In just over a week, Sienna will come face to face with her genetic family. She will look into the eyes of the loving husband and wife who helped create her, and then selflessly donated her to bless another family. She will touch, for the first time, her genetic siblings, whom she was created with, more than a decade ago. They are 13; she is 3.
I am so excited.
I am not nervous. At all. I have nothing but pure joy and anticipation that this moment has finally arrived.
No, Sienna doesn’t know what is going on. But it is all about her.
We hope this will be the first of several meetings over her life. The beginning of a lifelong relationship.
Just as there is no playbook for embryo adoption in general, there is definitely no playbook for what to say, do, or think the first time you meet your daughter’s genetic family in person.
In so many ways, it is a lot like when we met Brae’s birthfamily for the first time. But, in so many more ways, it is completely different.
When we first met Brae’s birthmom, she was 7 months pregnant. She had seen our profile online, and whether she chose us to parent the child within her was completely up to her.
Little did we know at the time, but she was dealing with her own emotional roller coaster and questions about placing for adoption the child growing within her. I remember being so nervous, I couldn’t eat the plate of food in front of me.
When we first met Brae’s birthfather and his family a month later in the delivery room, there was solemn sadness. There were mixed emotions – for all involved. And, over the last six years, it has been an exercise in building a relationship between us and his birth family. It has been a blessing, no doubt, but we’ve had to build trust between us because of the nature of the circumstances in which Brae was born into.
We have never spoken to Sienna’s genetic family. We have exchanged videos, texts, and pictures. They have sent Christmas gifts and birthday gifts each year for Sienna.
I remember the first time we came across Sienna’s genetic family’s profile. We had reviewed 6 others, and not one captured our attention.
But, theirs was different. For one, they attached a picture of their family. For another, we had so many common interests from how we liked to spend our spare time to what kind of music we liked.
Tygh and I reviewed their profile separately and each decided they were our family.
We chose them, and then they chose us.
Sienna’s birth was not accompanied by any fear that she might not go home with us. There were no mixed emotions; there was just elation.
And, finally, in one week, she will get to experience what Brae has gotten to experience every year for the last 6 years.
We chose an open embryo adoption to give our next child what Brae had. We wanted our next child to have a connection to her roots like Brae had.
In one week, Sienna will get to come face to face with more family.
That is the beauty of embryo adoption.
That is the beauty of an open embryo adoption.