Life’s a dance, the saying goes. It’s that way for everyone, but especially embryo adoption parents Patrick and Rachel. “Patrick and I both have a love for dance and naturally met through friends in the summer of 2008 while dancing the night away,” Rachel recalls.
Less than two years later, these soul mates married. They knew they wanted children, but their efforts to become parents made one thing clear: life’s dance lessons would demand some extremely difficult, discouraging steps of this couple. There would be years of failed fertility treatments, miscarriages from almost-miraculous natural pregnancies, and fruitless trips down the path of traditional adoption.
“My doctor asked, ‘Have you ever considered embryo adoption?’ She didn’t want to push it, but really thought we should consider it,” Rachel remembers. “So in my puddle of tears I went home and prayed. I spent the next several weeks praying so hard and then went to Patrick and told him I had found this amazing place called the National Embryo Donation Center and I thought we needed to go there. Patrick agreed and told me to fill out the application. So we did and on my birthday -August 24th, 2016- we had our initial appointment at the NEDC. Our lives changed forever. We had new hope.”
Not all hopes reach their fulfillment when they’re new, however. Patrick and Rachel’s first frozen embryo transfer a few months later was unsuccessful. They also went through the torturous experience of being matched with a baby through traditional adoption, only to have that adoption fail when the baby was born in January 2017. What a gut-wrenching way to begin the new year. It convinced Rachel and Patrick once and for all that traditional adoption, while a wonderful road for many others, would not be their path to parenthood.
Back they went to the NEDC in May 2017. “This transfer was different. I was different. I was calm and ready,” Rachel said.
“The day finally arrived when I would go to our local clinic to have my blood drawn for a pregnancy test. I will never forget that drive. I looked up to Heaven, eyes filled with tears, and said, ‘God, this is it. It’s all in your hands.’ I left it all there in my car,” Rachel remembers. “Later that day I got the call that I was pregnant. This was the moment God answered our prayers. And today, almost one year later, I am holding the sweetest gift: my daughter.”
Little Brielle, these proud parents say, is amazing- kind, sweet and a little sassy. “She has the sweetest soul and is a great sleeper. We spend our days playing and talking,” Patrick and Rachel say. “She is definitely going to be a chatty Cathy.”
They still get overwhelmed with emotions that Brielle is finally here. “We cherish every moment with her and love watching her grow,” they say. “We get to live out the best years of our life with her. She makes everything go round.”
The dance of life hasn’t always been smooth, yet through the NEDC, God led Patrick and Rachel where they needed to be. He saw them through all the discouragement. Their best steps weren’t stolen away after all.