Protecting Your Baby From Birth Defects Through Nutrition

Women who are interested in embryo adoption are clearly interested in becoming pregnant and carrying a healthy child to term.  Did you know there is something you can begin NOW that will help protect your growing child in utero?

Take folic acid.

Jennifer Hofmeister, a Physician’s Assistant in Loveland, CO recently submitted an editorial on this subject.  Jennifer tells us:

“I want to make sure that all women in Northern Colorado who can become pregnant know about a simple way to improve their health to prevent brain and spine birth defects, such as spina bifida.

Spina bifida is the most common neural tube birth defect in the United States affecting 1,500 to 2,000 babies every year. Spina bifida is characterized by the incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord and/or meninges (the protective covering around the brain and spinal cord). While children can lead active lives with spina bifida, it is a serious birth defect that can result in severe physical disabilities, and there is no cure for the disorder.

Women can lower the risk of spina bifida in their future children by simply taking one pill a day: folic acid. Studies have shown that adding folic acid to a woman’s diet significantly reduces the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect, especially if women start taking the supplement before they become pregnant.

Birth defects of the brain and spine happen in the first weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she’s pregnant. If a woman doesn’t begin taking folic acid until the start of her pregnancy, it leaves a short window for her and her baby to benefit from the supplement. Even if a woman is not planning to become pregnant soon it’s best to plan ahead and start taking folic acid today.

The easiest way for women to incorporate folic acid into their diet is by taking a supplement every day. Folic acid is available as an individual supplement or as part of a multivitamin. Always check the label to make sure it contains the recommended 400 micrograms of the supplement.

Folic acid can also be found in foods such as enriched breads, pastas and cereals. For the last decade, the FDA has required that manufacturers fortify these foods with folic acid. In addition to supplements and fortified foods, women can also eat a diet rich in folate which can be found naturally in beans, peas, lentils, oranges, asparagus, broccoli and dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale.

Even women who are not planning to become pregnant can benefit from getting enough folic acid every day. Our bodies make new cells every day — blood, skin, hair, nails and more. Folic acid is an important part of making these new cells. Deciding to start taking folic acid is one of the easiest healthy habits women can start today.”

So ladies, start your folic acid regiment today to protect the baby you adopt through embryo adoption tomorrow!

Learn more about embryo adoption at www.EmbryoAdoption.org.

Adopting Embryos Who Are a Different Ethnicity Than You

Our openness to adopting a child of a different ethnicity than our own really began years ago, when we knew God was putting Japan on our hearts. At the time, we didn’t realize that this growing interest in Japanese culture and love for Japanese people would have anything to do with adoption, let alone embryo adoption. Years later, as we prayed about whether God wanted us to adopt, we also prayed about who God would have us adopt. We felt led to consider the possibility of adopting from a family with Japanese heritage.

The idea of adopting a child with a different ethnicity was exciting, but also raised some inevitable questions. Would our child wish we shared the same ethnic background? Would ethnic differences only add to the potentially complex feelings faced by the child?

Confirmation came to both of us in different ways, through scripture verses and a sermon. We both felt God saying that when He puts a family together, ethnicity isn’t a hindrance. In a beautiful photo – from a sermon PowerPoint – of babies of all different ethnicities sitting together, God seemed to clearly speak to our hearts that He sees each one as His child, and He has a home for each child. We felt completely at peace from that point forward. God had answered our biggest questions and shown us His heart for adoption.

We were so thrilled when there was a genetic family with Japanese heritage that was interested in us! We loved reading about them and knew right away that they were the ones for us.

During the pregnancy and with the birth of our daughter, we have felt such a strong bond of love with her – a bond that would be no stronger had she been our genetic daughter. We are both so proud to be her parents. We are grateful to God for how He has put our family together, and every day we enjoy the blessing of our precious daughter.

Help Nightlight Christian Adoptions Win $20K!

Comcast Innovations for EntrepreneursHave you heard?! Nightlight has been chosen as one of 30 finalists in Comcast’s Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest! We need your help to be chosen as a one of six Grand Prize Winners that will win $20,000!

We entered the contest to gain funding that can help make the process of adopting easier for potential parents. Not only would we be able to help potential parents complete the adoption process online, we’d help them prepare for their adopted child by introducing an online education process. In order to meet these goals, we need to gain access to some existing software programs, which can often be expensive. And with that, we’d like to be able to customize the software to include some embryo adoption-specific enhancements.

At Nightlight, we’re all about helping more babies be born out of frozen storage with our Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. We also work to raise awareness about embryo adoption through the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center, which Nightlight runs. With more than 600,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S., our goal is to help them become the children they were meant to be, which we do by matching donor parents with adopting parents through an open adoption process.

So how can you help? Visit cbcommunity.comcast.com/i4e/vote, and vote daily through May 13, 2016. Only one vote per person, per day will count to help us out, so help us spread the word through social media!

Learn more about Comcast Business’ Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest online, and see our full essay on the voting page. Thank you for your vote!

Life is a Gift

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Click to zoom in

Most people rarely consider our very life as a work of God. In fact, we rarely think about life at all (we’re born, grow up and die). Many folks sadly believe an unborn baby isn’t a human life. Atheist Richard Dawkins tweeted back in 2013 that an unborn baby is less human than a pig! [March 13, 2013].

As Christians, we affirm what God’s Word reveals to us about when a baby becomes human life. Scripture tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). In Psalm 139:13-16 says,

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed. [New Living Translation]

God clearly instructs us that unborn babies are human at the time of conception. Are some people really more human than others? Of course not! God’s Word is clear: everyone, even unborn babies, are made in the image of God. That’s the message our culture needs to hear as America this month ponders the devastating effects of the 1973 Roe v Wade U.S. Supreme Court Decision which legalized abortion: the loss of over 55,000,000 human lives to abortion. Today join us in prayer and action to create a more life-affirming nation, promoting alternatives to abortion, and changing the culture that sees abortion as necessary.

Part 2: Salem Family Answers Common Embryo Adoption Questions

It’s January 2015, and for Adéye Salem, that means she’s less than a month away from the frozen embryo transfer that she and her husband have been preparing months for.

Adéye recently braved the cold weather and made another video to answer your questions about embryo adoption. In this video, she answers questions about their decision to adopt embryos through open adoption, as well as what their plans are if no babies are born from the process.

Check out the video below:

Learn more about Salem Family’s journey and the challenges that they’ve faced on the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center’s blog!

Part 1: Salem Family Answers Common Embryo Adoption Questions

Adeye and AnthonyAnthony and Adéye Salem are working on a series of videos to answer your questions about embryo adoption. In the first video, they answer questions about:
Age – Are they too old for embryo adoption?
Success Rate – Why did they choose embryos that have a 20-30% chance at life?
Family Size – How they manage life with nine children, and how will they do it with even more children?
Medication – What kinds of medication will Adéye have to take leading up to the FET?

See the full video and watch for their shout out to Snowflakes®:

As their mid-January Frozen Embryo Transfer nears, the couple will release more videos to answer your questions. Visit Adéye’s blog and leave questions in the comments for their upcoming videos!

Three Different Journeys to Parenthood, No Greater Joy

Family keeps growing through embryo adoption

Meet Adéye and Anthony Salem – an incredible couple from Northern Colorado.

Are you thinking, “What’s special about Adéye and Anthony?”

Through the years, they’ve built a beautiful family together – a family with nine amazing children; three biological sons, and six adopted sons and daughters, some of whom have special needs. Now, they have a new destiny – one involving human embryos. Adéye and Anthony have been matched with four embryos through the Snowflakes® Frozen Embryo Adoption Program at Nightlight Christian Adoptions.

Why did they choose embryo adoption? Learn more about them, their family, and their decision:

Adéye and Anthony would like to share their journey with you. Follow along on social media – both through Nightlight, as well as the Salem family’s personal pages.

Nightlight:

Online
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Salem Family:

Adéye’s Blog
Anthony’s Blog
Facebook
Instagram

 

How Embryo Donation Impacts the Donor’s Life

Couples who have pursued in vitro fertilization treatments (IVF) know that sometimes one embryo is not enough. Doctors will often transfer multiple embryos to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Any embryos that remain are frozen. If the couple has remaining embryos in frozen storage when their family building is complete they will then need to decide what to do with them.

Have you ever thought about donating your remaining embryos? You could give another couple an amazing gift: the opportunity to become parents, to bring life into the world, and to lovingly raise a child. Tom and Annabelle wanted to give their six remaining embryos an opportunity at life. Watch their story to hear about how they decided to place their embryos for adoption.

Embryo donation can be a very emotional experience, and feeling a wide variety of emotions is perfectly normal. While you’ll feel excited that you are offering another family the opportunity to become parents, you may be apprehensive about who will be receiving your embryos. You might be scared, elated, happy, nervous…or a mixture of all of those feelings at once. That’s why it is important to work with an agency who understands the feelings you are experiencing and allows you to be a part of the process of choosing a family for your embryos.

Work with a respected, experienced adoption agency – The Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. Our experts understand the unique emotions that come with embryo donation. Visit our website to learn more: www.Snowflakes.org.

Freezing Eggs – Delaying Motherhood

pregnant-womanThis past Mother’s Day NBC Nightly News ran a short story about women delaying motherhood in America. The statics are startling:

  • From 2000-2012 the percentage of women aged 40-44 having their first baby rose 35%.
  • From 970-2012 the percentage of women over 35 having their first baby rose 900%!

One solution women are turning to is freezing their own eggs to be used later to achieve pregnancy after they have met ‘Mr. Right’. However, egg freezing can be cost prohibitive for most with an average cost of $13,000 plus annual storage fees.

Many women in America are uninformed about the fact biologically their egg supply (ovarian reserve) viability begins to rapidly diminish after the age of 30. The inability to produce healthy, viable eggs often results in reduced pregnancy rates and higher numbers of miscarriages in women over the age of 35.

For women over 40, getting pregnant is only half the battle as miscarriage rates over 40 are 50% and rise quickly with each passing year.

Embryo adoption may be choice worth considering for those who have delayed marriage or pregnancy. There are over 600,000 embryos in frozen storage in the United States and each year more people choose to donate their remaining embryos from IVF to another family.

Learn more at Snowflakes.org.

Faith through the ups and downs of Embryo Adoption

embryoThe following is written by a Snowflakes family.

We are Ben and Steph, and we’ve had an amazing experience with embryo adoption. After dealing with infertility, we looked into EA. We liked the pro-life aspect – rescuing little lives that are frozen in time, waiting just to be given a chance at life. Being pregnant was also a huge plus – forming that bond from the beginning and knowing that we could do our best to provide a healthy, happy 9 months for the baby. But at the core, we chose EA because we knew God was clearly leading us in that direction.

We have definitely faced the fear of disappointment along the way. Each time you do a transfer, you open your heart to the hope of your embryos surviving and being born, of holding a baby (or babies) in your arms. It’s a place of vulnerability known especially by those who have struggled with infertility. Also, what might be considered typical “adoptive parent” fears cropped up – that our child would someday reject us as the “real parents” or that because we adopted multi-ethnic embryos, our child would have just one more layer of questions and potential difficulty with us being the parents. These fears caused us to pause, take time to talk and pray together, and seek God’s reassurance before proceeding. Continue reading