As many of you know, we have felt called to adopt since the beginning of our marriage. Adoption is one of the most beautiful pictures given to us by God to illustrate our relationship with Him in Christ our Redeemer, once separated from God but now called sons of the Father (Galatians 4:1-6). Little did we know that God had a very specific, personal road to walk down in pursuit obeying this calling and desire.
We have struggled with how much of this road we will share with you, but we feel peacefully led to a place of more full disclosure. It is clear to us that God has put us on this path and we want to testify to His work in our lives, so bear with us as we share a little of our journey. We have been given two precious miracles in our boys, Andrew and Elijah. The road for us to have biological children was paved with much waiting, miscarriage, and some medical intervention. While we know that God can do anything and believe that we don’t always know what is around the corner, the door has seemed to close for us to have more biological children despite the same treatments since the birth of Elijah. Honestly, we have wrestled with this, but knew God was writing… He has the pen. He knows our hearts and has heard every prayer. He has provided more for us than we deserve, and does all things for His glory and for our good out of love for us. We always were clear in our personal convictions regarding fertility treatments. They are very expensive and we always agreed that if we felt that God might expand our family more, instead of putting money toward more treatments we would use the money for adoption.
In the past few months, adoption has moved up on our priority list. We have had peace in waiting patiently this past year as we moved all over the country with Chick-fil-a but are now in a position where we can focus our attention on praying for what our part would be in caring for orphans. There are many different ways to adopt and so many orphans, it can be overwhelming discerning which direction to go. We first felt led to adopt from Ebenezer’s Children’s Home in Wilkesboro, NC. This seemed to be feasible until we found out we would be back in Louisville, 8 hours away. When that option seemed to be out of the question, we prayed about where to turn next.
Several years ago, we had been introduced to embryo adoption by a pamphlet in a doctor’s office and then later through an adoption informational luncheon at our church. When we first heard about it, it seemed interesting but probably not for us. Honestly, my first thought was, “Why would couples adopt embryos when there are so many children that need families all over the world?” When I would bring up the question with friends, about half of the time, that was the same response. Why do this?
Slowly and gently, the Lord starting giving us clarity in how to think of these “snowflake” babies. As a result of the number of couples seeking to have biological children through In Vitro Fertilization, there are currently more than 400,000 (possibly more than 500,000) chryo-preserved embryos in the US. Many of the couples who had these babies “created” in a lab have met their “family goals” and have no further use for the embryos. If we believe what we say we believe, that all humans are bearers of the image of God from conception, then these little chryo-preserved babies are little frozen orphans. They have no breath yet; no voice for themselves. Many (and we daresay most) of these embryos will never get a chance at life. After varying amounts of storage time, couples are given choices as to how they are to be used- or disposed of. There are some couples who donate their embryos for stem cell extraction and research and others that allow their embryos -their babies- to be destroyed. However, there are couples who donate their embryos for other couples to “adopt”. Of course our government doesn’t see this as true adoption, because that would be calling an embryo a human life.
Because of all our struggles with infertility, we are perfect candidates for embryo adoption. Couples who are not diagnosed as infertile (or in our case, with secondary infertility) are many times not even considered as candidates from embryo adoption. That makes the opportunity for those able to adopt embryos more scarce. There are Christian adoption agencies that handle matching embryo donors with adopting families, but in our case with Tiffany’s medical history, we are adopting directly through the clinic and physician here in Louisville that helped her years ago. The doctor and office staff love facilitating embryo adoptions and the care we have been given so far has been tender and precious.
Please pray that those of us who value life will respond in a God-honoring way toward this group of precious babies, frozen in time, but known by their True Creator. He loves each and every one! Secondly, we really need your prayers. We want to be very clear about our expectations about this process. We are trusting that God has led us to this place, has gone before us, and is abounding in all the things we will need over the coming months. We will be experiencing some of the challenges that couples who choose IVF will face so there are definitely some physical and emotional needs. Also, pray for our four little embryos! Pray that God would prepare them as He is preparing us for this adoption.
If you would like more information about embryo adoption, you can check out these websites and article: