/ Staff writer (Original Article Link)
Ron Stoddart is a father of four – and the honorary grandfather of 137 “Snowflakes.”
That’s what he calls the frozen embryos for whom he finds adoptive families.
“Our first Snowflake was born Dec. 31, 1998,” said Stoddart, executive director of Nightlight Christian Adoptions. “She is eight years old now.”
Adopted as an embryo, she was carried in the womb of her adoptive mother.
Since then, Stoddart has facilitated 136 other successful embryo adoptions. And, 17 more babies are on the way.
“These women are a new generation of adoptive mothers,” Stoddart said. “The experience is something they never dreamed would be possible.”
Mike and Stephanie Maciborski of Mission Viejo are expecting their second Snowflakes child. They have a son Andrew, 3, who was adopted as an embryo.
“I can’t say enough positive in regard to the program,” Mike Maciborski said. “Stephanie was even able to nurse Andrew. Its absolutely amazing. We’d never have been given that opportunity otherwise.”
The costs, Maciborski said were “less than for a traditional adoption.”
On April 28, Stoddart gathered 25 of the Snowflakes and their families, for a play date at Pump It Up, near his Anaheim Hills home. The boisterous babies enjoying the fun were once embryos – frozen for as long as a decade. Before being implanted in the wombs of their adoptive moms, they were no larger than the period at the end of this sentence.
“An event like this,” Stoddart said, “is all about things we used to think were impossible, like being beamed up (on ‘Star Trek’). It never fails to amaze me.”
Since the first Snowflakes’ birth, a dozen sets of twins and a two of sets of triplets have been born to families across the nation through the Fullerton-based adoption agency.
“There appears to be no shelf life for the embryos,” Stoddart said. “Some families experience miscarriages, but the babies who have won the race to be born, have been perfect. We haven’t had any birth defects.”
James and Kristy Bove of Orange, have two-year-old Snowflake twins, Luke and Kylie. They are numbers 84 and 85 on the growing list of Snowflakes babies.
“It has blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined,” she said. Unable to conceive on their own, they succeed on their first try, with frozen embryos. “To have twins, and one of each was incredible.”
When the 101st Snowflakes baby was born, the agency celebrated by publishing a book of their photographs. Stoddart’s favorite is No. 49 – a scrappy little blond boy with an impish grin and a cowlick.
His mother wrote an inscription under the photo: “Some Snowflakes don’t melt. They just turn our hearts to mush.”
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MORE ABOUT SNOWFLAKES
What: Snowflakes is an adoption program for frozen embryos run by Nightlight Christian Adoptions
Where: 801 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton
The program: Snowflakes is a pioneer program responsible for 137 of the 295 frozen embryo adoptions nationwide. The program is open to families of all backgrounds and faiths. Snowflakes parents say the process is cheaper than the traditional adoption process.
Information: 714-278-1020, or visit, http://www.nightlight.org/snowflakeadoption.htm.