“I found myself attending and throwing baby showers, and it was difficult to celebrate God’s blessings in our friends’ lives when He seemed to not be hearing our prayers,” embryo adoption mom Laquisha Mason remembers.
In the Grip of Infertility
When infertility has you in its grip, it feels like it will never let up. Not only is your own joy severely muzzled. Your capacity to share in the happiness of others diminishes, too. Especially when they’re celebrating the very blessings that are eluding you: pregnancy and the birth of new life. It’s such an overwhelming sense of loneliness, though millions have actually shared Laquisha’s conflicted emotions. They’ll attest that her description resonates as painfully true.
Yet Laquisha and her husband, Brandon, are sharing their story because they want others to know that journeys like theirs don’t have to end in emptiness. If that deep-seated desperation and resentment has grown roots in your soul and worn you down, the Masons want you to know there’s hope. Your story isn’t over yet.
Love at First Click
Laquisha and Brandon met online back in 2004. As they say, “It was love at first click!” Three years later, they married. Life was good.
“Like most girls, I had dreamed of being a mother since I was a little girl playing with my dolls,” Laquisha says. “My baby fever had set in shortly after we were married, so we decided to go for it.”
But along their road to parenthood, they encountered the unexpected detour of infertility. They had tried for more than a year to get pregnant, and it just wasn’t happening. Laquisha and Brandon subjected themselves to the exhausting and intrusive battery of diagnostic tests to see what was going on. Eventually, doctors laid out their options: adoption, surrogacy or IVF.
“We felt we’d been on this roller coaster, seeking answers for long enough. We simply wanted to be parents, so we went straight to adoption,” Laquisha and Brandon say. “We didn’t care if our kids were genetically ours. After all, we weren’t genetically related and loved each other a great deal, so we didn’t worry we’d love our adopted kids any less than if they shared our DNA.”
Elation, and curiosity
Their first child finally arrived in 2013. The Masons adopted Braxton at birth. A priceless blessing! They were elated, of course, yet also harbored curiosity about what might still lie ahead. “While Braxton fulfilled our long-awaited desire to become parents, I still mourned a pregnancy experience,” Laquisha recalls.
When Braxton turned 2, Laquisha says baby fever set in again. It was at this point that new life got breathed into an already-familiar idea. Laquisha and Brandon had first heard about embryo adoption on a national radio broadcast. Intrigued? Yes. But they had put the idea on a shelf. Until now.
Revisiting Embryo Adoption
“We revisited embryo adoption and discovered the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) through a Google search,” Laquisha recalls. “I found a video featuring an African American adoptive family. It was so refreshing to see a family that looked like ours. We learned the NEDC had the largest number of ethnic embryos. We also liked that the NEDC shared our belief that life begins at conception and was committed to giving embryos a chance at life. So we submitted our application.”
Expanding their family didn’t come easily. Through abnormalities first flagged during the NEDC’s medical clearance process, the Masons learned Laquisha had thyroid cancer. This shocking discovery meant surgery was necessary. It led to delays in the scheduling of Laquisha’s frozen embryo transfer (FET).
Fortunately, doctors treated the cancer successfully. The Masons were able to move forward with embryo adoption. And after their second FET, they got the call they’d been hoping for from NEDC nurse Lynda McCollum: success! Their twin girls, Nuri and Selah, were born in October 2019. “They’re four months old and their little personalities are starting to shine,” Laquisha and Brandon share. “We’ve become like court jesters trying to put smiles on their faces and laughs in their bellies. They’re also starting to interact with one another, holding hands and cooing to one another in their own special language.”
Technology Connects Heartstrings
What a last chapter, and what a story! Technology can seem like a cold, lifeless word. But the Masons’ journey shows God uses the technology of today –online dating, broadcasting, Google, the freezing, thawing and transfer of embryos- to connect peoples’ heartstrings and enrich their lives in the most personal and intimate ways.
If you’re deep in the trenches of infertility today, Laquisha and Brandon want you to know ‘hope on hold’ doesn’t equal ‘without hope’. Take heart from their story. “God’s delays were not His denials,” they say. “God placed the desire to have children in our hearts, and He fulfilled that promise more exceedingly and abundantly than we could have hoped or prayed. We’re overwhelmed with love for our girls and are forever grateful to the NEDC for the great work they do in growing families like ours.”