This story is featured in the current issue of Pathway2Family magazine, Winter/Spring 2018. Read the whole issue online!

After four years of dating, Tim and Ellen were joyfully married in January 2013. They always talked about having children. Tim frequently joked that he wanted 2.5 kids (the national average). Ellen’s younger brother was adopted from Russia at the age of two, so adoption was a part of the couple’s discussion for building a family. What they didn’t realize was how soon adoption was going to play a role in their lives.

Married two years, they began having discussions on starting a family. They started by adopting their four-legged kid. One who is white with black spots, and has the cutest ears—their puppy Gus! He was the practice round for “real kids.”

Tim and Ellen began attempting to conceive a biological child in the fall of 2015. In March 2016, having had no success, Ellen made an appointment with an OBGYN. The doctor told her everything looked in order and added she expected to see her back in her office pregnant in no time at all! That, however, did not occur.

While the couple was on vacation in July of 2016, they were listening to a podcast, and an ad came on for a Bible Club ministry in Eastern Europe. A thought clicked inside Ellen’s head, “I want to adopt from an Eastern European country, and I want to do it now.” Immediately, through the magic of the Internet, she began researching international adoptions. They discovered it was going to be extremely expensive. The reality of attachment and potential medical issues were also concerning to them. Tim and Ellen concluded that at ages 26 and 27, and one of whom was still in graduate school, international adoption needed to go on hold.

In October, Ellen confided about their struggles to conceive and the desire to adopt to a co-worker who then told Ellen about a couple she knew who had adopted embryos and given birth to their adopted child. Immediately, Ellen was intrigued. She went straight home after work and, you guessed it, started researching!

Tim and Ellen were blown away! They thought, “What an amazing thing to be able to adopt children as embryos and to carry them in pregnancy!” They spent several months thinking and praying about how to proceed. Ellen communicated with women who had gone through embryo adoption. She listened to video blogs, researched agencies, talked with agencies, and read the book Souls on Ice.

After doing some fertility testing, finally a possible reason for their inability to conceive was discovered: Ellen had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). The Reproductive Endocrinologist told them about intrauterine insemination (IUI), but they decided against it. “After getting the PCOS diagnosis, we decided embryo adoption was the right choice for us,” Ellen remembers.

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