Monday, 23 September 2013

Genetic Family

D and I adopted embryos a couple of years ago.  We did this twice.  The first time, we adopted two embryos.  One survived the thaw and was transferred, but did not result in a pregnancy.  The second time, we adopted six.  That time, we navigated a much more open relationship at the request of the donors.

As we got to know them, we learned that their fertility journey was far from easy.  After several years of surgeries, miscarriages and IVFs, they managed to build their family through adoption and surrogacy. Afterwards, they surprisingly found themselves in the position of having embryos that needed a loving home.  

They were much more comfortable with the idea of openness, after having experiences with an open adoption with one of their children.  We weren't as comfortable, so we navigated and negotiated cautiously. 

We spent time working out what our relationship was going to be.  We talked about parenting, and contact, and relationships with siblings.   We found ourselves moving from referring to them as the genetic donors of our embryos to their genetic family.   We opened our hearts, and our lives and hoped that we were doing the right thing. 

When I became pregnant with twins as a result of the last embryo transfer, they shared our excitement and joy.   When I found out I was miscarrying, they wept with us.   Afterwards, we stayed in touch.   We even visited them a couple of months after our miscarriage while on vacation near their home.  

When I think of the special and unique relationships in my life, theirs is definitely one of my most cherished.   Not only did they give us the greatest gift that anyone could have given us with their six beautiful embryos, but they gently offered us a hand and a hug to help us through the rest of our journey. 

They are the ones that made me really realize that taking the risk for openness is worth it.  That support along this journey is vitally important.   She has called me after hearing our bad news and cried with me, when I'm sure everyone else was scared to call, fearing they didn't know what to say. 

I'm crying right now as write this and I think of them.  They are some of the most beautiful, strong, generous, kind hearted people I've ever met.  I'm so tremendously glad that our paths have crossed. 

Recently, they did something else that really warmed my heart.  It was so beautifully sweet.  So thoughtful.  So kind. 

They participated in Resolve's Walk of Hope.  They did so to remember their own infertility journey and to support others in their journey.  They wore custom made t-shirts outlining key parts of their journey.  Her shirt said, "I'm infertile", and his saying "I'm a loving and supportive husband".   In a picture I saw, she was wearing it with her head held high with her children by her side.  I can't imagine how emotional it must have been for them to have participated in that walk after having been through so much and now be on the other side. 

With our permission, they each also wore a pin in our honour.  It was a picture of me and D from when we visited them last spring.   

I guess sometimes there are blessings in all of this infertile mess.   


  1. Wow, what a beautiful and touching story. How wonderful to have them in your lives! I agree, sometimes this journey can bring unexpected blessings that are our most cherished.

  2. What a blessing. They sound like true friends and family of the heart.


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