How it all began....

Paul and I were married in July of 2005 and every day since then has been a complete joy! We moved to Central Florida and found an amazing church home at Family Bible Church ( There we met so many life-long friends. In August of 2007, we had our precious baby girl. Her name is McKenzie Renae. She was so beautiful when I saw her for the first time! After the delivery, we had a couple hours to talk and laugh with friends and family before something went terribly wrong. The next thing I knew I was being sent into emergency surgery. The doctor tried everything, but my uterus continued to bleed. So, after I was given 3 units of blood, her only option was to remove my uterus in order to save my life. Although I would have liked for things to turn out differently, I am so thankful that I am able to be with my family and friends. Of course, everyday wasn't all roses as I coped with the idea of not being able to have any more children. Paul and I had always thought we would have four children. After our McKenzie turned one I started to research other options for growing our family. It was solely a God-thing that caused all the pieces to fall into place.

One morning Kari called me up to ask if McKenzie and I wanted to go play at the park with her and Joselyn. It was there that Kari first expressed to me that she and Jon were interested in becoming a surrogate for Paul and me. I was blown away!! I let a few months go by and started to convince myself that it was a nice gesture, but she probably wasn't serious. Little did I know that she would be the "kick in the hind-quarters" that I needed to turn this dream of having more children into a reality! After those couple of emotionally low months, I was given the inspiration I needed to dive into the web of IVF. She assured me that this was something that God had placed into their hearts and they were the people for the job! Kari and Jon continue to amaze us with their eagerness to be a part of this adventure. As a matter of fact, one of the things Kari told me to get me out of my slump was, "We can do this together. This can be our little adventure!". So that is exactly what it has become! I can't wait to see what the future holds; and I hope it holds a new little baby...possibly two...Kari says three would be pushing it! hahaha

How I became "Kari the Carrier"

I remember exactly where I was standing when I was told that Andrea had a few complications post delivery and that her uterus had to be removed in order to save her life. The shock wave hit me like a ton of bricks. I was standing outside the church after a Wednesday night service when Jill broke the news to me. I immediately welled up and started crying, feeling broken-hearted for them. I couldn’t imagine the possibility of not having another child again. Over the next several months, every time I sat next to Andrea in church, a strong compassion would rise up inside of me. I felt like I wanted to help her in any way that I could, and that is when the surrogacy seed was planted in my heart. I never said a word about the idea to either her or my husband Jon, but the seed continued to grow week after week. I believe with all my heart that the supernatural compassion I felt in those moments was from God, preparing my heart for something special.

I decided to ask my husband about what he thought about me becoming a surrogate for Paul and Andrea; his response was an immediate “yes!!!” He was completely supportive and even encouraged me to speak to Andrea about it right away.

A few months later, I was at home with my daughter, Joselyn, and was thinking about going to the park. I called Andrea up and asked if she wanted to bring her daughter, McKenzie, to play with Jos. As the girls were playing, I asked Andrea how things were going and about their plans for future children. She began to tell me about a possible carrier she had in mind and a second person as another possibility sometime in the future, but nothing was definite. The next thing I know, I had said to Andrea, “Keep me in the back of your mind for a possible candidate to be your surrogate too.” I had not planned to turn that play date into a lifelong friendship, but that is what it has turned out to be. The moment I realized that my offer was a real possibility, my first feeling was kind of a “reality check.” However, soon after, and I believe it was by the grace and peace of God, I began to become more and more excited about the idea. I knew that I would never have offered if I wasn’t ready to follow through, so the decision was solidified in my heart. I left for the month of December to visit my family in Montana for Christmas, and during that time I was telling everyone my plans. I was already 6 months pregnant with my son, so I got some pretty funny looks as I talked about being pregnant again so soon. By the time I came back home, I had talked about being a surrogate carrier so much, it was already a done deal for Jon and me. The next time I saw Andrea, I asked when we were going to get this thing going; tears fell and the rest is history in the making.

I believe with my whole heart that this is a God-inspired bond between our families. I have an overwhelming sense of peace and knowing that this whole process will go quickly and smoothly, and I am looking forward to telling you all about our journey together. I am also more and more confident every day that God is a good God and he WILL provide for us. The hard parts are all done, now it is just a matter of walking through the steps and trusting Him…can’t wait to meet the new Miller(s)!

Friday, June 5, 2009

What is IVF? - post 5

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside the womb, in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process involves hormonally controlling the ovulatory process, removing ova (eggs) from the woman's ovaries and letting sperm fertilize them in a fluid medium. The fertilized egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. (Taken from Wikipedia)

In other words, Andrea will take hormones to stimulate her ovaries to produce more eggs in a particular time frame. These eggs will be retrieved and then combined with Paul's sperm in order to make a zygote to transfer into Kari's uterus, which also has been stimulated by hormones to be prepared to house Paul and Andrea's baby.

This process will take about 2 months to complete. Thank You Jesus for a perfect IVF experience!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What is a gestational carrier? - post 4

Surrogacy is a method of reproduction whereby a woman agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child for a contracted party. A gestational carrier will carry the pregnancy to delivery after having been implanted with an embryo. (Taken from Wikipedia)

In other words, because Andrea has no uterus, Kari has volunteered to "share" her uterus with her. She will become pregnant with Paul and Andrea's genetic child. This is one of the most selfless acts that anyone could do for another person! Thank you "Kari the Carrier!"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

YouTube Video of IVF Process - post 3

I found this video that may help some people see how the actual IVF process may work. The commentator is somewhat comical, but it might give you a better understanding.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How much will all of this cost? - post 2

Isn't technology amazing? It is kind of crazy to think about this entire process happening! Of course, like everything else in the world, IVF costs money. The good thing about us is that we have a HUGE helper on our side....God! Again, with God all things are possible!

These are approximate costs that I know about ahead of time...there is no telling what other additional costs might come up along the way...

IVF cycle: $10-12,000
Lawyer: $5,000
Psychological review: $1,000
Medications: $3-5,000
Pre-screening tests: $3-5,000
Travel: ???
Ultrasounds: $1-2,000
Obstetrician: ???
Hospital: ???
Life Insurance: $500-1000

Again, these are rough estimates of the fees I know of ahead of time. To help out with some costs we have put together a fundraiser! Please see the "Fill a Bottle, Fulfill a Dream" post or find the "Donate" button!

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Moolah for Miller Baby" - post 1

Fill a Bottle, Fulfill a Dream...
We have started a fundraiser to accomplish our dreams of growing our family. We have handed out baby bottles and asked those that participate to fill the bottle with whatever gift they feel led to do. If you are not in our area and would like to contribute, you may use the PayPal Donate button or send us your gift directly. You will never truly know how much you all mean to us! Here is what was attatched to each bottle:

Thank you so much for wanting to help us on our journey to grow our family! As most of you know, Paul and I delivered McKenzie Renae, our beautiful baby girl, on August 29, 2007. Shortly after the normal delivery there were complications. In order to save my life they had to remove my uterus. There were ups and downs while coping with this fact. However, with a husband whose faith never waivered, we have overcome the fear and reality of never having our own children again. Thanks to today’s technology and an unbelievably wonderful family, Paul and I will be able to have more of our own children through IVF with a gestational carrier. Kari and Jon Wanberg are truly an example of God’s love and miracles!! I have deemed her “Kari the Carrier.” The entire process, from start to finish, will cost anywhere from $30-40,000. In numbers, this seems like a lot, but with God, this is merely a drop in the bucket (or bottle)! Please take this bottle and put it in a place that you will not forget about. As you collect loose change or big moolah just store it in the bottle. In about a month’s time we will recollect them. Please note that money is not the only factor. We need your prayers and love and support. This journey will be awesome, and we are glad you are a part of it!

We have a special place that you can go to peek in on our story and its success. It is always good to be able to SEE what God is doing!

Visit whenever you can.

People interested in our IVF...