Before they became embryo adoption parents, Bob and Carla DelGiorno shared two things in common: meals and the military. “We met in early 2001, when I was a manager of a local restaurant and Carla was a new hire. We struck up a friendship and both realized there was more,” Bob recalls. “We shared a common fact, as she was entering the Tennessee National Guard and I had just left the Army after 10 years of active duty.”
Long Distance Romance
What followed was a long distance romance. (Bob refers to it as a “postal relationship.”) Carla departed for basic training. Then, once she returned home, a job transfer took Bob elsewhere. Yet the relationship endured. Tired of being apart, they married in 2003.
Bob and Carla were certain their union was forever, and they felt equally strongly about adding some little DelGiornos to the home. “We always wanted a large family. We tried for years, but never conceived,” Bob and Carla share. “We cried out to God and gave it to Him. A year later we were pregnant with our daughter, Giada.”
No Easy Fixes
Now 11, the DelGiornos describe Giada as a lovely young lady; very helpful and kind. She became the light of their lives- their proof that God answers prayers. But their Christian faith, well placed as it was, didn’t fix everything. “Years went by and as much as we tried, there were no more children,” Bob and Carla say. They considered growing their family through adoption. But Bob was well into his 50s, which made getting matched a challenge. The DelGiornos’ high hopes of having a houseful of children started to sink.
Then something unexpected renewed their dreams. “The Holy Spirit led Carla to think about embryo adoption,” Bob remembers. “She Googled embryo adoption and the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) came up.” Through the NEDC, Carla learned she could carry their adopted child! That child would come from an embryo remaining from another family’s IVF. Not only that, but the NEDC shared Bob and Carla’s belief that human embryos are God’s tiniest image bearers. Protecting those tiny lives was the heartbeat of the organization. Embryo adoption through the NEDC was more affordable than many forms of adoption and fertility treatment, too. It seemed like a perfect fit. The DelGiornos’ hope was restored.
Hope Restored, Hope Realized
And through their journey with the NEDC, that hope restored became hope realized. Bob and Carla’s embryo adoption son Hyram made his way to the outside world in January 2021. “Hyram is a beautiful child who smiles all the time. He captivates all who meet him,” the DelGiornos say. “It’s been a huge blessing to the family to have a new baby around. We all are enjoying watching him grow. He is an example of God’s goodness and favor.”
Bob and Carla might have started out with only a couple obvious traits in common. Since then, though, God has used new common threads -shared endurance, hope amid setbacks, a passion for adoption- to knit their heartstrings together even more tightly. They’re more grateful than words can express for the life they live now- life with a family they once weren’t sure would exist. “We want to thank [NEDC physicians] Dr. Jeffrey Keenan and Dr. John Gordon for devoting their time and services to helping couples realize their dreams and doing God’s work for these babies,” Bob and Carla say. “Without them, our family would not be complete and we would still be yearning for another child.”