Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Discernment and Patience

I, like most people, struggle with maintaining control over my life.  With infertility as a constant companion in our marriage, I have had to at least revise a lot of my ideas towards family size.  Our desires to grow our family are largely regulated by our finances, military life (deployments/moves), and paperwork. 


I want to control this current adoption process. I want to drive things forward at MY pace.  And yet my hands are tied by, among other things, money.  No matter how fast I send in paperwork, no matter how quickly we compile our personal narratives, we just don’t have the money to move many steps ahead in the process.


My advent prayers, specifically the St. Andrew Christmas Prayers, are requesting adoption discernment and financial assistance, and patience.  I hate praying for patience because virtues are learned through practice.  And my practice generally consists of my succumbing to impatience.


We’ve submitted our Snowflake Embryo Adoption application – mailed it yesterday.  And then I found out our coordinator is out of town for another week plus.  Perhaps my prayers for patience are already working since my first thought was a charitable “good for C.; she deserves a vacation!” and not the typical self-centered “rats! Now that’s additional time that I’m forced to wait before our file will even be considered.”  See, I am maturing, a little at a time.


I’m really very interested in a set of waiting embryos described online ("Joseph and Irina") but I’m not sure my motives are entirely pure (hence the prayers for discernment).  It’s a set of nine embryos which is higher number than we’d like.  We’d love enough embryos for a sibling transfer (meaning a transfer this spring and then enough embryos remaining for another transfer down the road).  This particular set of nine would entail four embryo transfers.  That’s a huge emotional, financial, and physical commitment. 


Nine embryos would also very likely spell the end of our adoption journey.  We would not need/want to adopt again.*  And, to be perfectly honest, that’s a bittersweet thought.  As much as I hate the paper-pushing and the financial requirements (and the endless waiting), I do love the element of surprise with adoption.  I have a growing, though perhaps unrealistic, interest in foster-to-adopt programs.  Adopting a set of nine embryos would definitively close that door.

Nightlight offers an adoption scholarship to qualified families for some sets of embryos (those considered harder to adopt).  This particular set of embryos meets those criteria.  Let’s be honest here, the idea of a financial scholarship is likely clouding my judgment. 


Bryan says no, nine is too many.


I say financial scholarship! 


Bryan says no, nine is too many.


I say no more home studies!


Bryan says no, nine is too many.


I say all our future children will be genetically related!


Bryan says… 


You get the idea.


So I pray for discernment, that my motives be pure.  I pray for financial blessings, that our tax return be prompt and contain what we need to cover our adoption expenses (or more!).  I pray, though I hate to do so, for patience. Because we all know I need it.
*I've elaborated previously on the potential perks of adopting a larger group of embryos.  Look about halfway down, starting a few paragraphs above the bullet points.


  1. Nine is a lot, though statistically speaking if you adopt all 9, how many are likely to surive till birth? I have to admit, it's easier for me to see your point of view. After all, none of us really knows how many children we'll end up with. We just use our best judgement and discernment and sometimes God suprises us and gives us more babies than we had planned. Then again, I can see how the financial assistance and the closure would be clouding your judgement. Sometimes when Steve and I are of different minds even after we discuss something, I just have to give it to God and say "Okay, God, if I'm discerning your will wrong, change my heart. If he's discerning your will wrong, change his. I trust you."
    You're in my prayers.

  2. For what it's worth as an auntie with 8 nieces/nephews: Even if all your future babies are biologically related, the surprise element is definitely still there. :)

    1. Sarah, you are totally correct in regards to personality. I have only to look at my family or my husband's family to see the truth in what you say. However, I'd really love a rainbow family of children, in all assorted colors. ;-) In that regards, adopting a large set of embryos squashes that particular dream/element of surprise.