With giant floodlights consuming what normally seemed like ample space, embryo adoption parents Travis and Jamie Reimche’s living room was awash in brightness. Microphones tucked inconspicuously inside their clothes waited to record this generally quiet couple’s every word. A video camera was trained directly on them and their baby daughter Liberty. Just to the side of it sat a well-known TV news anchor in the Fargo, North Dakota area they call home.
Everything about the morning suddenly felt so big and important. The gravity of what they were about to do gripped Travis and Jamie: They were sitting down to share a story that could change other people’s lives, just as their own had been changed.
Amazing Convergence, Difficult Journey
An amazing convergence of faith, love, technology and science had brought Liberty, their third daughter, into Travis and Jamie’s family. Broadcasting their story, the Reimches hoped, would expand the joy and wonder that had captured their hearts. They wanted other families to experience the blessing of embryo adoption, which for Travis and Jamie had resulted in the gift of Liberty.
It hadn’t been an easy journey, though it started out that way. “We joked that when we were ready, we just looked at each other and were pregnant with our first daughter Madysen in 2002 and second daughter Jenna in 2004,” Jamie says. “Both were textbook normal pregnancies with no concerns about infertility.”
The difficulties began after Jenna turned 4. That was when the Reimches started trying for their third child. Suddenly pregnancy just wasn’t happening. The cause? Unclear. Doctors diagnosed Travis and Jamie with the dreaded “unexplained infertility.” Not having answers made this already trying situation more intense and frustrating. “We wanted an easy button that gave a cause and a fix,” Jamie recalls. “We were also struggling to balance not wanting to feel selfish for wanting more children when we did have two beautiful biological daughters.”
This potent combination of physical and emotional turmoil tore Travis and Jamie apart for five years. Finally, in 2013, they made peace with the idea that they would have no more biological children. They were done trying. Then, right when the Reimches changed their mind set, they learned Jamie was pregnant, only to find out two months later that it was a molar pregnancy- one that would not last. “Oh the loss and disappointment!” Travis and Jamie share. “We had accepted knowing we wouldn’t have any more biological children. Then we were back on this emotional roller coaster of being pregnant, to only then experience the loss of not being pregnant.”
Travis and Jamie eventually turned to IVF, but that didn’t work either. “We prayed and accepted God’s path,” Jamie says. “We had a beautiful family and were blessed. Though we didn’t always understand, we accepted with a lot of prayer and tears, and continued to focus on our blessings.”
Yet there was still this nagging sense that God wanted to add to their family. Through adoption, maybe? Travis and Jamie decided to explore that option. And that was when they ran across the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) during an Internet search.
They learned the NEDC specialized in facilitating embryo adoption. It was a way of valuing the tiniest lives- embryos remaining from the IVF of couples who’d finished building their families. Jamie realized she could essentially become pregnant with her adopted child. It seemed almost too beautiful and perfect to be real.
“I was drawn in quickly through seeing and hearing all the stories of families who had been touched by embryo adoption,” Jamie remembers. “I was brought to tears reading these stories on the NEDC website of all these precious babies who were frozen in time, waiting for families.”
Dawn of Liberty
In time, as you’ve probably guessed, the Reimches themselves became one of those families. Their NEDC baby, Liberty, was born in late 2018. “Liberty has been such a blessing to all of us, seeing her life with her personality, smile and bright eyes,” Travis and Jamie share. “And her love of her family and Jesus is amazing.”
Knowing how much other embryo adoption families’ testimonies had touched them, Travis and Jamie felt deeply compelled to share their story. So in March 2019 (just a few months after Liberty’s birth), there they were, opening up their home and lives to the local TV crew. The results from the story that aired were exactly what they’d prayed for.
“We gave Liberty her name because she was freely given to us to love. Sharing our story on the local news station, it was amazing to see how this touched others,” Travis says. “Jamie had other moms who have struggled with infertility reach out. We had a couple who was praying for their frozen embryos reach out to us, too. Liberty has been a gift not only to our family, but a gift to countless others.”
Parallel Tracks, Same Destination
In another fascinating twist, it turns out Liberty’s journey was on track to meet up with Travis and Jamie’s well before the Reimches even knew embryo adoption existed. Liberty’s biological siblings from her donor family were born in 2013, the same year as the disappointment of Jamie’s molar pregnancy. Then, Liberty’s donor parents chose to make an adoption plan through the NEDC in 2015. That same year, the Reimches decided to pursue fertility treatment. Different tracks, same destination.
“This sweet girl Liberty was already waiting for us. God had her ready for us,” Travis and Jamie say. “We just needed to find the right path through the NEDC to get ready to welcome her! We not only love Liberty with our whole heart, but so does Jesus. And so do the genetic parents who love her so much, they gave her a chance at life. They’ve been cheering us and Liberty on all the way through this journey.”
God was at work weaving two sets of loving hearts together, resulting in one magnificent, life-affirming story. It’s a journey that, like God Himself, awes and inspires. But it probably shouldn’t surprise when you consider what the Good Book says: Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.