We’re finishing our 23rd week of pregnancy today and we just had a full anatomy scan of the twins… we can’t believe our little girls will be here with us in this world in about three months (God willing He keeps them in there for that long)!! It’s amazing how smooth the pregnancy has been, despite some colds that lingered, early swelling caused by a doubling in blood volume and other fluids, and high blood pressure that was instantly cured with early retirement. They’re right at the size the doctors want them to be (actually a few days bigger) and they’re getting strong… I’ve been feeling flutters for a couple of weeks, but then last night I felt their first kick / punch with my hand on the outside of my belly… what an amazing thing!
Scott and I were reflecting this morning on when we told the kids how we were going to adopt. Initially, before Bethany completed their assessment and Dr. Keenan cleared me to carry, we had just filled the kids in that we were starting the process for being considered candidates for adoption. We needed them aware because they would be part of the adoption assessment with the in-home interviews. Bethany was great at allowing us to be very general with the kids. We didn’t want to be too definitive, as anyone with kids knows… if plans, of any sort, seem to be set and then change it has a tendency to kind of knock kids off-kilter, especially with something so new and big as adoption. So we took it one step at a time.
We were out for pizza one evening this Spring and started sharing with them that Dad and I believed God had answered our prayers on the decision to adopt. They were elated to say the least, as they were the ones that initially planted the seeds a few years early that kicked us into gear on research and prayer. Immediately, they had questions on age… newborn, toddler, youth (they were even open to a teenage brother… ala The Blind Side!!)… and location… domestic or international. We just told them those questions would be worked out as we moved along and God would lead us to the child for our family. They were incredible, open to any options and just filled with excitement. They really wanted to bring a child into our lives that needed a loving home and family.
Over the next several weeks they bounced around the house asking various questions on timing and did we know more specifics yet. They were planning where their new brother or sister would sleep, and how we’d all fit into our SUV. They started telling their friends, and the excitement grew.
Then, when we received final approval from Bethany and my mock cycle was complete with Dr. Keenan, we brought the kids together with the video camera and filled them in that God had led us to embryo adoption. It was amazing how quickly they got the science behind it all… but they were also touched, as Scott and I had been, to learn of the hundreds of thousands of lives frozen in time waiting to be born. They were so excited about being able to be part of the pregnancy, that they could get multiple brothers or sisters, and that our family would be helping to raise awareness for these little lives that very few people had ever even heard about.
As we approached our transfer date, Carol Sommerfelt, Director / Embryologist for the NEDC, graciously offered to allow us to bring the kids in for a tour so they could get an even greater understanding. Carol is unbelievably gifted, not only in her ability to start-up and run such an important medical program but she also had that special touch with our kids to draw out any questions they might have and put them completely at ease.
The highlight of the tour was when she opened one of the several liquid nitrogen-filled canisters that held the embryos stored at the NEDC. The smoke came billowing from the top, and she explained that was from the incredibly low temperatures inside. She then shared that there were about 5,000 embryos inside each canister. Our kids asked, “Is our brother or sister inside?”, and she said yes. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
A few weeks later we had our transfer, which was obviously very successful. It was such a thrill to come home from our first ultrasound appointment eleven days later and share that the pictures showed two sacs developing and then a couple weeks later than that to share that there were indeed two strong heartbeats.
Our lives are already incredibly blessed and forever changed by these little girls, we can’t wait for them to get here in our arms and begin the next part of our journey all together. Psalm 127:3