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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our Closed Adoption Process

I realized that I never announced on the blog that we decided to pursue a closed adoption and what that process will look like. Originally, we had been okay with an open or closed adoption, but have always preferred a closed one. Our only reason for considering an open adoption was our concern that embryos who were only available through an open agreement may not be adopted as quickly (We assumed that most adopting parents would prefer a closed adoption). However, there is a need for both, so turns out, it really didn't matter which one we pursued. We made this decision back in early February. For an anonymous/closed adoption with the NEDC, here is how it works...

6-8 weeks prior to our FET (frozen embryo transfer) in July, we will be emailed a really large PDF document with all of the profiles for their embryos who have been given in a closed agreement. All of the couples adopting anonymous embryos in the NEDC's July cycle will receive the email at the same time! Each couple then submits their 1st & 2nd choice (and even a 3rd or 4th if you'd like) and "it's first come, first serve"! In a traditional adoption, you receive a referral for a child(ren) and there really is no "selection" process. An embryo adoption is different in that you choose your children (at least with an anonymous adoption at the NEDC). It is intimidating and daunting having to "choose" our children and "not choose" others, but at the same time, this is how the process works. And, Aaron and I both know that God is ABSOLUTELY SOVEREIGN over our lives and we can't choose or be given any embryos that God hasn't already determined for us to adopt. Thankfully, we can rest in Him!

So, our profiles should be coming soon - either sometime at the end of May or early June! Yippee!

Note: The profiles will tell us the genetic parents' race, physical characteristics and when the embryos were frozen. Profiles will not tell us the embryos' physical traits or gender. Gender will not be known until a normal 20-week ultrasound, hair/eye color and other physical traits won't be known until Lord willing, after their birth. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in our local Pregnancy Care Center's "Walk for Life." As soon as I walked onto the sidewalk across from their campus, I was faced with a group of people (mostly college students) holding posters and shouting the following (the shouts are in italics):
  • Abortion is Not Murder
  • No Hangers
  • My Mother is Pro-Choice
  • I am a Choice
  • Honk if You Respect Reproductive Rights
  • Ignorance is Not Sex Ed
  • Pro-Life - It's a Lie - You don't care if women die!
  • Anti-Women, Anti-Gay, Hating bigots - go away!
  • My Body, My Choice!
That is just a sampling of what I saw and heard. I cried. It broke my heart. And I know that Jesus' heart was breaking as well. The irony of pro-life people being called haters is that, we weren't the ones yelling and spewing anger...they were. Their arguments also didn't make any sense...
  • Since when is taking someone's innocent life not murder?
  • I was not supporting women harming themselves and killing their children with hangers.
  • Aren't they glad that their mother's "choice" was to birth them? If she had aborted them, they wouldn't be here today!
  • I respect reproductive rights such as appropriate birth control to prevent conception (only in marriage; abstinence before marriage).
  • I am most definitely not ignorant about sex education. I'm all for teaching teens about sex and its consequences (and encouraging no sex before marriage, which is the only context that God allows and smiles upon it).
  • Yes, I care if women die, but I also care if baby boys and girls die. (And since when do most pregnancies kill women? God designed women's bodies for pregnancy!)
  • Again, I wasn't hating or screaming at anyone. I was loving the sinner, but hating the sin.
  • An unborn baby is not part of the mother's body. Yes, he/she is attached to the mother's womb, but has its own body. So, it's the child's body, and since the child cannot speak up for his/her own "choice," we must assume that he/she wants to live. (and I'm not speaking that suicide is okay...that's another issue entirely)
Life issues have become even dearer to my heart, since pursuing embryo adoption. Aaron and my children are the very ones that the world hates and wants to kill. And our children have never been in a womb since their conception, so they're clearly not "part of a woman's body." Thus, they are already their own unique person. Abortion and embryonic stem cell research is a satanic evil that continues to grow more and more accepted in our world. We must speak up for life! And going along with speaking up for life, means caring for these children before and after birth...This is why all adoption (domestic, international, and embryo) is absolutely necessary today.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Phone Consult with the NEDC Embryologist

At our NEDC mock transfer/consultation appointment, we were supposed to meet with the doctor, nurse(s), patient coordinator, and the embryologist. However, the embryologist wasn't there that day. She called later that week to set up a phone consultation to go over what she would've gone over with us at our consult appointment. Basically, she just wanted to go over the different stages of embryonic development and at what stages they could be frozen in - it gets technical... 2 cells (or 2PN, pronuclear) are frozen on the 1st day of fertilization, 2-3 day embryos are frozen with around 4 cells, and 5-6 day blastocysts already have too many cells to count! All are human beings and deserve a chance at birth - they're just at different stages of development. It was wonderful for her to take the time and explain what the jargon meant this past Friday, so that when we receive our profiles at the end of May or early June, we will understand what we are reading!

The coolest part of our phone call though was when she asked if we had been placed in a transfer cycle yet and I told her "Yes, July, though we don't know the exact date yet." And she replied, "We actually just decided those dates yesterday - July 20, 21, & 22." Yay! I was so surprised to hear that and am glad that she wasn't there on our consult appointment, so she'd have to call me later - otherwise, I wouldn't have known the transfer dates until our patient coordinator called us sometime in late May!

Ashley was also glad to hear the dates when I told her - It's so cool that we've been following each other's journeys via our blogs and will have our transfers at the same place & during the same week - maybe even the same day?!

We won't know if the date will be on July 20, 21, 0r 22 until we have been matched with our embryos - the embryologist explained that the embryos' stage of development determines which date you get - due to the thawing and transfer protocol.

July can't come soon enough!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gratitude & Joy

We visited my family in the Atlanta area for Easter weekend, and I marveled at God's kindness to us. The last time we were visiting them was Christmas - about 1-2 weeks after the NEDC confirmed they had our completed home study from Bethany, but told us not to expect our mock transfer until May or June because they were booked thru March and we were #25 on the waiting list for an appointment after March. I'll admit that I was saddened by that news, but still trusted in God's sovereignty. I remember aching at the thought that we may not have our real transfer until the fall. But, God knew that in January, the NEDC would call to schedule our mock transfer for March 29th and that by the time Easter came, I would already know when we'd be going back to get our babies - the summer, not the fall!

Thank You, Lord. We are so humbled and grateful that You have called us to adopt these unborn, but alive, children. More importantly, Thank You for drinking that bitter cup on the cross, so that we could be adopted into Your family. Pursuing You and our children is pure joy!