People keep congratulating us on winning the IVF Lottery, and telling us how amazing this opportunity is. And don’t get us wrong….it is SOOO AMAZING. But, honestly, it doesn’t even feel real.
Our emotions over the last few months have been such a roller coaster. When we were first told that we needed to move on to IVF, we were excited because of the possibility of doing Reciprocal IVF. But, that excitement was quickly crushed by the financial piece. Then we found a clinic that we could finance most of the process through, and that was cheaper than the “average,” but as the summer approached and we were still short on funds, we had started to talk about postponing, and we were devastated.
When Kelly sent an email on April 27, 2017 at 10:07pm, we didn’t think much of it. We never win anything, and didn’t expect this to be any different. But, on May 5, 2017, we were sitting at dinner at Chili’s and remembered that it was the day of the drawing. We pulled up the New Hope Facebook page and saw that winner #16 was “KP from Florida.” Jaci wanted to call the clinic. Kelly was doubtful, but ended up calling because we could stop hoping if we knew it wasn’t us. When they asked her birthday and then said Congratulations, Kelly was speechless and Jaci cried and laughed simultaneously.
The next few days, we were excited, but cautious. We didn’t know if this was truly free or if there was a catch. We didn’t want to get excited and then be disappointed. A few days later, we spoke to Dr. Merhi. What an amazing doctor! He was so nice and seemed as excited to work with us as we were to work with him. When he told us he would do both of our cycles, we both shed a few tears.
Since then, it has been an overwhelming(ly exciting) whirlwind, which still feels like a dream! We joked that we expected Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell us we were being punk’d…but this is real life. We are truly living our dream.
We’ve been talking with New Hope about the press, and should know more soon…but in the meantime, we’re just so beyond thankful for this whole process. We realized that everything we went through, even the really painful stuff, paved the way to where we are today. If we hadn’t been fired for being gay, or had so many failed IUIs, then we wouldn’t have entered the IVF Lottery or had this amazing opportunity. Now, we not only get to live out our dream, but we are being given a platform to use our voice and our story to inspire others.
We know how hard it is to be discriminated against just for being part of the LGBTQ+ community. We know how hard it is to struggle with infertility. And we know that the two combined can be absolutely devastating. But, we also know it gets better. It did for us, and it will for you. And we are excited to be able to show other LGBTQ+ couples that there are ways to start a family together, and that there is hope in the face of adversity. We look forward to walking this journey with you, and cannot put into words how thankful we are for every single thing that led us to where we are today.