15 October 2008

The Latest with me/us

Okay, there are maybe 3 readers here & that's cool. "Thanks mom" would be a funny comment here but she ain't got that innernet thangy. So whoever you are-thanks for stumbling into my blog.

We finally found the end of our fertility treatment. Here's a rough recap.
Last year we decided for many reasons to try fertility treatments to have another child. So off we went to a specialist. After the first round we had a miscarriage followed by more blood work. That blood work uncovered a problem with our DNA. So we thought we'd try again with a little more treatment than the 1st time to counter-act the DNA issue. But it failed again with another miscarriage. These two events were very, very hard on the Mrs. [not to mention months of shots and pills etc.]. Still we wanted to see if more could be done so that we could have a baby. After all many, many patients endure multiple miscarriages on the way to parenthood. Well, the only way in reality [says the specialist] is to remove one of the two of us from the genetic equation. This is when it gets really hurtful. Donation, surrogacy, etc. became the only options. Surrogacy is for rich folk because it is cost prohibitive. So we're down to egg or sperm donation. At this point all I knew was that it made me uncomfortable. So I set out to find answers. Was this morally right? How would we deal with this in the long run? Could we go through with this?

Where do you go to find answers like this for such new medical treatments?! Christians are divided over this issue. Some say it doesn't matter, so go ahead and do it. Some don't like the idea, but have very little more than anecdotal reasons. The former group sound very uncritical, even un-reflective. The latter sound very critical and uncompromising. One thing is for sure--they all have Bible verses to share. So where is a detailed analysis of this issue? I'm afraid the Anglican Churches have shied away from the issue with typical via-media posturing. Evangelicals can't seem to reason outside of the specific Bible verses they've found...on one side or the other. Then I found the document put out by Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae. 40 years ago the Church foresaw issues like this. And though HV does not specifically address our particular issue, it does say where life is supposed to come from. It discusses the Sacrament of Marriage, the only origin of life ordained from God. It was only a simple deduction for me to decide that we could not 'remove one of us from the equation'.

So it is not a matter of my wife having a baby, rather it is a matter of us having a baby. Today we only hear the media and lobbyists speak of an individual woman and her rights. They've gone too far because neither man nor woman are in this alone, God gave us each other to produce more life within the marriage relationship. Turning the emotional corner together as a couple was really difficult. We had a lot of intense fellowship! What does a couple do when they cannot have a baby?

We already knew the answer. Our 1st child just turned 5 years old. We adopted him at two days old. He is ours. He is a gift...from God...from his birth-mother...from all those who prayed for us through those days. So what, you may ask, is the difference between adopting a child that is not yours & utilizing egg or sperm that is not yours?

That was the biggest hurdle. It seems like wisdom. If you adopted a child from someone else, then it can't be wrong to receive genetic material from someone else so that you can have a child. Love is all that is important, right? Well, I disagree. We are not dealing with 'raw materials'. Physicians are so used to speaking and thinking that way. If my deduction from Humanae Vitae is correct, we should not breach the covenant we cut for any reason, not even to create life. In the case of adoption we did not create the life, yet we redeemed it through adoption. Fertility treatment is for married couples, not individuals, and this couple went as far as a married couple can go with treatment. The two have become one flesh--we cannot undo that for the purpose of bearing children. Our calling is to adopt kids or only have the one, our burden is that we cannot produce our own. So we trust God to help us heal from this hurt [and the hurt of miscarriages].

Already we have turned our attention to the adoption process again. Our son may yet be an only child and we are coming to grips with this too. What ever the future holds we trust God and walk on. What else can we do? As a very dear friend often says, "Life is what happens when there are no longer any options."