The following 3-part testimony was written by embryo adopters Doug and Valarie and edited by the EAAC for the purpose of this blog.
We had a positive pregnancy test two weeks later. Valarie was very excited but I was holding my breath the whole time not allowing myself to get excited because I didn't want to be disappointed. I was praying not to lose the babies. I was afraid of how Valarie would react if we lost them after going through all of this and getting this close to a successful pregnancy. I can't explain the feeling I had when we went for the 5 week ultrasound and saw a heartbeat. However, there was sadness too because one of the embryos was not developing as it should. It turned out that was the one that had been frozen for the longer period of time. One of the reasons we have such passion to promote embryo adoption is that those 500,000 embryos are in a race against time to be adopted before they expire. [EDITORIAL NOTE: Children have been born from embryos that have been frozen for more than 20 years. At this point in time, scientists have not discovered a 'shelf-life' for frozen embryos.] Bethany was born on September 30th, 2008. They say that a woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, and a man becomes a father when the baby is born. I fully understand that now. I loved her from the minute I saw her. What an awesome feeling. What a life changing feeling. What a huge responsibility.
I cannot imagine loving her more if she was our biological child. I feel really good every time I look at her knowing that we saved her life. I can't imagine not giving her a chance at life. She cried for 2 months every night from 8-12 and the whole time we were just thankful that we had her. I truly believe that it was intended for us to be her parents from the start but we had to take all the other trials before we were ready for her. We consider ourselves truly blessed to have her in our lives. We are thankful every day for being taken through all of this and having our daughter brought to us. Bethany is such a beautiful child and she has brought us so much joy. Sometimes when we look at her we realize how close she came to not being born if we hadn't been brought us together. Having Bethany has given us a great passion for all the other frozen embryos out there, and it breaks our hearts thinking about how they are just waiting for their chance to live.
There are many differing opinions on Embryo Adoption out there today. Here are my thoughts. I think it is a wonderful thing to give these children a chance at life. You can feel good about not creating additional embryos that may not have a chance at life as in IVF. You can feel good that it's not been done for the wrong reason of making a profit as in using a donor egg. I think there is an issue with IVF today in that we need responsible IVF. Responsible being defined as not creating more embryos than you intend to have as children or put up for adoption. Octomom is an example of this. The underlying problem is that she created too many embryos in the first place.
It will be very difficult to encourage responsibility in the IVF arena, but we can make a difference by adopting the leftover embryos that are suspended in time just waiting to be given a chance to experience life. I can't tell you the joy and satisfaction I feel from becoming a parent in this way and I encourage you to consider taking the same path to parenthood.
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