Petersen Family’s Story

In August 2006, native Brazilian Anabelle Petersen and her husband Tom were anxiously awaiting the result of an embryo transfer. Pregnancy was the joyous result! The Petersen’s had pursued In vitro fertilization (IVF), a medical infertility treatment, to help them begin to build their family.

The couple met in 1999 when Anabelle was vacationing in San Diego, California. They were married in June 2000. Anabelle and Tom tried unsuccessfully for five years to have a baby before turning to IVF. Egg and sperm cells were joined together in an embryology lab producing seven tiny embryos.

After the initial IVF treatment, embryologists placed their six remaining embryos into containers, freezing them in liquid nitrogen at -196°C. On April 28th, 2007, the tiny embryo Tom had needed a microscope to see had grown into a perfectly developed baby boy. Tom and Anabelle named their firstborn son Andrew.

In the years that followed Andrew’s birth, Anabelle and Tom were able to conceive without medical help. Their second son Lucas was born in February of 2009. Their only daughter Louisa joined the family in February of 2011, in spite of the fact that Anabelle was using birth control at the time. After having three children in four years, their family was complete. However, Andrew, Lucas and Louisa still had six potential genetic siblings who were frozen in time..

The Petersen’s contacted Snowflakes because they wanted to donate their embryos through a Christian-oriented program. The Snowflakes staff began searching for an adoptive family for Tom and Anabelle’s six remaining donated embryos.

When Snowflakes personnel presented an adoptive family’s profile to the Petersens for review it was an instant match. Tom and Anabelle quickly knew this was the family they desired for their remaining embryos! The two families were able to meet in person in the spring of 2012 the adopters came to the U.S. for their frozen embryo transfer (FET). The couples felt an instantaneous bond with one another.


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