

A testimoney opportunity...because of CF

I belong to a few CF related online groups. One is specifically for Christians, the other two are not. In one of the "other two", a new member introduced herself today and in a response to several posts directed at her (a whole other story!), I welcomed her and introduced myself very briefly.

She picked up on the fact that I have 3 kids with CF and asked if I would share how I came to the decision to have more kids. She just has the one with CF so far, but wants more children.

My answer could not be explained without sharing my faith, because it is 100% due to my faith and promise of what is yet to come that brought me to my decision. I thought I would copy my response to her here in case any of you are interested in how we came to that decision. It may also be good information if you ever talk with someone who questions our decision! I would love the opportunity to address them personally, but no one has been so bold as to come right out and ask me, (though I know there have been a handful who think we should have stopped after Jackson.)

Anyway, my point is not to "prove" anything, it is to share with you the opportunity I had to share my testimony to a LARGE audience from all over the world. I don't know where Jenn stands in her faith, but perhaps this will touch SOMEONE in the group and bring them closer to a life with Jesus.

Here it is:

Jenn,
I don't mind that question at all. In fact, sometimes I appreciate the opportunity to "defend" our decision to have more. Not that anyone has made me think I need to. I have heard through the grapevine that there are those (not on this list, or any other) that question why my husband and I keep having kids knowing the risks. Their opinions don't really phase me, but I also don't like knowing that others have questioned a personal decision between my husband and I.

To answer your question, I will talk about my faith, so if anyone else reading is not interested in reading what could be perceived as "religion talk", you may want to stop here. =) You've been warned! ;)

Our first child, a son, was born without CF and life was great! We had decided before marriage that we wanted four kids. So, pursuing that goal, we had our 2nd child, two yrs later, another son. This time, life wasn't so great. He was not "thriving" and after 3 wks., was diagnosed with CF through newborn screening (Yeah for newborn screening!). Obviously, it was a hard hit for us, as everyone on this list knows all too well. We were blindsided because we have no relatives at all with CF and hadn't really heard of CF that we remembered. At that point, I struggled with what to do next. I still wanted more children, but didn't want to keep "doing this" to my kids. It was one thing to have it unexpectedly, but to knowingly allow a child to be born with CF, was I okay with that? I wasn't sure.

To explain what it was that secured my decision for me, I must first tell you that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and I believe that that is the way to heaven when we die.

A dear friend of mine was talking with me one day as I was asking the questions, "do we have more?" How will my child feel knowing that I essentially "allowed" this to happen to him/her? etc. She pointed out that we never really know what the journey of life will bring for any of us and that though this life may be tough for a time, it does not even compare to what we have to look forward to after we die. So, I considered that statement for a long time and it gave me comfort. As much as I do not want to see my children suffer in anyway, this life is but a drop in the bucket and there is so much more to come that IS worth living for.

That does not mean I wasn't absolutely heart broken with each new diagnosis, but the realization that God IS in control and that He has a plan for each of my kids' lives and for my own (and my husband's) does get me through. I still have days that I question why God allowed this in our family and have often tried to "inform" God that I am not capable to handle all of this, but I also know that we aren't given more than we can bear.

So, that's my answer!

That said, there are many on here who have had other children after the cf diagnosis and those children do not have CF. Oh, I wish that were our story, but I don't regret our decision to have more kids. My kids are SO precious (of course!) and just add such a wonderful dynamic to the family. It's a tough decision to make and the answer that was right for me may not be right for others, but I have peace with it and I hope that you have peace with whatever decision you make.

Thanks for asking! Hope you're not regretting your question! haha

Leah

1 comment:

a_weak_rose said...

That is SOOOOOOOO cool! I love that you were able to share like that! Wow! Gives me goosebumps! God SO got the glory for that!
love you!

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