Enjoy the story below, told by embryo adoption mom Rachel Reuille.
Jeff and I met in October of 2007 and we knew almost instantly that we were made for each other. We both had big families and knew that we wanted a big family. Jeff wanted at least five for a basketball team and I didn’t care. I just always wanted to be a mom. So, when we got married in September of 2010, we started trying for that big family right away. I still remember a few weeks after we got home from our honeymoon and I took the first pregnancy test and it was negative. We were sad but we weren’t worried. No one on either of our sides (quite the opposite, everyone was very fertile!) had ever had trouble conceiving, so it didn’t really cross our minds.
We kept at it for a while, never talking about it to friends or family. After a few years we started to get worried. In hindsight we should have gone in after a few months, but we didn’t know. We then started all the things- essential oils, Creighton method, testing, acupuncture, diet changes, surgery. All systems showed everything was fine, so our infertility was, and still is, unknown.
A Theological Question
In February of 2017, my friend and hairstylist Katie told us about her friend who was doing an embryo adoption. We had never heard of it, so we started to do some research. My sister Kristy emailed our Catholic doctor, Dr. Christopher Stroud, and his response was that the Church does not take an official stand (which is what our priest had said). A theologian had told him that it was in line, though, because you are saving a life.
We thought and prayed on this for over a whole year. In December of 2018, we knew for sure that God was calling us to do this embryo adoption. So back to the story about my friend Katie- she gave me the contact info for the friend who had done the embryo adoption back in 2017. Her friend, Kristin, quickly became my friend and my “go to” person for all things embryo adoption. She had such a positive experience with the National Embryo Donation Center that we again felt this was where God was leading us.
Help for the Journey
It was so wonderful to have someone that I had never met, but lived 20 minutes away, go through this journey with me! Kristin and her family welcomed their first embryo adopted baby, a sweet girl, 22 days after we did, so this was so much fun having someone to talk to throughout this whole journey. We finally met at my first ever baby shower in January of 2020, which was already the most special day, but meeting this friend I had been texting for over a year was just the best!
“The Best Thing to Ever Happen to Us”
We had our first child, Josephine Louise Carolina, after nine years of marriage in April of 2020. Even typing this, I have tears in my eyes at the blessing God has given us. Jo has been the best thing to ever happen to us. She has so many grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, our neighbors, and co-workers who have prayed for us and her for so many years. I get weepy thinking of [NEDC President & Medical Director] Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, Lynda, Kathi, Mark, Carol- everyone at NEDC. The gift they have given to our family- you just cannot put a price on it or really even put it into words. Jo is the piece of the puzzle we have been searching for so many years. I know for a fact that God heard our prayers and had Josephine in mind for us all of those sad years.
We can never thank the donors or Dr. Keenan enough for the precious miracle that we have. Our sweet baby was frozen for ELEVEN YEARS before making her way to us. Eleven years! So right around the time we met. Only God could weave these stories all together and make these miracles! We are excited to go back soon for her sibling and continue on this adoption journey! The work the NEDC is doing is truly God’s work, and we couldn’t be happier that we are part of the NEDC family!!