Marti’s post regarding her thoughts and decision regarding open vs. anonymous embryo adoption brought to mind some of the wonderings that I have about my children’s genetic parents. A common argument for an open adoption is for medical history. I can understand that thinking, however, I’m of the opinion that while your genetic history may predispose you to certain conditions, our health outcomes are largely determined by how we treat our bodies. Now, I won’t go off onto a tangent on my thoughts on the American medical system and how we could truly benefit from opening our minds to a more holistic and proactive approach to health vs. a reactive-give-me-a-drug approach that is the mainstream model, but I do believe that in many instances it’s our DNA which loads the gun and our behavior which pulls the trigger. Not always, but in many instances.
As a part of the anonymous embryo adoption process, we were given basic medical history for both genetic parents. There were no issues that we found to be concerning and we also know that their genetic mother likes red M&Ms. So, why did we decide to go with anonymous adoption? I can think of many reasons, however, at the end of the day, we sought counsel from above and went with the decision that we felt most comfortable with for our family for the long term. I’m sure that Grant and Maria will have questions some day. I also have my own questions and wonderings, however, I know that we made the right decision. Their genetic family decided it was in their best interests to remain anonymous and we will respect their choice in this matter.
Like it or not, we all have free will and with that comes tough decisions. Is everyone going to agree with our decision? No. Do I care? No. As a parent, I’m going to make thousands of decisions over the course of Grant and Maria’s lives that others are not going agree with. My babies were exclusively breastfed for six months, while other parents give their children rice cereal at 4 months. We choose not to “cry it out” when it comes to sleep; others are comfortable with that method of sleep training. We’re not opposed to an age appropriate spanking as a form of discipline when they are older, and other parents will opt only for time out. The future will bring many more decisions along the way and it’s my hope that even if others disagree with the choices we make they will be tolerant of our decisions.
The heart of the matter here is that there are hundreds of thousands of children all over the world, many still frozen, who are waiting for a forever home. Families come in many different shapes, sizes and foundations and despite many differences in the way people were raised, the majority go on to live healthy and productive lives. Grant and Maria may never know some details of their genetic family, but one thing is for certain – they will know they have two families – one who loved them enough to give them a shot at life out of the freezer and a forever family who will love them unconditionally for the rest of their lives.
As Paul plead with the Corinthians to stop arguing over minute details of faith and, in doing so, fracture the early Church and lose sight of the ultimate work of advancing the Kingdom of God, and instead come together under the umbrella of the saving work of Christ on the cross, I hope that we too don’t also fracture ourselves and lose sight of the overarching important point by arguing over minute and ultimately unimportant details. What’s important is that there are thousands of frozen lives with potential waiting to be embraced by the loving arms of a mother and father whose hearts ache to care for their special little lives. That is why we do this. And everything else really doesn’t matter.