Thursday, February 16, 2017

A Family Puzzle: A story worth reading.

The Story Dear Family & Friends, After nearly 13 years of marriage, through prayer and reflection, we have decided that we are being called to help our family to grow and parent a child. We understand that this is normally not ground breaking information. We want to welcome you to our journey of faith and love in growing our family. We also need to let you know about some of the unique challenges it brings. Years ago, during Amanda’s Kindergarten days, a traditional classroom activity to finish a classic phrase was posed. The classroom activity precursed a lifelong dream, goal and, ultimately, a challenge. Students were asked to complete the statement, ”When I Grow Up, I Want to Be …” Amanda said simply,“a mom”. The dream of her lifetime was realized. Years later, during adolescence, Amanda received some heartbreaking and life changing news. Due to a lifelong medical condition, Polyglandular Autoimmune Disorder, her ovaries were attacked, leaving her with no ovarian function (post-menopausal). For the remainder of her life, Amanda would require hormone replacement to provide typical female hormone levels. During Junior High School years, Amanda learned that unique steps were necessary in order to make her dream of starting a family happen. Amanda’s Auto-Immune Disorder also attacked adrenal glands (adrenal insufficiency) parathyroid gland (hypoparathryoidism) and liver (auto immune hepatitis/non-infectious type.) She is not a candidate for IVF (Invitro-fertilization) or to carry a child through egg donation due to the condition. In the fall of 2016, hope entered our family. In particular, a lifelong family friend met with Amanda and shared her experience of surrogacy. During that conversation, she offered to serve as a surrogate for our family. From a young age, Amanda’s sister, Elyssa, felt called to help her sisters be mothers in any way she could. She has generously decided to gift us through egg donation. Our surrogate, Morgen, will carry for us following the IVF process. We want to carry on for our families, blending our genetic backgrounds. Recently, the ball has gotten rolling, when she contacted us and said that was ready to begin the journey with us. We couldn't believe this would be possible! We know this is a big adventure and a costly one that will require a great deal of fundraising, financing and resources to cover the costs ($50,000-$70,000) of the uniqueness involved in growing our family through surrogacy. We feel strongly that we are called to embark on this journey. We want to keep you posted and invite you to join us on this adventure. We know that there are many pieces to this puzzle needed before we will meet the child that God has planned for us to parent. Please consider following our page for updates, to learn about our journey and to find out how you can help us find our missing piece of our family’s puzzle through your prayers and financial support. If you have any fundraising ideas or resources that can assist us in completing our puzzle, please let us know. Feel free to share our story with others who may want to keep us in their prayers and support us along this journey. Love Always, Amanda and Steven