How Did We Get Here ...
For many years we have dreamed about what our family would look like. After working and stumbling through Josh's cancer treatments during our second year of marriage and finding healing in that process. We continued on. We moved to Texas for Josh to pursue his seminary degree and during that season we also learned that having children would be a lot more complicated than we thought or imagined. The Dr.'s report at that time showed Josh was sterile. The reason speculated was the amount of chemo and radiation Josh had experienced both when he was 15/16 and 25/26 years old. The expectation at the point was that it would be unlikely Josh would have recovery as there was simply nothing there.
This was hard news to discover but we continued forward. We opted to see a fertility specialist in Dallas and had three IUI procedures done using a donor option. Sadly, none of these worked. We finished up our third attempt and had the opportunity to move to Abingdon, Virginia - where Josh landed a job as an Associate Pastor. Once we got settled in our new home, we decided to pursue adoption instead. We gathered all the paperwork needed and started the process but kept hitting dead-ends. Some organizations said international adoption for us was out because of Josh's medical history, another organization lost all our paperwork when a case worker quit and said we had to start over after six months of pursuing the needed background checks, making deposits, and more - this was a frustrating time. Our resilience was tested and while many people prayed for us and encouraged us in many ways, we fell victim to the discouragement that can easily come in the adoption pursuit.
Fast forward to February of 2013. We moved to Nevada as Jenn took a new job as the Communications Director at LifePoint Church. It was a crazy move from one coast to the other, filled with new opportunities of all kinds; one of which was learning about a fertility clinic in Reno, Nevada Center for Reproductive Medicine, with a great reputation.
Looking at our ages and all the factors we wanted to make sure that we did all we could in pursuit of children medically. We met the doctor and he said, why not just go through all the tests again just in case - this included testing Josh. We agreed, "What could it hurt?"
Healing & Hope Revived
The next day, I (Jenn) was driving along Lake Tahoe when I received a call from the Dr.'s office. I pulled over to hear his words and was captivated by the excitement in his voice. He shared that after analyzing Josh's tests, they had discovered that the latest test showed Josh had had recovery and there was "stuff" to work with. We scheduled our next appointment and the doctor shared what this meant. He said basically it is a very rare thing but sometimes men have recovery. It is unusual to see this, but it happened for us. We celebrated the news as it is really is a miracle in our minds that Josh went from being diagnosed sterile (with nothing) to actually have some "boys". The doctor also shared while there had been recovery, they were not the strongest and the count was lower. Because of this, the option the doctor recommended that would have the best chance of pregnancy would be a procedure called In Vitro Fertilization. We knew about this option in the past but didn't want to pursue this using a donor, but now knowing we could do this procedure using each of our parts, we leaned in, listened, and began praying about what this meant for us.
Timing Change: The Adam Addition
At about this same time, Jenn's uncle called and asked if we could considering letting her second cousin, Adam come live with us for the next year. Again with much prayer, we said yes and Adam, age 13, moved in with us in September of 2013. It was an amazing and challenging year, filled with ups and downs and unique opportunities as we learned to parent a teenage who had experienced life in a totally different environment. We experienced so much and grew in many ways. During this time, we became distracted from the quest of fertility, and focused in on helping Adam have the best year possible. In July of 2014, Adam's year was up and he wanted to return to his mom's house to see if things might be better, and also see his sister.
This was a heartbreaking time as well, saying goodbye to Adam at his mom's house in Missouri. This was definitely one of the most challenging transitions we have ever experienced. We had spent almost a year pouring in to Adam's life and showing him all the love we had within us and now we were giving him back to a situation that was in our minds less than ideal. Today, Adam's story is still unfolding in Missouri and we aren't sure what that means for us next but we know we couldn't (and can't) let this transition stop our future plans, hopes and dreams of growing our family.
Let's Get This Party Started
The second week of July we returned to the Doctor's office with our decision. We wanted to move forward and pursue In Vitro. This was not out of a belief that God couldn't make the pregnancy happen naturally but believing this was and is and next step for us. We do believe God has healed Josh and for whatever reason this is our journey.
In January of 2015 Jenn had a surgery to remove some polyps as part of setting us up to officially begin our treatments and process during the month of March. After nearly 8 years of waiting, wondering and trying various options, it feels like everything is happening so quick.
We do hope to keep everyone updated through the process but we also know there are many unknowns, fears, hopes and much more. Our story is unique as is each of yours, we don't know why this is the process God has for us to walk in but we are walking in it as best as can. Yes, there are risks. Yes there are all kind of statistics out there. We know about these, but are walking in hope.
Okay, deep breath! The news is out there. Now what. Here's where we (and you) ask the next question,
"What can you do to show your support and encouragement,"
One of the best ways you can support us is through prayer:
- Pray that God will continue to work in our physical bodies to create life as only He can
- Pray for wisdom to know what to do at the right time and for the doctor's hands in the process
- Pray for our marriage in the midst of many emotions and big steps
You may also be able to support financially
- In Vitro is an expense process. It is not covered by our insurance and has many layers of cost including medications, surgeries, unique procedures and much more. We do have financing options and will be covering much of this but hope to also to go through this with as little debt as possible and really every little bit helps.
How can you financially support us?
- You can support us by making a donation through our YouCaring Page
- You can support us by utilizing Jennifer Brown as a graphic designer for your business, she specializes in website, print and digital media design and more. View her portfolio here.
Have more questions, feel free to email us. You can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions page here.
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Josh & Jenn Brown
A cool couple originally from Missouri, who now lives in Carson City, Nevada. We are passionate about many things especially serving Christ and taking steps to live out our faith in the midst of twists and turns of joy and sorrows, grief, cancer, fertility struggles, ministry moves, family changes and much more.
Maybe Baby Brown Blog