As an adopted child, Leanna Elwell-Landry had long dreamed of having a family of her own. So, she and her husband Jeff were devastated when they learned that they would not be able to have children.
“Infertility is a very lonely place. There was a lot of tears. There was a lot of stress. There was a lot of frustration and anger,” Jeff says. “One thing that stemmed from Leanna being adopted was to have a family of her own. And seeing her not being able to have that dream was hard.”
The Murfreesboro, Tennessee, couple began seeking alternative ways to start their family, but found traditional adoption to be too expensive. After years of weighing their options, Jeff and Leanna learned about embryo adoption.
“The more I read about it, the more I was like, ‘This seems like the perfect fit for us.’ Because you get to not only adopt this child but you get to carry your own child. You get to give birth to your own child. My mind was blown,” Leanna says.
They went through the process and are now parents to a daughter, 2-year-old Olivia. Jeff says it was an “amazing feeling” to finally have a child after the couple’s setbacks.
“After she was born I bawled my eyes out because I just finally felt at peace,” Leanna says. “We had our family.”
The Elwell-Landrys are featured in PeopleTV’s new series Family Portrait, aimed at debunking the stereotype of the typical American family, and to highlight the kindness and resilience of the human spirit.
Watch all six episodes of Family Portrait on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite mobile or connected-TV device.