Friday, May 30, 2008

my purdy hydrangea

one of the wonderful things about living in the south is this, even i have this beautiful plant:

trust me i have a black thumb, plants die because i look in their general direction. this one just blooms despite me being around it. the bad part is it only lasts a couple of weeks.


i just got a rejection e-mail from a fertility/surrogacy message board. their reason you ask, you are going to love this. according to them, I AM VOLUNTARILY INFERTILE. who the hell is voluntarily infertile. i am amazed, if i had only known that all i had to do was decide that i didn't have fertility problems. so i am going to try this approach, stay tuned to find out if it worked.

all i have to say with these mightier than thou people: "you have your period for month after month since you were 12. stand up and go blind, deaf, and loose all balance. be so exhausted that you can't get out of bed or get anything done if you manage to make it to the chair. then tell me that this was voluntary."

so here is a rule: this is a tough enough process, don't make it any harder.

some people just make it too easy. at some point you here so many of these that you just have to laugh at them. my new favorite, amanda wrote on hazel's blog (link to the right) "having a child is just like getting another dog." really, since when did your puppy look at you and tell you they loved you. yes puppy breath is awesome, but it doesn't hold a candle to baby head. so please keep your stupid comments coming, they are such comic relief. i just hope that you find them just a comforting when you are hurting.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

are we really that rare

i've been seeking out other stories like ours. what i have found is nothing. this is not to say that out of thousands of blogs out there that i have read every one, cause i do have laundry to get done. let me preface this with, "I wholeheartedly believe that everyone should have the chance to be parents, regardless of race, creed, religion (or lack there of), and especially sexual orientation".

that said what i have found in blogworld is:
people who have a family member carrying for them
homosexual men
gestational carriers
lawyers, oh so many lawyers
agency owners

what is lacking is people who are using an agency, are the intended parents, and are heterosexual. i understand that this is something that most people want to keep private and that this subject is not easy to talk about with the world. shame is not something that i have a whole lot of, not after i have been poked, prodded, treated like a lab rat, and documented the most intimate details of my life. anyone who has been through fertility treatments knows what i am talking about.

surrogacy brings up a lot of opinions, and for some reason empowers people to voice these opinions without any manners. maybe this is why there is a reluctance to talk about this comes from. possibly it is the fact that there just are not that many people in this situation. whatever the reason, i feel that it is important to talk about this process. i am convinced that it is the closed off nature of this process that leads to all the negative feelings people have about surrogacy.

another problem with keeping everything walled off, is that it makes a lonely process that much more lonely. there are message boards for surrogates that are very active, but those for the parents are either inactive or responded to by only a few people. i have tried posting on a few of these boards and have had very little response.

i am just having one of those days, where i feel isolated. even with all the amazing people i have to support me, i feel alone in all this some days. it isn't that people don't try to understand, but it is difficult for me to explain, which makes it difficult for them to understand. this process is moving (at a snail's pace) along and we are slowly getting there, but I WANT IT NOW. i hate it when i feel like this, it makes me feel ungrateful and bratty, which i am right now. thanks for listening.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Legacy of an Adopted Child

this is a poem someone showed me a long time ago. it isn't completely relevant, but in some ways it does apply, especially in relation to #7.

Legacy of an Adopted Child
Once there were two women, neither knew the other
One you do not remember, the other you call mother.
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you the seed of talent, the other gave you an aim.
Two very different lives shaped yours into one
One became your guiding star, the other was your sun.
One gave you emotions, and one calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.
The first gave you life, the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it.
One gave you up—it was all that she could do,
The other prayed for a child—God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me through your tears,
The age-old question of all the years,
Heredity or Environment, which are you a product of?
Neither darling, neither ... just two different kinds of Love.

lessons learned

i am planning on making this a regular section. for me this is all new territory. i do not know anyone who has gone through this exact process, i don't even know anyone who knows anyone. in the past three months though, i have learned a few things, and i know that there will be much more to come.

1. You have to be your own advocate.
i find that this applies to life in general, but here it is even more important. no one will look out for your best interest, people will help you, but at the end of the day it is up to you.

2. This is a business.
that sucks, i would love to say that everyone does this out of the kindness of their heart, but that just is not the case. there is a lot of money changing hands here, and there is nothing wrong with that. on average a surrogate is making $3.89 per hour, which is half of minimum wage.

3. Keep your emotions out of it.
this is so much easier said than done. nothing is more emotional than this process. though refer to 2 this is a business and there is no crying in the boardroom. you want a child more than anything, otherwise you wouldn't be doing this, but that by no means gives you the right to leave your brain at home.

4. Be honest.
this goes for everyone you talk with, they can't get you what you want if they don't know. you will change your mind a thousand times about things, it is okay. the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with at 13 isn't the same person you are with now (even if you did marry him/her). this is really like dating, you try it on for a while and see what feels comfortable (that sounds more like buying shoes).

5. Don't worry about being a pest.
i was worried that my first agency would dump us if i made to much noise. now i know that i don't want to work with anyone who thinks that i am a pest because i express my concerns or ask questions. there are going to be issues and if you can't express your feelings this is going to be an even longer journey.

6. There is no one size fits all.
what is right for you will not be right for someone else, and that is fine.

7. People can be down right mean.
this is not limited to surrogacy. it seems like anyone who can't have a child with a bottle of wine and a cheap hotel room (thanks for that Chris), is going to have someone to criticize them. at some point some idiot is going to say something along the lines of "Well maybe it just wasn't meant to be." or "Well you won't really be their mother" . these people are asses and you should ignore them. they have no idea what they are talking about. as an adopted child i know who my mother is, and she didn't give birth to me. she did get up with me in the middle of the night, kissed my
boo-boos, and thought my scribbles (the ones not on her walls) should hang next to the mona lisa.

8. Somehow, someway, this is going to work.
there will be times when it feels like you are going to die childless, and that the pain of this will kill you. there have been moments when my whole body hurt and i thought i was going to collapse under the weight of the pain, both emotionally and physically. so far i am still here. use the pain to get through this. i know that sounds weird, but in those moments, make yourself do something related to this whole experience. there is always some paperwork or some other something to do, so get up off the floor and get it done.

9. It is okay to fall apart sometimes.
there are going to be moments when you just need to cry and feel sorry for yourself. this sucks and it isn't fair. you should be able to forget the birth control on vacation and get a souvenir. just remember that if you spend all your time here you aren't going to get anywhere. so give yourself a few hours and then pick yourself up. even if you have to do this everyday for a little while.

10. Ask for help.
it is not written anywhere that you have to be superwoman. this is rough and there are people to help, so use them. there is no shame in saying that you are having trouble.

that is all i can think of at the moment. i know there is more, and i promise to share it when i think of it.

showing the monster in the closet

for many of you this is your first time here. i have gotten a few concerns about my putting this out for the world to see. trust me it took me months to decide to put up this blog. i think of it like the monsters under the bed or in the closet, it is only when the lights are off that they can get you. so many times in my life i have missed out because i was afraid of the unknown. i almost didn't pursue surrogacy out of fear, and i have learned that there was much less to be afraid of than i thought. after tossing this idea around i decided that i was going to be the one to take the leap.

i have looked for surrogacy blogs from the intended parents point of view and there aren't any. for me there is no shame in this process. okay, so there is no morning sickness, i am not going to gain a bunch of weight, and i won't have to go through labor, but i will have given life to this child through a lot of really hard work. this is not a process that should be kept in the shadows, it is a beautiful way to make a family and i think that it should be celebrated. so here it is our adventure through this tangled web of lawyers, agencies, contracts, doctors, and whatever else we have yet to discover.

criticism is just a part of life, people judge each other everyday for way pettier stuff. if the worst thing that can be said about me doing this is that i took a chance, well then i am doing well. i hope one day our child will read this and be proud that all this work went into bringing them into the world. people say that you forget the pain of labor, well this is the closest i will ever come to that experience, and frankly i don't want to forget a moment. at the end of the day this is going to make my biggest dream come true.

thank you all for the love, support and concern. each of you make my life better and i couldn't do this without each of you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

surrogacy update

the agency that we were so excited about turned out to not be what we were looking for. after a few months of back and forth, it was apparent that it just was not going to work. the really sad part is that when i wrote to tell them that we were not going to be able to make this work, the response was even more infuriating.

i felt that i outlined our position in a very easy to understand manner. i did this because they don't seem to understand anything over a first grade level. my main problem was being told that the director had "spent enough time on our case". for the life of me i still can not understand how they thought i would continue a business relationship with anyone who told me that they had spent enough time addressing my concerns. excuse me, but when i am the one paying the bills it is for me to say when i feel comfortable, and when they have spent enough time. then i was told that their contract was never questioned. really, no one has ever questioned your practices? they must have a mandate from god, that they didn't share with us.

surrogacy is a matter off putting trust, an incredible amount of trust, into others that they will do their jobs. i will ask a thousand questions, possibly the same one a few times, and i expect them to be answered. i am not being a bitch, i think that i am being a rational woman who is relying on others to have my child. if i was having the baby myself i would be asking questions. okay enough of this rant.

truly i am so lucky that there are people in this world who are willing to do this for me, and other couples. to anyone who has been a surrogate, donated an egg, or even thought of either one, THANK YOU!!!!!!!! there is nothing more noble, giving, or loving that i can think of in this world. if it had been possible for me to do this for someone else, i would have. as an adopted child i know first hand that giving people the chance to be parents, is the single greatest gift.

my husband and i have debated how to start our family for years. at one point we thought about me carrying, but that just became impossible. my medical issues just got so bad that i had no quality of life. it finally got to the point where i knew that once i became a mother i would not have the energy to enjoy all the amazing experiences. then we toyed with adoption, but i just could not go through the heartbreak if it did not work out. plus i wanted my husband to be able to have his own child. he has super genetics and the world should not be denied (this is my opinion only, he would die of embarrassment if he reads this {hun, if you are reading this BREATH}).

another major reason that surrogacy was right for us, is that i want to be my child's mother from the first minute he/she breaths air. i can't explain why this is important, not because i don't know, but because there just are not words to explain. that is the problem with writing about this process, so much of it is emotion, and very little is intellectual.

the problem with this is that you have to make so many decisions that emotions should be kept away from. there are all the legalities and priorities have to be made. no matter how badly i want this, i first have to protect myself legally as well as emotionally. which is so much easier said than done, when i have those days that a diaper comercial leads to hours of tears. thankfully i have my parents and husband who seem to be able to think straight when i can't. i just feel sorry for those who do not.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

the worst nightmare

i dream every night, others have told me that this is weird, but then again i have never been "normal". i have had those nightmares where i wake up screaming, usually b/c there are rats running around. though last night i woke up crying, sobbing, balling my eyes out and i could not stop even thirty minutes after waking. i dreamed that my husband choked on a big brown cracker and died. i am getting choked up just writing this. i am happy to report that he is healthy, happy and reading to me about a 5 pound bacon sampler.

my biggest fear, even bigger than never being a mother, is loosing him. i spent three years between high school and us getting back together, not knowing if he was alive, or where in the world he was, and i can't imagine not having him here. someone once told me that we have a symbiotic relationship, and she was right. it isn't that we both don't have our own lives (i barely understand what he is saying when he talks about work) but all of my experiences are less rich until i share them with him. i am one of those lucky women who is truely married to her best friend. we were best friends for 3 years, at one point the thought of a romantic relationship was soooo forgien.

to this day, after 9 years of living together, i still look over at him and have to pinch myself. the idea of never being able to do that again truely is my worst nightmare, and i hope that i never really have to live through that. i take it for granted that i have him here everyday. at 4:37 this morning though the sound of him breathing was the most beautiful sound in the world.


this is me and my papa. he died when i was 17, and there still isn't a day when i don't think about him. one of my most vivid memories of him, is watching nature shows. i hated them, and when i asked why i had to watch him, he would say, "Miss America, one day you are going to marry a doctor, and when he takes you to Africa, you need to know what you are looking at."

this is me in kenya, where my husband grew up, christmas 2004. i swear i am not usually this adventurous. my husband makes me do these things. without him there are so many adventures i would never have.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

you all make me a better person

my friends are so wonderful and amazing. there is truly nothing that they wouldn't do for me. i feel so fortunate to have them all in my life. so to say thank you i am putting it out to the world how each and every one of them has made me better for just knowing them. i am doing this in alphabetical order so that no one can claim i don't love them best. the truth is they have all made my life richer.

amanda- is the most self confident woman i know. she will fight for what she believes in with a ferocity, which in most people would be off putting, but in her is one of her best qualities. she is the kind of person that doesn't care what others think, she knows what she believes and that is all that matters. plus she is the only person i know who cans veggies and makes her own fruit roll ups, yes fruit roll ups, who knew you could even do that.

julie- calls me while she is driving home from work because she lives in the loudest house on the planet. she has 5 kids, all of whom are great, but they are so loud, i mean make your back teeth rattle loud. she and i are different people when we are together, and she can get me to do things i never would. like when she made me stop at a "winery" in new mexico (really it was a still in someones back yard), she bugged me so much that i backed up in the middle of the road, just so she would quit. it was on that trip i realized just how dangerous it is to take her anywhere without the kids.

katherine- has gotten me through my social work classes. seriously without her i would have given up, she has been an island of sanity and comic relief, that has made my education possible. she is also my mexican food buddy, which is more valuable than most people think. my husband won't touch the stuff, and texas girls need, must have, are required to consume, mexican food on a regular basis.

lacy- she has been my rock and my strength for years. she will go down fighting with her friends, and has with me more times than i count. she is the person who will tell you if your jeans make you look fat, and yet you can't get mad, because her honesty is one of her many fantastic qualities. as a mother, well what can i say, no child has ever had a better advocate, or been loved more than her son and daughter. she is the one who would walk with you to the death chamber, not because she thought you were right, but because you are her friend, and nothing means more. i honestly wouldn't have survived without her.

lynette- come on how many people can say that they are friends, real friends, with their ex-boss. she is one of the coolest people i know, and she makes a mean meatloaf. i don't know anyone who gets involved in more drama and i really think she does it just for the entertainment. i guess that just comes with the territory when you are the southern "fag hag" extraordinaire.

nacole- she is the one who would get you out of jail in the middle of the night, that is if she wasn't sitting next to you. no one works harder than her, and still finds the time and energy to do whatever you need. plus listening to her talk about her vegetarian husband will keep you in stitches for hours.

sam- what can i say about my sam. we became friends under the worse circumstances. i have done some awful things to her. she saw me through my first real relationship, which was odd to say the least. she is the person who i call whenthe world turns upside down, because she will sit in the misery and still somehow pull me out of it. and she will forever be my after dinner mint. how many people have a friend who can take the most embarassing moment of your life and make it the best joke in the world, on the same day.

i love you all so much, that i could never really put it into words. i am so lucky that i have each of you in my life. it will take me thousands of years to even come close to repaying your love and kindness. and watch out world if i ever manage to get them all together.

Friday, May 9, 2008

my mommy taught me to say please

there are just some things that you don't do to others. i am by no means the most ethical person in the world, and i know that there are plenty of people i have treated badly in my life. the one thing that i have always tried to do was never to add to someone's pain, and i have never taken advantage of someone just because they are emotionally vulnerable. it is the most disgusting thing that you can do, in my book it ranks up there with treating children badly. people who are emotionally vulnerable need protection, not that i am asking to be handled with kid gloves. currently i am feeling that because i am unwilling to blindly hand over everything i own to have a child, i am being viewed as an irritant. i am being told that i just need to do this, and hundreds of others have so why would i have a problem. my problem is that i have a brain, and it works, and i know better than to just trust what someone says (especially when what they are asking me to sign explicitly excludes what they say as legally binding). all i want is to be treated like i am important, and not be told that someone, whose salary i am helping to pay, has spent enough time working on my requests and that if any more time has to be spent i will be paying an additional fee. this to me is just insane, if this is what it takes to make me comfortable, then this is what it takes. this is a situation where anything can happen, and let's just say that the worse does happen, am i going to be told that enough time has been spent on me, and i am just going to have to deal with the fact that my child is being hurt. i am just angry, and i feel like nothing i say matters, i am just supposed to sit here and keep my mouth shut. just because i don't have another choice, i just have to live with whatever they want to shove down my throat. well i don't just give up that easy and i will not be forced into this, i have spent too much of my life having to cower in fear of what will happen if i don't play along, and that is not going to happen again.
i know that i always go to the worse case scenario, but when trying to navigate this minefield, i think that going to the worse case is the best thing to do. i want this to be a great experience for everyone, and i want this to all go smoothly, but i also need to make sure that i protect myself. this is where my split personality really does serve me well. most people meet my southern bell, who will lay down on a grenade if that is what it takes to keep the peace, it isn't until you push too hard that the yankee bitch rears her ugly head, and it is time to watch out. i can't really control her, and she is fierce, she is the part of me who will take your head off if you dare to threaten my family, or attempt to stand in my way.
i just keep telling myself that this is going to all work out, and hopefully it will. i just can't even let myself think what will happen if it doesn't. all i do know for sure is that i have these amazing people surrounding me, and i love all of you. at the end of the day i know that i am loved more than most, and that no matter what happens, they will all be there to support me. i love all of you, and i couldn't weather this without you.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

legalities suck

i want to lay in the floor and throw a temper tantrum until i get my way. even though this has never worked, i am thinking that something might have changed in the past thirty years since i tried it last. going into this i knew that there were going to be days like this, but i didn't expect them so early. i understand that part of this is strictly a business arrangement, but my heart just isn't getting it. my heart wants a baby and it doesn't seem to care that a bunch of lawyers are squabbling over the definition of "reasonable". Could someone send these people a dictionary?
maybe if they had to endure this for one moment, to walk around this world with an empty place in their hearts, and then have to be completely reliant on others to fill. maybe then they would understand that this isn't a situation where they need to add onto this pain. yes there are legal issues that need to be considered, and everyone needs to be protected, but this is having a baby. having babies come with all kinds of surprises, and this just doesn't fit into nice little boxes.
one day i will look back at this and none of it will matter. there will be a day when this will all be a distant memory, but right now it is here and it is ripping my guts out. i just wish i could go to sleep and wake up when it is all over.
i know that i am just going to have to pull up my big girl panties, and deal with this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

my camera

since my first photography class in 8th grade, documenting pieces of my life has been a passion. for the first time in my life i was good at something, better than others, and i was not afraid of criticism, b/c it served only to make me better. more importantly though it was a way to escape. behind the lens i have a world all my own.

as a child i was painfully shy and had so much trouble making friends, that i was clinically depressed by the time i was 12. it was my camera that allowed me to be part of a world that i felt so separated from. i still have that camera, and while film is quickly dying, i don't think that i will ever give it up, it is my oldest friend.

today my camera serves to let me capture moments in time. i feel the need to preserve even the most mundane moments of my life. eventually it will probably be what my child first calls "momma". the fact is that my camera is more than a piece of machinery, it is my escape and my lifeline.

Monday, May 5, 2008


there is only one thing i have wanted since i was small - a family. i have been married for seven years to the most wonderful man in the world. he has the ability to drive me crazy like no other human being, he also has the ability to make me happier than any other person on the planet. so now all that is missing is a child.
two years ago i made the decision to have an uterine ablation, b/c my bleeding disorder caused me to have marathon periods (6 months being the record). so in order to preserve my sanity i voluntarily gave up the chance to carry my own child. i also have PCOS so getting pregnant was going to involve fertility treatments.
fast forward to now and we are starting to work with a surrogacy agency, which is only slightly less terrifying than a brazilian wax (not that i would ever have one, i am way too much of a chicken).
so you ask why am i hurting? other than being afraid that this is not going to work and we will be out of options (yes i know that you can adopt, you are reading the rant of an adopted child). i am a control freak, not that i knew this until a few years ago, i suspect that everyone around me did and i guess they just forgot to mention it. this is not a process that i can micro manage and i actually have to trust that other people are going to do their jobs and keep their promises. this is not something that i am good at. then there is the fact that everyone who comes within two feet of me are popping out children like pez dispensers. (to any of these friends you know that i am so happy for you, adore your children and in no way do i think of you as pez related products) everytime i look at a baby i want to cry and everytime i start to cry i feel guilty. i have an amazing life, and i am so lucky to have all these amazing people in it, each and every one of whom i would do anything to make their lives better.
i my heart i know that this is all going to work out, i just wish i could make my brain believe my heart, they are having trouble communicating an will be seeing a relationship councelor in the near future.