An open letter to Baby Bee Hummingbirds

View More: Baby Bee Hummingbirds,

The craftsmanship of your jewelry is stunning. I love the way some of your pieces sparkle, particularly the ones with the golden flakes, which seem to reflect the light around them and draw the eye.

I have to say, though, that there’s another craftsman whom you’ll never be able to outdo: The Creator God.

As the mother to seven adopted embryos, five of whom passed away early on in my womb, and two of whom are now cuddly, cooing, two-month-olds, I have say that your “embryo ash” jewelry doesn’t hold a candle to the sparkling blue eyes of my twin boys, Jake and Luke. They got those blue eyes from their genetic parents—a couple to whom I will be eternally grateful.

I just took a break from writing this to gather my thoughts and to feed Jake. As I watched him nurse at my breast, pull off, and slowly drift off to sleep, he did something that the little lives in your necklaces will never be able to do: Form a big, toothless, milk-soaked, satisfied smile. Those smiles are nearer to my heart than any pendant ever could be. And you know what? Those smiles are nourishment to our donors’ hearts as well. You see, we have a beautiful open relationship with Jake and Luke’s genetic parents. And with every Facebook photo I post of myself, my husband, and our 3-year-old son loving on these precious babies, with every message I send to “Donor Mom” detailing their progress, I believe this message rings loud and clear in the depths of their souls: “We made the right decision.”

Jake & Luke then

Life is so short. I know you know that. That’s why you take cord stumps, breast milk, and “first curls” and create lasting pieces with them—so that mommies can think back on those fleeting times and hold them near. So why then, as a jewelry company whose motto is “turning memories into something tangible,” would you offer a piece of jewelry that turns tangible life into just a memory?

See, frozen embryos are not things of the past to preserve. They are in the present and can have a future! This offering of yours just doesn’t make sense for you. It doesn’t fit your business model.

What if, instead of inviting couples to turn their frozen living embryos into ashes, your company chose to promote embryo donation and adoption and made pieces for donor moms and recipient moms to wear in tribute to one another? How much more beautiful would that be? How much more life-honoring? And by the way, more babies in the world with first curls and cord stumps to preserve means more business for you, right?

Jake & Luke now

Your stated mission is all about the preservation of life and its moments. To preserve an embryo’s life, you must ensure that is carefully thawed and placed in a mother’s womb, not carelessly thawed and placed in resin.

Can I beg you to stick to your business mission, discontinue these pieces, and take up the cause of true life-preservation?


Whitney Williams

Related reading: “International furor erupts over embryo jewelry business


6 thoughts on “An open letter to Baby Bee Hummingbirds

  1. Your boys are beautiful and I am so glad you have them. And your post is beautifully written. However, it comes from a place of assumption that everyone believes, as you do, that life begins at conception. Not everyone believes that. I, as a potential embryo donor, don’t believe that. It’s possible (or rather, likely) that those who run this business and the parents who choose to keep their embryos with them forever in a piece of keepsake jewelry don’t believe that either. But regardless of ones beliefs, making the choice whether or not to donate is an extremely difficult and emotional decision. I understand your stance and why you disagree with this company’s offerings. But can you also try to understand an alternate stance and see that for some couples, this service is a very welcome option (regardless of if you personally think it is wrong)?


    1. Thank you for your kind and respectful comment. I do understand that some people don’t consider embryos lives, even though they are fertilized eggs that are growing and developing at the point that they are frozen. Since I do see that as life, I feel the conviction to speak out on behalf of those little lives, like my sons, who cannot speak for themselves. I do see that if you don’t see your frozen embryos as life in its earliest form that you might not have any qualms about letting them thaw, “expire,” and putting them into jewelry. But I would also plead with that person, who most likely has dealt with the pain of infertility, to consider giving that unwanted embryo to a couple that is LONGING for a child and cannot have one of their own. Surely that potential donor would remember and understand that kind of pain and longing. And here they have the opportunity to make another couple’s dreams come true! Not many people have the ability to give that kind of gift! And it’s free to give! I understand that it might be hard for some to think about someone else raising their child, but at the same time, if you don’t believe that the embryo is a child to begin with, then I believe that is kind of a contradiction. We have a beautiful open relationship with our donors, but if that would be too painful for a potential donor, you could always donate anonymously. With all of the money spent and heart put into the creation of the embryos, it is sad to see them put into jewelry, in my opinion, when they could, with simply a womb to grow in, come into the world and have the opportunity to live a full life! Anyway, that is my belief, so I must speak out about it. I certainly do not want to come across disrespectful to someone who holds a different opinion, and I definitely don’t want to start a fight or cause things to get ugly between differing parties. That is why I prayerfully tried to write my post in a positive way, to show embryo donation as a beautiful option — and in my opinion, the most beautiful option for those who have “leftover” embryos. I certainly am in tune with how hard the decision may be to donate, as I am very close with my donor, but she herself has said that walking with me through my five FETs, seeing how much I loved and wanted those babies, etc., brought her a lot of healing from the pain of infertility. Almost like giving us her remaining embryos made her a part of something bigger than herself. Like it gave all of that pain some meaning, you know? It can be a truly beautiful thing, and I hope you will consider it! But again, I know it is not an “easy” decision to donate. Thank you again for writing. I definitely understand that not everyone feels the same as I do.


      1. Thanks for your reply. I’m so glad to hear that you and your donor have a great relationship and that your boys coming into the world have helped her through this process too. I think that’s so wonderful and I do agree that embryo adoption is such a beautiful and incredible option (but I would just add: as long as it’s the right option for everyone involved.) I love the idea of being able to provide that ultimate gift to another struggling couple and I certainly do remember the pain and longing experienced through years of infertility. This is why my husband and I are exploring the option. But I don’t know yet if it’s what’s right for us. I don’t know yet if it’s the option we’d feel most comfortable with in the end; if it would bring a sense of closure to our IF journey or not. It’s an incredibly loaded decision, even if we were to “just donate anonymously” (that sort of feels comparable to the blasé way people say “why don’t you just adopt?” when you are struggling through IVF). I do hope/assume that in time my husband and I will come to determine what is the best option for us but for now as we work through it all, I feel that having any and all options (including Baby Bee Hummingbird’s services) available to us is a good thing. My emphasis is on closure, happiness, and coming to terms with our personal journey. Your emphasis may be more on speaking out on behalf of the embryos you see as lives since they cannot speak for themselves. And that is ok, I can certainly respect that even if I do not have the same beliefs. Wishing you all the best.


      2. I will be praying for wisdom and peace for you and your husband as you consider your options. I wish you the best as well, and thank you again for the kind dialogue.

        Sent from my iPhone



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