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Liberating Reproduction from Despair: A Kavanah for Conception in the Age of Infertility

By Allen Selis

On the day that our clinically fertilized embryos would be placed into my partner's womb, we arrived at the doctor's office and were sent to a small procedure room. After details and paper work, my wife lay down in the hospital bed and the medical staff left us alone. I stood at the foot of the bed and davened Minhah, the afternoon prayer. Afterward, we held hands, and talked about the life that we wanted to create. We invited God to send a soul that was compassionate, vivacious, and loving to animate the cells that would soon be slipped into my wife's body. We shifted our attention away from the fog of medical technology and stopped to appreciate the yearning call of creation which enveloped us. Finally, we said this blessing from the wedding ceremony together:

We stand in awe of Your blessings, our God, for creating man and woman in Your Image, and blessing them with the power to create new life. Bless you, God, for creating human life.

Our ritual closed with a kiss.

Then the staff arrived in sterile scrubs.

That was fine.

This time, God had arrived first.