CindyFrench-stranger than fiction stories

about facing life with hope and confidence, no matter the diagnosis

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Posted by Cindy H French on 09/27/2009

So we settled down, our little family. My husband graduated Tech and went to work for a general contractor as a project manager. Those guys work long, hard hours and I am not sure that they are ever compensated enough! I never dreamed that someday, in a different life I would be recruting and placing those kinds of people!

Back to being a mommy! I loved this! I would go to KMart and find little sunsuits with hats to dress her in and then we’d come home from the store and try them all on! Like playing dolls, except she was alive! And active and very demonstrative of her likes and dislikes. I learned on the job about packing a diaper bag and all that one might need for just a couple of hours-remember this is before handi-wipes or pampers with elastic at the legs. I thought of it, shoulda, woulda, coulda on that! Too late! Of course we did the “real” diaper thing first, but pretty quickly went to the disposables. It just seemed cleaner to me. And I would put wet washclothes in tin foil to keep it wet for cleaning up-whatever. Our first outing, I didn’t bring extra clothes, but learned quickly to bring extras of everything! Melissa was a joy and I thought I was set! Now, we just needed another baby and we’d be complete. I didn’t want her to be an “only”. I have 5 brothers and sisters that I treasure and wanted at least one sibling for her. Because we had had so much trouble, we were advised to try again, quickly. At about the time Melissa was 13 months, we thought I might be pregnant again, but it turned out to be another cyst. This time, fast growing and very painful. Our doctor told us that he would do everything he could to keep me “in tack”. This was back when with 3 abdominal surgeries or even C-sections, you were done, but I was only 22 years old. I knew he was a good surgeon and trusted him.  When I woke up, though, it was to bad news. There really wasn’t much there to save. My tubes were destroyed by adhesions, my ovaries were covered with cysts-one about to explode with who knows what-and I’d already had two questionable PAP smears. Back then, with no test tube babies born yet, it seemed reasonable to take my uterus as well as the other organs. In fact, my doctor said that Melissa really was a miracle, because he couldn’t see how in the world I had gotten pregnant with no tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus! But our God is the giver of life and He knew and listened to my fervent prayers for a child. He made it happen-regardless of what the medical profession understands.

Once I got out of the hospital, I had a tough time emotionally. I didn’t know why-no one prepared me for “menopause” but that was what I experienced. Up and down emotions, crying, hot flashes. I finally bought a bag of marshmallows just to have something to throw that wouldn’t hurt anything! Finally, I had enough sense to call my doctor and he put me on premarin-estrogen. It took awhile to get stabilized, but what a difference! If I ever forgot to take the medicine, my husband always knew!

I still had lot’s of trouble with kidney infections and was hospitalized with surgery and lot’s of antibiotics. I think Melissa was about 18 months-she stayed with her paternal grandparents, who were two of the most awesome people I’ve ever known. Her “Grandmommy” took her hand when she got there, took her into the bathroom and said, “big girls don’t wet their pants” and that was that! When I came home from the hospital, Melissa came right up and said, Mommy, Big girl! and proceeded to show me her potty! I guess she was just ready, but my goodness, that was amazing. Melissa’s great grandfather came to live with the grandparents after his wife died. He became just as important as her parents or grandparents in her life. He would sit for hours reading books to her and just paying attention. I think that was what was so great about all of them. They really paid attention to you and loved you unconditionally.

I still wanted that second child! I prayed and read the Word a lot about my desires. I was very involved with church-taught Sunday School and also a women’s Bible study. I was very organized so that my household wouldn’t suffer my outside involvement. We had bought a house by then. It had a great area for a garden and so the greatgrandfather and grandfather came over, tilled and planted and we had some of every kind of vegetable. I learned to can, to make pickles-I always liked to cook so having fresh was great. I even tried making bread, but wasn’t any good at that. This was before the bread making machines were out there.

We had some great next door neighbors. They had a little girl Melissa’s age and so it was often that we all got together. Soon after, they had another little girl. This really made me yearn for that other child. Then in January 1986, God spoke to me through His Word and told me He was going to give us a child. I was to prepare for it. I took Him at His word and got down the crib and baby clothes and things from the attic that I had kept. I set up the nursery in our 3rd bedroom and waited. Early in the spring, I got a call from a friend. She had a friend who was pregnant and thinking of giving the child up for adoption. Were we interested? Well, what could I say? I told her I was totally ready for the child-that I knew we were going to have one, but had no idea where it would come from! So here it was. All we had to do was pay the legal expenses of the adoption and the medical expenses of the birth mother. We decided to correspond through our attorney. I wrote of my prayers and God’s assurance of another child. I wrote of my family and faith and desire to love and raise another child. Then in August, our second daughter was born. Our attorney called and told me by telling me how much she looked like me! Same dimples, dark hair,but healthy and whole. Of course part of the agreement was that we would take whatever the baby was-boy or girl, healthy or not.  God always gives perfect gifts and Laurel was certainly perfect in my eyes. We brought her home when she was 3 days old. I could tell right away that she had a milk allergy-boy-little did I know what we were going to go through with her allergies! But what a sweet girl. Melissa loved her baby sister and helped me with her. I was amazed at how my neighbors welcomed her with gifts and cards. All I knew was that now my family was really complete!


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