Sometimes your personal history literally begins in History. As in, high school U.S. History class. Embryo adoption parents Dustin and Christina Diden started dreaming about their future in a course that explored the United States of America’s past. “During our junior year in 2009, we had U.S. History together,” Christina remembers. “And that is where it all began!”

“My Heart was Shattered.”

And like the subject of their class, there would be some dispiriting chapters to study in Dustin and Christina’s own history. “When I first found out I had mosaic Turner syndrome and had gone into ovarian failure and premature menopause at age 24, my heart was shattered,” Christina says. Gone, she thought, were the dreams she’d long harbored of having children. It had been her ambition to nurture and teach little minds; to watch her children grow up to embrace her and Dustin’s deep Christian faith. Now, at a very young age, it felt like all she was left with were dashed hopes.

The news was equally hard for Dustin to process. “It had always been a part of my unofficial life plan to become a father. I guess part of it is instinct. The other part was wanting to share the bond with a child that I was blessed to have with my parents growing up,” Dustin explains. “But God gave me peace with the fact that we wouldn’t be able to conceive the way most do, and that it was going to be okay.”

Finding Peace

That peace was something Christina began to feel over time, too. But it took a strong support system to get there. “Dustin was very supportive the entire time,” Christina says. “And with the prayers of our extended family and church family, we got through this time.”

Not only did they get through. Christina and Dustin actually got to a place of hope. Living near Knoxville, Tennessee, they scheduled an appointment with Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, a renowned local fertility specialist. During their conversation, Dr. Keenan let the Didens know about the option of embryo adoption.

They found out Christina could potentially become pregnant with an embryo remaining from another family’s IVF. The National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC), a faith-based nonprofit over which Dr. Keenan was president, would facilitate the frozen embryo transfer (FET). “This was the only way we would be able to go through pregnancy and the entire experience,” Dustin and Christina say.

Life-Giving Prayer

The Didens prayed about their road ahead. They discussed embryo adoption with their pastor. And in the end, they once again felt God’s peace. Embryo adoption with the NEDC was their choice to build a family. “The Bible says that life begins at conception,” Christina says. “These embryos are lives waiting to be brought into the world.”

By God’s grace, Dustin and Christina were able to help usher one of those precious little lives into the world. Their FET with the NEDC brought the birth of Rylee Marie Diden in June 2020. She had been frozen as an embryo for more than five years. “God has truly blessed our family with this amazing little girl and we thank Him daily for allowing us to be her parents,” Dustin and Christina share. “She is spoiled rotten by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins! We are so blessed and thankful for our sweet, sweet girl!”

As with all of our families, it was our honor to pray with and for Dustin and Christina. Even better, what a joy to see the result! “Thinking about all the pieces that God put in place to connect us with our beautiful little girl is humbling,” says Dustin. It is indeed. Across the globe, God is powerfully at work through NEDC families like the Didens. He’s still shaping history.

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.