Josh and I met and started dating our senior year of college. After
graduation, we took jobs in different cities to pursue our careers; me in
marketing and Josh in communications as a District Executive for the Boy
Scouts. We became engaged and commuted for 3 hours on weekends to see each
other. After working a few years, Josh decided to go back to school for a
degree in nursing before we married. Josh received his Bachelors in
Nursing, and we married the following November. Thank goodness for the
demand in nursing jobs, we were finally able to relocate to the same

We both worked for several more years, wanting to “get established” before
starting a family. We decided it would be best for him to get his master’s
degree so that we could afford for me to quit working and be a
stay-at-home mom. Josh was accepted into the master’s program which took
a little over two years to complete.

After receiving his masters, we relocated to Tennessee. We had found our
dream town, our dream house, and our dream church. Finally! We were
ready to start trying to have children. A family was everything we needed
to complete what we had worked so hard for all these years. It would be
so easy right? We didn’t realize while focusing on our careers, we were
using the few “good years” we had left to get pregnant on our own. We were
still so young.

After trying for a year on our own and with clomid, our ob/gyn referred us
to an infertility specialist. After numerous IUI attempts, and two failed
IVF attempts, our beloved doctor passed away from cancer. We had to start
over using his partner in the practice. This doctor informed us there
wasn’t anything more he could do and suggested third party reproduction.

Since moving to Tennessee, we had developed a close circle of friends.
Three of these dear friends offered to be a donor for us. Still believing
we could conceive on our own, we had never discussed third party reproduction
as a serious possibility. However, after much prayer and consideration, we
asked our friend who was most like a sister to me if she was still willing to
go through with her generous offer. She said yes, and excitedly we called the
doctor to make an appointment. He informed us he would not do “known donor”
transfers but only used donors provided by their clinic. We found a doctor
an hour away that would do the procedure.

We had 6 embryos with our donor. We transferred 3, which did not result
in pregnancy. Our 3 remaining embryos did not survive the thawing process.
Disappointed but determined to press on, we researched different options
online. We had previously come across the NEDC website while researching
IVF with our donor. We had also considered traditional adoption, but felt
embryo adoption gave us the possibility to become pregnant and bond with
the child from birth. We contacted the NEDC in March of 2011 and another
door opened for us.

Starting the process of embryo adoption seemed daunting at first. How do
we get started, how do we apply and go through the process of adoption,
how long will it take? After our 3rd failed IVF attempt with my friend’s
oocytes, Josh and I decided it was time to move on to embryo adoption. We
felt God led us here and it was the next logical step.

You see, going through the IVF with our friend was not an easy decision.
It was prayed about by all three of us, and many in our church were
standing in prayer with us. There were many things to consider. Would she
think we would be good parents? Would she feel like the child was really
hers and eventually want to be more involved? After all, we live in a
small community and are very close friends. But… God gave us a peace,
“Trust Me” is what would come over me when I prayed. The negative
pregnancy result was devastating because everyone who had been praying for
us felt this was God leading us. So how could it be negative? We were so
sure we had heard Him right. But, it was part of a “Greater” plan.

Many couples need a break after a failed cycle. For me, when I was not in
the middle of an IVF cycle it was torture. It felt like time was ticking
and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Being in the midst of an IUI or
IVF cycle was like therapy. It meant we were getting somewhere.. we were
making progress. Downtime was unbearable. So immediately after the
negative result I had to have a plan. I remembered coming across the NEDC
website when Josh and I were researching information on donor IVF.
We didn’t think much about it at the time, because we were so sure
this time it was going to work.

That is where looking back, I can see God’s hand in it all! Just coming
to the place where we were willing to use a donor meant acceptance. It
meant closure to a dream. A dream of a biological child of my own. It meant
never seeing my own eyes in my son or daughter. It meant knowing they
would never have my little quirks (which BTW can be a good thing). It
meant admitting that my body had failed me. Also, it meant all those
years preparing the nest to be more educated, more mature, and more
financially stable; didn’t exactly fall in line with our plan. But it was
not our plan, God was using those years for His vision and His timing. We
never questioned waiting. We never thought we’d have a problem conceiving.
We always had a peace that when the time came to start a family, we’d be
ready and everything would work out. And it did, just not the way we had

Had God never allowed us to go through this with our donor, we may not
have come across the NEDC. He used that time to prepare me. Not only would
I never see my eyes in my child, or my quirks, but my husband’s either.
But that we would come to the place where being a parent is more than
what you envision your child to be. It is embracing the child God had planned for
you all along, in His time. He used every clomid cycle (12 in all), 13
failed IUI’s and 3 IVF attempts (one more to come later) to bring us
to a place of acceptance of His plan. But it is more than acceptance. It
is elation, exuberance, and complete joy!! We are now 6 months pregnant
with our first child due in December.

I want to give you a “very basic” timeline of our first contact with the
NEDC to pregnancy, because if you are reading this you probably have a
similar story of heartbreak and disappointment. This timeline
will be different for everyone as there are many factors involved.

March 2011- We first contacted the NEDC
April 2011- NEDC initial application submitted
May 2011- Went to Bethany Christian Services
Discover Adoption Informational Meeting
June 2011- Started Homestudy Packet for Adoption
Aug 2011- Went to NEDC for mock transfer
Nov 2011- Homestudy walk through and individual interviews with
social worker
Dec 2011- Homestudy approved!
Dec 2011- Received donor selections and medical protocol
Jan 2012- Transferred 4 embryos
Jan 2012- Two weeks later, BFN
Feb 2012- Received new donor profiles for March transfer. No embryos
remained from January transfer
Feb 2012- Received medical protocol
March 2012- Transferred 3 embryos
March 2012- Two weeks later- We’re Pregnant!

If embryo adoption is the path God leads you, I hope you see just getting
started is often the hardest step. You can see the forest for the trees,
and there is beauty even while you are in the midst. I wish you success
on your journey to becoming parents.

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