Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inconceivable?

This weekend Amy and I saw a Dateline special that actually kept both of us awake for its duration called "Inconceivable." It had no relation to the misuse of the term in The Princess Bride, however. No this was truly an amazing AND heartbreaking story.

A family decided to go the in-vitro route and stored a number of embryos. On their first try, they were blessed with a healthy baby girl. On their next try, they were "blessed" with a baby boy, only it wasn't their baby boy. The doctor put the "wrong" embryo inside her and so they were carrying another couple's baby. 


Here are some of my thoughts on this unique turn of events.

1.) Regardless of the ethical questions of in-vitro fertilization, I was impressed by the families automatic response: we had NO thoughts of termination. She could have simply refused hormone therapy each week, along with the weekly ultra-sounds, and the child could have easily been lost. But life was to be protected at all costs, even at the physical and emotional (the worse of the two for sure) cost.

2.) Love. What a great example of love, an application of "not looking only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Phil 2). To suffer so that another person would get joy. I can't imagine suffering through a pregnancy, particularly an uncomfortable one. But in the end, you get a baby out of it. In this end, someone else got a baby out of your suffering. That's love.

3.) Pain. How painful must it have been to see a child, a child which the couple expressed a desire to keep and raise, and then give him away just moments after giving birth. Our heart broke as we watched this drama unfold. The pain of pregnancy and labor seemed to pale in comparison to the pain of giving away "your" child. 

4.) Adoption. It did sadden me though how adoption never seemed like an option. The couple tried several times through a surrogate to have one last child (which would have made #4), but each pregnancy failed. Why would they be so content to keep the child from her own womb (which was really someone else's DNA) and yet not adopt? I guess its beyond the rational realm when it comes to pregnancy, delivery, and actually seeing the baby for the first time. The movie The Waitress does a good job of capturing this immediate love.

But just spending time with my brother's son Ben Jr. this past week, Connar's beloved cousin, just reminds me how thankful I am for the couples who have chosen this route. That is not a slight to those who have never adopted, or who now choose not to adopt (we're still uncertain), but simply a thanksgiving for those who have adopted. When it comes to God's adopting love for His children, I think, and this is just conjecture, adopting parents have a deeper existential knowledge of such love than biological parents.

A truly crazy story. I do hope that both the birth mother, who ironically is not the biological mother, feels God's pleasure on her (obviously I think they were believers) and that He continues the healing process. I hope that as she sees Logan grow up, she'll feel God smile over her and that both mothers will be blessed.

3 comments:

Barbara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Staci Thomas said...

Thank you for #4. This has been an extremely difficult parenting day and your words are true encouragement to me tonight. You are pastoring me from afar. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Staci

Geoffsnook said...

Staci,

Your welcome! Glad to be an encouragement to you, as you've been such an encouragement to us! Press on.