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Friday, January 28, 2011

The Remaining 8 Embryos...

You may remember reading a post back in October that said we had chosen to adopt a profile with 12 embryos. We chose this profile because each profile has certain fees associated with it (ie. shipping, storage, genetic parents' STD testing, etc. ). We knew that it would be extremely likely that we would only have to thaw embryos from one profile of 12 and thus avoid paying fees associated with more than one profile (turns out, God was super kind and this profile had no fees at all!). Knowing that we only had one more embryo transfer attempt with the NEDC, we knew that if I didn't get pregnant this 3rd time, then the remaining embryos would automatically be released to another adopting couple. However, if you do become pregnant and have a live birth, your 3 attempts start over again, so the NEDC will reserve any genetic siblings for you to transfer in the future. In early December, after finding out the exciting news that we were pregnant with twins, we discussed what God may lead us to do regarding the remaining 8 embryos that were not thawed for our November transfer. I know many people struggle with this because they feel a bond with the genetic siblings and feel called to adopt all of them. However, for us this just wasn't the case. We emailed the NEDC in December saying that we would like to release the remaining embryos back into the pool for another couple to adopt. Our reasons were as follows:

1) We didn't want their lives to be on hold any longer than necessary. Every day that we reserved them for our unknown future was another day they would be left frozen. We felt it served them best to allow them to have a chance at birth asap.

2) Realistically, we don't know when we could return for them. Our adoption funds are depleted now and I would probably need to go back to work to fund another adoption and the plan for now is for me to stay at home with the twins.

3) It is quite possible that after twins, our family may be complete...maybe not. We are leaving that in God's hands. But, if we feel that our family is not complete, we will then seek the Lord in what direction to build our family (another kind of adoption or if we pursued embryo adoption again, we would just choose new embryos that aren't genetically related to the twins). For our first two adoptions, we used all of the embryos in each profile. For this 3rd adoption, I knew we would probably have embryos remaining so I specifically prayed for multiples so that the decision to not keep them would be easier for us. God answers prayer!

A part of us is sad that our children will potentially have lots of birthed genetic siblings that they will never know, but the twins will be part of our family and that will be what is most important.

I want to say that these are not black and white reasons for every family to release their remaining embryos! These are simply the reasons that we felt God leading us to do such. Also, I know for Snowflake adoptions, this is more difficult because you always have an open adoption and the genetic parents are often not comfortable with releasing their embryos to multiple families. However, with a closed adoption at the NEDC, it is just that easy. We simply release them and they could be adopted for the next transfer cycle. I also know that for the NEDC couples who have open adoptions that this is still not the right choice for them or their genetic/donor families either (for the same reason I gave for open adoptions with Snowflakes). It is often not the right decision for a closed adoption either for various other reasons. No matter what God leads each embryo adopting family to do with any remaining embryos, we rejoice that these frozen lives are getting a chance at birth when they would often have been discarded or left frozen indefinitely.

10 comments:

Lisa said...

These are definitely tough decisions. We released the one remaining embryo we had. I hate that we will lose that connection, but realistically for us our family is complete. We just trust that God will continue to take care of these little ones and provide them with wonderful families or bring them to Him soon.

Ashley said...

I think you made a very unselfish decision and God will honor that. By the way, I love your new twins ticker!

Anna said...

I think what you did is awesome. You have given someone a wonderful gift and "paid it forward." I hope to do the same someday. :)

Jess said...

While I am sure that this was not an easy decision, I commend you for making it and allowing another couple the opportunity to experience embryo adoption. And for the little embryos waiting for their families/

heathermohr said...

That decision must've been very difficult - I think it is amazing you did what you did.

jesswilson said...

Thank you for posting this. I've struggled with this decision and we've decided to keep our embryos for another year because I haven't been convinced that we're done, but I'm also fearful that our remaining embryos will never be adopted due to their special consideration label...although keeping them isn't helping either. I could go back and forth all day long.

Room for More said...

I believe that you and Aaron made a very wise decision. One that honors God. He will brings you more little ones in His timing in the future if that is His plan!

BTW, the Snowflakes program allows the adoptive parents to choose if they want an open or closed adoption. We were open to either option and 5 of our embryos came from a semi-closed adoption. We have health info, a letter, and pictures of the genetic parents, but they do not want contact until the child is older and asks to meet them. The 1st adoptive family from these same embryos is open to being open and we communicate with them. They have one child from the group of embryos that I am pregnant from. Finally, the 6th embryo we adopted, we had pictures and a health history only of the genetic parents and that is all. It was a very closed adoption. I think Elizabeth and Dan have had open/closed situations through their journey with Snowflakes too.

Stacie said...

Wow... that's all I can say. =) Thanks for sharing your convictions!

Chelle said...

I think it's great that you're releasing them to another family! Who knows what the Lord has for you down the road? I'm sure it's a hard decision, but it definitely shows your faith and trust in Your God!

Tracey said...

Kinda crazy to read this post now that we know what has happened to the rest of the embies in this batch!! I love how God works : )