Lendale Tiong

Lendale Tiong

 
September 26 2014

This Chapter

Lendale Tiong

 

I have always been a woman of strong faith. I may crumble at times, but I always manage to pick myself up again. When I do, it is always because of faith.

Summer 2009. My husband, Renmel and I had been married for nearly two years. We dreamed of becoming parents one day. What we didn’t know was that it was not going to be easy. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome in June 2009. It answered so many questions, but it also left us with a million more. Two days before my doctor was going to discuss my blood results, I was told to do my research and list all the questions I had in regards of PCOS. That night Renmel had fallen asleep before me. I sat staring at the laptop. I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know what to expect and at that time I had no idea what PCOS really was. After a few searches and seeing some horrific photos, I had only one question written on my notepad, “Will I ever be able to bear children?” I was panicked, and I cried myself to sleep.

Two days later, Renmel and I were sitting in my doctor’s office, anxiously waiting to be seen. The last two days had been a blur. After about an hour and a half of discussing my situation, I learned that I was a PCOS patient with less severe symptoms. We walked out ready to make a change. I was ordered to take a ton of vitamins, two types of prescription medication, and avoid certain foods along with certain fruits that had always been among my favorites.

I made those changes and integrated them into my life. I was doing so well for a while, and then my next appointment came along. “Your ovaries are slightly off centered, and slanted to the left,” said Dr. Ho. I continued my prescription medication and was told that I was going to be okay. For a while I was okay and I did what I was ordered, but it all suddenly made me feel trapped. The entire situation was a burden. My positive attitude slowly turned into depression.

On the outside I was a happy person. I showed no emotion in regards to my depression. I went on many adventures with Renmel that summer and I seemed happy, yet at the same time I was really sad. Nobody knew what I was going through, not even my husband. He had always been very good at keeping me sane and putting me in a positive state, reminding me that everything would be okay. I never wanted him to see me breaking down, and I didn’t want anyone to see me upset. I would do all of that in the middle of the night as I cried myself to sleep almost every single day. By morning I would be the happy person again. I tried not to sit alone, doing nothing, or else I would be an emotional wreck. I kept myself busy with arts and crafts. By the end of the summer, I celebrated my 24th birthday. I realized I was still too young to waste my time. I may not have known what my purpose in life was then, but I knew that I was wasting my time feeling depressed. I focused on the little things that made me happy. My faith blossomed. I knew God had amazing plans for me. By mid autumn, it was becoming easier to stay positive.

In an unusual dry-crisp autumn day of November 2009, a tiny fair skinned-blue-eyed beautiful toddler wobbled over to me in her bare feet. It was my 4th year teaching and my first day as a new teacher in a local childcare and pre-school facility. I was moved by this tiny little one’s smile. Her name is Brooklyn. She was so tiny, yet had the biggest personality I would later discover.

Over the course of the months, my co-teacher and I focused on caring for our children, especially the ones who needed it most. I have always loved all kinds of children, no matter who and where they came from. Brooklyn was one of the many children who unfortunately needed it most. She had very unique circumstances and we were invited to enter into her life as caretakers. She was growing, and the more she grew the more my heart felt connected to hers.

In a cool summer morning of 2010, we enjoyed a breakfast meal at our local IHOP restaurant with the woman who would become my first daughter’s mother. Renmel and I vowed to become the sole provider for Brooklyn’s needs and help raise this beautiful blue-eyed toddler. It was then that I learned Brooklyn’s middle name is FAITH. I had mentioned to Renmel in the early days of our marriage that if we ever had a daughter that I would love to name her Faith. From that moment on, I knew exactly where I had to be and what I had to become.

My Faith in the Lord grew stronger when we took on the parental role for Brooklyn. It wasn’t always easy, and at times it seemed like all I wanted to do was cry because I felt overwhelmed. But at some point during those early months with her, I began to understand why everything happened the way it had. Brooklyn’s presence in our lives is one of our greatest blessings. I suddenly knew what my purpose in life was to be. This chapter in our life was to care for this child, and until the Lord leads us to another path. We were ready to change our whole lives for Brooklyn Faith. And change it did. Our lives were completely changed, forever.

Today, almost five years later, I am still where God has intended me to be. I have learned so much. I have also developed a closer relationship with God. Because of Him, I know true love. I may not be able to bear children in this chapter of my life, but God has given me a more beautiful, greater gift. That greater gift is to love, with all my heart, in all ways. The family Renmel and I imagined building together has become more than I could have ever dreamed. We have Brooklyn Faith, who also has her biological mother and sister. It’s a unique situation. Many will never understand the circumstances we’re in, but what matters the most is that we know and understand them. They will always be a part of our family dream. Had I not been diagnosed with PCOS, there would have never been a Brooklyn Faith in our life. For that, I am forever grateful.

In a time that I thought my life was crumbling, something so wonderful came along. My lesson to you is that if you just believe, you too can experience something wonderful. You will understand your gift, and you will know your own purpose in this chapter.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

 

Lendale Tiong