Tomorrow is a big day.
From a cryogenic freezer in Seattle, a doctor will remove two embryos, the children we are adopting, and begin a thawing process. The embryos have spent a long time like this, possibly years, stuck in a cold-induced stasis begun 5 days after their fertilization.
Stacy and I have wanted to start a family for years. The process of hope, grief, sadness, and then resting in joy and peace from God has been long and hard. It has not defined us, but it could have, and occasionally, especially at first, has. Adopting kids in this way is an amazing opportunity to try and become parents, affirm the value of human life in any state, and hopefully better articulate the amazing gift Christ gives when he adopts us, however undeserving and rebellious, into his family.
In the clinic, the doctor will carefully observe the embryos. Hopefully their cells will resume activity, paused when they were plunged into storage at almost -200°C; revitalizing and starting again to grow. There is also a chance that the freeze, storage, or thaw was too hard on the kids and they don’t wake up.
Tomorrow, children in my care may die.
Juggling the preperations for tomorrow has been crazy. Corporally, this has included helping Stacy with meds (Sub-cutaneous & intra-muscular injections, patches, making sure the right amounts of the right thing are taken on the right day, etc), clarifying ethics with the doctor, and scheduling appointments.
More significantly, for the last 4 years we have built emotional walls to protect us from stuff people say and our own fears and desires. Those walls are coming down in the next two weeks. They will either be rebuilt through the pain and grief of a failed cycle, or with the guarded hope of a positive pregnancy test.
If the newly awakened embryos don’t die, the doctor will implant them. The process is pretty straightforward. We show up midmorning, Stacy has acupuncture (acupuncture is scientifically proven to increase the success rates of embryo transfers and IVF), the doctor transfers the kids into Stacy, and then it’s back for another session of acupuncture. I am taking the whole day off, so hopefully we can relax together and let some of the stress roll back off.
The next 10 days begin an agonizing wait until we hear the results. Just like the natural process, there is no guarantee that the embryos will find a safe landing zone to implant and begin their 9+ month stay in Stacy. The uncertainty, fear, and hope are tough to balance. A blood test will let us know whether Stacy is pregnant, but even if the answer is yes, it will be weeks until we know if both survived.
Tomorrow, while not providing relief, or explanation, or finality, is definitely a big day.