9/29/14

We found our snowflakes! (A fertility update!)

A very long time ago I left off a fertility related post with an anticipatory "more to come…"

Great apologies my friends for the very long wait following that cryptic ellipsis, but I am finally able to share an exciting update on our family building journey!

As I've mentioned before, John and I have been pursuing embryo adoption, which means we would be recipients of embryos created by another couple via IVF (in vitro fertilization). One amazing option for couples who have remaining embryos after IVF is to donate to a couple like us who has not been able to conceive through other methods. It is so exciting because it gives women like me the opportunity to be pregnant with an adopted child! These frozen embryos are often referred to as "snowflakes"- each one beautiful and unique!

With a kaleidoscope of butterflies in my belly and a leap in my heart I am thrilled to tell you that John and I have found our snowflakes!

Frozen embryos are often referred to as "snowflakes" in the embryo adoption world: each one beautiful and unique!

The donors were patients at our fertility clinic and it has been amazing to see how God moved at just the right time to bring our journeys together. John and I put together a "waiting family" profile for our fertility center so share with interested clients and this couple found us through that profile. We connected first via email late last spring. The donor mom gave me permission to share this part of an early exchange we had; I think when you read what she wrote and how beautifully she wrote it, you will see how I believe God is weaving us together so perfectly: 

"I want to help you experience what a contraction feels like, Jill. I want you to see how immediate the tears come to your eyes the moment you hear your newborn cry at birth. I want you to giggle at feeling your child hiccup in your belly. I can imagine you sitting in awe, just as I did, starting at your belly protruding and moving as your little one stretches and kicks. Those moments have become priceless memories for me." 


Are those experiences not exactly what I have been yearning for? When I read those words for the first time I could do nothing but stare breathlessly at my screen and believe the Spirit was at work. 


Since that exchange, we were able to meet the donor couple in person and then spent the summer working through all the paperwork and medical tests required for the embryo adoption. (Technically- legally- this is considered an embryo "donation," however I believe that life begins at conception so I will often use the term "adoption" as a sign of the value I place on the embryos' human life.) 


I start prepping my body with medication TODAY and, God willing, the transfer will occur in just over a month! There are four embryos currently frozen and we will likely be transferring two. We don't know how many embryos will survive the thawing process before the transfer nor how many will implant after; if you are the praying type, please be in prayer for us and for these four precious lives as the transfer approaches.  I value those prayers so deeply and I know they are heard before the throne!

I'M SO EXCITED!

xo

38 comments:

  1. Ahhh! I am so excited for you. I have tears in my eyes and joy in my heart for all 3 of you. I can't wait to watch this amazing journey :) We love you guys! God works in incredible ways. Love, The Browns!

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  2. I have no words...only tears! So many prayers for you in this coming month!!

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  3. So exciting! I'll be praying for you guys as you prepare your body, minds and hearts for this new possibility!

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  4. This is amazing! Looking forward to hearing how God works this experience in your lives...it was life changing for us!

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  5. You don't know me, but you've been on my heart for over a year! I'm so overjoyed! I will be praying from China, and I know that God grants the desires of our hearts! I recently found a list of songs that have to do with adoption/parenting and I wanted to share one that has been on my heart: "I get to be the one" by JJ Heller.

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  6. Anonymous9/29/2014

    So exciting! Its like waiting to open presents on Christmas morning! My thoughts and prayers are yours until the day comes when you are pregnant! So happy for you!

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  7. Tears...so very happy for you guys! Much prayer as you head into this next stage of your journey!

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  8. Yay yay YAY! :) Congratulations! I knew what you meant when I saw your Facebook post yesterday. I am SO excited for you guys! I will definitely be praying for you! What a beautiful blessing!

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  9. Amazing! Praying for you, Burdens!

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  10. What a beautiful email you were sent! Just stumbled across your blog and wanted to send baby dust your way! Embryo adoption is such a special thing! Prayers to you as you prepare for your transfer. ❤️

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  11. Oh Jill! I am just so, so excited for you.

    Does this procedure fit within the time frame of your endo surgery? (I can't remember exactly when you had that done)

    So many prayers and blessings and hopes for success for you two(three).

    GAH. SO excited for you.

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    1. Thank you Courtney!! Your words about IVF helped us make this decision rather than go through IVF ourselves. I really appreciated your perspective.

      Yes it is within the one year time-frame from my surgery (last December)!

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    2. This makes my heart so, so happy.

      I just wish I could fully express how thrilled I am for you, Jill. I truly am.

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  12. Michelle H.9/29/2014

    This is just amazing! Sending lots of love and prayers your way! I don't "know" you, but I couldn't be happier for your family! I've followed your blog for some time, but I'm not sure if I've ever commented. I look forward to your posts - it's such a refreshing, honest spot on the web. Ari is just adorable! Fingers crossed, baby dust, prayers - you've got it all!

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  13. Congratulations! Lots of thoughts and prayers headed your way.

    Does Arie have 2 broken ankles?!

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    1. No! Those casts are for physical therapy to address his toe walking/tight muscles :-)

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  14. JRodriguez9/29/2014

    I have been following your blog for a couple of years now and cannot recount to you all the ways I've been blessed by your story. And it's through your blog that I've just learned about embryo adoption. I find it absolutely fascinating and profoundly redemptive. May God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you throughout this whole new season!

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  15. Such wonderful news!!! Is Arie ok? Are those casts?

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    1. They are casts but he is okay! They are for physical therapy to help with his toe walking and tight muscles.

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  16. I'm so excited for you!!!! I'll be praying!!!!

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  17. Coongratulations to you all! Tons of prayers will be going your way.

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  18. I tried to comment yesterday, but I'm not sure if it went through. So here is what I basically said :)

    Wow! What a complex exeperience now and down the road~ Will your adopted child be connected to his/her biological family?

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    1. Glad you tried again because I didn't see your first comment! Yes this child(ren) will know their genetic family; we hope to see one another a couple times per year if possible! He/she/they will have genetic siblings too so that is cool!

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    2. As an adult adoptee who is new to the concept of embryo adoption, I have to be honest and tell you that this is an unsettling phenomenon. I call it embryo adoption, not because I am also pro-life, but because I think that every transfer of genetic material out of the natural family line is a form of relinquishment..and subsequent adoption. Sperm donation, egg donation, infant/child adoption, and now this. I can tell you that it is a hard thing to come to terms with why your mother couldn't or wouldn't keep you and to understand why your father couldn't or wouldn't support her or why he had no right to claim you and keep you. Situations all vary. For my adoption back in the early 1980s, my mother felt like she had no options. Her father would have turned her out. Her and her mother were already estranged. My biological father didn't know about me. Maybe he and his family would have fought for me, had they known. I know who he is now, but I'm not reunited with him like I am with my mother, not yet. As an adoptee, you have two basic lines of thinking. You think, well, I understand and sympathize with my biological parent(s) and they made a desperate but necessary choice for me by relinquishing their rights to me. And the other line of thinking is a bit angrier. Well, they didn't want me. They rejected me. I could care less who they are. There really are a million various responses. And I guess my unease about embryo adoption comes down to the fact that these children are essentially being gifted to you for your needs, wants and desires, not because they are children with a demonstrated need for guardianship and a home. Does that make sense? I'm probably one of the most forgiving people, but I would honestly have a very difficult time forgiving parents who would just pass me off to a nice lady they met at a clinic. I don't mean any disrespect to you. I'm sure you are all nice people. But this is going to be extremely complicated for the children.

      I'm a new adoptee rights advocate in my state of Louisiana. Many states prohibit adult adoptees from knowing their complete identity, and that's a shame. I'm working to change that where I was adopted. My problem with sealing records in adoption is that it treats children as blank slates. It erases their identity and expects them to assimilate. And this is very similar, but more extreme. There is so much potential to further disenfranchise children. I know it's not YOUR intent, but how many times is this happening and the adoptee has NO idea that they are genetically not related to the mother that birthed them? I think the technology is amazing, but at a certain point, the ability to play God in this way can be extremely dangerous.

      I hope you understand where I'm coming from. I do wish you and your children a lot of luck and happiness.. and peace and identity. <3

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    3. I do understand where you are coming from and thank you for expressing your views with kindness. The feeling of being "unwanted" is an awful feeling and as an adoptive parent (to my son) I work hard for him to understand that he wasn't unwanted; his relinquishment came out of hard circumstances. I wish we lived in a world where there was no need for relinquishment but the truth is we do not. I am not going to share the genetic family's story but as that we make no judgements about their decision to donate. It is a HARD decision and not easily made.

      That said, I totally agree with you that every adoptee should have full access to their story! Our son will know as much information as we are able to give him. We will support him if he wants to search for more answers down the road. For these children. we had the option (easier option!) of having an anonymous donation but we purposefully sought an open arrangement because we believe it is in the best interest of the children to know their genetic family. It is THEIR story and we want them to have access to it! Both we and the genetic family believe this is best for the children.

      I believe these embryos have just as much right to live full and rich lives in a loving family as any child already born. That is my conviction. I know not all people agree with me but all I can say is I believe these are human beings in their earliest stages; worthy of all the rights and protections of any human. So yes it is absolutely a gift to me and my husband- no question- but also something needed for them. I believe they are precious in the eyes of the LORD and I would be honored to carry them and bring them into the world.

      Thank you for your comment and for advocating for the rights of those who have been adopted! <3

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  19. What an exciting adventure you are about to embark. Thoughts and prayers are being sent to you and your family during this process.

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  20. Anonymous9/30/2014

    What happened to Arie's feet?

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  21. I have been following your journey for a while now, and I couldn't be more excited for you and your boys! What a wonderful celebration of life. Thoughts, Prayers, Love, and Joy being sent your way.

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  22. I'm SOO excited for you guys! What an amazing miracle! I'm so glad you found your snowflakes and can't wait to hear how it goes! What a supreme blessing! :-)

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  23. Crying as I read. Prayers for God's hand to be on this entire process, as I know it will. be. He is doing a new thing- making a way in the wilderness!

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  24. Snot and tears everywhere reading your wonderful news!

    I will hold you in my heart and in my prayers on your amazing journey.

    XX

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  25. That is so wonderful! Praying your transfer goes smoothly and is successful!!

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  26. Anonymous10/07/2014

    Congratulations!!! What a wonderful step forward for you, your family, and the couple giving their embryos for adoption. My husband and I have pictures of our snowflakes on the fridge to remind us that we've created life, even if that life isn't with us right now :) Just a word of advice as you go through the nightly injections, which can cause quite a sore tush by week 3. ice the site for 5 minutes before the injection, followed by a warm heating pad after the injection. Stay strong through this part, you're almost there. Prayers your way.

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  27. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! I know I don't know you, but I know of you from your friends, the Hogans. I've been reading about your journey for a few years now and I am so terribly excited, breathless, and just overjoyed for you. I REALLY HOPE THIS HAPPENS FOR YOU. I'm one of those who prays, but very generally. I'm going to insert your family into my prayers very specifically now. Heavenly days, it's for a good cause! I love you very much.

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  28. I am just reading this now (in mid October) and realizing that you must be coming close to the time frame of this all going on. Praying that all goes smoothly and that God blesses you both with a successful implantation and term baby(s). Thank you for sharing your journey!

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  29. Anonymous10/19/2014

    Remembering 6 years ago our snowflake transfer and giving thanks for the joy of my daughter. And holding you in prayer...it seems like just yesterday the wait. God bless you! Niki

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