Friday, January 27, 2012

Ahh Estrogen….what will this be like?

So here it is January 27th, and we are still waiting for word that our home study was approved. Once it is approved by the agency, it then has to be sent to the NEDC and to Bethany Christian Services (who then reviews it for the NEDC). We are hoping that this occurs before our initial consult.
Now I must tell you that when I am anxiously awaiting some event in the future, I am the type of person who looks to small events to mark the passing time. One such even just occurred. I just began a regimen of Estrogen that I must take up until my appointment date in February. I have been taking it for three days now, and so far I have not noticed any side effects. I was really thinking that extra estrogen may make me irritable or moody…
With the NEDC you only have two appointments with them; your initial extensive consult and then the actual transfer at a later date. I am taking the estrogen because at my initial consult, they will actually perform a “mock transfer” and they want to see how my body responds to the estrogen. The estrogen is meant to thicken my endometrium lining and they want to see how much of the estrogen I will need to take before the actual transfer. At this appointment, they will also perform a balloon ultrasound type thing to check my womb and medically clear me.
This is also the day that we will meet with the financial people, the nurse, and the program coordinator. If I am medically cleared, they will then give me a bigger regimen of drugs to take (of which I am not sure). If my home study has been received and approved, we will also begin the process of picking our donating family.
I don’t really know a whole lot of details at the moment. I am hoping that at our appointment we will get all of the details we are missing.

And in the Beginning There Was….A Home Study

As with most adoption processes, Embryo Adoption through the NEDC requires us to have a home study completed by a licensed agency. No problem right? You would think you could just look in the yellow pages and find an agency to do a home study, and that may work, until you mention the words “embryo adoption.” Most people have never heard of this type of adoption and they are quick to hang up on you. Once we finally found someone willing to work with us, we found out that in our state you must be licensed as a foster parent in order to adopt; i.e., get a home study. Wait, what?!? Oh yeah, and then you have to make sure that agency is willing to share their completed home study with the NEDC.

Oh this just kept getting better. Step one: locate an agency willing to do a home study for embryo adoption. Step two: get them to approve sharing that home study with NEDC. Step three: get licensed as a foster parent, which is a very long process of classes and trainings. Step four: attempt to wait patiently for the home study process to be completed. Everywhere we turned, doors were getting slammed in our faces. Every agency we found would agree to one thing we needed but none of the others. It was so frustrating!! We couldn’t even get our foot in the door of the embryo donation program without a home study.

We tried everything and every option we could, in our own strength. It wasn’t until we gave up and turned to God that doors began to open. God showed up in a major way here. We found an agency willing to do our home study for free (which saved us $3,000-$5,000), and share it with the NEDC, and get it done in two months. (Please note that it has been four months so far).

The home study itself is an extensive process that requires a lot of information, time, and medical visits. Husband and I both had to be medically cleared and have vaccinations. Due to my husband’s childhood illness, we even had to have a specialist write a letter of life expectancy! Imagine walking in and asking your doctor for that one day! We really were not prepared to share our business with the world, yet there we were, having to give six references (which meant we had to tell six people about our infertility). Needless to say, this was a hard process.
In the meantime, all we could do was schedule our initial consult with the NEDC and hope our home study got completed in time. As it turns out, the NEDC was very busy and our appointment wasn’t scheduled until February of 2012.

We began the home study process in October, 2011 and it just got finished, but we are still waiting on it to be signed off on. So since October, it has been a waiting game. As a woman, I want to “do.” It drives me crazy to just sit here, waiting on and relying on something out of my control. I am simply counting down the days until our initial consult with the NEDC.

Too Much.....Too Soon

Sometimes I wish that we hadn’t found out about our infertility so early in our marriage. It created a dark cloud that hung over us, tainting everything; sucking the joy out of life. My husband and I were newly walking in our relationship with God and with each other; we were so unprepared to deal with this blow. Instead of turning to God with our pain and confusion, my husband got angry and I pretended it wasn’t an issue. I was 19 and my husband was 23 so of course every one we knew was having babies, and we were supposed to be happy for them. We were not ready to share our struggle, so we suffered in silence; oohing and ahhing over their newborn miracles while dying inside and crying at home.

 Just thinking back to that time now, we were so young! And yet so burdened. Sometimes it was so hard to reconcile a loving God with this fate. Neither one of us knew much truth about God. Fast forward almost seven years and you will find us today, trying our best to trust God and let go of the wheel. We have been holding on so tightly for so long, it is almost heady to let go…God is showing us so much along this journey. He is showing us Himself, who He really is, and He is showing us our life through His eyes. We have learned that just because something seems tragic in the worlds eyes, doesn’t mean God can’t make it into something beautiful. All good things come from Heaven and I know that God is working all things for our good. We are learning that we are “blessed with infertility” (a phrase borrowed from a fellow blogger).

If not for infertility, we would not be the people that we are today. Our marriage would not be as solid as it is, and we would not know God like we do now. The Bible tells us that God knew us before we were born, that He formed us in the womb (Psalms 139); to me, this means that God had our children picked out before we were even born, and we will get those children through embryo adoption. We are honored to give any of those little baby embryos a chance at life!

An Intro to Our Story

Hello! Welcome to our Journey to Embryo Adoption. Our hope is that this blog will allow you to walk alongside us as we experience the joys and sorrows that come with such a Miracle Event. We pray that our journey will help answer your questions, encourage you, and spread the word about Embryo Adoption. 

A little background on our journey:
My husband and I married young, about 6 ½ years ago. Early in our marriage we began trying to conceive; we were unsuccessful. After some time of trying, we went to see a specialist. It turned out that, due to chemotherapy drugs at a young age, my husband had azoospermia. Thus we were unable to naturally conceive. The only options we knew of for starting a family were traditional adoption and a very expensive explorative medical procedure for my husband which offered no real expectation of success. Neither one of those options was really viable to us; both were very expensive, and we were newlyweds. After months of tirelessly researching, my husband stumbled upon Embryo Adoption through Nightlight’s Snowflake program. Once again, the costs seemed so high! We were both students, and working, and we lived in a basement! It just did not seem like the right time to start a family. 

God apparently had plans to get us out of that basement after 3 years, and into an expensive apartment in a different state. At this time, I was working full time, my husband had just started a demanding new job while simultaneously working towards his CPA, and our rent was more than a mortgage. Somehow, it still was not the right time to start a family. We lived there for 2 years until we decided to buy a house, which landed us in yet another state! Of course that year was now out of the picture. I began school again full time and was working full time, my husband was climbing the ranks after being transferred to a new office and taking classes, and we had just shelled out a huge chunk of our money on this new house. It seemed as if “the right time” to start a family would never come…

We have been in this house a little over a year now and the idea of Embryo Adoption has come back into play. It seems as though slowly, but surely, God has been putting things in order for us to start this process. We now had a mortgage, but it was less than our rent had been. We managed to pay both of our cars off, my job agreed to let me work from home, and I was almost done with my bachelor’s degree. It was at this time that we began to really consider pursuing some option to start our family. 

We did not want to start with traditional adoption simply because we wanted to give birth to our first child. So we turned to the previously mentioned expensive surgical procedure, but it was upwards of $20,000 and if it failed, we would have nothing to show for it, and we would be broke; unable to try any other method. All of that led us back around to Embryo Adoption. After doing more research this year, we came across the National Embryo Donation Center, located in Knoxville, TN. Knoxville is dear to our hearts, and God has made that city instrumental in our lives already; it was very fitting that the NEDC would be in that city! The NEDC was very pro-life and Christian. Their fees were affordable, with enough wiggle room to possibly do a sibling transfer. We prayed about this for a while, and we both felt at peace with pursing Embryo Adoption with the NEDC….and that is where our story begins. 
So now I invite you into our lives, to follow along with us…