It has been a long year. Back in May I shared that we began the process of embryo adoption with the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. On November 15, we travelled to Knoxville and I received an amazing birthday present, one I thought for so long impossible – I became a mom. Just these last few weeks have been nerve-wracking with many emotional highs and lows, joys and fears. And a long path still lies before us, full of unknowns. But the Lord knows, He hears us and He cares for us. And as we pray, we pray that above all else God would be glorified through this journey.
Below is Ben’s summary of the process to date. We appreciate all your prayers.
Dear Family and Friends,
Many of you know that we recently went through embryo adoption and Caitlin had three embryos transferred on November 15, 2017. Two weeks later, we got a positive pregnancy tests at a fertility clinic in Jackson. Since then we have been praying fervently toward our six-week ultrasound. Praying for all three embryos to implant properly, praying for Caitlin’s health, and praying most of all that the Lord would do what seems good to Him. That six-week ultrasound was today.
It is with great grief and great joy that I tell you we got to hear the heartbeat of our baby today.
Yes, only one heartbeat.
I never thought it possible to feel such a great loss while feeling such a great joy. But let me assure you, it is possible.
We are grieved over the loss of two of our embryos. We knew the statistics on the front end, and we had prepared ourselves for this possible outcome, but nevertheless, the loss is overwhelming. Two faces we will never get to kiss. Two carseats we won’t get to buy. Two personalities we will never get to type on MBTI. Two Ratliffs have been lost.
And we are rejoicing and praising God for the safety of the one! I still cannot quite believe that there is a little human in there, and we will get to meet him sometime next summer. (Not necessarily a boy, I just don’t want to write “his or her” every single time…) It is still early though, and we continue to pray for his safety. His heartbeat is in the proper range. He is the right size for six weeks. He has everything he needs. Pray for his continued well-being.
I continue to come back to Romans 11. Paul spent eleven chapters articulating the glories of God’s plan to save his people, and as he draws the section to a close it is as if he loses control. He simply breaks forth into praise.
As I reflect on the journey of these Ratliff embryos, I cannot help but do the same. They were once someone else’s embryos. Then they sat frozen for over 15 years! Eventually, they came to us through NEDC.
Of the three transferred, two have been lost. God will use their loss for His glory.
And one of them has a heartbeat! He will use that beating heart for His glory as well.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Feel free to ask questions and interact with us. I think we each can feel a twinge of “I shouldn’t bother them” in these situations. Bother us!
And pray. Please pray.
- For Caitlin’s continued rest (the doctor says she has to take it easy… if you know Caitlin, you know that’s not so easy for her…).
- For the health and growth of the baby.
- For Ben as he amps up household responsibilities, in addition to his serving the flock at First Presbyterian Church Hazlehurst.
We send our love to you all. Thank you for your continued prayers. With hopeful expectation, we look forward to everyone meeting a new Ratliff sometime around August 5, 2018.
To God alone be the glory!
Ben (for Caitlin, Colby, Watson, and baby)