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An open letter to Baby Bee Hummingbirds

A challenge for the ‘embryo ash’ jewelry maker to follow its mission to preserve life

Dear Baby Bee Hummingbirds,

The craftsmanship of your jewelry is stunning. I love the way some of your pieces sparkle, particularly the ones with the golden flakes, which seem to reflect the light around them and draw the eye.

I have to say, though, that there’s another craftsman whom you’ll never be able to outdo: the Creator God.

As the mother to seven adopted embryos, five of whom passed away early on in my womb, and two of whom are now cuddly, cooing, 2-month-olds, I have say that your “embryo ash” jewelry doesn’t hold a candle to the sparkling blue eyes of my twin boys, Jake and Luke. They got those blue eyes from their genetic parents—a couple to whom I will be eternally grateful.

I just took a break from writing this to gather my thoughts and to feed Jake. As I watched him nurse at my breast, pull off, and slowly drift off to sleep, he did something that the little lives in your necklaces will never be able to do: form a big, toothless, milk-soaked, satisfied smile. Those smiles are nearer to my heart than any pendant ever could be. And you know what? Those smiles are nourishment to our donors’ hearts as well. You see, we have a beautiful open relationship with Jake and Luke’s genetic parents. And with every Facebook photo I post of myself, my husband, and our 3-year-old son loving on these precious babies, with every message I send to “Donor Mom” detailing their progress, I believe this message rings loud and clear in the depths of their souls: “We made the right decision.”

Life is so short. I know you know that. That’s why you take cord stumps, breast milk, and “first curls” and create lasting pieces with them—so that mommies can think back on those fleeting times and hold them near. So why then, as a jewelry company whose motto is “turning memories into something tangible,” would you offer a piece of jewelry that turns tangible life into just a memory?

To preserve an embryo’s life, you must ensure that it is carefully thawed and placed in a mother’s womb, not carelessly thawed and placed in resin.

You see, frozen embryos are not things of the past to preserve; they are in the present and can have a future! This offering of yours just doesn’t make sense for you. It doesn’t fit your business model.

What if, instead of inviting couples to turn their frozen living embryos into ashes, your company chose to promote embryo donation and adoption and made jewelry for donor moms and recipient moms to wear in tribute to one another? How much more beautiful would that be? How much more life-honoring? And by the way, more babies in the world with first curls and cord stumps to preserve means more business for you, right?

Your stated mission is all about the preservation of life and its moments. To preserve an embryo’s life, you must ensure that it is carefully thawed and placed in a mother’s womb, not carelessly thawed and placed in resin.

Can I beg you to stick to your business mission, discontinue these pieces, and take up the cause of true life-preservation?


Whitney Williams

This letter originally appeared at Whitney’s Frozen Love blog.

Jake and Luke as embryos, six days along in development, post thaw, immediately before being placed in Whitney’s womb. The embryos had been frozen for about eight years. Photo courtesy of Whitney Williams

Whitney Williams

Whitney works on WORLD’s development team and has spent more than a decade with the organization in various roles. She earned a journalism degree from Baylor University and resides in Texas with her husband and three sons.


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