Enjoy the story below, told firsthand by embryo adoption mom Julia Cook.

“When asked how many children we wanted to have, Brian always responded with ‘The more the merrier!’ But month after month, we failed to conceive. Eventually we learned infertility would prevent us from bearing children that shared our genetic makeup. It was painful navigating the intangible loss of family in the way we’d previously imagined. However, it was also clear that we were called by Jesus to grow our family through adoption.

A Soul-Gripping Discovery

So we turned to where most Millennials turn for information – the Internet! An article on The Gospel Coalition directed our attention to embryo adoption and the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC). The reality of the countless frozen embryos suspended in time and awaiting transfer gripped our souls. We believe life begins at conception, so these embryos -though frozen and regarded by many as mere tissue and DNA- are alive and have intrinsic value. They’re made in the image of God! Yes, THIS was the adoption avenue we wanted to pursue to grow our family.

Deep Sorrow, Great Joy

We have three children who survived the embryo thawing process but did not implant following transfer, and thus have passed on from this life to be with Jesus. Though we felt these losses deeply, we were so thankful that our embryos were taken out of the freezer and placed in the first ‘home’ God had designed for them: the womb.

We have two living children: Mandie Ruth and Dawson. Mandie Ruth came to our family through the gift of domestic infant adoption. She is two years old and loves animals, swimming, and being a big sister! Dawson came to our family through the gift of embryo adoption with the NEDC. He’s a little more than six months old and loves giggling at Mandie Ruth’s antics, eating baby food, and snuggling with Mama and Daddy. Our children and journey to parenthood have changed our lives in ways we never imagined. Our lives are enriched and our souls refined by the daily acts of changing diapers, soothing a fussy child to sleep, folding endless loads of laundry, giggling at silly faces, and experiencing ‘typical’ things as new and wondrous through the eyes of our children.

Not Natural, but Supernatural

We intended our journey to travel along the ‘natural’ road of family growth, but God directed our steps to travel the ‘supernatural’ way. Through embryo adoption, Brian and I have learned to release control, wait, and act in faith when the outcome isn’t certain. The difficulty of the path has made the outcome even sweeter and more meaningful. Brian and I look at Dawson and marvel that he is here with us, having seen his first ‘picture’ under the microscope of the embryologist, then journeying through pregnancy, undergoing labor and then -finally!- seeing his sweet face at birth.”

For More Information

Click here to apply to adopt embryos. For more info on embryo adoption, click here. For more info on embryo donation, click here.