Before they became sweethearts, Jerry and Amber Lacey’s son was waiting for them. How he ended up making his way to their home via embryo adoption is quite a story.
Amber had wanted to be a mom for as long as she could remember. But for some reason, she also had a sort of inexplicable fear that she wouldn’t be able to conceive. Often such premonitions are meaningless, but in this case there was something to Amber’s sixth sense. She and Jerry began dating in 2008, married less than a year later and, sure enough, encountered fertility difficulties. “Standing by watching others have what I wanted so badly was so painful,” Amber remembers.
The trial, as is so often the case, drew Jerry and Amber closer to God. They took their pain to Him, prayed for guidance and felt called to adopt. Everything seemed to be lining up wonderfully as they pursued a private domestic adoption and welcomed a beautiful new baby into their arms. Sound too good to be true? It was. After just 16 hours with their baby, the birth mother changed her mind. Imagine the agony of having your child pried from your embrace, never to return, and you may begin to taste something of the crush that befell the Laceys. “We were devastated,” Amber shared. “I feared we could never put our hearts back out there again for another adoption.”
But was the Lord really pointing them away from adoption? Perhaps not, they thought. After a few months of healing, a friend reminded the Laceys of a couple they knew who had given birth to three children by adopting embryos through the National Embryo Donation Center. Jerry and Amber’s souls soared with the thrill of new hope. The NEDC was right in their backyard, in Knoxville. Within five months of first consulting the NEDC team, Amber was pregnant. “Seeing my first-ever positive pregnancy test was the greatest miracle I’d ever seen… until I laid eyes on my perfect baby boy, Sawyer!”
Sawyer was born May 30, 2015, transferred after more than seven-and-a-half years in frozen storage. His little life had started –and then been put on hold- in January 2007, preceding even his parents’ dating days! “He has the brightest smile, sweetest giggle, and gives great cuddles,” Jerry and Amber say of their son. They’ve also gained close new friends –extended family, almost- by choosing to have a relationship with the family who donated the embryo that would become Sawyer. The donor couple was among Jerry and Amber’s biggest cheerleaders and prayer warriors during their embryo transfer. The families met in-person for the first time at the NEDC 500th Baby Celebration last fall, then got together again in December so Sawyer could exchange gifts with his two genetic siblings.
Because of God’s work through the NEDC, Amber says, “My arms are no longer empty and our hearts and home are so full of love and happiness.” How like God to defy expectations by using a frozen soul to warm a home!