(Note: This post could be a mile long and so there may be parts that feel like I am skipping over some very important details, I hope to get to them in later posts soon. Also, sharing these intimate details of our lives is something that I know God wants me to do and I do it to bring Him Glory, not because it is fun. As a matter of fact this post is very scary emotionally for me. I fear rejection and comments that may bring pain. But more than anything I want to shine light on our loving and amazing Lord who is worthy of all praise and surely a bit of discomfort on my part for the sake of sharing about Him and all that He is doing in the details of our lives.)
So do you want to hear something exciting? We are adopting a set of Embryos!!! We are so excited and thrilled to be able to hopefully grow our family though the gift of embryo adoption! Right now we are just waiting on the clinic and the lawyer to make things official so that we can do the embryo transfer as soon as possible!
I understand that even though I know all about embryo adoption and know many adopted embryo children and their parents it does not mean that the average person knows anything about what this even is. So let me take a moment to explain a bit about what this is.
When a family who has infertility issues and chooses to do IVF creates embryos there are often embryos that they end up not transferring for a few reasons. The most common one is that after giving birth to how ever many children successfully using IVF they feel that their family is complete and then have to decide what to do with the remaining embryos. They have a few options; they can have them destroyed, donate to science (they will also end up destroyed), keep them in deep freeze, or donate to a family like ours who can not give birth to their own genetic children. This is a decision that is very personal to each family. Gregg and I had decided that if we made an embryo we would give it a chance at continued life in our family but this is not the case for every family.
So is embryo adoption really adoption? According to the laws we are not adopting we are simply having property ownership transferred. Weird right! This is hard for me because I see each and every one of our embryos as our babies and I see what God has created and how each one of us started. These embryos that have been frozen waiting for mommy and daddy to give them continued life are not property they are a waiting life frozen in time.
But are we adopting? I spent a lot of time thinking about this and talking to my family to get an outside view. Here are some questions that we asked to help up clarify it for us.
When our future child is born is it our genetic child? No
When our child is older will they have a chance to meet their genetic family? Yes
Will our child wonder where they really “came from”? Yes
Will they likely deal with some of the feeling that an infant adopted child will deal with ? – yes
While they feel loved by us and feel like our child will they know that they have a genetic family out there? – yes
So if we adopted a child at the moment of birth would they be adopted but this adopted embryo that will grow with in me is not?
I believe that we are adopting but it is obviously very different especially for the first 10 months. This is where I really wish there are degrees of Adopting just like cancer. For example I had thyroid cancer and it was scary but it was not as complicated or as scary as stage 4 bone cancer like my Grandma had. Are they the same? NO! But is thyroid cancer still cancer? Yes. I look at what my sister and her family are going through and what they will go though with their adoption of siblings from Haiti, it is like stage 4 cancer. There is no way we can compare right now the adoption process and struggles that each of us is experiencing. They will have issues that we will never ever have to deal with or that the kids will deal with. But there will be some similarities. Their adopted children will not be their genetic children and neither will our future children. I will never compare our embryo adoption with my sisters adoption but I am sure in years to come we will have things that we both struggle with but to different degrees.
So why not adopt a child who is already here and needing a home? All I can say is that God has so intimately directed clearly that this is the road he wants us to take, for now. Would I adopt a child who is here and in need- yes if and when God directs! It took a few years to warm up to the idea but God so intimately opened both Gregg and I up to every option and we have just been taking each step every year with Gods clear personal direction. He is such an intimate God.
I look forward to sharing more with you about our recent loss and all that God did in and through that as well as some of the details of what he is teaching us though this adoption. What a Mighty God We Serve!