By Aubrie Drayer
I was newly married and in my last year of nursing school when I learned about embryo adoption in my maternity nursing class. My professor briefly explained that couples who had undergone in-vitro fertilization often had “leftover” embryos which they could keep frozen (rather than discarding) and place for adoption. The adoptive mother would actually have the embryos implanted in her womb, carry them through nine months of pregnancy, and have the opportunity to give birth to the children she and her husband had adopted.
I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my husband about this incredible new way to adopt. He was just as amazed and excited by the possibility as I was. We had met while praying outside an abortion clinic and were about to begin working for a pro-life organization at the time, so we both shared a heart for the plight of the preborn in our society. My grandfather and sister were both adopted, and we had always known we would want to adopt someday, too. Embryo adoption seemed like the perfect marriage of our desire to help our preborn brothers and sisters and our desire to bring children into our family through adoption.
Two years later, we welcomed our biological daughter Adia into the world. I still thought about embryo adoption, but it felt like a more distant option now that we already had a biological child. We also bought a house that needed some work, and knowing that embryo adoption would cost a lot of money, I wanted to wait so we could make some updates to the kitchen first. Saying that out loud makes it sound incredibly selfish. It was.
I was becoming more inwardly focused and less concerned about the many little ones in freezers who were waiting for a family to love them.
Thankfully, my pastor preached a sermon on giving. That sermon struck a chord in me, and I saw my selfishness for what it was. I couldn’t say that I cared about these little embryos in storage but pour my money and time into updating our house, instead. On the way home, I confessed my selfishness to my husband (who had been ready to begin the adoption process much earlier), and said I was ready to move forward.
A home study, lots of paperwork, and seven months later, we’re now in the end stages of embryo adoption. By this Fall, I should have one or two little ones placed in my womb, and by God’s grace, will have the privilege of giving them life and home and family, just as He has given me. It is exciting to think that my husband and I will have the opportunity to give life to a child who would otherwise live out its existence in a freezer, forgotten.
I still struggle often with being self-centered and desiring comfort and security more than honoring God. Yet I am learning that there is only emptiness to be found in selfishness, but abundant joy in caring for others as God has commanded us.
( Please note: Mama Activist is a non-sectarian blog that celebrates the courage of mamas around the world regardless of their faith background. As such, please note that the opinions reflected in this piece reflect a Christian worldview that may not be in line with the beliefs of other Christians, such as practicing Catholics (the Catholic Church has yet to reveal her stance on embryo adoption). Regardless, the courage and selfless of this mama should be appreciated and acknowledged.)