My wife, Kendra: â€śIâ€™d really like to talk about us adopting a child some day, or maybe being foster parents.â€ť
Me: â€śI want my own kids, with my own blood, and my own athletic ability.â€ť
Okay, okay. Thatâ€™s only what I was thinking. What I really said when Kendra began pressing me to adopt or foster was, â€śIâ€™m just not feeling led by God yet, I need to pray about it, Iâ€™m not sure Iâ€™m ready.â€ť Those were all true statements. I didnâ€™t feel 100% at peace about it. I had reservations. However, whether I admitted it or not, the real reasons I didnâ€™t want to bring an orphan into my home had everything to do with me and nothing to do with Godâ€™s will for my life.
Then I got eviscerated by God. Not just a â€ścome to Jesus momentâ€ť, but rather a â€ślet-Me-rip-every-semblance-of-comfort-from-youâ€ť kind of experience.
The phone call
On April Foolâ€™s Day 2011 I got a call from my hepatologist that I had suspicious spots on my liver. Two weeks later on my only child Coltonâ€™s first birthday, I was told that I would likely not help my son blow out the candles on his second birthday. No lie. My name is Ryan Prudhomme and I have stage IV liver bile duct cancer.
Something changed almost instantaneously in my life. Things that Iâ€™d spent years praying for, now came true in a flash. I became 100% dependent on God for survival, I was humbled, compassionate, and I had an unexplainable burning passion to help children that are hurting. A lot of other things in my life snapped into focus immediately. I call it seeing in High Definition. It was like life just exploded with color for the first time. There is no place that compares with coming to a full understanding of your reliance on God.
So now that I am finally excited and passionate about adopting or fostering, I have lost the opportunity. Besides whether itâ€™s morally right to adopt a child knowing thereâ€™s an overwhelming chance youâ€™d never raise them, itâ€™s legally pretty impossible right now for us to adopt or foster anyways due to my medical condition.
Why would God wait to â€ślead meâ€ť to adoption until after I am even able?
God didnâ€™t wait to tell me. He prompted me over and over and I ran away from Him. There was no real reason why we shouldnâ€™t have adopted before I was diagnosed. I was waiting for the magical Holy Spirit light to go off and finally give me â€śpeaceâ€ť about the decision. Are you familiar with this way of discerning Godâ€™s will? I only act once Iâ€™m 100% confident (read: comfortable) with this decision.
The problem is that removes the element of faith. Faith requires us to act when it doesnâ€™t always make sense or feel right. Do you remember Jericho, the Passover, or Peter getting out of the boat? Unfortunately for me because I was too selfish to act a few years ago when God (through my wife) presented the idea to me, I fear Iâ€™ve now lost the chance forever. Heaven forbid some child out there could have had a father but now wonâ€™t because of my selfishness. Praise God that He will love them regardless of my lack of obedience.
What changed in my heart? I canâ€™t tell you. I can only say that Iâ€™m a different person than before. Things that used to matter now donâ€™t, and things that didnâ€™t matter as much, now do. Cancer changes your perspective, and terminal cancer oddly gives you a new lease on life.
What might God be telling you to do that youâ€™re not quite â€śfeelingâ€ť yet? Is there any real reason youâ€™re holding back? I missed that chance. Lord willing Iâ€™ll get another one someday. Donâ€™t miss your chance. Be brave enough to be obedient. Imagine what a nation of people who served God like they were dying? What would that look like?
(Itâ€™s been 8 months since I was diagnosed and my wife and I live in confidence of the knowledge that God is 100% able to heal me. Whether He chooses to or not is His decision. The cancer has begun to retreat, which is huge. We take everything one day at a time and are so grateful for Godâ€™s provision and blessing in our lives.)