All praise and glory!

How am I just now getting a chance to write about the fact that we are officially matched with a genetic family?

Because yes, WE ARE OFFICIALLY MATCHED WITH A GENETIC FAMILY!

šŸ™‚

They have 4 embryos that we will be officially adopting as soon as the contracts are drawn up, signed, and notarized!

We first received their profile information on September 11th, but we’ve been waiting over a month for the doctor to review the information, blood work to be done / sent in, and for the doctor to review the blood work. We heard back officially on October 20th, and I felt like it was much more of a ‘for sure thing’ {although that was literally only in my mind because it was just as ‘for sure’ the day before} after I talked to the agency on the 21st.

The plan from here is…

1) Contracts!

2) Arrange shipping…yes, we will be sending out a big ol’ prayer request for the FedEx truck & driver getting our embies from there to here. šŸ™‚

3) Medical portion begins…mock trials, shots, meds. It’s all greek to me at this point {since we’ve doneĀ zippo fertility treatments leading up to this}.

If everything clicks along, it is possible we could do a transfer sometime in December.

Wow.

More on all the feelings that accompany this news on another day because, yes, there have been feelings. šŸ˜‰ In the meantime, all praise & glory to our God and King, author of this adventure and perfector of my faith!

Blessed are we.

 

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Life & Glory.

Several weeks ago, my mother-in-law was chatting with someone at her church, catching up with one another on how one another’s families are doing and what their children are all up to these days. Through the course of the conversation, my MIL ended up telling her friend about our embryo adoption adventure. The woman was floored to hear about this option for families, especially because she has a family memberĀ who had gone through in vitro and has been considering what to do with their remaining embryos. She {along with another family member, who also goes to church with my MIL} excitedly agreed to tell the woman & her husband about it to see if they would be interested in more information, or in potentially matching with us.

{Definitely one of those six-degrees of separation thing…or the telephone game.}

A few weeks passed by with no word, and in the meantime we were presented with a great match from the agency to consider.

Then, a week ago today, my mother-in-law received word that theĀ woman was interested in talking with Chris and I in person, and passed along her phone number so I could give her a call. I nervously gave her a call {calling a stranger, not knowing quite what they are thinking or what their story will be feels kind of weird, I gotta say.} but ended up having to leave a message.

She called me back a few days later…and we talked for over an hour. All those nerves turned out to be for nothing, because she was a super sweet, Christian woman who shared a common belief with me about the value of life and of her little embryos. We each shared our story to arriving at this point, about what God has taught us through infertility, about the struggles each of us have had / have to find clarity as to how God would have each of us to move forward. We talked about the possibility of us adopting their embryos, but since we are feeling confident about the match presented to us by the agency {and because they are still in the early stages of deciding if they are ready to place their embryos for adoption} we decided it is best at this time for us to simply pray for one another and {hopefully!} remain in touch with one another.

Although we obviously come at this from opposite sides, it was so encouraging and incredible to be able to talk with someone who gets it. Infertility is likeĀ a club I wish no one belonged to…but since that’s not the case, it sure is nice to have someone who understands the burdens & joys. It lightens the load, reminds you that you aren’t so alone or so weird…

After a lot of talking with one another and a bit of dreaming with one another, we prayed with one another. My heart was filled with such gratitude…that God brought us to together, that I was able to speak life and encouragement to her {along with practical information about embryo adoptionĀ & Nightlight Christian Adoption Agency}, that we were able to testify to one another about God’s goodness and His grace and His glory.

I pray there will be more conversations like this in the future…more new friends to be made. There are people out there who pursue this route {or embryo donation} who keep it to themselves…but I know that is not what God has called Chris & I to. He’s made it clear from the beginning that we are to speak life & glory, and I was thankful for the chance to do that with this sweet sister in Christ.

Blessed am I.

Another match bites the dust.

Hum.

Failed adoption match jokes…probably not cool.

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As you’ve probably been able to gather from the title of this post, the match we were considering is a no go. After waiting what felt like an impossibly long time for the doctor to get back with us {one week and two days, to be exact} we were told that FDA regulations would not permit the clinic to transfer these embryos, thereby making them ineligible for us to adopt.

Insert a little confusion on our part as well as the agencies, more questions and e-mails, and an answer that semi-clarifies what the issue was and you are all caught up to where we are now.

We don’t totally understand why the “issue” is an issue, or if our agency should have caught it before presenting us with the match. I’ve done a bit of research on it, but for now I think we are just trusting that the checks and balances of the agency and doctor have done what we needed them to do and prevented us from moving forward with a set of embryos with which we couldn’t have completed a FET.

So we are back in matching.

I so appreciated the director of the Snowflake Program, who has been nothing but helpful and encouraging throughout this process…and especially in the dilemmas and questions that presented themselves through this last match. When it fell through she spoke truth and peace into our adoption process, and that meant a lot to me.

At the same time, I so did not appreciate my doctor’s office…so I’m trying to sort through all of that now. While I did feel like he could have looked over the embryo information and gotten back with me in a much more timely manner {I had explained multiple times that we were supposed to make our decision within the time frame of one week, if at all possible} I also understand that he is a doctor running a busy medical practice. That part I will probably have to get over. The part that I am having trouble with are the interactions I’ve had with some of the ladies working in his office. This last go-round, I felt as she wasn’t following through with what she said she would do and was being very short with me. {She being the woman who was supposed to be the go-between the doctor and I…}

I think it boils down to this: once we match with embryos, we will be giving these people large sums of money. Sums of money nearing $5,000 a pop. So I feel like, for that sum of money,Ā we should get quality customer service.

We’reĀ not mad that the doctor pulled the plug on this match, and we feel like he helped clarify some confusion with the first match we were presented. Although I do have a few doubts starting to pop up when I think of him specifically, I am thankful for the help he has given us so far.

All that to say, I’m not really sure what to do with the whole doctor situation. I think Chris will go along with whatever I feel is best in that regard, so long as neither of us has to do further medical testing {were we to try and switch doctors.} Needing a lot of discernment in this area, and probably a little space from the frustration that built over the past week or so.

We weren’t devastated when the match fell through, which was probably another sign that this wasn’t the match for us. Still not totally sure what we will feel when we find the match God has for us…praying now that we will be watchful, but not guardedthat we will feel conviction, and not anxietyfor unity of heart and mind.

That’s where we’re at…and honestly, it’s not a bad place to be. I want to be right smack in the middle of God’s perfect will with this embryo match, so I can wait it out. {I may just have to repeat that over and over to myself in the coming days…you know me!}

Blessed am I.

Wowsa.

*Originally written on Tuesday, June 17th*

Yesterday I was posting crazy talk about Facebook posts and #summerhousewife and that refining little thing called waiting. And today, we received a potential match {pending our doctors approval, our approval, and a Skype conversation with the genetic family} and Chris got a call to schedule a job interview.

Wowsa.

Let’s start with the potential match.

We’re not telling our parents until we have an official match, so that’s hard. We are trying to manage our expectations for what it should feel like when we’ve found ‘the ones,’ so that’s hard. I think in some way we are expecting love at first sight or fireworks or an instant “YES!”…but I’m not convinced that it will be that way.

So instead, we took stock of our initial reaction. Info on the embryos looks good from what we can see…they’ve been frozen longer than we {or our doctor} would like, but I’m hoping the rest of their stats will be strong enough to give our doctor warm fuzzy feelings. {Or at least ‘yes, these are solid embryos’ feelings.} The family looks nice; we enjoyed reading their letter and looking through their pictures…they are quite different from us, I would say. Not sure how essential it is that we feel some big connection with them…maybe it’s more about building a relationship as babies come along and grow.

They did write about the importance of laughter in their family, which is obviously big for us, so I think we can definitely come to be friends with anyone who shares that sentiment.

We agreed to sleep on it, then if we still feel comfortable with everything, go ahead and have our doctor look over the embryos information tomorrow. Chris was hung up a bit on moving forward with embryos while there are still so many questions in regards to his job…but we tried to just breathe deeply and pray and not overthink it too much.

I haven’t posted about this much…if at all…but Chris was told several weeks ago that the office he works for is going to be closing. We don’t know the definite timeline {it’s a government thing} but we know it’s coming, so the job search has begun. It’s been stressful and a battle against the depression that has a tendency to pull at Chris, but I also see it as an answer to prayer for so many reasons. I have *full* faith that God is working in this situation, and I know that what God has for us is always for our good. So I’m trusting and praying and waiting/watching to see what He’s up to.

So I gotta say, it was pretty darn exciting when Chris got a phone call tonightĀ about the job he’s really been interested in. He has an interview later this week…it’s good stuff.

I can’t help but notice the timing of everything…not trying to get ahead of myself, just keeping my eyes on God and wondering if the next steps, the next pieces of the puzzle are being presented to us.

Time will tell! šŸ™‚

Blessed am I.

*follow-up post immediately following…

One Week & One Day Later

May 8, 2014

I’m posting this after the fact…so even as I write this, I’m not sure if I’ll be posting it after I say “We’re matched!” or to say that we had a family interested in matching with us, but didn’t feel it was a fit for us.

Either way…today, at this moment, we have a family who has chosen us.

{Insert me doubled over doing a lot of deep breathing while alternately eating the cookies Chris automatically started making.}

After being ‘in matching’ for exactly one week and a day, we got an e-mail with a “Dear Adoptive Parents” letter, family bio, and medical history from a family that is interested in placing their embryos with us.

I knew this embryo adoption business moved at a faster pace than traditional adoption, but wow.

It’s incredible and terrifying and overwhelming and mind-boggling and about a hundred other emotions all at once.

When the e-mail came in I texted a prayer warrior friend of mine and asked her to start praying. The initial information presented in the e-mail wasn’t quite what we had been hoping for {as far as the amount of time the embryos had been frozen, etc}, so I knew we would need God’s wisdom and peace as we decided how to move forward. I didn’t open any of the attachments until I was at home and with Chris. {He thought I was joking when I said we already had a request for a match…I can’t get it through his head that this process could go really quickly!}

We read through their letter & biography, reading aloud snippets that caught our attention or interested us. Their biography & letter sounded just like they were talking to us…although surreal, their words felt comfortable andĀ it was obvious that they are aĀ loving family. Right or wrong, I think we were both holding our breath waiting to see the pictures at the end of the writing. They were beautiful, all of them…andĀ the little children were precious, one of whom has a lot of the same features that I do. {I may or may not have pulled one of my childhood pictures up right next to hers…It turns out they are even from the same area Chris was born / spent his childhood years in.

Of course by the pictures I was crying, the thought of it all just so overwhelming and wild.

After a few more minutes of talking…and honestly, of freaking out a little…we decided to hold off on telling anyone else right away.Ā Moments like that areĀ a lot to process, plus there was a bit of research that I needed to do on the stage of the embryos. We stepped away from the conversation for a few minutes…both needing some space to breathe and think.

*****

May 9, 2014

My first thoughts when I woke up this morning were the names of the couple who chose us. I fell asleep praying for them, I woke up thinking about them. It’s so weird to have names and faces…definitely makes itĀ more real.

Today we played phone tag back and forth from work while we tried to keep working our way through this. Chris was still feeling ‘weirded out’ by the whole thing, not sure if we should agree to the first presented match…so we decided to talk to a couple of people who know who have adopted to see if what we’re feeling is normal. The coworker/friend that I spoke to was really helpful…I thought it was funny when she shared that her biggest panic was when she found out she was pregnant with her 6th child. It reminded me that some struggles aren’t specific to adoption, they are specific to parenting…and that even though I have been processing and preparing for this exact moment, Christ apparently hasn’t.

Typical. šŸ˜‰

Chris called and talked to his ‘mentor’ {I’m calling him that; they would probably hate it! Ha!} who, God bless his soul, said exactly what I needed him to say. Basically, he told Chris that a) this was an answer to prayer, not a complication or unwanted ‘advance,’Ā b) there was nothing wrong with matching with the first couple if they were a good fit, and c) that he was going to kick Chris’ rear if he didn’t stop overthinking this whole thing.

After that conversation Chris sounded much more like himself. Although he still felt a little weird about the whole thing {I do too if I think about it for very long at once…not in a bad way, just in a ‘this is totally new and unknown’ kind of way.} we did decide that these could be the ones and we wanted to move forward with having the doctor review the embryo information.

****************

So that’s where we are right now. Waiting to hear back from the doctor. It’s still completely our decision, no matter what he says…and the research I’ve done looks like this is a pretty goodĀ set of embryos. I also e-mailed a bit with the Snowflake Program director who explained a bit more why she saw us as a fit {just trying to understand the process more fully!} which helped settle our nerves a bit.

Part of me hates to even write all of this. We’ve been praying for a moment like this, and I don’t want to take it for granted or sound ungrateful.

I think the mainĀ hesitation on our part is just born out of a need to catch our breath, to steady ourselves in this new reality….to see if God further confirms this particular family as the match for us.

Either way, it’s pretty amazing.

Blessed am I.