Snag a Copy of Aaron's Free eBook!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Grasshopper Game

We went to a Greensboro Grasshoppers game tonight with our church small group (our picture above) - However, it started raining/storming during the 4th inning and it was canceled.

We completed our paperwork for the NEDC and mailed it off on Tuesday, so hopefully, we can begin our home study with Bethany Christian soon - Yay! :)

Aaron leaves tomorrow to help a LW store in Virginia with inventory, so I'm driving to Columbia to have some girl time with Mama Niecey and Bethany.

Other than that, nothing else going on with us!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trip to Atlanta and Bloodwork

We visited my mom and step-dad in Atlanta this past weekend/beginning of the week and had a relaxing time with them. We didn't get to see Grace though, seeing as she was at the beach with her friend. I wish we could've spent some time with her too. We left our camera at home, so we weren't able to take any pictures either. :(

Other news is that, we're trying to get our paperwork completed so that we can send it to the NEDC - Hopefully, by next week! We went together to have our bloodwork done last week, but received an urgent voice mail (after I left work and they had closed for the day) that something was wrong and we needed to call them. Well, I knew that we couldn't have HIV or other STD's, but considering that they didn't specifically say what was wrong, I began to worry (a sin that I battle everyday in many areas of my life). When I finally reached the lab the next morning, I found out that the Phlebotemist had written Aaron's name on both of our viles and they didn't know which belonged to whom. So, Aaron had his blood drawn again today and I'm going tomorrow to get pricked again - But, at least it was nothing more serious! This was our first "hiccup" in the embryo adoption process and from what I hear about any kind of adoption, there will probably be many more. :)

I have also added labels to our blog - I should have been doing this from the beginning, but just never got around to it until now! They're listed at the bottom of the blog...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New & Exciting Pursuit

Okay, so we have some exciting news to announce...We have begun the application process for embryo adoption!!! Let me first off explain what embryo adoption is and why we have chosen to pursue this:

When couples choose to go through In Vitro Fertilization, more eggs are fertilized than are often needed to achieve a pregnancy. More than one embryo (fertilized egg) are usually transferred with the hopes that one or more will successfully implant in the woman's uterus. If this happens on the first try, the remaining embryos are cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen (frozen) until a couple chooses to expand their family and implant more, or they are thawed out to die, or killed for stem cell research (yeah, you've heard of the "embryonic stem cell research" debate especially during the election...but now you know, if you didn't know already, where these embryos come from: "leftovers" from IVF). Some babies (embryos) are frozen for 10 years or more! This is so sad - a fertilized egg which contains the entire genetic blue print for a human being - who should be 10 years already hasn't even had a womb to grow in yet!

When couples feel that their family is complete but still have remaining frozen embryos, they are left with the decision - to leave them frozen indefinitely (which is cruel) or to kill them (also cruel) OR a new option that has come about in the last 10 years or so is embryo adoption (but still isn't widely known about because our media only chooses to talk about "embryonic stem cell research" and rarely mentions "embryo adoption."). I first read about embryo adoption in 2006 - I was at work and at the moment didn't have anything to do, so I read an online Baptist Press News article about some couples adopting embryos. It instantly caught my attention as to how wonderful this was - saving frozen babies and giving them a chance at life. I told Aaron about it and he thought it sounded really neat - We even said "maybe one day, we can pursue this after we have biological kids." Ironic now, because God knew then that we'd have fertility problems, even though we didn't yet know.

We have chosen to pursue this rather than traditional adoption for several reasons:
1) It just really excites us - We can't talk about it without smiling and getting very excited!
2) If successful, it would allow me to be able to experience pregnancy and birth. Aaron can't understand this one - he hates pain, but you girls will fully understand! :)
3) We would be saving the life of a baby whose life is now put on hold - it's not dying but it's not being given the chance to live either. (unless it's given to research, then yes, it would die.)
4) It's less expensive than traditional adoption (this was our least important reason but something to consider), because sadly, the government doesn't see these as children yet. They see it as a "transfer of property." You still have legalities, but not nearly as many as you have for a child who has already been born. Thus, you save a lot of legal fees and court sessions. We will still need to raise funds, though, because while it is less expensive than traditional adoption, it costs money nonetheless (only the natural way to grow your family is free-Haha)!

Please understand that we are NOT going outside of our marriage to create a baby - We are NOT using a donor sperm/egg program or anything unethical like that (we wouldn't need to do that anyway because my eggs are viable and the few sperm that Aaron does have are healthy and could fertilize my eggs if we chose to go through IVF - It's just that because he has so few, it's unlikely that we will ever conceive naturally... But why should we go through IVF and create more frozen babies when there are already over 500,000 in the US alone!?) As Christians, we are against creating a baby except with a husband's sperm and a wife's egg. These are already embryos - an egg and sperm have already united to create a person. This is really no different than traditional adoption, except that you are getting the child at an earlier stage in its life.

Some of you might be thinking "Wow - they didn't give this a lot of thought, prayer, or time." But, there's no time criteria given in the Bible to pray before pursuing something. We are in faith to go ahead and begin the process, knowing that God is sovereign over our lives and that He can close the door on us at any time.

We have decided to go through the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. The Christian Medical and Dental Association endorses them - they view all of these frozen embryos as children that deserve to be given a chance at life. We submitted the initial application a couple of weeks ago, and then received a packet in the mail last week with lots of forms and medical tests ordered. Once all of those have also been submitted, we move into the homestudy phase of the program. There are open and anonymous adoptions - open is where we would have some contact with the biological parents and anonymous is where we wouldn't (though we would know about them on paper). While we could choose our preference, we are opening ourselves up to "whichever is in more need" - we aren't picky...all of them equally need a chance at life.

On average, from initial application to first embryo transfer, the process takes about a year. The NEDC gives a couple 3 attempts at a succesful transfer and pregnancy. They thaw out about 2-4 embryos and all that survive the thaw are transferred into a woman's uterus, hoping that one or more will implant. Each embryo only has about a 33% chance of implanting and making it to birth. (That percentage may sound small, but a fertile couple only has a 20%-25% chance of getting pregnant naturally in any given cycle... ) But, hopefully, given 3 tries with multiple embryos,
at least one baby would be born (that's our hope and prayer anyway). Even if there is a successful implantation, like with any pregnancy, there runs the risk of miscarriage. There are no guarantees...this is really a faith thing (but then again, all of life is a matter of trusting God).

So, please begin praying specifically for this pursuit - We are so excited! :)

P.S. Yes, please continue to pray for Aaron's healing too...We would love to have a biological child, but since we have no guarantees that God will heal him, we have faith to pursue this - This is all in God's hands and He is the One who ultimately leads our lives and decides what is best for us!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

WOW is me!!!

Yesterday was exactly a year ago when Aaron began his new career with LifeWay - So much has changed in the past year...things that I thought would happen haven't and vice versa...

A year ago, I thought I'd be pregnant and about to leave work and become a "stay at home mom" which has been my dream job since I was 13! I thought when I took my job in August 2008 - that I'd be leaving it in about a year, but I'm not...If we're blessed to be able to adopt in the future, we need God to provide LOTS of money! :)

I didn't dream a year ago that we would be declared infertile - I was so happy that Aaron finally had a CAREER and not just a "job" that would allow us to grow our family and for me to stay at home full-time.

Some days are very, very sad for us (especially me being the girl who has a God-given desire to carry and birth a child) but I have resolved (by God's grace of course) to not have a "woe is me" attitude! I am resolved to have a "WOW is me" attitude! Why? Because I am blessed beyond more than I could ever deserve or imagine - God spared my life from an eternal hell through his Son's atoning work on the Cross, he gave me a WONDERFUL and GODLY husband, a roof over our heads, food on our table, and oh yes...our sweet miniature dachshund! :)

In the midst of infertility (which is more painful than one would imagine until you've heard that word from a doctor - it about knocks the wind out of you!), by God's grace alone, I'm going to live life to His glory knowing that His story for our family is far better than we could imagine!

So for today, I will try to model biblical femininity - whether or not I am a "stay at home mom." I will wash our laundry, iron our clothes for work tomorrow, love and help my husband, and smother Toby with LOTS of kisses! :)

**The picture below was taken at small group last week - Our church has been discussing Biblical manhood and womanhood and so our small group leaders had all the married couples take these silly but fun pictures last week. I had to scan it so the quality isn't too great but it's still cute. :)