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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Monday, January 24, 2011

Education and An Invitation

The new way we are affectionately referring to our adoption process is the "Free the Frozen Babies Program". When we trace our reasons for adopting embryos over the course of years, there is a definite change of perspective and broadening of desires. Even as Tiffany began the physical process months ago, we are not sure we were truly present and on board with the FFBP. As we have said before, we both always wanted to add to our family through adoption. That was the main goal and it still is. It just looks differently than we first imagined. We cannot help but believe that God, as He works in us, is asking us to share what we have learned. Some of this may be repetitive, but we feel it is worth restating. We also have an invitation for you to help in a more tangible way~ So here goes.

Over the past few weeks, we have contemplated the way we view human life in this country and in the world at large and see now more than ever that this issue is much larger than us simply adopting. We have been called to give these frozen ones- the least of these- a voice in the world. Their presence is easy to ignore. Many people we talk with still have never heard the phrase "embryo adoption" let alone thought about who they are and what their needs are. When babies can be stored in a freezer (or chryo-preservation unit) for years and years, they are easily forgotten. They are the "leftovers" of reproductive technology and have a totally uphill battle. They cannot speak, cry, or call out to us. Their needs don't make them a presence in the world that demands attention. We, on the other hand, have perfectly good voices and we desire to use them to the glory of God and for the good of these little ones.

In our country, embryos aren't legally recognized as life. If they were to be found on Mars in the form they exist now, the headlines would read, "Life Found On Another Planet!" yet there is still debate. Due to the fact that our leaders struggle with how to categorize them and still allow for abortion, as of now they are considered property. Most couples who have turned to In-Vitro Fertilization for aid in having children, however, feel differently many times and struggle with what they may call "potential life"; even ones who would support embryonic stem-cell research or abortion. We found an extremely informative article from Mother Jones, a non-profit news organization, called "Soul's on Ice" about this very topic from 2006. From what we know today, not much has changed in the last 5 years. Although the article made us sad, we were anxious to pass it along in hopes that it would provide more education about "the problem" and prompt more talk about our response. This particular article is very lengthy, so for a more concise version of the same ideas, we found "Parents Torn Over Fate of Frozen Embryos" from the NY Times, 2008 (funny how the content was much the same). Google "How many frozen embryos in the US" and you will get a plethora of other reading material. Even the most current statistics remain the same. The debate is complicated- to them.

Of course, our view of these persons is not property, but bearers of the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and known by Him even before He created them (Psalm 139:16, Jer. 1:5). We found this resource from the Together for Adoption blog that further details a biblical response to embryo adoption. Though we hear these words from the very heart of God, we have seen and have experienced obstacles even in the Christian community, and we feel it necessary to talk about these things openly. Some believers we have talked with wonder why we shouldn't first care for those orphans already living and breathing. Our question is, do we believe what we say we believe about life or not? We are called to love and care for orphans- all of them- and each in a way so they all have advocates. We feel in this season of our lives, we are to answer the call to love these particular orphans. We pray God gives us many ways to share in the privilege of loving those without families in the future. Another obstacle is the view that embryo adoption is an infertility treatment. While it may be for some, it is not for all. Even couples we know who have adopted embryos after being unable to bear biological children recognize that it is bigger than that. They are giving these frozen ones a chance at life. The need for embryo adoption did arise from IVF which is a "fertility treatment" but not all clinics (ours included) or adoption agencies require infertility to adopt embryos. The last hurdle we have encountered is the lack of financial help for those adopting embryos. It seems for many non-profit (Christian organizations included) to give directly toward couples for adoption , they have to exclude those adopting embryos because of the issues surrounding their legal status of "non-life". We aren't sure the other road blocks for offering assistance, we just know there are a lot of closed doors. We believe and trust that God has called us to walk this road and will provide what we need to persevere. But we are saddened that the resources aren't readily available for embryo adoptions.

It is with deep sincerity and a profound realization of reality that we ask you to join with us in giving these babies the voice they do not have and honor their lives. This is unlike other adoptions and we know that. We all may never meet these little ones until we reach eternity. One way you can tangibly contribute is considering buying a Shirt of Hope! We are so thankful there is a program through Shaohannah's Hope that offers fundraising through selling their super cute (or super manly for the guys:)) T-shirts. We so appreciate that they will give us part of the proceeds and the remainder will go to their fund that aids other adoptions around the world. Our next blog post will have all the necessary ordering information, so stay tuned! If you are unable to help us in this way, please continue to pray for us, our frozen little ones, and the 500,000+ others just like them.

Here we are sporting our Show Hope Shirts~
We want to thank our sister-in-law, Stacie for taking these fabulous pictures of our family on Micah's parents' farm in NC. She is the most fun, relaxed photographer we have ever worked with!

We are scheduled to transfer our other two little embryos at the end of February. Our hearts are with them even now and we pray God prepares them to come live with us. One bit of artwork we have added to our home is this remembrance piece symbolizing our three babies- our two adopted embryos and one from an earlier miscarriage- that are now with Him. It was therapeutic for Tiffany in the midst of grieving to paint each individual snowflake and add the tiny feet.
Thank you for praying for us, taking a moment to wrap your mind around this issue, and continuing the voice of hope for snowflake babies. May God bless you as you honor their lives!


Ashley said...

Thank you for giving those precious babies a voice! Praying your transfer goes perfectly!

Teressa said...

Most informative and heart-wrenching. My prayers go with you Micah and Tiffany. May your two litle ones live to see the beautiful family in which they will be born. God bless all the frozen babies and may they see the light of day. Lord forgive our country for disrespecting the lives that you so wonderfully create. You hear their cries and so must we as Your children. In Jesus Amen

Aaron and Jennifer said...

Great post - I agree completely. I am excited about your upcoming FET and will be praying!

Jaime said...

I love what you have written, Tiffany. I was able to think about some things more accurately. That picture you made is also so precious. What a special way to remember your little ones.

Stacie said...

Wow Tiffany, such a great post! It really affected me and drove home the magnitude of this horrendous problem! Thanks for your passion and thoroughness in sharing! I LOVE the painting!!!
Praying for you all!