We met in the restaurant industry back in our college days. Our friendship eventually got closer, and we started dating. Four years later in 2008, we tied the knot in our hometown.
We waited a while to begin to start our family. We wanted to enjoy being married first and enjoy just being “us.” We were blessed to travel and do so many fun things before we began trying to grow our family. We also both went back to school to further our education. We wanted to be ready. We had always talked about wanting to adopt, even at the very early stages of our relationship. We also wanted biological children.
We began trying to conceive, and after 6 cycles Christen got pregnant but miscarried very early. We got pregnant the very next cycle and conceived our beautiful and precious son Keaton who is now 6 years old. We wanted to space our kids apart 2-3 years, so when Keaton was 2.5 we started trying for baby #2. We got pregnant very quickly after 4 cycles to go on to miscarry at 10 weeks. It was heartbreaking. After Christen recovered from the miscarriage and surgery, we started trying again & got pregnant fairly quickly but miscarried again very early.
It was then that we went to a reproductive specialist, and Christen got diagnosed with “diminished ovarian reserve/premature ovarian aging.” We decided early on that we were not comfortable with pursuing IVF, but we were willing to try supplements and meds and give it a shot to see if we could have another healthy pregnancy. We prayed, we cried, we gave it a time frame. Then, 8 cycles later, Christen sat in the bathroom in tears holding a positive pregnancy test. Nine months later after a very healthy pregnancy, we were holding our baby girl Kamryn. Christen had a tubal ligation performed during the birth of our daughter due to our many pregnancy struggles. We were so incredibly happy & felt so blessed. “God had heard our every prayer and counted our every tear, and it was all worth it now,” we thought.
But on Oct 27, 2018, our sweet baby girl passed into the arms of Jesus at exactly 10.5 months of age. She had a fever the night of her passing and did not wake up the next morning. Our world was shattered. Our hearts were in pieces. Her cause of death was determined to be SIDS. Our lives were forever changed. We grieved, we prayed, we begged for direction.
Springtime came, and Christen was looking online at “adoption” and came upon the topic of “embryo adoption.” She continued to read on and hope came over her as she thought of this as a potential possibility (being that the embryos were already created, the IVF process would not be necessary, and she loved the connection that she could be both the birth mother & adopted mother to the baby…). We joined an online registry and 3 months later had 5 embryos donated to us. After their thaw & culture, only 4 remained. We did a frozen embryo transfer of a perfect day 5 blastocyst in July 2019. We got pregnant, and we were over the moon.
Later, a few complications arose…we held on to hope that they would resolve, but they did not. We miscarried a baby boy at 10.5 weeks. It was then that we were certain that our pregnancy journey had come to an end. We knew immediately that we wanted to close that chapter of our lives, & we were at peace with this. We started the adoption process a month later & gave the remaining embryos back to our donor.
All these experiences have in turn led us closer to Christ and have changed us forever but not necessarily for the bad. We savor each and every minute of this life that we have been given, we hold each other and our son even tighter, we sweat less the small stuff. We are so thankful for all the things we have been gifted from our merciful God. He has been there for us from the beginning, and he is sure to not leave us now. We are blessed beyond measure.
We signed with Bethany Christian Services in March 2020 so we are home study approved & are an “active waiting family.” We are asking for friends and family to support us towards this journey! Unfortunately, even domestic adoption is extremely expensive. 100% of funds received will go directly into our account and then to our agency to help bring home our rainbow baby! Any amount will help.
These funds will also greatly assist with our legal fees for finalization, potential travel expenses, post placement visits, and for maternity leave income so that Christen will be able to take a reasonable amount of time off from work to bond with the baby.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Woody 09055”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.