The Ultimate Gift

As a child, I knelt by my bed each night and said my prayers. I can still recall the way my knees felt against the cool floor…the feel of my bedspread beneath my elbows. I prayed for such things as my mother’s health, a kitten, a trip to the playground.

Though I no longer kneel and pray each night, those quiet moments before sleep are still consumed with my hopes and dreams…the health of my family and my desire for another baby envelop me as I drift off.

Last night, as I always do before I finally close my eyes for the night, I reached for my phone one last time to check email.

And there in the quiet darkness of my room, with only the light from my phone, I was left completely speechless.

In my inbox was an email from a dear friend.

And within that email with an unfathomable offer.

My friend’s words read…

I’m certain that I am crossing a line by saying what I’m about to say but then I’ve never been good with boundaries. I’d like to offer you my frozen embryos.

I want you to know that I make the offer without any strings, without any attachment to the future of those embryos.

We have the children we want. And yet we have these babies that we cannot realize … I will not change my opinion of you if you say yes or no. But I want you to know that they (I think there are 6 left) are yours if you want them.

How do you even begin to thank someone for such kindness?

How do I tell her just what that offer means to me? To us?

Because contained in that email was more than an offer of her embryos.

It was a statement about our friendship…about how she feels about me as a mother… about Craig and me as parents…about us as a family.

I can’t even think about her words without crying.

Even if we are successful on our own and never reach the point where we accept her incredibly selfless offer, her generosity alone is a bigger gift than I could have ever dreamed of.

Though this fails miserably to convey my gratitude…

Thank you, my friend.

Thank you for being there for me throughout this journey…for offering me a shoulder on which to cry and for being willing to share with me the ultimate gift.

Thank you for helping me to see that we have options…for renewing my hope in this journey.


  1. tracy@sellabitmum

    What an incredible gift. What an incredible friendship.

  2. MommyMiracles

    This did make me cry. What a beautiful gift.

  3. Mad Woman behind the Blog

    Tears, streaming.

    I can say nothing else.

  4. Kris

    I have goosebumps all over. People amaze me every day.

  5. Rachel

    WOW!!! That is amazing! I do have to say…I completely agree with your friend's assessment about your family. You guys are simply….the best.


  6. Speechless! What an amazing, amazing gift!

  7. BringUpBee

    Such a tremendous and generous offer. You are blessed to have such friends.

  8. How beautiful. Simply beautiful!

  9. And now I cry. What a testament to the mother she and her husband think you are, and deserve to continue to be.

  10. Yuliya

    That is unbelievably beautiful. What a wonderful friend you are to have such an incredible person in your life.

  11. BalancingMama

    Amazing. Just amazing. Continued hopes & prayers for you as you continue down this path. I only know you through your words, but I am certain this gift is well deserved.

  12. Cate

    What a lovely friend you have! You should absolutely cherish her.

  13. Jessica

    What an amazing gift, I have goosebumps. That someone would offer this is a true testament to the friend you are and the mother she sees in you.

  14. You are so incredibly blessed to have such a beautiful friend, though it's only possible because YOU are wonderful as well. Her offer is so very selfless and the ultimate testament to the family you and Craig have created.

  15. Suz

    I cried reading this on my phone early. How beautiful ~ what a great reflection of you, her & your friendship.

  16. Courtney K.

    Oh wow. Tears are streaming down my face right now for you. What an amazing gift, and a beautiful realization that there ARE still some genuinely wonderful people left in the world. Hugs to you. And her. This is truly amazing.

  17. Kimberly

    I have goosebumps all over. What an amazing gift. She's a wonderful friend and she can see what a truly phenomenal mother you are and family that you're raising. Hugs to you, and to her.

  18. MamaWantsThis

    Nichole, that you have such a wonderful friend offering such a priceless gift? Is not just a reflection on her and her big, big heart. It's a reflection of what a good and kind person YOU are. Hugs, love and baby dust your way. xo

  19. Kirsten

    WOW wow and wow….I say this because I too had a frozen embryo that we donated back to our clinic. I know the courage, the love and the want to help someone have a child that goes into making that decision. It tuly does reflect on the kind of woman, wife and mother you are…to be able to say I "choose you" because I've seen your heart and your soul and I deem them worthy of this kind of love"..again WOW! But it doesn't surprise me..your gentle being nd warm heart are the reason all of us love you…it's a phenomenal and amazing gift but the offer doesn't surprise me…this is somehing that I have grwon to see : you and the people in your life are truly truly truy amazing people. Xoxoxo

  20. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

    Omigosh! What a wonderful thing to wake up to (for me)! I'm guessing you did not go right to sleep! I mean, how could you? What wonderful/awful technologies we are surrounded by: the ones that can make or break our hearts in a moment. You feel cursed and then suddenly, it all gets turned on its head and you think, well, maybe for us it is supposed to be different.

    I say this all the time — as the little Jewish girl in the room — but I think the message carries over. I truly believe there is a plan. We don't always like or understand the plan, but I believe there is one. You may have just figured out the beginnings of this new part of your plan.

    You have been such a wonderful, giving person. People like that tend to get things back. That's the way it works. Sending you only the best thoughts. You and Craig have a lot to consider.

  21. JDaniel4's Mom

    What an amazing gift! This is such an amazing opportunity to give a baby a chance to join your family.

  22. TheNextMartha

    That person deserves a pie. For sure. How amazing.

  23. naturegirl21

    Wow. That is an amazingly selfless gift. I got shivers as I read her words, knowing what it could mean to you.

    Good luck in making your decision, whatever it may be.

  24. thisismynewmoon

    That is an amazingly selfless offer and I know you will do the right thing in making a decision.

  25. Evonne

    This made me cry. What an amazing gift from a beautiful friend. This gesture speaks volumes about you and Craig. I am glad you have more options. Whatever your decision may be, I wish you the best of luck.

  26. Tonya

    What a very sweet, generous and thoughtful offer. You are blessed to have such a good friend.

  27. Aleta

    God Bless your friend. That is generosity beyond what a person could even dream of! My husband and I have considered donor eggs, but we it's not something we're able to do and no one to offer either. So, believe me when I say that this was an extremely touching post.

  28. AMAZING!! All of it…is breathtakingly amazing! What a wonderful friendship you have, what a wonderful friend.

  29. Ryan @TWM

    WOW. Just, wow.

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