Monday, December 19, 2011

Country Jen's Guest Post...


HELLO ALL! I’m Jen, BLESSED MOM TO 8. My blog is

I was SO EXCITED when Adéye asked me to share our precious adoption story! Specifically our seventh adoption which is the miracle of EMBRYO ADOPTION!

There are currently over 500,000 frozen embryo babies just WAITING for a warm place to snuggle in and grow. These embryos are the result of couples who have done IVF and have “extra” embryos left over from their cycles. These embryos have 3 fates…DESTRUCTION, DONATION to Science for research and Donation to another couple.

We’ve always really wanted to experience the intimacy of pregnancy and child birth together as a couple. When we got married 10 years ago, we did not have good insurance or the finances to explore IVF or the like so we moved straight to traditional adoption. Adopting our 6 wonderful kids through foster care/private adoption.

In March of 2009, I was REALLY feeling the nudging by God I THOUGHT to do an international adoption but my husband was JUST NOT FEELING IT AT ALL. After deciding that we were NOT both being called to adopt internationally, we decided to give TTC (trying to conceive) one last shot.

In April and May we both went through many tests with our RE (reproductive endocrinologist) and it was discovered that we could do IVF BUT we had some problems that would lead us to either egg donation, sperm donation or BOTH. Embryo adoption/donation IS NOT IVF. It is simply a frozen embryo transfer.

After much discussion and prayer, we decided that we did not want to create embryos that were not "ALL US" meaning either 1/2 The Captain + 1/2 donor or 1/2 Me + 1/2 donor AND we did not want to be in the same predicament and create embryos only to have to decide where our "extra" embryos would go as we only desired ONE pregnancy.

Because of all these factors, we were led straight to embryo adoption. Focus on the Family and many other Christian organizations support and encourage embryo adoption. It obviously didn't matter to The Captain or I whether it was our biological child or not-we were actually thrilled that this child would be adopted just like our 6 littles! Many couples agonize over what to do with their remaining embryos after IVF. There are 3 choices. Donate them to another couple, destroy them or donate them for research.

We started doing research and found that embryo adoption can cost anywhere from $3,000 up to $20,000. There are basically 4 ways I know of to do embryo adoption. I will list them from most expensive to least expensive.

1.) You can adopt your embryos through an agency like Snowflakes which is the most expensive way but they are experienced and pioneered embryo adoption. You can choose either open or closed adoptions. Home study required $12,000-$16,000.

2.) You can go through an infertility clinics anonymous embryo donation program. No home study required. $5,000+

3.) You can go through NEDC (National Embryo Donation Center). You must travel to their clinic in Tennessee twice once before your transfer and once for the transfer and get your home study through Bethany Christian Services. Total Cost $4600-$7,000 with an extra $3,000 if you want an open adoption.

4.) Miracles Waiting. Which is what we did. For $100-you post a profile and perspective donors read through and email you if they are interested. Some donors are also listed and you can contact them. Although we got chosen in just 9 days-many people wait over a year or more. Our cost $3800.

After we were chosen by the donating couple, we had our attorney here in KS draw up a contract and both couples agreed to it & it was finalized. I began the process of preparing my body for the transfer and then our 6 adopted embryos were flown to my clinic in L.A. and waited for my arrival! On October 22, 2009, 2 precious embryos were implanted in my womb.

Here is the photo of one of our precious ones right before implantation!

I gave birth to our PRECIOUS MIRACLE. Ms. Blakely Laurel on June 14, 2010. GOD IS GOOD!!!

I am pleading with you today...If you are a Christian and you believe that life starts at conception and you have that desire to give birth to a child or desire to adopt another child. PLEASE PLEASE think about embryo adoption. It is just a BEAUTIFUL way to help out the 500,000 FROZEN ORPHANS that are waiting right now…FROZEN IN TIME.

Please email me at with any questions you may have as I LOVE to talk about Embryo Adoption. Here is a link to my embryo adoption blog which DETAILS EVERY SINGLE STEP I went through in the EA process.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Importance of Sibling Connections After Adoption

City Jen has wanted to write this post for a long time... I have always known in my heart that it is extremely important for all children to have a connection with their siblings... this connection is especially important for adopted children... I have the research to back this up... I also have 1st hand accounts from many adult adoptees (Country Jen, included)... I have the 1st hand accounts of 5 of our adopted blessings who have contact with their siblings in Russia and the US...

Country Jen's post on her family blog sums it up best... Out of the mouth of babes... Please visit: Hands, Hearts, Quiver Full ...

I want to second Country Jen's statement:

If you are an adoptive parent out there and you are wondering whether or not you should be "open" or get together with your kids birth siblings... YOU SHOULD!

If you know they have birth siblings and you don't know where they are... LOOK FOR THEM!

You will not regret it...

Waiting to "allow" your child to search when they become adults significantly decreases the odds of being able to locate their siblings and birth parents... the time is NOW... please give your children and the genetic and birth families this gift... even if you find the genetic/birth families and they are not interested... YOU will have peace of mind that YOU can look your child in the eyes and say YOU did all you could to find their birth families and it was the birth family's choice not to have a relationship... YOU as the adoptive parent have positioned yourself so that your adoptive child cannot blame YOU from keeping them from their birth family... YOU did all you could... As an adoptive Mom with three Russian birth families, two genetic families, and one American birth family for our seven adopted blessings... I have tremendous peace of mind knowing that I have done all I could to locate and foster relationships with our genetic and birth families... the kids WILL ask about their heritage, it is human nature... it is just a matter of time... so be prepared and make sure you can say you did all you could... If City Jen can have 3 Russian birth families in closed Russian adoptions located, without speaking a word of Russian... surely, YOU can locate your child's genetic/birth families in the United States...

Just in case you think your child will not find out they were adopted... perhaps because they were adopted as an embryo and only you, your spouse, and clinic know the TRUTH... odds are EXTREMELY HIGH, in this day of technology... some day, some way... they WILL find out... and be devastated... and feel like their entire life has been a lie... and most likely loose all trust and faith in you... and yes, I have 1st hand accounts of this as well... PLEASE let your child know they are adopted...

Honestly is TRULY the best policy!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

50 Rules for Dads of Daughters

Embryo Adoption has blessed our families with 3 daughters... Sarah, Anna, and Blakely... and 4 fathers with daughters... two Donor Dads and two Birth Dads... we would like to encourage all Dads to enjoy the blessings of their daughters...

50 Rules for Dads of Daughters

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

About Michael
Michael Mitchell is an (almost) thirty-something dad who blogs daily tips and life lessons for dads of daughters at He spends his days practicing the arts of fatherhood and husbandry, while attempting to be a man of God and a professional raiser of philanthropic funds. On the rare occasion he’s not tied up with the aforementioned and other pursuits of awesomeness, he enjoys fighting street gangs for local charities and drinking from a cup that’s half full.

Monday, March 14, 2011

So Many Blessings Thanks To Embryo Adoption

The past two years, two months, and two weeks have brought so many blessings to City Jen's life... the most amazing and wonderful blessings are, of course Sarah and Anna, whom we adopted as embryos... They are so much fun and absolutely amazing... We can hardly believe they are our precious princesses... absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way... We love to watch their different personalities continue to develop as do their different physical features...

We are coming up on the two year anniversary of yet another amazing and life altering miracle... Country Jen and City Jen communicate for the first time thanks to the internet... Country Jen commented on City Jen's blog and the rest is history... Little did we realize, both families would be blessed with 7 children each through adoption... nor did we realize our Embryo Adoption Journeys would start so differently, yet end so similarly...

We know that God brought us- 2 Jens- together first- to provide support and comfort to each other... And now- after our husbands and 14 children have spent time together- it is obvious He brought the 18 of us together for fun, support, and comfort...

Just thinking about Pat, City Jen's husband, holding Baby Bakers- Country Jen's baby adopted as an embryo, then watching Country Jen's Husband holding City Jen's baby adopted as an embryo brings tears to City Jen's eyes... The entire scene was absolutely amazing to witness... Two couples blessed with 14 children not genetically related to their adoptive parents... the love in the room was overflowing... the stories were awe inspiring... Life is GREAT....

God is GREAT!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Our Donor Families...

Without a doubt, it is extremely rare, if ever, that Jen and I exchange an email or have a conversation where our donor families are not mentioned...

We are so appreciative of the gifts of life that that have been given us... Sarah, Anna, and Blakely...

Our girls have brought so much joy and happiness to our lives and the lives of each of our family members...

Based on our experience with adoption- Country Jen, as an adoptee herself, and as the moms to 14 adopted blessings between us, we know that it is truly in our children's best interest to be involved with their genetic families- both parents and siblings...

Our hope and prayer is that one day, our children will have the opportunity to not only meet, but to grow up knowing and spending time with their genetic parents and siblings...

If you have the opportunity to have a relationship with your donor families, PLEASE enjoy every minute of it... even though it may be tough at times... research AND our life experiences tell us that the rewards for the children go above and beyond any "stress" it can cause the adults involved.... otherwise the children will always have doubts and questions in their minds- age appropriate truth and reality are always best for children- and adults for that matter-lol!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sanctity of Life Week

Please watch this amazing video: The Miracle of Life

The video reaffirms our desire to get as many of the 500,000+ frozen embryos out of the freezer and into waiting wombs as soon as possible... please contact us if you have suggestions of ways to do this...