Friday, July 8, 2011

Papers & blood don't make family, only love.

I have so many things in this life to be thankful  for.
 I suppose I will tell you a little more about me.

  When I was a young infant my biological parents decided at their young age to put me up for adoption.
Raising a child with Cystic Fibrosis is a challenge today, but in the 80's it was far more different, though I can't remember.

I was adopted by Margaret & Mitchell. They had an eldest daughter they adopted Tish.
My parents worked very hard to help support my lungs and growing body. At the age of six my youngest sister joined our family. Courtney and I grew up very close in age and fought like sisters. We tortured poor Tish until she moved out and Married.

Growing up I was the skinny kid who ate a huge amount of food and the kids did notice. 
I had a true friend named Tiffany from about seven years old. She was curious of my Medicines and the air way clearance devices (until they came out with the vest), but once she knew everything it was no longer a conversation. She never made fun of me and certainly stood grounds if anyone made remarks. To this day we keep in touch. Many great memories made with Tiffy.

In my teens girls would always say things like "it must be nice to eat that food, what I would give to eat that and be that skinny." But little did they know I didn't want to be that skinny and certainly didn't care for eating around the clock.  

I met my biological father when I was sixteen. My father's mother had always been apart of my life through my open adoption. I knew my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandpa as well. 
My dad was very laid back and had respectful demeanor that helped me to in wanting to build a relationship. He seemed to let me choose how our relationship would grow and was never once pushy.
I have grown over the years to love and respect the man who not only made one of the hardest decision any father would have to do, but to still love me and wait in hopes that one day I would want to meet him.
He married a wonderful woman Jenifer. She has blessed me with three brilliant, beautiful loving siblings. Two younger brothers and a sister. She is a wonderful mother to all of us children and even more a fantastic grandmother to my child.
I love her very much and am so honored to have her as a mom.

I did meet my biological mother as well. I met her a little after turning eighteen. We kept in contact while trying to build a relationship. 
She gave me two great sisters to add to my sibling cookie jar.
Over the years we have drifted apart, but not for one second do I forget them or lack love or room in my heart.

I am happy to say that neither sides of my biological family has Cystic Fibrosis, besides me. :)

My adopted parents were so very special in my sight growing up. Besides having my sisters and I they were also foster parents. I seen so many children come through our home that was far less fortunate that to this day it has taught me to be happy with what I need, give a helping hand and always make room at the table for more. 
One of the foster children before being adopted out was Barbara. She was a sister, I loved her very much and she was very entertaining. She would hide food in her room and once sneak on the fridge and ate chocolate cake and when caught red handed she claimed it wasn't her (she was five). 
I am so happy to say that we have since found each other and I have yet another sister to add to my jar! 

My Cystic Fibrosis never truly gave me such a hard time other than weight gain until my teen years. I do believe that my first PIC line and IV's was about age fifteen. I didn't have anymore until eighteen.
I was over all very active outside and pretty much was unstoppable at a certain age. My poor parents tried to keep me close to home and at a younger age pretty much locked inside out of fear of germs.

I certainly was never concerned until one day I asked my doctor when people die with CF. His reply at first was sort of a shock and need to avoid, but me being well me I pushed on. I do believe I was about six or seven. He said "most people are lucky to make it through their teens if that." I absorbed those words and moved on. That is until another friend of mine with CF passed away. And to this day that memory haunts me. I realized for the first time that real CF people die, and I too am served the same fate. Shortly after Whitney passed away after fighting a battle with CF and two double lung transplants I also was given the reality of death again when my dearest Nanny (my adopted moms mother) passed away. It is to hard to write beyond this point.

On a flip side, I met Mike when I was sixteen. I worked at Foodlion and that was where most of our conversations took place. I did sneak from work one day to eat lunch with him (Shhh, mom & dad still don't know). We ate McDonalds and he got me to try chicken nuggets with honey instead of ketchup. It was also where we had our first little kiss and then back to work.

We slowly built up to mom and dad letting him come over. We were not allowed to be together outside of their house, but we could sit on our families glider and talk until night time. So many memories was made on that glider as a young girl at my papa's house, and new ones made as a young lady at my parents house with Mike.
We would wait for evening light to fade and sneak a few kisses in. I felt very naughty doing that, but I am sure my parents had to be smart enough to know that would happen. :)

I now am happy to say that Mike's family is mine and am so happy to add them to my circle!

That is a little past and here is a quick recent update:

Mike and I have been sneaking kisses now for six years and God blessed us with a healthy (no CF!!!), intelligent, adorable five year old. And He is in the process of blessing us with a second child to come in November. 
My health before pregnancy has been good for the most part. A little more of a struggle this second (and last) pregnancy. But that is for posts to come.

I am gratefully blessed with a beautiful, big family, a man that surpasses all in my eyes, two children and two working lungs! 

~ Michelle ~

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