Not Our Embryos to Keep

After Tom and Anabelle married, they assumed children would quickly follow...

However, after years of trying, they opted in vitro fertilization. The couple now had three children—and five frozen embryos who needed them to decide their future. After considering their options, and with extensive prayer, the couple realized the embryos were not theirs to keep. The couple agreed to place their remaining embryos up for adoption and their journey towards finding a family for their embryos began.

Tom and Anabelle met on Memorial Day weekend while Annabelle was vacationing in San Diego from Brazil. They were engaged within eight months, married in a little more than a year. They assumed children would follow just as quickly, but years passed without any babies.

After seven years of trying, they started in vitro fertilization treatments. After a single embryo transfer, their son was born. Five embryos remained.

When their son was about 14 months old, Anabelle found out she was expecting again and was 12 weeks pregnant with their second son. What a wonder, given their previous struggles! 15 months after he was born, the Petersens found out Anabelle was almost 8 weeks pregnant with their daughter. The Petersens now had three children— and five frozen embryos who needed them to decide their future.

Tom began to research what they could do with their remaining embryos and discovered the Snowflakes® Embryo Adoption program.

Tom first presented the idea of using the Snowflakes program to Anabelle when their daughter was about a month old. She wasn’t ready to make that decision. One day, as Anabelle considered and prayed about the future of her remaining embryos, she felt that God gave her the answer she was seeking.  “I believe I heard God telling me; the embryos are not yours, Anabelle. They are a gift from me!” This gave her the answer she was seeking and the peace she was craving. The couple agreed to place their remaining embryos for adoption and their journey towards finding a family for their embryos began.

In December, Tom and Anabelle received an e-mail with a possible match. The moment Anabelle started reading Bert and Kryna’s family profile she just knew this was the right match. Tom agreed.

When the adopting family traveled to San Diego for their first frozen embryo transfer, it was ’love at first sight.  The Bert and Kryna welcomed their first adopted child, a son, the following year. When he was 16 months old they traveled again to visit Tom and Anabelle. The purpose of this trip was to introduce Anabelle and Tom to their son and to have a second FET.   Their second adopted son was born in 9 months later.  Tom and Anabelle were pleasantly surprised that their open adoption would be so sweet.

The adopting parents recently had their final transfer using the adopted embryos.  They are expecting their third child in early 2017. Tom and Anabelle’s children say, “Wouldn’t it be so cool if they have a family just like us? Boy, boy, girl?” They will find that out soon!

The relationships developed between the two families have been a blessing for all.  Anabelle explains, “I find so much peace in the fact that their sons are loved and are alive and well.  Do I sometimes wish Tom and I could have parented them? Yes. But Bert and Kryna are fantastic parents and we couldn’t be happier.”