The night I saw that presentation came and went like so many others during that season of our life until we entered a night that would not so quickly pass. We were told that Anne-Marie had cancer. At the time we had no idea what would come of it. We didn't know the far-reaching effects. We didn't know where God was taking us.
A change came suddenly on a Wednesday evening in November of '06 when we were nearing the end of darkness. Anne-Marie was nearly finished with her treatments, and we were discussing all of our plans for the future. This was one of those times when a husband or wife opens a conversation and, inadvertently, the subject goes straight to the heart. We knew this one thing: after five years of marriage and five months of dealing with this bleak reality that had been given to us, we didn't want our lives to be defined by a disease.
It's no great wonder that our talk turned to our plans to have a family. Our friends had been hassling us for years about kids and we were ready, except for what the doctors had told us. Soon we would be finished with all the complicated treatments and the doctors would send us home with only one prescription. That prescription was for five years with one side effect--infertility.
Beside this, the doctors--due to the hormone-based nature of Anne-Marie's diagnosis in May--had recommended that Anne-Marie eventually have a surgery that would permanently make her unable to bear children. A pretty big decision to make, but one that pressed on us throughout this entire process.
As we talked that evening, I finally worked up the nerve to bring up a subject that seemed a little out of bounds.
"You know, I've been thinking a lot about this--and, well...I saw this presentation on adoption a few years ago and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. Maybe there's something in that that God is trying to place in our heart."
After throwing that out, I felt pretty vulnerable. I half expected to be dismissed or called insensitive and unrealistic.
"Well, I've been thinking and praying about it and I've felt the exact same thing."
Imagine my surprise when I found that we were in agreement on the subject. We continued to talk and found that some of the details we had already worked out in our own minds were the same. There was no need for argument: we were going to be parents.
We haven't looked back since.