Sunday, January 19, 2014

Our surrogate

   So what kind of woman offers to be a surrogate? I am sure that those of you who do not know us personally are wondering not only who this woman is to us, but to the world. Well, she is exactly the type of person I would ever want to be our surrogate… or anyone else’s.
   The story of how she came to be our surrogate is pretty amazing, even if I do say so myself, and often when I think of it all, I am still shocked that this is my reality, and all thanks to her. What do you say about someone who has given you everything you could have ever wanted in life? Truly, there are no adequate words to express my love and gratitude for her and what she has blessed me with.
   I suppose I should start at the beginning… If you have followed my blog, you will know that Ryan and I were set up by a mutual friend. Her name is Diane. At the time of the “set-up,” Diane and I didn’t really know each other very well. We were sort of friends, as I call it, but in reality we were more just acquaintances. We hadn’t ever hung out just the two of us, or talked on the phone, or done anything that female friends do, besides party together. After she set Ryan and me up, she and I instantly became friends. Maybe it was because the set-up was successful... I am sure that was part of it, but the night she set us up we were out together, just her, her husband, and myself, and we had a blast! I think that night was the clincher, whether Ryan and I worked out or not. We had more fun that I had had with anyone in a long time, and we had tons in common. She was just so down-to-earth... my kind of girl.
   Ryan and Diane had already been friends for many years, and our friendship blossomed after the set-up. We hung out a lot and became very close quite quickly. Over the next few years, our friendship strengthened, even though there was physical distance between us because her husband has a job that requires them to move a lot. We always kept in contact, whether it was through texts, emails, Facebook, skyping, or visits when she was in town, you name it.
   My favourite part about our friendship was that Diane and Ryan had a history, so she really knew us both and the three of us could hang out without it being strange, or needing a fourth person in the mix.
   Since Diane was the person who put Ryan and me together, we wanted her to be a part of our wedding. At the same time as we were trying to figure out who was going to be a part of it, and what role they would each play, we also were trying to decide who would officiate. Neither Ryan nor I are very religious at all, so a minister or pastor was not going to work for us. We wouldn’t have been comfortable with that. We knew that it was possible to get someone you know to be a commissioner for a day. Diane was the perfect choice! It seemed so fitting for her, the matchmaker, to “seal the deal.”
   She was in town over Christmas so we arranged a “date” to go out for dinner together. I will never forget that because all three of us ended up crying in the restaurant! We had sat down and begun to chat when it became quite awkward because she could tell we were working up to something, and we were so nervous about asking. Finally when we said, “Will you marry us?” we were all crying and laughing and it was a very special moment for me, as I am sure it was for Ryan and Diane as well.
   We thought it was all pretty cool that the woman who had set us up was also going to be the woman who would marry us! What kind of story that was! Well, it only got better! I am not sure at what point in time, whether it was before we got married or after, that everyone we knew had already heard about my not being able to have babies and us possibly using a surrogate… even though we weren’t “ready” yet. A bunch of people had actually offered, three of whom I believe were serious, with two of them being my sisters-in-law. I am so lucky to have so many people in this world willing to help me. Let the world know just how appreciative I am.
   However, both of my sisters-in-law weren’t done making their families. In fact, one of them hadn’t even started yet, and being that they are my family, I was nervous about the bonding issue and possibly putting the existing relationships at risk, so I didn’t want to take them up on their offers. I do believe that if I had, both of them would have done it, or made a valiant effort to try to, even while building their own families. I am beyond grateful for both of those women in my life, and happy to say that they are busy creating and building their own families, and in fact, they are both pregnant with their second child right now! Everyone is healthy and happy, and I feel close to both of them.
   There were some women who joked about carrying a baby for me but wanting the right to do certain things, or have me raise it in certain ways. Clearly, they didn’t understand what a gestational surrogate is (biologically mine and Ryan’s), so they would have no real genetic relationship... or they thought they were being funny... These people pissed me off, mostly because they were ignorant and I was still dealing with the emotion of it all and had no room for jokes about it. 
   Anyway, there was that third woman! One day, out of nowhere, I got an email from Diane and it basically said that if we wanted and were comfortable with it, she would be happy to be a surrogate for us. I nearly fell off of my chair! Now this was an offer that I didn’t know if I could refuse.
   Of course, Ryan and I talked a lot about it and we weren’t ready to begin that process at any rate, so we didn’t agree to anything right then. In fact, I don’t really remember how or when it came to be that we did agree with her verbally, but from that moment on I remember feeling very comfortable with her in that very important role.
   To be a surrogate you have to have had at least one healthy pregnancy and birth of your own. Diane has two kids of her own. She is adamant that she is done her own family and that she wants very badly to do this for us. We have had many, many, many discussions and are all on the same page as to how things will go.
   This woman, with whom I partied with many years ago, has now turned out to not only have set me up with the man of my dreams, but she also married us, and is now going forward with trying to be a surrogate for us. I don’t have the words to express my love and gratitude, and I have no idea how I can ever repay her for what she has done and is doing for me. She is single-handedly making my dreams come true.
   Diane is a most incredible woman, even outside of what she has done for Ryan and me, but when I asked her if I could write a blog post about her, she responded that she didn’t need a medal but said I could write whatever I wanted (or else this post wouldn’t exist). She doesn’t want the recognition. She isn’t doing this to receive thanks or a reward. She is doing this because she loves us, she thinks we deserve a child, and she is able to give it. She is doing it because of who she is, and I have told her many, many, many times that she is more than able to back out if she changes her mind, or if something in her own personal life changes and presents an issue. She is on board 150 percent. Even now, though, if she were to change her mind, or circumstances arise to where it doesn’t work out, I will always, always, always remember the hope and joy that she has made me feel.
   I was in a place for a very long time where I didn’t believe in the best of people anymore. I was beginning to become very cynical and angry. Over the past year and a half, since Ryan and I got married and we have begun to pursue this surrogacy thing in a real way, Diane and her offer, the things she says and has done, and the way she has become a part of our little family has restored my faith in humanity. There really are GOOD people out there.
   I understand that I haven’t even touched on who she is as a parent to her two amazing kids or as a volunteer in her community, or in all of the other roles she has in this world and does so well in, but if you understand all of who she is just to us, that is who she is to the world.
   Diane completes our love story.