Facilitating embryo adoption to the glory of God. At the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC), that may not be our precise mission statement. But it does sum up well why we’re here. We believe God has loving families waiting for His tiniest image-bearers, and it’s our joy to bring those connections to life.
In order to adopt embryos through the NEDC, a man and woman must be married at least three years. That’s because God has ordained the institution of marriage as the ideal context for raising healthy, happy children. We want to do all we can to reasonably ensure the embryos entrusted to our care are going into homes where they can thrive.
But we’re also keenly aware that the future comes with no guarantees. There are many in the NEDC Family who, because of the death or divorce of a spouse, are doing heroic work as single parents. We salute and pray for those of you who find yourselves in that circumstance. And we believe you’ll draw encouragement from Heather Tluczek.
Prepared by God
Heather had the desire to parent children since she herself was a child. “Strangely, God also placed adoption on my heart at a very young age,” Heather recalls. “‘Adopted children are special because they are chosen’ was the line I memorized from a certain movie. I had no idea at the time why that line stuck out to my young mind, but now I know it was God preparing my heart.”
God was also preparing her to use her gifts professionally in the medical field. Because of that long and time-consuming career path, Heather married at a later age than she’d previously envisioned. Then came parenthood via embryo adoption through the NEDC. Yes, Heather became pregnant with her adopted children- using embryos remaining from another couple’s IVF. The result: twins David Anthony Emmanuel and Leavenly Reign. Amazing! Heather describes her twins as “precious, wonderful, sweet, smart, energetic, and joyful!”
Storms Move In
Thankful as she was for the gift of her children, the next chapters of Heather’s life would be stormy. Her marriage ended in divorce when the children were only 3. Not long before that, after a partnership gone awry, her once-thriving medical business became a source of contention and stress. Heather says she experienced a financial loss of roughly $1,000,000.
So there she was: on her own and jobless. There were times when it felt like David and Leavenly were the only positive aspects of her life. “God was there throughout my struggles in the valleys,” Heather says. “And my precious gifts were a constant reminder of His love for me.”
On the Rebound
Heather is, thankfully, rebounding nicely now. She’s working a full-time medical job and plugged into a supportive community of fellow Christians. “I now know the life of a single mom of twins and I couldn’t feel more blessed,” Heather says. “Just completing the day-to-day of full custody life is exhausting – even overwhelming at times. But God prepared me for this task of intentional parenting.”
Exhausting as it is, Heather’s life is also filled with many sweet moments. “I remind my children every night after our prayers, ‘How come I love you so much?!?’,” she shares. “They always respond with the correct answer: ‘Because we are the treasures of your heart’, and I conclude ‘And God gave you to me.’”
One Foot Before the Other
It’s that Lord she’ll be looking to as she works to raise David and Leavenly in His ways. “Through all my losses and lamentations, He always made His presence known. Greatest of all His displays of love – my babies!” Heather says. “They have been my reason for placing one foot in front of the other. They have been my answered prayers – my physical proof that God loves me, too. They have been my joy in times of many sorrows!”
May those of you in similar situations find the same joy and strength in the comforts of faith and family. Looking back, Heather now sees embryo adoption as her divinely-ordained road map to resilience. And despite the painful parts, it’s her conviction that sharing her story honors God and brings hope to others. As Heather puts it: “I have spread the news of embryo adoption to everyone who has the ear to hear. I have felt His footprints on my soul!”
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