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, November 11, 2009

The ball is really rolling now... - post 14

“I’m so excited….and I just can’t hide it…..I’m about to lose control and I think I like it….” Are you bobbing your head with me??!! We really are so excited that we can not hide it!! Plans for a new Miller baby or babies are moving right along. It feels like we couldn’t possibly experience more favor than what we already have (unless, of course, someone wanted to pay for all of our expenses in full…just putting that out there…) :)

Anyway, timing is everything in this entire process. In our case, because Kari just had her son about 6 months ago, the doctors wanted to see her body show that it was ready to house another little one…aka a menstrual cycle. We did not have a clue when this would be happening; I’m sure you ladies have never waited with a longing anticipation for such a thing as this…hahaha. At one of my monitoring appointments in Winter Park, I talked with a nurse about a hypothetical game plan for when this day may come. I decided to take Kari with me to the next appointment, if for no other reason, to become established as a patient. They tested her and found out that she was at the perfect time to start her mock cycle (a trial run with hormone patches to see how her uterus responds to the medication)! On Monday, October 26th, she started the mock cycle and only a week and a half later her uterus responded exactly like it was supposed to. It thickened up and got nice and “cushy” so it was ready to house an embryo. Great news - she is a perfect carrier! She responded so well that she was able to move on to the second phase of the mock cycle 4 days sooner than planned.

We have about 2 appointments every week now, but it doesn’t get annoying because we know what the ultimate result could be. Plus, it makes the time go by so much faster. We have a mental checklist of everything that has to be done and we have been able to cross out so many things already. On Wednesday, November 11th (Thank you to all of our military men and women, those currently serving, have served, and those that have given up their lives for us to experience life as we do today.) all four of us get to have a chat with our psychologist. We are looking forward to it because we will be made aware of where issues may potentially arise so we can deal with it before it ever gets here. By the way, this time it is Kari’s turn to take the personality profile test consisting of over 500 questions. We decided to make good use of this trip to Winter Park, so we not only get to chat with Dr. Burnett, but Paul and I will also be taking care of our FDA blood work and his initial “analysis.” WOW! It is getting down to the wire…so many things to finish, but as you can tell, it is all just falling into place.

I am also in contact with our lawyer, who is drawing up our contract now. We will probably meet with him at the end of the month to solidify things before we get started in December. Yes, you read right! If all keeps going as planned, we are looking at a potential start date of December 14th! Depending on the treatment plan that the doctors decide on, we could potentially be pregnant by the second or third week of January!!! I will definitely keep you updated on the process and if there are any changes, which in the world of IVF is not unheard of.

For a little side note, I just have to say that I could not have asked for a better couple to experience this entire process with. We are all so much alike in how we feel and what we believe that it has made this process a piece of cake. I love you, Jon and Kari! Thank you for wanting to go on this journey with us and making it an absolute pleasure!

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