Why wasn’t one child enough for me?

Our son Thomas was healthy, smart and full of fun. The process to adopt him and bring him to our home in North Carolina had been grueling. Now Vietnam was closed for adoptions.

Why wasn’t one child enough? And why, after Thomas joined our family did I still dream at night of being pregnant?

The reason, I know now, is that God had a plan for us.

For many months I had prayed to God to help me let go of the desire to add another child to the family. But international adoption didn’t seem like it would work for us again. And before we adopted Thomas we learned that the only way I would become pregnant was through IVF because we are both carriers for Cystic Fibrosis. With a 1 in 4 chance that any children we might have would have CF, that wasn’t a good option for us. Sperm and egg donors didn’t interest us either.

Then one day, I picked up a parenting magazine passed along to us by a neighbor. As I flipped through it, I found an article about embryo adoption. I had never heard of embryo adoption.

My skin felt like it was charged with electricity. Was this a way to add to our family?

I told myself that embryo adoption was only an option if I could find a Vietnamese embryo donor. What were the chances of that in the U.S.?

Not knowing what else to do, I typed “embryo adoption” and “Vietnamese” into the Google search engine.

And there they were, on a Snowflakes listing for multiethnic embryos. I waited a day and then called Nightlight Christian Adoption.

I explained to the placement coordinator, “Look, you’ll think I’m crazy but I am a Caucasian woman and I am interested in the Vietnamese embryos. I have no idea if I can become pregnant and I’m already 40 years old.”

Surprisingly, she didn’t think I was crazy. She said that the donor family had been waiting for several years for someone to adopt the embryos and that they were beginning to lose hope. She also said the fact that my husband is Catholic might meet their request for a Catholic family.

Now I needed to tell my husband what I had done.

He prayed about it for a while and decided he was willing to try embryo adoption. Luckily, our generous and open-minded donor family decided we were a good match for them. After the familiar home study process, physicals and paperwork, the embryos were sent to our fertility clinic in North Carolina. The doctor implanted a single embryo one morning in March.

We didn’t tell anyone. But somehow Thomas knew. That afternoon, in front of my husband and me, Thomas pointed to my belly and said: “I want you to have a baby in there.”

Again, my skin tingled all over. And two weeks later, our clinic called to tell me that I was pregnant and all tests looked great.

My pregnancy was easy and uneventful. At 42, I gave birth to John. He is incredibly sweet natured and handsome. People notice that he doesn’t look like me, usually assume he’s adopted and frequently ask, “How long has he been with you?”

“Since he was an embryo,” I answer, giving me an opportunity to share this miracle in our lives.