PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Today is August 4th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Paul Butler.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.
When a woman goes through in-vitro fertilization trying to become pregnant, she often has embryos left over. Worst-case scenario, they may be frozen indefinitely or eventually discarded. And that makes IVF a problematic process–something WORLD has reported on before.
PAUL BUTLER, HOST: Still, sometimes embryos are adopted by another loving family…and when that happens, many lives can be changed for good. Commentator Whitney Williams has seen that firsthand.
WHITNEY WILLIAMS, COMMENTATOR: Nine years ago, a woman called me from Portales, New Mexico to question whether or not I was fit to be a mother. And more specifically, was I fit to be the mother of her biological children?
She and her husband had struggled with infertility. They sought help from IVF, birthed three children from it and now had more embryos frozen than they felt they could parent. My husband and I, on the other hand, desired more children. But we found out via our firstborn that we both carried a harsh genetic disorder. It seemed like a match made in heaven–these little lives needed a mother to carry them, and a home and a family to nurture and love them, and I longed to be pregnant and give birth again, because to be honest, my first go around was a disaster.
I got, what, maybe ten minutes with my newborn baby before he was whisked away for transport to a nearby children’s hospital, my husband by his side? Sorrow and fear loomed over any bit of joy I could eeek out. I wanted a do-over, and this phone call was my chance! But was I good enough to meet this couple’s standards? And how does one prove that to a stranger?
As I gripped my phone, I paced up and down our cracked, uneven driveway, breath quick, heart racing. I had a choice to make–Do I make my husband and myself sound amazing to this lady or do I tell the truth?
I chose the latter. It’s God who’s amazing, not us, I told this woman in other words. So amazing was His grace, I explained, that He chose to scoop us up into His loving arms when we were dead and stinking in the bottom of a pit of our own transgressions. And honestly, we still close our eyes to our good God and stumble into that pit sometimes, but He keeps scoopin’.
It’s been ten years, but I remember her saying something along the lines of, “OK. I’ll talk to my husband and get back to you.” The girl was inscrutable.
But God made a way. And after several miscarriages of those embryos, my husband and I got to experience the miracle of birth once again, this time with heaps of unmarred joy and gratefulness. Today, our twins are six years old, and their biological mom–the one I met on the phone that day–is so much more than that. She’s my friend, my sister in Christ, and she and her family consistently shower God’s love upon us.
I’ll never be able to thank her and her husband enough for choosing life for their remaining frozen embryos and for choosing us to be their parents. The fact that they deemed us worthy when we were far from it makes us want to be the best parents we possibly can be, not because we feel like we need to continue to earn their approval, but more because we see what a gift we’ve been given.
And being chosen like that, well, it changes you.
I’m Whitney Williams.
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