Countless fertility treatments, failed IVF, failed frozen embryo transfer, a devastating stillbirth, an interrupted adoption.
Year after year the Holzapfels longed for children without success. In their wildest dreams, James and Monica Holzapfel never thought they would be faced with deciding what to do with their remaining frozen embryos!
Seven years and four children later, they realized their family was complete, yet 14 embryos remained in frozen storage. They struggled with the decision of what to do with them. James explained, “Destroying them was not an option. Monica and I wanted to be confident any babies born from these embryos would live in a safe family where they were loved.” Their clinic was familiar with the Snowflakes® Embryo Adoption program.
James and Monica weren’t 100% sure regarding what sort of future communication they should have with their adopting family. They knew they wanted to be told if children were born. They knew they would like to see some photographs and receive annual updates. Perhaps “someday” they would eventually meet this family. But “someday” arrived much sooner than expected and delivered more than they could have hoped or imagined.
“I Want to Have a Baby!”
Blake and Stacy Parsons were certain they wanted more children after successfully giving birth to their first son. After three miscarriages, they decided to discontinue attempts to conceive another genetic child. But they were determined to bring another child into their family – they had so much love to give! One day, Stacy was sitting at her computer and decided to type “I want to have a baby!” into the search bar. The Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program was the first item in the search results list!
After Blake and Stacy completed their home study they waited as patiently as possible for a family match. The first match attempt didn’t work out. They were discouraged but were buoyed by the Snowflakes team not to lose heart. Very quickly the Parsons were selected by another placing family who had four children through IVF. The families began having limited communications with one another, their messages delivered through the agency. The Holzapfels sent the Parsons a photograph of their family to encourage them prior to their first frozen embryo transfer.
A Growing Baby . . . and Relationship
The Parsons transferred one embryo and learned they were pregnant. Joy! Happiness! Apprehension. Would the pregnancy stick? It did, and the entire pregnancy was incredibly smooth—absolutely perfect, according to Stacy. Blake and Stacy decided to reach out to the Holzapfels and see if they would like to exchange email addresses, which quickly led to an exchange of phone numbers. It was not too long before they established a wonderful, personal relationship.
After the Parson’s son Vance was born in October 2016, James and Monica received pictures within minutes. Communication continued almost daily, with wonderful images showing how much baby Vance was growing. The idea of meeting face-to-face was raised. Both families were excited, but also a bit nervous about taking this next step. In December 2016, the Holzapfels and the Parsons met face to face. Stacy recalls, “As the family who gifted us with embryos came into the hotel lobby, I felt an instant connection. I was holding the baby they created; the baby they blessed us with. It is extraordinary to think that before any of us knew each other, or even were born ourselves, God had a plan. God knew this baby and He knew Vance would be a part of our family.”
For both families this encounter was an amazing and incredible experience. For the Holzapfels, it confirmed that placing their embryos with the Parson family was the right decision. Baby Vance was cuddled and snuggled by everyone. Their time spent together meeting one another was right and good for both families. Now they really were an extended family. The Holzapfels and Parsons continue to communicate with one another regularly. They know the joy and happiness they have experienced in their journey as “extended family” is only the beginning of more to come.