I always have felt a calling to adopt. In fact, after my first in vitro success and subsequent miscarriage, we attended an adoption seminar at Nightlight Christian Adoptions. I just wanted to open all doors. I admired good friends of my husband's family who fostered and adopted three children after their three biological children were nearly grown. I admired good friends of mine who, after struggling with infertility, adopted a baby boy and later adopted two more babies. I admired other good friends of ours who also struggled with infertility. Rather than embark on the traditional adoption journey, they opted for embryo adoption. I'll never forget her calling me to share the news that not only were they pregnant, but pregnant with twins! I had never heard of Snowflakes Embryo Adoption until our friends went through it.
The cycle that led to my children Clayton and Chloe's birth was my third attempt at in vitro. I knew prior to the egg retrieval that I'd have a lot of eggs...I produce like crazy. In fact that cycle was supposed to be artificial insemination, but I had too many eggs. It was too risky. We had hours (literally) to decide to cancel the cycle or change to in vitro. We of course decided to go for it. I had 18 eggs, which were fertilized that day. The next day Dr. Kan called to tell us how many took--all 18!
He said that's pretty unheard of and that he'd call back on day 3 to tell us how many were still growing. I'll never forget that call. I was sitting in a back to school training. He said, "You'll never guess how many are still thriving. All 18!" He was truly in awe at the strength of our embryos. Dr. Kan said at this point he was not in control, but a higher power was. I couldn't have agreed more. On day 5, transfer day, all 18 were still going strong. Two were transferred and the rest is a very happy history. Clayton Joseph and Chloe Grace were born at 37 ½ weeks after I was induced. They were healthy and big and came home with us on Mother’s Day. No NICU required for our little angels. My 10 weeks of bed rest more than paid off!
Now, back to my calling to adopt. As my mom and I killed time at the mall before my final doctor's appointment (the one where I came prepared with my suitcase and a list of reasons why I needed to be induced), my mom and I reflected on about how far I had come. Less than a year prior I was in the deepest depths of my infertility struggle and then here I was as big as a house, contractions and all, ready to pop with two perfect, little blessings.
I said to her, "You know, Mom, maybe this is my calling to participate in adoption. Maybe I'm supposed to place my remaining embryos to a couple who desperately want to be parents.”
She just smiled. Ryan and I had already decided that if we did have more children, we wanted it to happen naturally. All of the infertility treatments I experienced: painful exams, difficult surgeries, countless ultrasounds, blood draws, depressing phone calls, awful injections, failed attempts, a miscarriage...I was done. I was getting ready to welcome two perfect little lives into my world. I couldn't have been more content and fulfilled. We decided, though, to hang onto the embryos for a few more years until we knew for sure that we were ready to proceed with snowflake adoption. Then, 14 months later, came the unexpected and wonderfully happy news that little Easton was on his way.
Right then and there, as the rush of emotions set in that I was literally going to have three babies, I knew it was time to start exploring the Snowflakes program. We began the process in summer (2012). By going through Snowflakes, my husband Ryan and I had preferences with who the embryos were placed with and likewise they, of course, had to agree to us as well. Earlier this year a lovely couple who live in Colorado were presented to us. They shared a beautiful online album showcasing their life, their struggle, their families, and most importantly their love. We felt an immediate connection and knew they were going to be the parents of our embryos. They officially adopted our embryos a few months later and they transferred two embryos. She tested 8 days later with a perfectly POSITIVE blood test! Their precious baby girl arrived earlier this year, right when Easton was due (literally—his conception date is the same as their transfer date).
I wasn't prepared for the rush of emotions I experienced upon learning the news of her pregnancy, but am so incredibly happy. Wow! So amazing. We did it. We gave these perfect little embryos a chance at life and this little girl was most definitely meant to be. For us there was no other choice. I often look at Clayton and Chloe and wonder how they got to be the lucky two of eighteen that were chosen to be mine. How could we not give the others the same chance at life? Simple decision for us; difficult and unimaginable for others. I understand that. As Dr. Kan said, this whole process was being directed by a higher power. It still is. Thanks be to God. The miracle of life is most amazing! Thank you to our adoptive family. You are a blessing to our family and the little miracle you carried inside you.