Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Monday, October 3, 2011

To tell? Or not to tell?

Maddie's conception story is no secret. We are honored to have welcomed Maddie into our home through the miracle of embryo adoption. Though we do not tell just anyone about it, we do share with those that are close to us and those that have struggled with infertility. I want Maddie to be comfortable with her birth story though not defined by it. As Maddie is getting older we are being more careful in who we tell as we don't want Maddie to grow up cringing every time we talk to someone about it. But we do want her to hear us discuss it openly, without shame. We are just going to be selective in who those people are.

Today I saw a friend that I had not seen in 4 years. She is very well aware of our struggles though she has no idea what all we have done as far as treatments. Though we are not close friends we still feel comfortable enough to discuss this kind of stuff and she asked me is she was a natural miracle or an IVF one. I was stumped for a second, unsure of how to answer. I did not care to tell all, though I did not want to lie either. Technically Maddie is a product of IVF so that is the story that I went with. I refuse to deny that we used fertility treatments. The world in general has some negative ideas about treatments and Christians even more so. If I deny it or omit it I feel as though I am adding to the shame associated with it, therefore I am fine with disclosing that information. But that Maddie is genetically not ours? I am more reluctant now to do so for the aforementioned reasons. The problem today was that I was unprepared.

Now I am trying to decide how I want to answer these inquiries. Anyone that has known us for any length of time knows that we struggled with infertility. It took us 11 years to get pregnant so it is quite obvious!! I am leaning towards going with the "we did IVF" and just leave it at that for people that we know. To everyone else she is just our miracle baby!!


  1. I struggle with this too. Our embryo donated baby girl is almost a year now. All our family and close friends know her origins but we get a lot of comments about how different her and her brother look (he is our bioligical child thru IVF). And we also want to make sure she is not defined by her origins yet knows them and knows how wonderful and special that is. So...when people ask who she looks like I just say she looks like herself. My sister and I were night and day as children (she blond, me brunette...just like my children) so sometimes I say they are just like me and my sister...complete opposites...but mostly...I just tell the truth. I say we used donor material so her genes are not ours. That either elicits another question and I can happily share the glory of embryo adoption or it shuts them right up! It depends on if I am in the mood to be an educator or not. Now that she is older...most of the talk about her origins has faded and no one really brings it up anymore...she is looking more and more like me everyday (sooo strange I tell you)...and now she is just Genevieve and we all love her just for that.

  2. This is a struggle for us to. It really is case=by=case and you have to use your judgment. For me, we keep in mind that it is HER story to tell when it is her time, and she can tell it to whomever she wants to. I don't want to rob her of that. At the same time, it's a miracle I want to shout from the rooftops. So, you have to work to balance those things. You don't want to act ashamed of this blessing, but you also don't want to make her the object of judgment.


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