Monthly Archives: October 2012

Pumpkin Bread Adoption Fundraiser

Hello everyone! Will you join us in helping spread the word about our adoption fundraiser? We are baking pumpkin bread for Thanksgiving week. We will deliver locally or ship to the destination of your choice. We will only charge you what USPS charges us if you choose to have your pumpkin bread shipped. Please click on our FB page to go to the flyer or email me a ajourneyoflove AT gmail DOT com and I will forward you a flyer. Please share this with family, friends, and neighbors.

Please post any questions or email me. Thanks everyone! You are helping our children come home even just by spreading the word of our fundraiser. Your prayers and support are appreciated. ((hugs))

Sarah’s Personality at 13 months

Sarah is our VERY outgoing, friendly to anyone, go-go-go kinda kiddo. She has a sense of adventure I’d love to capture for myself. She is a gift to us in so many ways. Though the way her eyes smile when she smiles can melt any stress away in my adult world. God’s graciousness in entrusting this precious little one into our care while she lives on this side of heaven still humbles me more than I can articulate at times.

Here are some snapshots that were taken by a sweet gal who I have loved getting to know for the past couple of years. I am grateful that she helps me capture little moments in our children’s lives that might otherwise go unrecorded.

I hope these are rays of sunshine in your day today too!

EA #2–The Story–Part 3

Left you hanging yesterday with, “…the genetic parents responded that they would accept us as a match”  
Part 3 of our EA #2 story…

Our next step was to contact Dr. K at the NEDC to see if his clinic would accept the embryos there and he would be willing to do the transfer. First, Rhea and I needed his advice on the possible health challenges that these embryos might face and also discuss my health challenges and hear Dr. K’s thoughts about these concerns. 

The embryos had been shipped to a third party cryopreservation facility (think mini-storage for frozen babies). The embryos would need to be shipped again to a clinic where the FET would be performed. The NEDC had their own EA program where they match families. Their program is set up differently than the Snowflakes program, but the two have worked together a couple of times in the past. 

We were able to schedule a phone consult with Dr. K rather quickly and as the day approached we had all of our questions typed up, all of the paperwork on the embryos, and my medical history sent to Dr. K’s office. The appointment went well, no, very well.

You see, the embryos we were praying to adopt were special because the genetic mother tested positive for having been exposed to HepB at some point in her life. Dr. K assured us that the genetic mother went for further testing and her tests only show that she was exposed to it and her body fought it. He also said that the genetic mother had no signs or indications that she had been exposed. She was actually very surprised at the original test results. There were twins (one boy/one girl) born from the original 10 embryos and the twins are healthy and fine. Dr. K also said that there has never been a recorded case where an STD that was dormant at the time of IVF or was a non-reactive exposure-type result has ever been passed on to a transferred embryo. 

With this information we were thrilled, though we were committed to these little ones in our hearts and Rhea and I cannot imagine anything the doctor would have said that would have changed our minds. Think back a couple of years ago to when we adopted Sarah and her siblings and we were given glom and doom consults and told not to adopt the embryos. We trusted God more than men then and we do now. This time, however, the information given was very positive and Dr. K saw absolutely nothing which concerned him about these little ones. 

After I moved the HepB notes to the side of my desk, I was about to ask him if we could discuss my autoimmune history. Before I got to that, he started the conversation by saying that he had some questions and some things he wanted to discuss about my autoimmune history. He said it in a concerned-type of tone. We started chatting and he said what he concluded before talking to me was solidified by my answers to his questions. 

Dr. K does not believe I have an autoimmune response in the area of blood clotting. In other words, he does not believe I have APS. Therefore, it is his recommendation that I do not take blood thinners leading up to and during any pregnancy resulting from our FET. He feels the risks to me and the baby(ies) are more if I am on blood thinners than not. I can share more about that later, but after a later consult for clarification and discussion and prayer together as a couple, we felt comfortable with Dr. K’s recommendation regarding me not being on blood thinners. 

Next, it was time to get our home study updated. This whole adoption thus far has blown us away. We had not even at this point spent a dollar yet save Dr. K’s consult fee and we seemed to be so far into the adoption process! Our home study visit went well and the paper chase phase was smooth and the next thing we knew, we had a finalized home study in our mailbox and the embryo adoption contract draft in our inbox. 

I just glanced over what I have typed. There are more posts to share that build on many of the things I shared. They will come. We just wanted to give you an update to bring you up-to-date. So where are we now? What are we waiting on?

Here are some highlights and most of these will be shared in more detail in future posts. 

  • We have the EA contracts in our hands. We will go get them signed/notarized next week and sent back to the agency.
  • The expenses for this adoption and first FET procedure will cost $12,000.
  • We were blessed with an anonymous gift of $5,000
  • The NEDC has agreed to accept our embryo babies coordinating with Nightlight  and for me to have the transfer at the NEDC.
  • The genetic family is blessing us with all 8 of their embryos. 
  • We have our 1st appt. in Knoxville on February 6, 2013
  • The FET will be scheduled for the week of March 19th-21st, 2013

Well, there you go! You are caught up. I know, minus quite a few details, but those will be coming.

EA #2–The Story-Part 2

Welcome back to the story. If you have not read EA#–Part 1, go read it here first.

I left off where we were contacted by a couple who saw our profile on the Miracles Waiting website. The couple was in the process of placing their embryos with an adoptive family. They asked us some questions, we answered. We waited. Then, when we thought we were off their short list, they emailed again. This went on for a couple of weeks. We did not hear anything again for awhile. This was okay with us actually since we were uncomfortable with a couple of things that came up in the email exchanges. During this same time, we contacted our coordinator at Nightlight who handled our first Embryo Adoption. We wanted to confirm she would be open to be a reference in case a donor family requested references.

This opened a conversation about why we had not contacted Nightlight for our second embryo adoption. We explained that with Sarah not even a year old yet, we were just “making ourselves available to the Lord to adopt again as we truly wanted to again. We also said that we didn’t think we would be in a position even in the months ahead to afford the agency fees and home study fees. We were asked if we would consider looking at some situations where the embryos were considered “special embryos”. We looked over the list and there was only one family that stood out to us. (I will explain more about that another time).

This family, however,  had a list of requirements for the adoptive family. Rhea and I met one of the requirements. The others, well, we didn’t match up. When the agency contacted us later that week to see if we saw a situation we might want to inquire about, we told our coordinator that we only saw one. We shared the information and we were told that they would contact the family and see what their thoughts were at this time.

We received a phone call by the next day, telling us that the family had a few questions for us. We were surprised as we weren’t thinking this would go anywhere. We answered the questions and waited. The next day, a few more questions arrived. We answered those. Within just a couple of days, the genetic parents responded that they would accept us as a match!

Stay tuned: pt. 3 coming Friday. (It is close to completion and I will schedule it to post tomorrow)

Guest Blogger

I was honored to be asked to submit a post to explain Embryo Adoption  at Give1Save1-Domestic‘s website. This is a sister site to the several Give1Save1 websites. Each site is a place for adopting families or families who are researching or who have already adopted to go for information, encouragement as well as encourage others. Each site also highlights an “adopting family of the week” who is in the process of fundraising for their adoption. Each family has submitted a short 3-5 minute video of their family and their journey. The idea is that peeps go view the video and if they feel that they can, click the button and donate $1. That’s it. $1.

You may not think that is much, but as hundreds of people give just $1, the total adds up quickly! The family usually has daily total videos they share and those are always heartfelt and fun. Our family has been blessed to “meet” and assist other adoptive families since we found the site a few months ago.

Head on over to the Africa site to see this week’s featured family

Here is the link to this week’s family adopting from China. 

Here is the link to my guest post.

If you can’t give $1, that is fine. Spread the word. Go watch the videos. They will encourage you as the families share their hearts. You can offer prayers. All of us who have been on the road to adopting a child will remember the days of waiting for your child to come home. Take a moment and see for yourself!

Final Homestudy & Contracts!

Goodness! I am telling you. I cannot keep up! The Lord has been so gracious. I am almost finished with the EA #2 Story part 2. It is in my working draft box. So close, but obviously I am not fast enough, because yesterday we received 2 things:

 1. Our final Homestudy arrived in our mailbox. 

 2. Our agency let us know they will be sending the embryo adoption contracts as soon as they receive our homestudy. Our social worker mailed the agency their copies the same day she sent ours to us. We expect to be receiving the contracts from the agency at the end of next week! 

I better get to finishing our adoption story…

EA#2–Where Shall We Start? (Part 1)

I started to title this “Our 2nd Embryo Adoption (part 1 of __)”, but I have no idea how many parts this will take me to unfold. This is an amazing story so far and yet I cannot share everything just yet, but what I can share, I will in the days to come. I have to start somewhere?  

When Sarah was nine months old, Rhea and I were up late one night talking. And though neither of us really remember how the subject came up, we do remember how we were both in full agreement and how our hearts were in the same place on the subject of adopting again. 

Car ride with a nine month old BabyBear

We had a lot of challenging situations presenting themselves at the time and Rhea and I had not had a lot of time to “hang out” and be a couple. It was nice to have some time together and on this particular night we talked about adopting again. As we talked, it was such a sweet time. We decided to be available to the Lord to adopt again, to update our home study, and to post a profile on the Miracles Waiting (MW) website. For those who are not familiar with MW, it is a secure website where people with babies as embryos who are looking to place their embryos in another family can go to read profiles of other families who are wanting to adopt. 

We updated our family profile and photos (to add BabyBear of course), contacted our SW to request a home visit appointment and ask for a checklist of all the papers she would need us to gather, and contacted MW to get information to add our profile. 

Our family profile was published on the MW website and with summer in full swing and Rhea working out of town a lot and Rhea’s parents staying with us for a month, nothing else really happened on the adoption front. As the summer progressed, however, we were contacted by a family on the MW website. 


Yes, I am stopping there. Yes, we hear you screaming…

Cliffhanger, I know. But really, if I waited until I typed up the entire story up to date, you might be waiting awhile? 

My Monday Morning Helper & Home Study is Ready!

Every day is laundry day in a houseful of 7 peeps!
Sarah is always eager to assist.

This one is blurry I know, but she is ALWAYS on the move. I need a professional sports camera I am afraid to capture this fast mover!

Speaking of moving along fast. I received an email from our social worker. Our homestudy is finalized and when she receives our check, she will mail out copies to the agency and to us. This adoption is moving along. I know I need to give y’all the details. I plan to sit down and type some more today. It is so exciting to see the Lord move this along. 

Adoption Agreements Are In The Mail

Well, I had these grand visions of taking a picture of Sarah holding our adoption agreements and ready to mail. Elizabeth hated being in the grass or having bare feet on the ground. She would also sit and pose (still does). Sarah? none of the above. NONE. She is busy, curious, adventurous, bold, and blazing forward to see new things wherever she goes. Watch out world!
So, the “vision” I had in my head for the photo of Sarah with the adoption papers to mail did not happen. You know what though, I laughed and so did Levi who was taking the photos. If Sarah had sat  nicely holding the envelope for the picture, that wouldn’t have been “Sarah”. I am happy to put these in our family album, because I love this little girl and the element of pure excitement she has brought our family!

notice that she doesn’t even have her leggings on yet. She is too busy to wait for pants!
So…Our papers are in the mail, our home study rough draft is in my inbox, and I haven’t even told you about the details of our adoption? I’d better get to typing!

Giveaway Survey-Your Input Is Important!

We have a fun giveaway we are planning.

We are posting a couple of polls to help us plan prizes. Would you take a second and take the two polls? Thank you so much! I will close them in a couple of days! Please pass this on to friends. We appreciate your input! (sorry about the banner ads, just close them…that’s what I get for a free poll huh?) Thanks again everyone!

edited 10/12/12 7:58 a.m.–I  now realize these 2 polls are not working on mobile devices. The same poll is on our new Facebook adoption page. Go here to see the poll and please “Like” us while you are there OR if you are on a mobile device, scroll your screen all the way down until you see the little words “view web version”. Click that and you will see the poll on the left bar at the top of our blog!

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