So, I thought that getting to the match after all of the challenges of the home study that took an extraordinary amount of time. If anyone has completed an adoption home study they understand that it is a long process. While completing the home study I simultaneously needed to find a fertility doctor that would understand and be on board with an embryo adoption for someone who did not have fertility problems. I am often asked many of the following questions:
“Can’t you have your own children?”
“Why don’t you adopt one of the children that are already here?” followed shortly by “There are so many that are already here that need homes”
“I don’t mean to be rude, ugly, frank (you fill in the word)……but, have you considered having more the natural way?”
More often than not I hear people say
“I didn’t even know that you could do that.”
Well, let me answer some of those questions now, and in the future I may continue with occasional sidebars to the reason we chose embryo adoption. It starts with picking our fertility doctor- that is why I have included it here. We visited with Dr S. for an initial consult almost a year ago now on March 23rd 2012. I remember the day when we were ushered to his corner office and a tech performed our intake. We love Dr. S. but this particular tech was perhaps new or not exactly the most mature of this amazing office. She was bubbly and sweet and I do remember her asking me the date that I last started my cycle. I had no idea. It is amazing to her that I was going into the office of a fertility doctor and yet I didn’t know when my last cycle started. Any of you out there who are trying to get pregnant know EXACTLY when your last “Day 1” started! This sweet tech got out her iphone and showed me an app that could help me track things. I would never again not know what day was “Day 1”. She ask me a myriad of questions regarding our fertility history (she was not aware that we had two children biologically) and how long we had been trying to have a child, and all sorts of medical history questions. After a little wait Dr S. came in. He was a tall thin man with 7 children and a quirky clock on his desk that ran slightly different than the other clock. He told us that one of his patients gave him a 25 hour clock because there was not ever enough time in the day to get everything done- he needed another hour. He asked us many questions, asked us about embryo adoption, our motivations, our goals as well as the specifics of embryo adoption. Dr S. has not ever worked with Nightlight Christian Adoptions or the Snowflake Program so he was interested. I remember him telling us “You know how many embryos that we have frozen in storage? We can’t do anything with them and we don’t have the infrastructure to be able to manage all the intricacies of this process.”
On that topic, did you know that there are estimated to be over 600,000 frozen embryos throughout the United States? What are we to say regarding these embryos? Are they life? Are they people? Are they an excellent avenue for research? These are personal decisions that each person must answer for themselves. These are the issues that each person who struggles with fertility must decipher for themselves. Technology has intersected Divinity for the creation of life. Is that a bad thing? It has given life to so many families that would not have had children without that intervention. Or, do you call it life? Is it a grouping of cells? Dr S. said one thing that day that I will not ever forget. He said “Once I connect that sperm with that egg it is a whole new thing in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of everyone involved.” Of course, he was speaking of the job of the embryologist in his lab but the principle weighed heavily on his heart although even to today I am not sure if he thinks of it cynically or with appropriate awe. Once an embryo is created in the lab it is a whole different thing, it is no longer just tissue it becomes more. I will leave intellectual discussions for others wiser and brighter than me this blog is about experience, it is not meant to dissuade or change opinions, just to chronicle our experience and hopefully encourage another along this journey. Dr S. has devoted his entire life to helping others succeed in their desires to have children. I guess we sufficiently answered his questions because he passed us on to the next step in the process. We were to meet with a counselor- a psychologist who could determine if we were suitable and if we were educated on using a “donor embryo”. He also ordered more tests so that he could tell if I was a good candidate for accepting embryos. These appointments would come over the next few months.
Happy St Patrick’s Day! St. Patrick the patron Saint of Ireland. We got our green on this morning for church. It was a lot of fun- I have never seen so much green at our church.