"CF is not forever," shares a young LDS family from Arizona. CF, or cystic fibrosis, is a hereditary disease that causes a buildup of mucus in the digestive tract and lungs. Treating it is exhausting and expensive—and sufferers have to stay apart to avoid cross contamination.
Three of the Adams's soon-to-be four children have it.
"We went in blind to the knowledge and had one baby with cystic fibrosis not knowing it was a possibility," Kamarah Adams, the family's mother, explains. "Then we made the choice to have more children." It was a difficult one at first. "We saw the work and the lifelong trial our children would have to face and were currently facing to take care of their bodies and we felt it was all our fault. How could we do this? How could we choose to bring people to earth who we knew had a chance of walking with this disease their whole life? The guilt was then, and can still be now, extremely powerful and the blame and fault seemed obviously ours as parents. We did this to our children. We gave them this disease."
However, that sentiment slowly changed.
"One day one of us asked one of those silly 'what if' questions. 'What if cystic fibrosis wasn’t on the menu for us, would we have more children then?' The quick and easy answer for both of us was YES, of course we would." The Adams are now expecting their fourth child, and third to have been diagnosed with CF.
But they aren't daunted. Though expenses and doctors appointments pile up, the Adams are up for the challenge, strengthened by their testimonies. They know that CF isn't forever, but families are.
"My husband and I were both raised as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," Adams says. "This faith brought us knowledge of the plan that our Heavenly Father has for all of the children on the earth. We both have sure testimonies that we lived with our Father in Heaven before we came to earth, and that we are here on the earth now to be a part of a family and have joy and trials and persevere and work towards returning back to our Heavenly Father again after our time on earth ends. This knowledge brings us peace because we know that earth is not the end for us, our children, or our family unit."
Despite times of struggle and discouragement, the Adams have seen a lot of light in their lives. "Heavenly Father would bless us with the beautiful experiences that can happen in families where you see through the grind of the day and into the beauty of watching our children grow and learn and do amazing things," Adams explains. "Those were the times when we saw that cystic fibrosis, just like any other physical or mental challenge doesn’t matter, when you know and can feel the love that God has for us as His children. We would see the big picture again. God knows why we have our specific trials in life, we do not. We do not need to know why we have struggles, but we do need to try to be willing to show our loving God that no matter what happens we trust in and have faith in His love for us."
Recently, a talk by Elder Lynn G. Robbins also helped put things in perspective for Adams. "My husband and I struggled when we saw ourselves and our decision to have more children through the 'eyes of men.' When we did that we felt bad and dark and miserably bitter, but when we had the 'courage to do an about-face,' and remember that as individuals and as a married couple we stand accountable to God only, our choice was then seen as it should be—a joyful and totally awesome blessing from Heavenly Father to get to have these children be in our family. There was not 'fault' then in the CF, but it became just another part of helping our kids grow up, knowing that even when things are very hard we are loved, guided, and blessed by our Father in Heaven and most importantly that we can totally do hard things."
To learn more about the Adams and to help in their struggle with CF, visit their fundraising page.