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Special Transfer from Heaven: Embryo Adoption: One Family’s Story

When Lee and I were married in 1984 we thought 12 children would be a good number for our family. We further decided that ours would be “God blended” of six biological and six adopted Klopfensteins. However, as is always the case, God was in control and after some years of infertility, it became apparent

When Lee and I were married in 1984 we thought 12 children would be a good number for our family. We further decided that ours would be “God blended” of six biological and six adopted Klopfensteins. However, as is always the case, God was in control and after some years of infertility, it became apparent that it was time to pursue the first adoption.

On December 7, 1989 our precious daughter, Timna, was born, and we brought her home directly from the hospital through an open adoption process. During the next few years I underwent some infertility treatments while still preparing for another adoption. Consequently, in Columbia, South America a beautiful baby boy was born on July 10, 1992, who God intended to be a part of our family. Abel and I flew home from Columbia in September of 1992 and by March of 1993, now with two little ones, I became pregnant. Lee and I were, of course, thrilled that our circle was expanding (no pun intended) and cautiously looked ahead to a different type of delivery.

Once again, though, we see through a glass darkly, and at the end of my first trimester a miscarriage took place. One year later I was ready to “type for a baby," as little Timna perceived the situation. For this adoption we felt impressed to ask for twins, and thus, with papers filed in the Romanian courts, we were allowed to bring our sweet toddlers, Elisabeth and Rebekah, home in April of 1995.

In retrospect, it is so clear that God had a perfect plan for our family in mind even in our time of grief over the miscarriage, because our girls were born on July 3, 1993, just a few weeks after we lost the baby.

Now, with four children under five, I felt complete and a little weary. But after a year, and Lee’s encouragement, I was assembling papers to send to Vietnam. Jared, born November 28, 1997, flew home with us in May of 1998 at three months of age. This baby was a special addition to our family, and I cherished every moment with him, as I felt that he would definitely be our last child.

A year and a half later, I asked Lee to put the crib in the attic. He was reluctant, and being so excellent with math realized that we had not yet reached our goal of twelve children. I, on the other hand, had a sense that if God wanted me to have another child, I would carry that child in my womb. Since, after genetic testing, this option was doubtful, I closed the attic door to my mind and heart.

Just as God would have it, almost seven years after Jared was born, Lee shared an article with me about embryo adoption. The embryo, a complete human in a tiny gift box, was adopted from a previously frozen state and placed in the adoptive mother’s womb. There, the baby grew and was eventually delivered into a very thankful adoptive family. This particular adoption was orchestrated through Dr. Jeffrey Keenan and his staff at National Embryo Donation Center.

Lee asked me to pray and consider the possibility of working toward this type of adoption. God is so good! It had never occurred to me that He could provide a baby in such a way. Saying yes was the easy part of the plan. During my initial contact with Dr. Keenan’s office, I learned that 45 years of age was the limit for this procedure and that they could perform the embryo transfer three times to begin a pregnancy. Since I was then 43, it seemed important to me that we hurry.

After a few months of preparation, I traveled to Tennessee for my first embryo adoption. The initial transfer went well, and we waited. Unfortunately, in my case, after a month, the baby died. Still, I did not feel completely defeated. We plunged ahead to the second transfer, which took place after I had turned 44. This transfer of embryos looked excellent. There was even the suggestion that I might deliver triplets, but sadly, the blood tests showed negative results.

At this point, I was very discouraged, but still viewed our experiences as worthwhile and looked ahead to my final chance of embryo adoption. On July 6, 2005, which is Lee’s birthday, I once again visited Dr. Keenan for the third transfer.

That particular procedure did not appear to go well. There were difficulties with the transfer itself, but after multiple attempts, the embryo was in place. I did not feel hopeful about the transfer and began to wonder if God allowed me to walk through this door in order that I might encourage others, even though for me pregnancy had not occurred. When the tests came back positive for pregnancy I was stunned. God was not surprised, though.

On March 8, 2006, Chloe Ann Klopfenstein came into the world through a miracle of God. This tiny embryo who I had almost discounted as lost was nurtured by the heavenly Father and now, through tearful eyes and with a thankful heart, I type the words of our family story. A baby, any baby, is given as a gift of God. Whether biological, or adopted, pre or post birth, each is a special transfer of love from heaven itself.

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