We have had the honor of hosting Nightlight Christian Adoption (http://www.nightlight.org/), advocating and raising awareness about embryo adoption at Timberline. I asked Jeff Dillon at Nightlight to share a testimony from one of their families. Thank you to Sabrina and Chris for sharing your story. It will bless others! Congratulations on your new daughter Emma!!
In the summer of 2007, Sabrina and Chris received some heartbreaking news: they would not able to achieve a pregnancy.
Like many of the thousands of couples in the United States who struggle with infertility, this northern Colorado couple began researching all of their adoption options.
“When we found out we couldn’t have children, adoption was really never on my radar screen,” Sabrina said. “But I started praying that God would open my heart to adoption. This was my only opportunity to have a child.”
The couple looked into all of the traditional alternatives: domestic adoption, foster adoption, as well as international adoption. But in the end, the couple decided to go in a different direction – Embryo Adoption.
Embryo Adoption is the process in which couples who have remaining embryos from In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are able to donate those embryos to another infertile couple to use in their own attempt to achieve pregnancy. Embryo Adoption allows for the protections of traditional adoption to be applied to the donation process.
The result - for hundreds of couples like the Sabrina and Chris - has been not only the joy of pregnancy, but also the unique chance to give birth to their “adopted” child.
“I was starting to grieve the fact that I was never going to be able to experience pregnancy, nursing a child and all of the things that go with it,” she said. “When I found out I could give birth to a child through Embryo Adoption, it was absolutely mind-blowing. I fell to my knees. It was beyond an answer to prayer.”
After researching multiple Embryo Adoption programs online, the couple found the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program in Southern California.
Operated by Nightlight Christian Adoptions, Snowflakes was the first Embryo Adoption program in the world, established in 1997. To date, over 220 children have been born through the Snowflakes program nationwide.
Snowflakes not only works to match an adopting family with a donor couple, but also assists with all necessary legal work and arranges transportation of the embryos directly to the adopting couples’ clinic.
“Everyone at Snowflakes was just fantastic,” said Sabrina. “Like any adoption, there are going to be curves and bumps – nothing is going to be perfectly easy. But they did a great job of putting us at ease throughout the process.”
Today, there are eight Embryo Adoption agencies in the U.S. as well as over 200 fertility clinic embryo donation programs. Though not all are currently available for adoption, there are an estimated 500,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S. alone, according to a 2009 survey of clinics and cryo-banks by the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center.
These embryos offer hope for couples who feel hopeless in the face of infertility. While Embryo Adoption is not for everyone, it does offer another alternative for the couple who deeply desires the experience of pregnancy.
In May of 2009, Sabrina and Chris’ journey came to completion as the couple gave birth to their baby girl, Emma Grace.
“This is exactly what I was waiting for,” Sabrina said. “I always prayed and prayed that I could have a child. God answered those prayers - just not in the way I expected him to.”
“For a woman out there who has always dreamed of having an opportunity to experience pregnancy, this is it. Embryo Adoption is it.”
Nightlight Adoptions will be at the Adoption Fair this Saturday at Faith E. Free in Fort Collins from 9am - 12noon. Share this post with your friends and family - this could be an answer to their prayers. :)