ROAD TO JOY
It all began with Joy. Desmond and I went to Camp Wheatgrass (The Optimum Health Institute), a health retreat in San Diego, CA to take part in a body/mind ‘cleanse.' On our first day, in the opening ‘prayer circle’ the word of the day, which is chosen randomly from a book of words and descriptions, was the word “Joy." In that first circle, sealed by a chain of hands, Desmond’s first personal connection was with a woman from Ashland, Oregon named Joy. Over the course of the week, we naturally gravitated toward certain people who ended up forming a smaller circle of new friends that included, most notably, Joy and a healer from Los Angeles named Harry. On day three, in between our wheatgrass shots and other fun-filled treatments, Desmond was passing some time hanging around with Harry, who brought out a bag of rune-like-rocks with words etched into them. Desmond reached in the bag and pulled out a rock with the word “Joy” on it…which he put in his pocket. A couple days later Harry offered the same bag of runes to me, and I drew out a rock with the word “Joy” on it. (There weren’t supposed to be any duplicates in the bag.) Later in the week Harry produced a box of maybe 25 essential oils and Desmond randomly picked an oil labeled “Joy." So, all roads appeared to be leading to “Joy”…. the person or the feeling….we did not know.
Then one day, towards the end of our stay, I was sitting talking with Harry, our new healer friend, about life and my 11+ year history with Desmond, and I mentioned our desire to one day have a child. At that very moment Joy (the person) knocked on the door and entered to join our small gathering. I continued relaying ‘our story’ and Joy spoke up (riding a cosmic, seemingly-otherworld-moment) and said that, though she had three children and didn’t intend on having any more, she felt there was another soul out there that she was somehow suppose to be a part of… and though she didn’t know all of what was involved in becoming an egg donor, after checking with her husband, she might be willing to do this with us. And so our intention to have a child was set.
A month or so went by and Desmond and I traveled to India with Deepak Chopra and a group of interested people from all over the world to be part of a spiritual conference around Deepak’s recently released book, HOW TO KNOW GOD. The first day in India, Desmond and I connected with two acquaintances of mine from Nashville, Angela and Corrine, both whom I had met the year before. We had met on several occasions in Nashville, and I enjoyed their company, but it seemed in India that we were all magnetically drawn to one another for most of our time there — sharing meals and saving seats for lectures, meditations, etc. Angela was attending the workshop with her mother, Ruby who lives near San Francisco. At one of the first dinners at the retreat, Desmond recounted our ‘Joy Story’ and all the synchronicities that went along with our connecting with her six months earlier at Camp Wheatgrass in San Diego. (It would come out months later that Angela dreamed she had our baby that night.)
Months passed and the friendships we had started in India continued to grow with Angela and Corrine. Then during one of our trips to Nashville, Desmond ended up having lunch with Angela and the topic of Joy and the baby came up. Angela asked who we thought was going to carry the baby for us, and Desmond comically responded with an emphatic, “YOU!” Angela exploded with laughter and confessed to having had a dream in India where she had dreamed she carried our baby. So our conversations began there, and over the next couple of months we continued to share and discuss and explore the possibility of her carrying a baby that would be created from Joy’s egg and one of our sperms. We were always truthful and spoke from our hearts and from an honest and pure place. Angela began noticing synchronicities around the number 33 in her life. They would show up everywhere. She was 33 years old, she would glance up at a clock and it would be __: 33 o’clock, car license plates in front of her would have 33 on them, she’d be shopping and find a shirt that had 33 on it, things would cost $33 dollars or 33 cents, she’d find herself behind a city bus numbered 33… the list goes on. And often the 33 event would be followed by a call from Desmond or myself, or perhaps she had been thinking about our ‘project.'
Back in Miami, Desmond was hospitalized with a serious bout of diverticulitus, brought on by stress among other things and he remained hospitalized for eight days. All the while, we had been running into difficulty finding a fertility doctor who would work with us... the difficulty being Joy’s age (38), which in most cases was considered too old to serve as an egg donor in fertility circles. If Joy herself were wanting to have a child she would be able to find doctors to work with her but in our case most of the fertility experts just felt it didn’t make sense to go to the time, trouble, and expense to get pregnant while having a much larger risk of having a genetic defect (because of the age of the egg). We soon realized we needed to find ways to simplify our lives, and one was to choose not to use Joy as our egg donor. This was a very difficult decision to come to as “Joy” had begun this whole journey, and we very much were practiced in interpreting and following the energy of the Universe. What we eventually came to was that “Joy” was the catalyst that began our journey in earnest and that “Joy” was more than just a person.
So on our next trip to Los Angeles, we began interviewing fertility doctors and consulted with a recommended ‘egg broker’ with whom we would choose from a pool of anonymous egg donors. This ‘broker’ presented a stack of folders containing the profiles of 15 young women who fit a certain criteria we’d set in a previous conversation. The meeting and moment were weighted with the heavy and profound question of how does one choose the donor who would contribute half of the genetic makeup of your future child? From across the table Desmond reached toward the middle of the stack, and with a breath of recognition, asked, “Do we have to start at the top or could we begin with this one?”. On closer inspection, I could see why he had reached for the middle folder, for we both saw what appeared to be the name “Joy” printed on the folder. That is the folder we chose and after reviewing all the possible genetic donors, this is the person we settled on. This folder had an abbreviated form of the donor’s name, but it had appeared to both of us to be the word, “Joy." We had to laugh at the absurd improbability of that moment, and this donor happened to be the woman the broker had immediately thought of when I initially discussed what we would be looking for in an egg donor. We looked through her profile, and went through all of the others and “Joy” was the only one that spoke to us… And she was available to go forward with us in the time frame that worked for us.
Our first attempt at the embryo transfer didn’t take, but both Angela and the donor were willing to try again. So another month had to go by, where Angela was an amazing trooper subjecting herself to another round of self-given shots of hormones to ready her for our next transfer attempt. At some time during this intervening month Angela was being worked on by a massage therapist friend who was doing some energy work on her, and the healer sensed incredible energy coming from her lower body above her abdomen. Out of nowhere her hand shot up on its own, palm up to the sky, and she felt energy pour through her from above into Angela, and witnessed three beams of light channel down and enter Angela at the same time. Angela did feel the energy surge, though she hadn’t witnessed the light.
On the day of the second transfer, the nurses put Angela, Desmond, and I into treatment room #4 to perform the embryo transfer procedure, but we had lit a ceremonial candle in the room as a little ritual, and the Doctor wouldn’t allow the procedure to go forward in that room for fear that the residue in the air from the candle might damage the embryos. They moved us down the hall into patient room # 3. We were three people, coming together in room # 3. We chose to put in two embryos (though we struggled a bit whether we were ‘supposed’ to put in three… which completed the cycle of 33: Desmond+Curtis+ Angela = 3, Angela+embryo 1+ embryo 2 = 3. (33 in room #3 when Angela was 33 years old when we started the process). We might be reaching a bit but it was all part of the spirit of moment and contributed to the magic of the day Roman and Nyro would be conceived.
Seven days later I was back home in Miami Beach, and Desmond was in Europe working and Angela was stuck in Los Angeles having been delayed from returning to Nashville because of the attacks of September 11. So I was home alone, swimming in the pool in my backyard around dusk, when out of the corner of my eye I saw what I thought to be a flock of small birds flying overhead. Upon closer look, I realized they weren’t birds at all but huge dragonflies swarming over my head. They weren’t just flying through on their way somewhere… they were about 20 feet over my head swarming like a cloud, and I just stared and stared at them in the wonder of the moment. I had never seen anything like it! At different times one or two of them would seem to come closer, and I had the feeling they were looking at me or looking into me. I actually had the thought that maybe this was the soul of the Baby-to-be that was transferred 7 days earlier in Los Angeles. I just watched, spellbound for 20 minutes at which point I went inside, but peeked out five minutes later, and they were gone.
A few hours went by and I decided to call Angela in Los Angeles to see how she was doing and tell her about my dragonfly experience. After recounting my story she said, “Well, that’s because we’re pregnant!” We weren’t supposed to know for 3 more days whether the embryo transfer had taken, but she had cheated and gotten two home pregnancy tests and they both came back positive, although I was not surprised as I had felt that we were being lead along this journey path, and I just knew it was going to ‘take.' One of Angela’s favorite things to do is swim naked in the pool at dusk and she said, “Oh, my Gosh! It’s like you were me and the little soul or souls came to pay you a visit. It was a Godly moment filled with spirit and Grace. After this day, I would see dragonflies everywhere I went, and upon further investigation and research, I understand the Dragonfly to be “the piercers of illusion.” Desmond, Angela, and I gave birth to ROMAN SHAW CHILD AND NYRO SHAW CHILD on May 8, 2002. It has been a joyful journey and one that continues to surprise us with magic and binds us together with the silver, fragile threads of life.
Curtis Shaw Child