We tried to expand our family for 10 years. It started with fertility drugs, then several IUIs, then graduating to two failed IVFs. Shortly after the IVF cycles, I got pregnant naturally—twice within a year! Both ended in early miscarriages, with one testing to have had Down Syndrome. Sometime in the middle of this journey, we became licensed for foster care and seriously investigated adoption. We initiated the adoption process once our foster license expired, but the first organization shut down, then the second organization closed its Philippines Program (our preferred program) just as we had begun attending adoption classes and filling out the required paperwork.
Because another IVF would be out-of-pocket, I turned to other means—I religiously used a fertility monitor, got acupuncture, improved my gag reflex drinking Chinese herbs, sought out chiropractic care, dabbled in fertility self-massage, yoga, and even tried an at-home IUI-type kit I discovered. We finally decided to do one cycle of IVF, only to have an incomplete cycle because none of our embryos made it past day three. That is when our doctor suggested an egg donor.
I subscribe to Focus on the Family, a Christian magazine, but I never have time to read it. Soon after the failed IVF cycle, for no reason at all, I casually flipped through the magazine and read about the Snowflake Embryo Adoption Program. Can you say Divine Intervention?
The program allows families to gift their extra frozen embryos (from their previous IVF cycles) with other families through adoption. They do not want to discard their embryos, but they also do not want these precious lives just sitting in frozen storage. Instead of just donating their embryos anonymously through their clinic, they choose to have them adopted by another family and go through a process remarkably like traditional adoption. We got to have the best of both worlds—I was able to experience pregnancy and give birth to Masen, through the miracle of adoption!
Masen is not biologically ours but is completely our son. He is an adorable Hapa Haole baby, who we thank God for every single day. He has two biological brothers who I hope he will want to meet one day when he gets older. He is our Snowflake, our blessing, our Godsend.
While many friends and family know about our journey, there are still so many others out there who do not know about this option. If you (or someone you know) are struggling with infertility or have frozen embryos you do not want to discard, Snowflakes is an option!
Do you have an embryo adoption story? Send your story and photos to us! Post them yourself via Facebook and Twitter or email us your story and we will make it available on our Family Stories page, found on our website.
Email Paige@nightlight.org and help another family build their embryo donation or adoption story.
To learn more about embryo donation and adoption, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.