Thursday, September 30, 2010

Must Watch!!

This surrogacy special was on ABC Nightline last night. It's short and sweet, and made me that much more excited about becoming a surro-mom!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Must Have Support!

I received a wonderful card in the mail the other day and I am so excited to share it with everyone (of course with permission from the sender!). It is so very important to have the support of your family and friends throughout this whole journey. I am very lucky and blessed that I have a strong support network. Without it, this whole surrogacy experience wouldn't be possible. So, thank you--Thank you all for your love and support. It truly means the world to me! 
The card reads:
I was sitting in one of my counseling classes when I received your email about you actually being a surrogate. At the time I was learning how to be an effective counselor and how I can help people. As I began to read your email I was touched by your decision. I realized this is your way of helping others and making an impact in someone's life. Then I immediately thought of your Dad. You are your father; You love kids and you are always willing to help others. 
When I had first heard about this I must admit I was shocked. However, while reading your email I became tearful and I realized how important this is to you. I want you to know that I understand and respect your decision. I am lucky to have a giving friend like you in my life. 
I wish you luck and God Bless you and your family. 
Cindy P.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Prep For Our Match Meeting

I got a call this morning from Family Creations, the surrogacy program that I am working with to get matched. They said that my potential IP Mom had a few questions for me before she decides to go further with the matching process. I don't blame here--I would have a TON of questions too if I were in her shoes, that's for sure! This all got me thinking--I better get my list of questions ready to ask during the match meeting!!

Here's what I've come up with so far. If you have any input or other questions to add to my list, please share!!
  1. Where are you from?
  2. What do you and your spouse do for a living?
  3. Where did you meet?
  4. How long have you been together?
  5. Do you have any children? Together or from previous relationships? Do you have legal custody of all your children?
  6. Does your family know that you are looking into surrogacy? If not, do you plan to tell them?
  7. Do you have support from family and friends?
  8. Describe your personalities. What are your interests? Hobbies?
  9. Has anyone in your household ever been arrested or convicted of a crime?
  10. Why are you looking for a potential surrogate mother?
  11. If you could have the best surrogacy experience ever, what would it be?
  12. How many IVF attempts (or cycles) are you willing to try to conceive a child?
  13. How many embryos do you foresee implanting during each attempt?
  14. What are your feelings on becoming parents to twins or triplets?
  15. What are your feelings about terminating the pregnancy for medical reasons (for example if the child was found to have a serious birth defect or abnormality that would affect his or her quality of life)?
  16. What are your thoughts on selective reduction?
  17. If an amniocentesis was recommended, knowing the risks to the fetus, would you still want one performed?
  18. What type of relationship do you anticipate having with your surro mom and her family?
  19. How much contact would you like with your surro mom and her family during pregnancy? Will you be attended doctor appointments, ect?
  20. How much contact would you like with your surro mom and her family following the delivery?
  21. Do you plan to tell the child (or children) about this surrogacy journey?
  22. Can I choose the hospital that I will deliver at?
  23. Who do you want present at the birth?
  24. Are you comfortable with allowing my husband and children to meet the baby (or babies) in the hospital? What about the rest of my family (Parents, siblings, et.?).
  25. Would you want your surro mother to express breast milk for the baby? 
  26. If you could choose one thing about my profile that you like best, what would it be and why?
  27. If you had to choose one thing negative about my profile or about me, what would it be and why?
Well there it is. My list of questions to ask my possible Intended Parents (IP's) during our match meeting. Please share your thoughts--Am I asking too much? Too little? Not enough??....You get the point :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

OMG--We may have a match!!

This morning I sent an email to the agency that we are working with and asked for an update on our match-making progress. I know it's only been a week since my profile has gone active, but give me a break--I'm excited!!

Here's the response that I just received:

"Thanks for checking in Andrea! I do have a possible match that I will be working on over the next week. It is with a lovely couple that lives here in the Los Angeles area. They really felt a connection to you after reading your profile! They have been traveling this week and they return today. We are hoping to connect within the next few days to discuss the process further. I have also asked them to fill out a profile that I will be sharing with you if they decide to explore the match further. Thanks again for checking in and as soon as I have another update for you, I will be in touch!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The BIG Announcement

We recently sent an email to family and close friends announcing our surrogacy journey. We felt it would be easiest to send out an email and tell everybody all at once versus making a ton of phone calls.
Here is the email:
Dear Family and Friends, 

We wanted to be the first to tell you about an amazing journey that our family is about to embark on. 

For the past 12 years or so, and ever since I had the opportunity during my high school years to grow close with an amazing family that opened up their hearts and their home to foster children, I always told myself that I wanted to do something special like that when I grow up. At the time I felt that special thing would be to adopt a child once my future Husband and I were done having children of our own. To be able to provide for a not-so-fortunate, homeless, parentless child meant the world to me; and when the time was right, I was going to make it happen. 

After reconnecting with Eric in 2004 (for those of you who are unaware, we went to high school together. It wasn't until four years after graduating that we reconnected) I mentioned to him on several occasions about my passion on adopting a child down the road. Unfortunately, Eric and I do not see eye-to-eye on this topic. I'll be honest, I was a little heart-broken and felt that my dream of adopting was crushed. I didn't let it get to me at the time because we were so involved with the birth and upbringing of our first child, Aiden. 

A few years had passed after having Aiden, and I began to look in to other options to 'help out', so to speak. I came across Surrogacy online and I was intrigued. I thought, hmmm, I think I can do this, just not right at this moment. I was still trying to convince Eric that it was time for a second baby of our own. :) I brought the topic of Surrogacy up to Eric anyways just to see what kind of reaction I would get and surprisingly he was very interested to hear more details! I was excited and at the same time very nervous. I didn't quite feel ready to pursue Surrogacy any further until after having our second child.

Another two to three years have gone by since first discovering Surrogacy; we have had our second child, Addison; We don't plan to have any more least not anytime soon (wishful thinking on my part!); and we figured it was the right time to dip back into the whole Surrogacy thing to see if this is really something we want to pursue at this time in our lives. I did my research, connected with a great agency that matches Intended Parents with Surrogates, and I submitted my application. To my surprise, within 2 days I was accepted!!

For the past few months we have been working with the agency to determine if Eric and I are a perfect fit for Surrogacy. We have completed all the necessary requirements and passed the background check and psyche test. Next step: As of last Tuesday, September 7th, we have been approved to go forward  and my profile is now active online for Intended Parents to view (kind'a like a dating service website). Now, it's just a waiting game. We could get chosen this week, next month, or in a few months. I was told on two different occasions by my case manager that this will probably go quickly being that I am the only surrogate currently active with their agency that is comfortable with being matched with a gay couple. I couldn't believe it when I heard that--My jaw actually dropped in disbelief. So sad--But, I am happy and proud that I am that ONE person. :)

FYI - All Intended Parents go through the same screening and background checks as we did. And also, FYI - I will NOT be donating my eggs. I am only the 'oven' for the 'bun'. The child will have no genetic connection to Eric and I.

Eric and I have talked this over a billion times and we are 100+% sure that this is what we want to do. To be a part of something so big will be amazing. To be able to provide another person or couple with a child, I believe, is the ultimate gift. We know there will be tough times along the way, but with the support of our family and friends, we know this will be nothing we are not strong enough for.

As far as our own children, we plan on spending a lot of time talking and teaching them about what this journey is about and why we are taking it. We don't have any worries about them; we are a very close family and our children always come first.

Your thoughts and feelings are important to us--that is why you are receiving this email. Please be open with us about your thoughts and if you have any questions, please ask. We feel this journey not only involves us, but you as well because we will rely on you for your support.

To keep you all updated throughout this whole process, I have created a blog for you to visit for the latest and greatest on our journey through surrogacy.

We are so excited about what's to come and can't wait to share this experience with you all.


Annie & Eric.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Purpose of this Blog

I am creating this blog as a means to stay connected with family, friends, and our future Intended Parents during this journey through Surrogacy. This blog will also serve as support to other surrogate moms. My plan is to update this blog as each milestone passes and with all the ups and downs and all-arounds that this surrogacy journey will bring into our lives. I won't hold anything back, so hold on tight and enjoy the ride! :)