When our twins were about six months old, my husband and I started seriously considering embryo donation. We knew that our healthy boy and girl completed our family and were all we could handle. We had two high-quality embryos left over and wanted to donate them to a couple that were similar to us. Our little embryos were deserving of a chance at life, and as a result, here’s our embryo donation story:
We were one of the first donors to register at the National Registry for Adoption – NRFA.org and at first we didn’t find the perfect fit for us. A few times we chatted with waiting families, but something would come up, or it wouldn’t feel right. About six weeks on the website a waiting family contacted us, and they slowly grew on our hearts. I read my emails now and realized I was brisk and busy in my emails, but they were always patient. Soon after we started to really connect. They had lives similar to ours, with the same values, and lived not too close but not too far away.
The embryo adopters were willing to come to my clinic to do the embryo transfer and soon after discovered they were pregnant with twins. I was so excited for them, but a shadow of fear entered my heart. I had made a final decision and could not go back. These twins would never be “mine.” How would I feel when they were born, would I regret my choice? Many embryo donors share these same fears. You honestly do not know how you will feel until those milestone days – she’s pregnant, it’s twin boys, and they are here.
I’m happy to report that though there were some hours spent thinking and reflecting, I am so content and at peace with my decision. I am not the only one.
Everyone experiences these moments differently.
I found out that the twins were born while I was driving so I had a little while to consider the news before I arrived home. I arrived home to two screaming and crying kids plus one frazzled dad. It was a gift from God in my mind that he was reminding me that our lives were full. We made the right choice. It was also a blessing that the twin boys did not look at all like my children. I was a bit worried that two more of my son’s faces would be looking up at me. The boys are unique people, as embryos we know they are not identical twins to my children. I can happily see Facebook and Instagram posts and think – those are some cute kids – and not think of them as my children.
Let’s face the facts that they are not my kids. I didn’t have the ability to give them a chance at life. I didn’t carry them, I didn’t plan their nursery, I hadn’t been praying for them for years. Those boys are their boys. I care about them. My children will know about them and perhaps meet one day. This semi-open arrangement was the best choice for our two families. Other donors want completely open relationships or want to donate anonymously.
If you are considering embryo donation but are holding back because you are afraid of how you will feel, I beg you to reconsider.
Join my embryo donor group where we allow donors to vent, cry, and share concerns in a community of donors only. You might feel better than you think. The weight of deciding what to do with your extra embryos will be lifted from your mind.
God knew that this couple was meant to have our embryos and that they would grow into this couple’s twin boys. I am so thankful every day that I only have two children to handle and I don’t have to wonder what to do with my frozen embryos. They are now living, breathing, beautiful boys. They have answered prayers and brought joy to a couple struggling with infertility. That is why I am passionate about sharing my embryo donation story.
As an embryo donor, you can be the answer to someone’s prayers. Consider signing up as a donor with NRFA.org today.
Donor Group Link – For Donors Only: https://www.facebook.com/groups/embryodonation/
This blog post was written by: Katie Cline