and before thou wast born I sanctified thee..."
Jeremiah 1:5 (Webster's Translation)
Here we go again. We are going to try once again, with lots of prayers and hope to have a second miracle baby. In the upcoming months, taking a step of faith and trusting in God's grace we are going to try for another invitro baby. Out of the 27 successful embryos we got three years ago, now we only have two embryos left in the cryogenic unit. They are waiting for their mommy and daddy to give them a chance to live.
When we didn't have any children; for a long time all we were asking for was (at least) to have one baby; and God did answer our prayers. With Jace we feel blessed and complete. But knowing that there are still a couple "frozen babies" waiting for us, has been nudging our hearts. And after everything we went through to have Jace; we have two options: we can get scared or we can trust in God's will. Bearing in mind many options, with prayers asking for guidance, and not knowing the outcome, we decided that we are willing to allow Him to decide. He knows our hearts and dreams.
"Before I was born, the LORD chose me.
While I was in my mother's womb, he recorded my name."
I think about how many of those embryos we never got to meet, or we never had a name selected for them. After reading the Bible verse above, I realized that somehow God already knew their names, as He knew our names before we were in our mother's womb. I am fascinated that God knew that Jace was going to named Jace.
So, we are taking another step of faith, and see what are God plans for these precious embryos.
I know that some people think that we ought to be happy with our baby boy, and stop there. And take no more risks, no more suffering, no more sacrifices, no more pain, no more ventures, take the easy life and be happy. I would tell them: We are truly joyful! We are so happy and blessed beyond all imagination. If you could see us through a camera (like the "Big Brother" show) over the past year; Jess and I are still happily "fighting" about who will hold him, or feed him, or change his diapers, we love spending time watching him grow, and see how he is exploring new things in life. After everything we've gone through; if this is the only child God is going to give us; we are already deeply happy and blessed with our baby boy. But once again we keep thinking about those last two embryos. They are waiting for a chance to live here on Earth or in Heaven. They did fertilize, they were created, they deserve their right to have a chance to live!
I know some people think in their minds "I would be happy with the one child, why more?" Jace has been worth all the sacrifices physically, emotionally and financially. We have no regrets. But I would ask them: would you abandon any of your children? or would you abort them? or dispose them? Deep in our hearts all of us know that each child is a precious gift from above.
Others might think that it is too risky to go again trough the pregnancy process. Knowing that many things could happen; from simple things like those embryos might not survive the thawing, or not implanting, or perhaps having to go trough bed rest again; to the more difficult outcome that we could "lose" them as we "lost" the triplets. And the following comes to my mind: when we look at Jace, we realized that if the triplets had survived, then we would've never meet Jace in our earthly lifetime. Or if we have given up our dream early in the process, then we would have never neither had him nor the triplets in our arms.
Never give up was the key.
What about the adoption? We went through the process, and eventually it changed my heart from being skeptical about it, to actually embrace the idea, and became really excited about it. As the process was getting formally assembled, after completing all the background checks, all the different training courses, all the fees we paid, the many doctor tests they did on us, the piles of documents we had to gather. It became overwhelming. And after we finished all that stuff, then the international country process decided that parents needed to do more extra training, and the referral waiting time was getting longer. It became so overbearing, and so difficult with so much red-tape. I mean, we've gathered all the official documents, and then they said that it will not work because the documentation issued date has to be done within a 3-month-validity-window. So when it is officially received by the courts in that country, it might be too late for some documents. I already had our official birth certificates, certified copy of wedding licenses, doctor test reports, psychological reports, city police reports, bank statements, insurance statements, FBI background checks. I had to notarize and apostille the whole thing. And to re-do all of it in such a manner that all the documents are issued at the same time, from different institutions, from different states. This is almost impossible. I wonder how others can do that? They must either have an army of lawyers or lots of money to pull it off. Now I understand why there are so very few yearly international adoptions for that country (as far as I know it is less than 5 per year). Also the required time for the parents to stay in that country is NINE WEEKS at least. And we could not leave behind Jace for that long. So, we planned that I would go with Jess for a couple weeks first, and then my mother would join her, in that country (since she speaks the language and could be a great translator and support, and get to know her new grandchild too). But then also, unexpectedly, my mom passed away. Leaving us without that option.
I think if we had no children, perhaps we would be willing to sacrifice and take our chances, with adoption. But after everything we've gone through, we had to be honest with ourselves and concluded that we could not handle that situation. Some other people might have more patience than us. Also our social worker kept making mistakes with our home study reports, mixing up names, and dates, that we started getting frustrated that they could not get it right. I was worry that if we don't catch all the typos, when we finally get to the foreign country, and be ready for the final court, that they find a mistake and we have to start all over again. On top of that, the waiting time to get a referral was getting longer, such that it would eliminate any opportunity for us to try the last two embryos. Since adding the years to get the referral, with the years we wanted to spend to the new adopted child, it would make it at least five or six more years. Pregnancies at older ages are much more complicated and risky. So for our specific case, this was not going to work.
Having shared our conclusion, we still believe that adoption is a great and beautiful way to build a family. So, if you're planning to adopt; your situation might be different than ours. Don't take our case as the general case. Each adoption experience is different with its risks and rewards. At the end we believe that it is about the child, not the parents. Those children need love, just like we needed love when we were children too.
- Give them up for adoption to another couple; or
- Donate them to "research"; or
- Simply dispose them.
And all of those options are unacceptable for us. I could not imagine that my child is somewhere else, with another family. If I have the abilities to love and care for him or her. They should get the chance for what God intended them to be: a life like you and me. If they are not meant to live I would leave that choice to God, not me.
Also, it would be so awesome, that Jace could have a sibling to play, protect, grow older and live life together. I think it would be an amazing miracle if those remaining embryos are two girls, and they both survive. It would be like God is giving us back our two daughters. And it would be like our triplets are back in our arms.
As their dad I love them already.