Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How do you tell the story?

Last night Libby completed the psychological informational session. Woo hoo! That giant box has a checkmark in it now! Yay! She said it went well, and much of the discussion was geared around how to tell the story of this embryo adoption to the children involved. This includes her existing children as well as any children resulting from these five embryos we are adopting.

I remember a similar discussion when we went in for our psychological consult session last year. We mainly talked about the importance of transparency of their origins with any resulting children. We loved the idea using the term "baby seed" to keep it age appropriate without getting too birds-and-bees. Since that session, the basic gist of the storyline we had planned to tell our kids would be:

Mommies and daddies grow babies from baby seeds. Sometimes mommies and daddies can use their own baby seeds, and sometimes they need a little help from other families. We needed a little help, but we were lucky enough to have a wonderful family share their baby seeds with us so we could grow our family which resulted! We are extra lucky because you are loved by two families!

Pretty basic, but we recognize that it's really important that we use the same story and the same terminology with all of the kids to keep it consistent, especially if they ever want to meet one another. So I'm looking to you all to share how you've chosen to share your child(ren)'s embryo adoption story.

Here are some of my specific questions.

What term do you use to refer to the donors to your children?

What term do you use when you discuss with adults?

What term do you call the relationship between genetic siblings born to the two different families?

Is it a different term for children than to adults?

What type of story dialog have you used around your child's origins?

What story did your donor tell their children and in what terms?

How and when did you introduce the story to the children?

How and when did your donor introduce the story to her children?

I look forward to reading about your experience with this! Libby and I plan to put some thought into this and to have some good discussions and we'd love your suggestions to help with that.


  1. Hi Liz! I've been following your story since january! my hubby and I are hoping to do embryo adoption in the future! so I've loved following your journey! We are currently trying to finalize the adoption of our foster daughter whose 20 months! I created a board book for her about her adoption story and she LOVES it! I always want her to know that she was adopted and has MANY other family members who love her!

    here's a link to that post with her book. I created it at pint sized productions

    Praying for your babies! can't wait till you both become parents!

  2. We did a closed adoption for our Snowflakes, and Daughter hasn't been born yet.... We'll probably use the "baby seed" explanation. And I think it will take particularly well because I'm a gardener... I can plant some Amish Paste tomatoes with a Bloody Butcher thrown in the mix and that will be a good example. :)

  3. Oh my I love the idea of baby seeds! I will have to use this if our transfer goes well. Such a great idea.

  4. I have friends who have two adopted children and each year they have a party to celebrate each's adoption day. They explain that a birthday is your day, but the adoption day party celebrates the entire family. She knew it was a success when her daughter's friend whined to her mom 'why can't I have an adoption day party' Mostly they wanted to introduce the word 'adoption' every early even at an age when they kids were too young to understand what it meant so it wouldn't be a surprise later on. Another friend who adopted embryos was considering introducing a similar event on the anniversary of her transfer

  5. Great questions!

    I've already started to tell Lucas his story. I want it to be "natural" for him to hear and how better to do that than before he can understand... First, I created a shutterfly book with pictures of our journey. Starting with the beginning "Mommy and daddy had been married for a few years when they wanted to grow their family..." Including the ectopic pregnancy, "On February 23rd their journey became harder than they every imagined..." Talking about the genetic parents, "They loved you enough to give you a chance to live life as God intended..." And ending with his birth into our family, "You are very loved and definitely worth the wait!" It's about 30 pages long and is filled with pictures that were taken along the way. We read it to him every night before bed...

    I've also added a couple of adoption books to his library (God Found Us You and I Wished For You) and one embryo adoption book (Training Wheels) that we read frequently.

    Like I said, I never want it to be a secret and we want it to be a natural part of his life, not some big thing that we suddenly reveal when he's "ready to understand..."

  6. And in my response above, I mean "We" as this is something my husband and I have discussed at length. None of this was "my" decision but rather "our" decision.... :)

  7. It's good to have a plan in place, and to keep both families in the loop. My sister was an egg donor for us. If our FET is successful, we plan to be open about how our little one came to be.