I will never get tired of telling this story. It’s one that I come back to when life feels like it’s gone off the rails.. which seems to happen more and more these days. Our story of embryo adoption doesn’t start at the desire to fill out an application. It started before Jonathan and I were married.
The short of it is, we knew genetic children weren’t in the cards for us but I always wanted to adopt AND give birth. I figured somehow, someway God would just make it happen. After Adventure came to us swiftly and unexpectedly we both thought, “that was it! That was our miracle” but that feeling of another child never fully left me. It always hid in my deepest silent prayers.
July of 2019 we were driving back from the Young Living convention on the high of meeting customers and having our best convention yet.
I can’t recall it exactly but I believe we were discussing our next business investment. I ever so gracefully slipped in, “we could adopt again?” Though I had said this probably a hundred times since we had been married, this time Jonathan replied, “really? You want to?”
— “uh yeah!”
That was it, we were doing it! We got a stuffed animal for Adventure and attached a note. “Please take care of this baby until your little sister arrives”
The next week I went to the website of the same adopt agency we had used with Adventure’s adoption. We were planning to fill out all the forms for a domestic adoption. The banner caught my eye. “Now completing home studies for the National Embryo Donation Center” I didn’t know what that was.
After a hard dive into what embryo adoption was and who the NEDC was, I was sold. I could carry our adopted babe! 😭
We completed all of our paperwork and home study by September. I expected a 6 month wait, but we got an email the following week that there had been a cancellation for October 31st. I could come in and be medically cleared and approved for the transfer. The exam went so well and we were cleared! We prayed through hundreds and hundreds of donor profiles and felt peace over one set of embryos that had been frozen when I was in high school. They had been frozen for 14 years and they were our babies. We could feel it.
Within a week of being home from the trip, we got an email that a transfer date had opened up ON MY BIRTHDAY — we were beside ourselves. No waiting 6-9 months, we would be back in Knoxville transferring our embryos in 6 weeks.
There’s a side story here that has no easy interjection, but it’s a necessary diversion. My father-in-law, John, worked with us everyday. He had for over two years. He helped us iron, trim and shuttle Adventure to and from school. He was our biggest cheerleader. He was a cancer survivor and the most sacrificial man I knew.
In the fall, as we were being approved for the transfer, we found out John had a pretty severe aortic aneurysm. His surgery to have it repaired was December 1st. It wasn’t an easy surgery, but John was so strong. He was so excited for another grandchild. He was a fighter. He came over the Sunday before his surgery and helped us ship Black Friday orders so we wouldn’t need to work on the day of his surgery. The next morning, Monday, John went into surgery and never woke up. We were devastated and our spirits were crushed. We went through the motions, we laid him to rest and I remember looking at Jonathan and asking, “do we still do this transfer?” Without hesitation, “of course we do!”
Somehow we pulled ourselves together enough to fulfill orders and get to December 17th. We knew the transfer was a 50/50, but deep down I thought and prayed more fervently than I had before, “God, you wouldn’t give us more grief, right? It’ll work because we can’t take anymore pain”
By God’s mercy we transferred three tiny embryos and 7 days later the home pregnancy test came back positive.
I wept not only in joy, but for the tidal wave of renewal that had washed over us. Without spilling the beans (though I’m not sure how) I wrapped that pee stick tissue paper, placed it in a box and Jonathan and Adventure opened it together on Christmas morning. After 8 years of marriage and 8 years of infertility, we were pregnant.
If you’d like to read up more on the NEDC you can do so here.
Each item in our rainbow collections give 10% back to the NEDC to continue their work. The NEDC accepts embryos from across the US and gives couples a life giving alternative from destroying their surplus embryos.