Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Arrived!

Look at all this stuff! I thought I was getting a much smaller box from Animas, but apparently an insulin pump comes with excessive packaging! I'm excited to learn how to use it. I'm not so patiently waiting for the nurse at my doctor's office to call and set up an appointment to learn how to use it. She told me in my last phone call with her that she'll hook it up to saline for the first few days. This seems pretty silly to me, but if that's what I have to do to get to the point of actually using the pump, I guess I don't have much choice!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tank Top Weather

We finally had another tank top day! I got to spend most of it with Heather. We enjoyed a nice walk around Greenlake and then stopped into Chocolati across the street. We had lunch and chocolate treats there, along with two great games of Carcassonne! Because we played with so many tile expansions, we had to pull two tables together to get enough room. On our way home we stopped at Northgate Mall to check out Forever 21 and Macy's. Such a relaxing day! 

Tom and I then enjoyed our evening at home. We barbecued an onion flower sort of thing that Tom made, and red pepper hot dogs, then spent some time cleaning in our second bedroom. While sorting through some books we found one, Kept for the Master's Use, from 1879! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Our Journey Towards Embryo Adoption

A lot of you have been asking about our embryo adoption process the last couple days, so I thought I’d put it all together on here.

Over the past three years we have considered IVF(in vitro fertilization), traditional adoption, and other fertility medications, and feel that embryo adoption/donation is the best option for us medically, financially, and ethically. When we got married we had talked about adopting sometime in our future, but didn’t realize that it would be our first family building opportunity.

A little over a year ago we attended an informational night that Antioch Adoptions held for families interested in domestic adoption. We were still apprehensive (we had heard a few unhappy stories of adopted children being taken out of their adopting family’s home and placed back in a birthparent’s home due to legal battles), but that night made us realize how selfishly we had been thinking. After reading through the paperwork, hearing how the process would work, and listening to an adoptive family’s story, we were reminded that any children God gives us, can also be taken from us at anytime. We are stewards not just of things, but also of our kids, and it’s all in God’s plan and control. We began filling out the 50+ page extensive application for Antioch Adoptions and almost had it completed, but were still a bit daunted by the prospect of needing to wait a year or more to get through our home study with them and have children placed in our home at an indeterminate amount of time after that (up to 2 years).

Last fall we found out that Embryo Adoption Services of Cedar Park had just opened in our area. We perused their website, did a little research, talked to our doctors, and shared a few phone calls with Maria, who runs their agency. We talked and thought and prayed, finally deciding we’d fill out an application and see how far God would lead. Our doctors gave us approval, then two weeks ago we had a couple hour meeting with Maria to get our questions answered and hear how the process would work. We were so shocked at the short time frame! With a traditional adoption, it would likely take 2 years, but with embryo adoption, it can be less than 6 months!

Before I get ahead of myself, I’ll explain what embryo adoption is. When people do IVF, the doctor normally fertilizes many more eggs than is necessary because it’s such an invasive process to get them, and they don’t know how many cycles it will take before one will implant. This creates an ethical dilemma because it leaves embryos (fertilized eggs) in the freezer once the family is done having children. The family then has to pay rent on the freezer space indefinitely, destroy the embryos, or donate them to medical research (stem cell). Basically, there are lives stuck in the freezer, or they are killed in the name of science. The sad thing is that embryonic stem cells aren’t the only stem cells available for research anymore; however they don’t take as long to grow. Because of this dilemma, families have begun offering their embryos for donation/adoption in the past ten years. At this point, there are only about 300 children adopted in this manner in the US.

From our side, the process will go something as follows.

· Apply through Cedar Park Embryo Adoption Services

· Complete a home study with background checks as in a traditional adoption, and submit a family profile letter (describing our life and interests)

· Get a letter of good health from our doctor

· Cedar Park sends out our profile to families who are somewhat similar to us racially (to reduce issues of kids having identity issues), financially, and has a larger number of embryos

· Once a donating family accepts us we get a profile letter for them and a family medical history, which we then accept or reject

· Once we have a match, we pay for the embryos to be FedExed to our clinic in Seattle, and get a month or two of hormone therapy to prepare for pregnancy

· Then the doctor will try to implant 2 embryos and we see what God has in mind for us

We had the first meeting for our home study last night, and were amazed at how straight forward it was. We were left with quite a bit of paperwork to fill out, and spent the next few hours getting through most of it! Now we have to get our fingerprints done (which appears to be a little tricky as many of the local police departments have made budget cuts, thus losing their fingerprinting services!) for our FBI clearance, and get a few people to write reference letters for us. We also need to write our family profile letter.

Hopefully that all makes sense! I’ll try to keep updating where we’re at in the process from time to time. We’re happy to talk about any of this if you have questions too!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Finally Some Sun

... however there are large puddles due to many days of rain and snow! Tom made Swedish pancakes for Kyle and I for breakfast, then we headed to Juel Park in Redmond for frisbee golf. We were excited because there weren't many people there, but discovered it was likely because of the large puddles all over the place. No need to worry, Kyle and I were prepared with our rubber boots. I think Tom wishes he had some too!