On November 9, 2008, Embryo Adoption Services of Cedar Park (EASCP) was founded. On the 14th. they appeared on a local TV station, and on the 20th of the same month were featured in the Seattle Times.
It's cool how chance (or Divinely ordered process) can totally alter your life: We were filling out paperwork for a local adoption agency and had stalled a few times. A relative saw the TV interview and showed us the newspaper article. After reading it, we were amazed: this seemed perfect! God had already prepared our hearts (and minds) for adoption, the method of doing so was now laid clear.
In considering why to choose this type of adoption over a standard one or IVF, the best analogy I have is the following: Suppose you encountered two shipwreck survivors. One is cold, wet, and in a lifeboat. The other is drowning in the water. Which would you throw a life-ring to? Any orphan or foster child is in a tragic place; They desperately need someone to love them, provide care, and pilot their desolate lifeboat to calmer waters. For an unborn child though, they will surely die without being adopted and cared for, choosing to throw them the life-ring was the obvious choice for us.
The next day after we saw the news article, I talked on the phone for a while with Maria L., the director of EASCP. Shortly after that, Stacy and I were able to teleconference with her to continue to get more information about their program. Praying for confirmation and certainty was almost synonymous with praising God for His grace in providing this opportunity for us.
It seemed as though the months were fllying past. After the holidays, we met in person with Maria to go over the process and complete more paperwork. In April, someone come out to do a home-study. In May, we did even more paperwork, including background check requests, reference letters, and a family profile. June saw the completion of the home-study. In July, we recieved exciting news: We had been matched with a family that had 6 embryos they wanted to donate.
Depending on the families participating in adoption, there is a varying level of contact between those donating and adopting. In our adoption, the donating parents want to remain anonymous to us. We were able to see pictures of the donating family, they also provided some medical information, and we will send a birth announcement to them through EASCP, but that is the extent of our contact. We will see what the future holds.
In September we completed the next step: signing the adoption contract. Once the contract was complete and notarized, the embryos got packed into a cooler and traveled to SRM's cryo tanks on Lake Union (oddly enough, into the same building as The City, where a number of friends work).
During this time, there was a multi-cause delay. Our Dr. at SRM did an MRI to scope things out before doing the transfer. She suggested based on the MRI that Stacy have minor elective outpatient surgery. This was to correct something that might increase late-term miscarriage. Shortly after the MRI though, the DR went on maternity leave herself!
November 2009 came. It had been one year since learning about embryo adoption.
The soonest that Stacy could have her surgery was January. The procedure was uneventful, but required a two month timeframe to allow her to recover. After the two months were up, a significant drug regimen was begun, to prepare Stacy for the transfer. This included hormones administered orally, through patches, via subcutaneous injection, and intramuscular injection. Adjusting to giving these (Eeep!) and getting them (Ouch!), took some time, but was not too bad.
At the beginning of March, the drug cycle had reached 0-hour, and the first two embryos were thawed. Shortly after that, Stacy went in for a blood pregnancy test (POSITIVE!). We had already tried just about every test available from the store, each time just as pleased with the result.
As a side note, I tried geeking out on the hCG test levels each home pregnancy test was capable of registering, corresponding those to the clinic-measured blood hCG levels, and doing a curve fit to monitor progress and try to guess if both embryos had implanted.
An ultrasound soon showed that both of the embryos had indeed implanted. However, several weeks later, it became apparent that one of the twins would not survive. For the first ten weeks after the transfer, the drug regimen continued, and we waited with baited breath to see on ultrsound how the baby was growing at each clinic visit. Blogs of the pregnancy can be found atluceends.
It is now September again, Stacy is in week 31 of a tumultuous, but good pregnancy. With God's grace, it will continue to go well.
In November 2010, our daughter will be born.