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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas Thoughts about Embryo Adoption

Well now that Thanksgiving is over, we are officially into the Christmas season. Of course, working in retail I've been experiencing the Christmas season since September. I'm glad that everyone else is now catching up.

I don't make many blog posts, but I wanted to share something that occurred to me a few days ago as I was thinking about Christmas. I was making my hour commute to work and reflecting on all the activity that Christmas brings to retail and the real reason that we as Christians celebrate the holiday. My mind went to a picture of a Willow Tree nativity that we keep on top of our entertainment center year-round. As I'm passing it, I often like to look at the baby Jesus in Mary's arms and remember how God left many of the privileges of Godhood and humbled himself by entering into the form of a baby. I realize that I've always thought of the beginning of the incarnation in that way: that in a moment in time, God left his throne for a manger.

What occurred to me that morning is that the real beginning of the incarnation didn't happen on Christmas. God didn't enter into humanity on Christmas morning as a baby, he entered it nine months earlier as a human embryo. Matthew 1:18 says that before Mary and Joseph came together, she was "found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." Two verses later, God tells Joseph that "what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." That's Biblical grounds for the existence of life at conception right there, that God equates "what is conceived" to being a child. Doesn't that make the incarnation all the more amazing? Jesus goes from ruling the world in Heaven with his Father and the Holy Spirit and enters into the smallest, most dependent, most microscopic form of human life. I've always known that Jesus has a heart for all unborn children, including those who are frozen as embryos. How much more do I know that now, realizing that the same Saviour who submitted himself to death on a cross for my sake, first submitted himself to a womb.

Even more special to embryo adoption is the fact that this could have been exactly what Mary and Joseph did. Not to get too technical, but we know that Jesus' conception was not of result of Joseph's or any man's sperm. We don't know if the Holy Spirit brought about Jesus' conception by using one of Mary's eggs or if Jesus was conceived as one cell without an egg at all. The latter however, is certainly a possibility and if it true, it means that Mary carried and adopted with Joseph a child who was not biologically related to them. If this happened, then the first embryo adoption happened over 2,000 years ago.

Again, we don't know the specifics of how the Holy Spirit brought about the incarnation, but even if Mary's egg had been used, Joseph adopted a child that his wife carried who was not biologically related to him. We can know for sure that the wonderful truth of the Christmas story includes a couple's commitment to adopt a baby before birth. I know all the more that it is God's desire that all embryo's get a chance at birth. I know this because Jesus was once one.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Family Assessment Almost Official

We received an email from our Bethany caseworker this week letting us know that our family assessment (home study) would be sent to the state director for approval by the beginning of next week. Once the state director signs off, then it will be officially approved and sent to the NEDC in Knoxville! So exciting!

While Aaron and I pray regularly as a couple and individually for our sweet babies that are waiting for us, we decided last night that we would make it a daily priority to pray together for them - that God would lead us to the embryos He has sovereignly chosen for us, that He would be preparing them to successfully implant in my womb on the 1st transfer, be birthed, and to come to know Him as Savior.

I'll post whenever our home study is officially official. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ludy Adoption Video

Aaron and I have always respected the ministry of Eric and Leslie Ludy. They have 2 biological children and 2 adopted children. Below is their story of how they pursued their first adoption from Korea. God stories like this warm my heart so much!

Ludy Adoption Video from Lifesong on Vimeo.

And yes, we still strongly believe that God has called us to domestic embryo adoption, but our blog is not just about Aaron, Jennifer, and their embryo adoption. We hope that our blog is about God's kingdom and the small role that we hope to play. We get excited about ALL kinds of adoptions - domestic, embryo, international, fostercare - ALL!

And for all my infertile friends out there - I know your pain! While Aaron & I have NO doubts that God has called us to adoption rather than pursuing reproductive technologies, I know the pain continues to sting when another Facebook friend's status announces their pregnancy. But, let me encourage you with what the Lord has been revealing to me throughout our adoption journey... Everytime the pain of infertility stings, think about how much more pain an orphan is feeling that very moment...while you're thinking that you just want a child in your arms - they're scared, hungry, crying and thinking that they just want a mommy and daddy to hold and love them... Let's not let our infertility become self-centered, but may our pain be used to help us identify with orphans - motivating us to speak up and act on their behalf. And I 100% believe that their pain is FAR WORSE than our pain!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why Adoption?

Why adoption? Because it's necessary...

One of the things that we regret most about our adoption journey thus far is making the mistake of telling people that we are infertile. Whenever someone hears "infertile," they tend to assume that we are only pursuing adoption because we can't have our "own" children. The mentality becomes sentimental and the focus shifts towards a story of us wanting to become parents instead of a story of a child's life being saved.

What people don't realize is that adoption has always been in our plans. At first we were deterred from having our first child through adoption because of the large financial cost involved. Instead, we decided to try and have children the natural way (which is free) and save up money over the years to finance an adoption (maybe adopting in our mid-30's). As we found out that we were infertile, doctors told us that if we wanted biological children we would have to pay thousands of dollars for reproductive technologies. Well, our decision to adopt was made that very minute. Having biological children would have been amazing, but since we were going to have to spend a considerable amount of money for any option, why not seek to fulfill the Great Commision with a child who's already in need of a family? We decided that adopting was God's plan for us now, rather than later. It just took the doctor's news that day to get us moving towards adoption a little faster! That day we could have scheduled a reproductive procedure for my next cycle, but we left knowing that we would probably wait longer because we were going to pursue adoption instead.

We wish that people understood that...I mean really understood that. We're infertile (conceiving would be difficult) - not sterile (conceiving would be impossible). There's a big difference. We're choosing to bypass reproductive treatments that could potentially give us biological children because there's a HUGE need for rescuing little ones who are already here! Adoption isn't just for the infertile or sterile - it's for many others too who may or may not yet be considering it.

There are millions of orphans across the world...MILLIONS! There are also over 500,000 unborn children living in frozen orphanages in the U.S. alone whose fate at life or death before birth is yet to be determined.

Christians, may I humbly suggest that we stop just saying we're pro-life and be pro-life! Let's stop merely holding signs pleading to "stop abortion" - And let's hold out our hands and say "I will be his/her/their parents!" or help others who are called by God to do so. Let's treat adopting couples as we would missionaries and remember that God's definition for true religion includes "caring for orphans in their affliction" (James 1:27)

"So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." - James 2:17