‘Our doctor suggested IVF. Everyone around me was doing it. But God called us here.’: After infertility, couple pursue embryo adoption

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“I would say this decision has taken us 6 months to make, but I know God has used every day the past 1,063 days to get us here. In fact, I know He’s been writing my story all along. I am so thrilled to share we are pursuing embryo adoption. When I say a lot of prayer was put into this decision, I mean every day from April 1st to July 4th I have prayed fervently. I have prayed for peace, clarity and wisdom. I have had my entire community praying the same thing. When we had our initial follow-up with our RE first of April, I was overwhelmed. Honestly, for three months straight I did not have one ounce of peace about any of our options and it was a gut-wrenching feeling.

Married couple hold up a sign reading "We're adopting embryos" after struggling with infertility
Wisp and Willow Photography

I could have gone to Chris and told him I was ready to do IVF because that’s what everyone around me was doing and what our doctor suggested. If you know me at all though, you know I don’t make decisions unless I have 100% peace from the Holy Spirit. It was a long four months. There were days I just wanted to move forward, but I could not bring myself to make a decision I did not have complete peace over. This also was not just a decision I was making. I wanted me and Chris to be on the same page and this came with a lot of weight on its own. That’s the thing with infertility – it’s not just one person making the decision, and I wanted his heart to align with what God was calling him to do as well. The last two months, we made our decision to move forward and I’ve been going through testing, bloodwork, procedures and praying over what embryos to choose.

What is embryo adoption? I can already see the questions rolling in as I write this. To be honest, I am such an open book. I wish more people were truly educated on all options across the board. ‘Embryo donation is one disposition option for users of in vitro fertilization with remaining fresh or frozen embryos. It is defined as the giving—generally without compensation—of embryos remaining after in vitro fertilization procedures to recipients for procreative implantation or research.’

Adoption has been on my heart from a young age. It’s always been a desire of mine, but of course when you are faced with the reality of it being one of your only options, it puts a different spin on things. I never wanted us to chose adoption, IVF, or embryo adoption as a last resort. I wanted that overwhelming sense of peace I know comes from the Holy Spirit alone and our next step to be our step we chose because we knew God called us there.

Young couple dance together while taking photos announcing their embryo adoption
Wisp and Willow Photography

We would love to domestically adopt one day. The reality with domestic adoption is it can cost up to $65,000 and we don’t have the money right now or probably ever. I’m not naïve wanting to domestically adopt down the road. I think if it’s the road God takes us on, He will provide every single penny. Because where God guides, He provides. Chris and I have talked about it and I have talked with an adoption consultant already as well, so the door is completely open for us. For right now, our hearts aren’t there just yet, but our hearts have been called to still adopt in this season; it just looks a little different than domestic adoption.

So, why embryo adoption? I could go through a list of what might have swayed our decision. Chris and I sat down and had many conversations about pros and cons, but truthfully, I didn’t need a list of pros and cons. All I needed was God to guide my heart. I also know if you sat 100 women down in a room, I would more than likely be the only one who was moving forward with embryo adoption versus IVF. I don’t feel the need to explain myself, but I did feel the need to write this. Not because I needed people to read our ‘why’ behind our decision but because I need people to read this and see God’s goodness. To see my relationship with my Father; a relationship I feel has been so intricately woven I can’t help but share. Please hear me when I say if you choose to do IVF, that is your journey. I am in no way saying you should not do it. If you would like to talk more about it, I would love to chat with you one on one, but at the end of the day comparison can rob you of so much joy and I strongly encourage you to dive into what the Lord is calling you to do. The people around you will support you with no questions asked. For me and Chris, this is where God has led us and we can’t wait to take you on this journey with us.

Young married couple smile at each other while sitting in the grass with a sign announcing that they're adopting embryos
Wisp and Willow Photography

I want to give you a few things to think about when it comes to adoption (embryo adoption on some of these):

  • There are an estimated one million frozen embryos in the United States right now (fertilized eggs that have developed for six or fewer days) that have been frozen and stored since the late 1970s.
  • An embryo is an unborn or unhatched offspring in the process of development, in particular a human offspring during the period from approximately the second to the eighth week after fertilization (after which it is usually termed a fetus).
  • The Bible paints a beautiful picture of what that relationship looks like from Father God and that Christ has a heart for orphans.
  • And, ‘I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’ 2 Corinthians 6:18
  • ‘The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ Romans 8:15
  • ‘A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling’ Psalm 68:5
  • My estimated amount of embryos if we were to do IVF were 8 to 10 embryos based on our IUI cycles; for us, we knew life was already waiting for us with embryo adoption.

You may be wondering why I wanted peace when making our next decision when there is no guarantee with any of those decisions anyways. In fact, there’s still only a 53% chance of success with embryo adoption and 68% with IVF. Here’s the thing about peace from God though. I know there is a possibility embryo adoption might not work, but I also know EVEN IF it does not work, God will give me peace because He gave me that same peace to step into this decision. It’s been a long three years and I can’t tell you how much longer we will wait, but what I do know is God refines us the most in the hardest seasons. He’s revealed immeasurably more than I could’ve ever dreamed and I know He’s not done yet. Where God guides, He provides.

Young married couple smile big, the wife in a red romper and the husband in jeans and a white t-shirt, during an outdoor photoshoot
Wisp and Willow Photography

We have started a fundraiser along with this journey. It will cost around $12,000 to complete 1 round of embryo adoption. Right now, we have a puzzle fundraiser. If nothing else though, we would love the prayers. Currently, we are praying for the family God has for us and those embryos to be so evident when we are looking at profiles. We are praying for clarity on those embryos. We are praying for sustained LIFE. That God would already be preparing my womb to carry life to full term. We are praying God would provide financially. I am a big believer in praying specifically and would love it if you could walk along side us in praying for these things.

There are a LOT of decisions within this big decision and I plan on being transparent as we continue on this journey. Chris and I will be keeping the transfer date and testing day to ourselves, but unlike with the IUIs, I plan on sharing this process of embryo adoption as much as I can in the middle of it. Over the last two months, I have already done initial bloodwork to which all came back normal, have been on birth control for the last month to stabilize all of my hormones, and we had a counseling session in order to move forward. We also had my uterine evaluation which showed a polyp, so I will be having surgery mid-October which will conclude all the pre-work to continue the process. Next step is selecting our embryos. Thank you SO much for the prayers, the support and for following along!”

Man wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans kisses his wife's forehead while taking photos together outside
Wisp and Willow Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alexis Inderbitzin of Celina, TX and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her blog. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more about Alexis’s journey here:

‘Your average couple, we started trying to conceive. Here we are, three years later, with no children.’: Woman battling unexplained infertility thanks support group, ‘We aren’t meant to go through trials alone’

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