As most of you who regularly read this blog know, I usually leave its upkeep to my wife. Today however is different, owing to a revelation that is going to bring important changes into our life. I wanted to take a leadership role in our marriage and be the one to communicate to all of you what is going on in our life, how we are responding to it and some family prayer requests that we now have.
Most of you probably already know that we have been working with doctors to establish a regular luteal phase in Jennifer's cycle to allow a fertilized egg to be able to attach to her uterus. Jenn has been taking Clomid for the past two months and is now in the third month. Her doctor asked for me to have a sperm test done before she prescribed any more dosages to rule out any fertility problems on my end. I had the test a couple weeks ago and today we met with a urologist and a fertility doctor to discuss the results. To our surprise it was revealed that I have such a low sperm count that is was coded, "TFTC - too few to count". The consensus between both doctors was that it is very improbable that we will ever be able to have biological children naturally.
Two options that were presented to us were IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and adoption. We are strongly opposed to IVF because it usually results in more fertilized eggs (little people) being created than are desired to be birthed by their parents. These little babies usually stay frozen for an extended period of time and are then often killed when parents decide not to use them after having a sucessful implantion of a fertilized egg(s). We could choose to fertilize only a limited number of eggs and place them all inside of Jennifer, but that would greatly limit the chances of the procedure working. Seeing as it is an expensive procedure, and since we don't have the money to keep trying it over and over with just a few eggs each time, we are turning instead towards adoption.
I can't tell you how excited we are to be pursing adoption, but I have to announce this news alongside the truth that finding out that we probably won't ever have biological children has been very hard for us to grasp. This has been a day filled with incredible emotion. It is hard to erase, in just few hours, a quarter of a century's worth of thinking and imagining of what it would be like to birth your own kids. We have seen tears come and go today and I'm sure we will continue to for the coming weeks and months. The flow of tears have been met though with a steady flow of grace. Although we are saddened by the news that we received today, we are rejoicing in the fact that we now know clearly the path that we are to take in pursuing children. In fact, I have experienced today a sense of exhilaration towards being able to pursue adoption without any second thoughts of perhaps another pursuit being more practical.
Jennifer and I, even before we met, both carried in our hearts the desire to adopt children. The biggest deterrent towards pursuing our first child this way had been the financial cost. Although that cost is still a hurdle, we now know that it one that we must tackle. In that sense, it is rather freeing to know that we probably won't have kids naturally. Now, we are facing the decision of pursuing either traditional or embryonic adoption. (The latter involves adopting a fertilized egg, one that has been frozen, from parents who did not use it during the process of IVF. The fertilized egg would be placed inside of Jenn, who would carry and birth the baby, although it wouldn't carry any of our genes. Here is a link to a agency who specializes in embryonic adoption: http://www.nightlight.org/adoption-services/snowflakes-embryo/default.aspx )
One of the reasons that we are so excited to be able to pursue adoption is because it is such a beautiful picture of one of the greatest benefits of the gospel - the adoption of Christians into God's family. Jennifer expressed to me today in a moment of exasperation that adoption is so difficult to pursue. God kindly brought to my mind that it was difficult for Him also - difficult to the point of death. God the Father allowed his Son to suffer a tortuous death in order to bring his church, who the Bible describes as orphaned, into His family. What a gift that we can give to our future children, to our families and to our church when they see the lengths that we may go through to bring a orphaned child into a loving home.
So this is a little window into our hearts today. For those Christians who are reading this blog and who would like to pray for us, here are some requests that we have:
1) That we would glorify God in responding to today's news and showcase His grace as it is supplied to us on a daily basis.
2) That God would lead us in wisdom toward either traditional or embryonic adoption.
3) That we would be blessed with the resources needed to adopt.
4) That any roadblocks needed to adopt (ie. currently being renters) would be removed.
5) For our marriage to be strenghtened through these events and that we would love and support each other with gentle spirits.
6) That the gospel of God would be demonstrated through this pursuit, towards us, our future child(ren) and to the world.
Finally, as I have been writing this post, my heart has been moved towards my many friends who are not Christians. My fear is that the truth and beauty of the gospel could be diluted by the sentimentality of the situation. Not being able to have children is sad, having kids is amazing and wondrous, but the Gospel is necessary. "But we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons...For in this hope we were saved." Romans 8:23-24