Written by Katie Aist, Guest Blogger
Privilege. Honor. Gift.
These are the words that will always accompany my small painting business, Cherished Embryos.
About a year ago, while selling my original paintings to raise money for the adoption of our daughter, a friend came to me with a very special request. Her journey to motherhood, like so many who walk through infertility, was long and difficult, but resulted in two beautiful children through embryo adoption. She had a dream to have the first pictures she ever received of her two children as embryos turned into beautiful pieces of art. To have the treasured black and white, grainy medical pictures turned into colorful representations of her precious children.
Infertility was a phrase I was well acquainted with. After a year of trying to have children of our own, my husband and I began the all too familiar tests to see what was going on. After a couple of months of pokes, prods and a procedure, we found out that I had endometrial cancer. Cancer. 34 years old. One I had never even heard of. Our world flipped upside down, as we now faced the reality that the treatment to get rid of my cancer was a hysterectomy. After trying an alternative treatment for 6 months to no avail, my journey through infertility, was done. I was now infertile.
We were devastated, but hope for a family still remained. Before we were married, my husband and I talked about our desire to adopt a child. I am so thankful that seed had already been planted in us. After having time to regroup physically and emotionally, we began the adoption process and within five months brought home our incredible, beautiful daughter.
I never imagined that selling my artwork for her adoption would turn into what it has. Cherished Embryos became official in 2018 and I have had the privilege of painting over 100 sweet baby’s first embryo pictures. I do not always know if the orders I receive represent embryos that made it or if they are for families to have a keepsake of ones they lost. I do know that by the time a family gets to me, they have walked through many ups and downs, dreams and sorrows, discouragement and hopes. No one has the picture of an embryo without a long story behind it.
I love to paint. I love to be creative. But the reason I always feel so thankful painting for Cherished Embryos is the incredible honor it is for me to be a small part of these families’ journey. To be able to create a piece that is beautiful of someone they will cherish forever.