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)!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Two-Way Blessings - post 10

So, I finally have some time to tell you about what has taken place over the last two weeks. I tried to sit down and write about it several times, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to preface what we have been experiencing. I know the entire process that we are involved in has many people thinking lots of different things. Some people love what we are doing and others have their reservations. The best thing I know to tell people that don’t necessarily agree with what we are doing is that all of this has happened with such ease that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God has His hand on all of this. Pastor Allen’s messages could not be more timely for us…We are not trying to figure out the “How” of our dreams before the “What,” so in turn it is coming together simply by God’s grace!

Several months ago I was doing some research on reproductive lawyers and came across an attorney who also has her own egg donor agency. We started talking about the details of what it would be like for me to become a donor myself. Paul and I (along with tons of close friends and family) discussed all sides of this option that had now been dropped at our door. I have to admit, at first, the thought of donating my eggs to an anonymous couple was a bit strange. And, yes, all of the questions and concerns that you are probably thinking of came to my mind as well. However, after a lot of thought, Paul and I both had a peace come over us. We came to the conclusion that we want to be a blessing to another family much like Kari and Jon have been for us. We know how badly it hurts to long for another child, and we could be the answer to another family who has probably spent countless hours crying because they too could not have a child.

With all that being said, we have been matched with a recipient couple! I received a call about 6 weeks ago that there was a couple interested in my “profile.” About 2 weeks later (August 12, 2009), Paul and I made our first trip to the fertility clinic in Plantation, Florida. I had a consultation with the doctor, an ultrasound to check out my ovaries, and some blood drawn. They haven’t gotten back all of my test results, but they went ahead and started me on birth control to coordinate my cycle with the recipient families’ surrogate. This is very similar to the cycle that Kari and I will be doing. Kari will have to take birth control with me so we cycle at the same time. Her body will be tricked into thinking it is about to get pregnant, so her uterine lining will be ready to accept our embryo. It truly is an amazing process from start to finish! I should find out if I am a definite candidate in about a week or two. By that time I will have learned how to give myself the daily hormone injections. I am not really excited about this part because needles aren’t my favorite thing in the world, but you “gotta do what you gotta do!”

So, like I said before, exciting things are happening! Kari and I plan to start preparing for our cycle in December or January. We can do our psychological screenings beforehand (to make sure we are all aware of what this process entails), but everything else that follows depends on when Kari’s body is ready to carry another baby (or two)!

I will keep you posted on the donor cycle as I find out more!

People interested in our IVF...