I (Arundel) am in the middle of reading through Rick Warren’s, ‘Purpose Driven Life’, a great 40-day devotional if you haven’t read it yet! Yesterday’s reading was discussing how God puts us through trials, difficulties, ups-and-downs and pain for a reason. When things are going well we are so happy to let everyone know, so willing to share the stories, but how do we act when the going gets tough?
Warren writes, “But the very experiences that you have resented or regretted most in life – the ones you’ve wanted to hide and forget – are the experiences God wants to use to help others.” It has been an enormous privilege reading the comments from people who have stumbled across our blog, friends who are in this with us, and those who are supporting us through it. While this time is not an easy one, we are honored that our story, our God-story, is able to be a blessing to others. A God-story, a testimony, a praise report is not always a completed story. It’s a story that can be in the beginning, middle or end stages; and ours is just that. Hopefully we are somewhere in the middle, but what do we know?
What we do know, we want to share with you today.
In August, having not heard anything from the embryo adoption agency about a potential match for several months, we decided to take action ourselves. Jane created a simple image for Facebook detailing our interest in the possibility of adopting embryo(s) from any couples who had undergone IVF, and with one simple click on the ‘Post’ button on a random Wednesday in August, it went out to the world. Well in truth, it went out to our 400 Facebook followers. This crew of supporters in turn shared it to their own pages, commented and liked. The power of social media — of which so many of us are not fans — for one moment was used for good. In 48 hours, 9,000 people had viewed this image, including one couple in Colorado.
We’ll call them John and Leila. They underwent IVF in November 2015 and created 5 precious embryos. Two of which were immediately transferred to Leila’s uterus, and in August 2016, two baby boys were born. Wow! Shortly after their birth, on a random Wednesday in August, John and Leila sat down on their sofa, and discussed what they wanted to do with the remaining 3 embryos at the clinic. Discard them, donate them to science or transfer them to Leila’s womb in the hopes of another pregnancy. They felt as though there really should be a fourth option — surely there is a way of giving these embryos to a couple who can’t have their own biological children? They hadn’t ever heard of it, nor knew if it was a viable option, but what they did know was that their family was complete with their twin boys, and they wanted these 3 remaining embryos to have life.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the mountainous state of Colorado, one of Jane’s friends clicked ‘Share’ on the image that popped up on her feed from our adoption Facebook group. This prompted one of her friends to comment on it that she had just gone through embryo adoption and was praying for us. That comment meant it also popped up on Leila’s news feed. And right there, a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, who had just asked her husband if there was any such thing, was looking at an image of Jane and I, asking if anyone knew of a family who had embryos that they would donate. Miracle?
Leila reached out to Jane, asking if we would even want them, if we were still looking… You know how those Facebook campaigns go, you see them and have no idea if it was posted five years ago and is now completely irrelevant. Well this wasn’t that. This was very relevant!
Leila and Jane spoke on the phone, and with a simple phone call their mind was made up. The three remaining embryos were to be transferred into our name. We asked if they wanted more information, our profile book, to meet us, a phone call the four of us, our home study, references whatever it might be. Nothing. Sometimes, ‘the peace of God which transcends all understanding’ can fall on a situation. And that it did on this August day.
Thankfully our embryo adoption agency was willing to work with us even though it wasn’t quite the traditional route that they normally take. Within a few weeks, contracts were signed and medical forms submitted. And with a stamp of the notary, our family had just grown by three more, and we were so excited!
I may have forgotten to mention one small detail. These baby embryos aren’t in Colorado, nor are they in Seattle. In fact, they’re not even in the USA. Just off the coast of South America, in one of the most highly rated fertility clinics worldwide, on the tiny island of Barbados, they await. The clinic, operated by an Irish doctor, with English, Canadian, American and Barbadian medical and administrative staff is one of the reasons Barbados is in the top fertility tourism destinations in the world.
What do we now then? Well, the cost to ship the embryos from Barbados to our clinic in Seattle, WA was the same price as flights and an all-inclusive resort on the shores of the white sandy beaches of Barbados. What do you think we would do then? Instead of putting our frozen embryos on a flight to Seattle, we have decided to jump on a plane with Jane’s parents in January 2017 to find them and to get some much needed rest and relaxation before and after the transfer.
Jane will update you further on the medical and emotional preparations in a blog to come soon. For now though, I better keep on reading my book, ‘The Expectant Father’, because this time it’s working; this time we’re getting pregnant. 👍🏼