Saturday, October 31, 2015

Like a Puzzle Piece

Moving forward Chris and I both felt excited to find a different family to help. But, if we're being honest, I was also a bit nervous. Just like anyone feels after a failed relationship, I was worried about being hurt again.

 Now, let me tell you a bit about my matching history. I'm picky. Very, very picky. I've been turned down once, and I've turned down a handful of people myself. I feel like being picky in the matching phase and taking your time leads to a better relationship over the course of the surrogacy. So, I'm picky.

So when, on Friday afternoon, we received a profile to consider- I wasn't expecting too much. I've never taken the first one I've received and, as I mentioned, I was still a bit guarded.

But then we read it.
At the bottom of their profile I looked up from my laptop and said just two words in a near whisper, "They're perfect."

In that moment, something happened that hadn't happened for us in surrogacy since we received M&T's profile nearly 3 years ago. We felt that effortless lock. That instant approval that feels like when you put two corresponding puzzle pieces together. That fit that just gives you peace and says, "We're going to be easy friends. This is going to work."

And, spoiler alert, it's an intended mother. We're back to making a mom. Something I thought wasn't going to ever be a good fit for me. I had decided my place in surrogacy was to help gay men. But then I got this profile, and there is just no arguing with that "lock" feeling.

We were given the weekend to consider them, and we really tried to take at least 24 hours. But we just couldn't. We knew right away, and at 19 hours after receiving their information, we couldn't wait any longer. We said yes.

Now we wait to see if they like us, too. To see if they feel that lock.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

An Important Update

Previously I posted about writing letters that you never intend to send. The post wasn't just me waxing all philosophical. I had actually just written a letter that, like many others, I suspected that I would likely not send.

The letter was to request that our current surrogacy match be dissolved, and request that we try to find a better fit with a different family.

I didn't want to send the letter for a number of reasons. I am not a quitter, and we had already invested 6 months into this match. But when I woke up yesterday morning and re-read the letter, I realized that while a few parts needed to be edited out, overall, I still felt just as strongly as I had when I wrote it.

At the end of the day, and the end of a 6 month exercise in patience, Chris and I felt it was in our best interest to send the letter, dissolve our match and move forward.

I do not- will not- want to talk about many of the reasons behind this. They're personal to Chris and I, and I certainly don't want to paint a poor picture of this family. This was an incredibly challenging and very difficult choice for us.

When it comes right down to it, life is short, and a surrogacy career is shorter. As surrogates, we only get to help a very small number of people. Most of us build just one family. The lucky ones build maybe two or three, but that's usually it. We need to be our own advocates and stand up for the experience we want, and the for the surrogacy experience we want our children to view first hand.

So, next up- back to matching. I look very forward to having more news to share soon, and hopefully a more positive upbeat experience for you to go on with me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Grandma's Rules

Growing up my Grandma always had  little bits of wisdom she'd share with me. Little nuggets of golden knowledge that she'd spew at me as easily as she'd whip up biscuits and gravy. I used to hate the repetition of morals that, at the time, I found to be no more than memorized rhetoric.

As I aged though, I have caught myself using these regularly with my own children. I find that I live my live around these expressions now. Examples include:

  • "I'm sorry, I can't hear the words you're saying, you'r actions are speaking too loudly."
  • Fear and faith can't live together, Mandy. One will always beat out the other."
  • "The only thing wrong with you is your attitude, and I can't do a thing about that."
  • "Bored is a state of mind you allow yourself to be."
  • "If He brought you to it, He'll see you through it."
  • "I can't never could"
  • "The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little 'extra'. Anything worth doing, is worth the little extra."
  • "How you do anything is how you do everything."
  • "If you don't love you, how can you expect anyone else to love you?"
  • "Practice in private, perform in public."

The list could go on and on. While each of these little bits has impacted my life in such a huge way, there is perhaps one lesson she shared with me that has shaped who I am more than the others. The lesson was this:

"If you're so angry with someone that you fear you'll regret what you'll say, if you're so angry that you want to say mean things, if you're so angry that your mouth can't keep up with your thoughts, if you're so angry that you want to make big, bold choices in anger: don't.

Instead, write them down with pen and paper. Be as mean, nasty, raw, and honest as you want. Get it all out. Then place that letter- that physical representation of your hurt- in an envelope, seal it, and sleep with it under your pillow. Carry it in your pocket. Keep those vengeful, hurtful words close to your heart and head for a full day.

Then open the letter, and reread everything you wrote. If you still feel like saying those things is the best choice, if they're still true to how you feel and you're not embarrassed by the things you would have said, give the letter to the person and walk away. The next move is theirs, and understand that they may never talk to you again."

Over the years I wrote more than a few pages heavy with ink to my grandma. In hindsight, she must have known what I was doing. I'd huff and disappear to my room for a few hours to write. I never felt peaceful after writing the letters, but I did feel justified. Most of the time I'd read the letters the next morning and find that I was ashamed, and couldn't burn them in the fireplace quickly enough. Only once did I ever deliver a letter to her. And that once, she admitted she was at fault, and deserved each of those mean nasty things I'd written. We grew from it.

This lesson has served me well over the years. I still do this today.  This lesson has saved friendships; it has allowed me to end friendships with a clear heart and head. It was strengthened my marriage, it has highlighted flaws in my personality. I'm more than thankful for this lesson.

My thoughts wander to this lesson today as I think back on Grandma and the incredible woman that she was. She was more my "mom" than my "grandma", though she hated when I'd point that out. In this way, lost my "mom" too young, just in my 20s. I miss her every single day, but more so when life gets stressful or I feel frustrated, as I do now. What I wouldn't do for a chat with her right now. But the good news is that, while she's not here, I know exactly what she'd tell me if she were.

She'd say, "Everyone is allowed a bad day. Stay in your pjs, eat ice cream, cry, leave your hair unbrushed, and feel sorry for yourself. But tomorrow morning get up, put on your big girl panties, and get to work [fixing the problem]."