Hearts Thawed, Babies Born

Rachael and Pete were hoping to have children of their own, but they found out quickly having babies may not be as easy as they expected. Fertility treatments lead to the birth of their first son Samuel and then a devastating miscarriage. Instead of continuing down the path of fertility treatments, they decided adoption would be a better investment of their resources.

After completing their home study, they were approved for a domestic infant adoption. Then they waited…, waited…, and waited…

The waiting was very difficult, but while they waited, their hearts were warming up to embryo adoption. “I had not been feeling ready to face the significant chances of losing children who did not survive the thawing process, a risk associated with embryo adoption. But over that year, I became convicted that taking serious emotional risks is sometimes an important part of answering the call to love one’s neighbor as one’s self,” Pete remembers. After a year, it was time to renew their home study, and they decided it was time to switch from domestic infant adoption to Nightlight’s embryo adoption program, Snowflakes.

It took a few months to be matched with a placing parent who had five remaining embryos. The family had read their profile and selected Rachael and Pete as a possible match! They spent a weekend considering and praying fervently about this match. They decided their answer was, “yes!” They would accept these embryos.

The couple completed the embryo adoption in October of 2015 and in December traveled to New York City for their first frozen embryo transfer. One of the two embryos thawed did not survive, but one did, resulting in the birth of their son Owen. Over time, both families have become open to more direct contact, and Rachael and Pete will meet their placing family when they travel to New York for their next transfer.

People frequently ask Rachael, “What was it like being pregnant with your adopted child?” Her response, “Honestly, it was a whole lot like being pregnant with our biological son! I had a nurse at one doctor’s appointment get very confused as I was nursing Owen and telling her that my family medical history wasn’t pertinent for him because he is adopted. We had one friend who commented, ‘Wow, this is very 21st-century stuff!’ It really is fun to get to explain Owen is adopted, but that I did give birth to him.”

“It’s not DNA that makes a family, it a choice to love and unconditionally accept these children as our own.”

Send your embryo adoption story and photos to us! Post them yourself via Facebook and Twitter or email us your story and we will make it available on our Family Stories page, found on our website

Email Paige@nightlight.org and help another family build their embryo donation or adoption story.

To learn more about embryo donation and adoption, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.