“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16
We found out about eight weeks ago that we are having twin boys! We already have a three-year-old son and each time I think about the shenanigans they’re all going to get into together, I can’t help but smile.
I also seriously considered buying some sheet rock patching kits the other day at Lowes, as I expect there will be some rough-housing going on in my home. This made me smile too.
Something else that makes me smile is the feeling that these boys are ours through and through. Though their genetic make-up is derived from another couple, I know that God made these babies for me … and they were not only meant to be, but meant to be mine (and my husband’s) from the beginning of time. (Really, the title of this post should be “Made for us, meant to be” to include my husband, but that didn’t sound as catchy). 🙂
A more detailed aside: When our donors found out in 2008 that their round of IVF had resulted in 17 healthy embryos, they knew God must have a plan much bigger than their own little family unit. And He did. These babies were not a mistake. Their lives had/have a purpose. Back when these babies came to be, God knew that my husband and I, who were just starting to date at the time, would eventually get married, have a beautiful son, and with him find out that we both carried a terrible genetic disorder that would have a 25% chance of appearing again in another child. God knew that with this information, we would (with sorrow) decide that we couldn’t possibly create more biological children and risk putting another child through that suffering. He also knew, however, that the longing to have another child, would not dissipate from my heart — because He put it there. Why? Well, for one, He knew of these frozen babies (whom we knew nothing of at the time) in Bedford, Texas that needed a home, a mommy and daddy, and a chance to continue growing and live full lives. After all, from the moment of fertilization they already had everything they needed to be who they could/would one day become — they just needed a womb to grow in. My womb. They needed a home to grow in. Our home. God connected the dots, about a year after these babies came into existence, by placing us in a church where a few years later when the need arose, our pastor would let us know about his childhood friend and her husband who were looking for an adoptive family for their remaining 14 frozen embryos (they gave birth to the other three).
Our church had an Orphan Care day this past Sunday at church and at the end of the service our pastor asked people who were involved in adoption or foster care to stand up so that the congregation could pray over each family. A friend encouraged us to stand, and we did, but it just felt strange. For starters, our challenges were much different from those pursuing traditional adoption. But for the most part, the reason it felt kind of strange to stand is because these babies just feel like “ours.” Though we readily and happily share about their beautiful beginnings, it feels strange to call them “adopted,” as if that should denote that they have some sort of lesser status in our hearts than our genetic child. I can honestly say, especially once we found out they were both boys, and therefore got to know them a little better — they were just “our boys.” My husband immediately started thinking about the guns they’d need (we’re a hunting family), and I started preparing the nursery and dreaming about the future.
And that got me to thinking … maybe this is how ALL adoptive parents feel once they have their “baby” in their arms, whether they carried and gave birth to the child or not. Maybe all adoptive parents just have that “made for me, meant to be” feeling. I think that’s probably the case, and I think that is beautiful.
Our three-year-old son has already taken full ownership of these boys as well. The other day at Chick-fil-a, he kept saying “We’re having two babies!” to each person who passed by. I’m happy to say that I believe our extended family shares this same love and excitement over our coming boys. And all of this makes me smile. I believe it makes God smile too!
Looking for children’s books about embryo donation/adoption? I’ve written two and they are available for purchase on Amazon!