Chelsea & Thad Giedd's Adoption Journey
Start: Sep 1, 2020 - End: Nov 30, 2020
Friends, we are SO excited to announce that we are adopting!! Thank you so much for your love, prayers and support as we begin this new journey to parenthood.
Our Story to Adoption
It’s been over 15 months since we’ve started trying to make a family. 15 months may not seem like a long time, but that’s over 450 days, over a dozen negative pregnancy tests, 15 times we prayed that this would be the time, 15 months of heartache and grief over what we were hoping would be different news. Some months were harder than others, some months we smiled at each other through tear soaked cheeks knowing we would try again the following month. Some months knocked the wind out of us, brought us to our knees and we’d try our very best to understand why this was happening and what did we need to do differently for next time.
I bought all the books, I read all the blog posts and I listened to all the podcasts. I saw doctors, and chiropractors and energy healers. I changed my diet, took supplements and did everything I possibly could to make sure my body was ready to create a baby.
But the problem was, there wasn’t a problem with my body.
After 11 months, we started to see a fertility specialist. After tests, and waiting, and ultrasounds, scares of a possible brain tumour, an MRI, more waiting, no tumour, and more tests, Thad was diagnosed with azoospermia.
Ya, I’d never heard of it either! Mostly because it’s incredibly uncommon and rare with only 1% of the male population being diagnosed.
Thad’s body, at this moment, is not producing any sperm at all. This is not the same thing as a low sperm count or low motility. This is no sperm at all. After we took some time to process and grieve this news and heartache we were dealt, we started looking at all our options.
After seeing more doctors, reading more books, doing more research and seeing different specialists, we finally came to the end of the road for what could be done “medically”. At the end of our last urologist appointment the doctor looked at us and said, “have you guys considered adoption?”
And the funny thing was, we actually had. Thad and I had talked about adoption before we even started down our fertility journey. We had always talked about adopting in our family but we thought it would happen after we had one or two biological children. Funny how God never quite makes things happen as you’d planned, right? 😉
As we start down our adoption journey, Thad is also seeing my chiropractor/naturopath. They believe that a large part of why his body isn’t producing sperm is because his brain is in constant fight or flight mode due to a genetic disorder.
Sympathetic vs Parasympathetic Nervous System
Let me try my best to explain. So, his sympathetic nervous system is constantly reacting and his parasympathetic system isn’t able to catch up with it. What that means is, let’s say a deer runs out in front of your car. Your sympathetic nervous system is what slams on the breaks or quickly turns the steering wheel to react. Your heart is racing and you’re sweating. Soon after, your parasympathetic kicks in and brings your heart beat back down to normal and calms your breathing.
In Thad’s brain right now, it’s like he’s constantly being chased by a rhino. He is in constant fight or flight response and when you’re trying to get away from something dangerous, the last thing your body is going to do is say, “hey, brain, why don’t you produce some sperm.” Nope, it’s going to just keep saying “run away, quick, go, faster!”
You wouldn’t know anything was wrong except that when Thad gets overly stressed, or anxious, he literally shuts down. Sometimes he’s unable to even move or speak and I can see in his eyes he isn’t sure what’s happening. Man, can I tell you how much knowing this about him has completely changed how I show up as his wife in stressful situations for him? There’s a lot more kindness, empathy and grace instead of feelings of frustration and wondering why he’s simply not moving forward.
Our chiropractor feels pretty certain that with constant adjustments, laser treatments and adding in supplements & minerals his body is deficient in, that maybe one day we will be able to have a biological child. However, we don’t know how long, if ever, that will take. And we are ready to move forward with starting our family now.
After lots and lots of research and weighing our adoption options, we are beyond elated to have chosen our adoption agency and for God to work through them to bring our baby into our lives. We know this road can be bumpy and quite the journey mentally, emotionally and financially.
Which is why we are sharing our story with you. We are hoping that you will send us your love, your prayers, and if you feel so called, to also help with the very large financial costs that adoption involves.
If you weren’t aware, like us, US infant adoptions cost between $35-50k. Why such a large number? Well for us the following costs include:
- Signing with an adoption firm ($18,500)
- Hiring lawyers from our state and our birth mom’s state ($8-12k)
- Having a home study done ($4k)
- Possible birth mom expenses of helping with rent, paying utilities, or making it to her doctor visits ($2-5k)
- 7-10 days of traveling we’ll have to do once our little peanut has arrived into the world and we wait for the paperwork to be finalized so we can bring our baby home with us ($2-3k)
- 2 follow up home study reports ($1500)
With your help, we are hoping to raise $10,000 to cover 1/4 of our adoption costs. We know this is a lofty goal but we feel confident that the financial aspect will not stop us in our journey to bringing home our baby in the near future.
Although this journey has been incredibly hard, and honestly one you hope you never have to go down, it’s also brought some really amazing things into our lives. I can honestly say Thad and I have never been closer. Our marriage is strong and we are in constant communication about our feelings and emotions. We have connected with other adoptive parents and have created new and closer relationships with each them. I have learned how to process my emotions and feelings in a healthy way, give myself grace when I need a mental health day and can’t complete any work and it’s allowed me to understand on a whole new level the pain people are going through when they too are struggling with fertility.
Thank you, friends, for being a part of our story and our journey to parenthood. We couldn’t do this without all of your constant love and support. We feel incredibly blessed for you and our community.
With love and gratitude,
Chelsea & Thad Giedd
Fund Leader: Thadeus Giedd
Fund Type: Adoptive Parents