Timing is everything, according to the well-worn cliché. Well, cliché or not, embryo adoption parents Chad and Shannon Hart believe it.
Growing up in Boonville, Indiana, they only lived 7 miles apart. But they never met because they went to different high schools. Every Saturday, a woman would finish her grocery shopping. At the checkout counter, she would also tell Shannon –who worked at the store as a cashier- that she just had to meet her son. Well, that meeting didn’t end up happening until Chad and Shannon were both students at the University of Evansville in 1994. Yes, that woman at the grocery store was Chad’s mom. Imagine everyone’s surprise when Chad brought Shannon home from college to meet his parents!
They married a few years later, delighted with one another but frustrated in their efforts to build a family. “We watched friend after friend and family member after family member have babies of their own,” Shannon says. “We wanted to be joyful for each of them. But to be completely honest, it became more and more painful each time we heard of another baby announcement.” After years of fertility treatments and disappointments, they were finally able to conceive a child through IVF. Haiden, born about six years into their marriage, was the answer to their prayers.
Of course, it wasn’t long until Haiden had prayers of his own: for a sibling. So after more failed fertility treatments, Chad and Shannon opted to go the international adoption route. They were all set to adopt from Kazakhstan when, on March 18, 2008, that country put an indefinite hold on international adoptions. What were they to do? An Internet search led them to the National Embryo Donation Center. Shannon exclaimed, “We quickly began to realize this was a beautiful organization. It also had beautiful people and, most importantly, beautiful outcomes!”
In the case of the Harts, the outcome couldn’t have been any more beautiful. Their daughter Hadley was born on March 18, 2009, one year to the day after their international adoption plans had fallen through. “We gave birth to the most amazing, curly-headed, freckle-faced, spirited, smart little girl we have ever laid eyes on,” says Shannon, overflowing with a mother’s love. “She completes our family. We are forever grateful that God led us to the NEDC. And it was all in His perfect timing!