Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rejection

A few different feelings and thoughts went through my head, almost simultaneously. First, relief. Thank goodness to know I wasn’t imagining things. They didn’t like me either, and I was almost happy to know I wouldn’t have to work with them. Second, following immediately on the heels of relief, was indignation. What do you MEAN they don’t want to work with me? What’s wrong with ME, that they think they’re so great and can pass over me like I’m not good enough? Third, a little bit of despair and sadness… what IS wrong with me? Why didn’t they like me? And finally, regret at the thought my surrogate journey was over before it even got started. Six months of applications and essays and psych tests and physical screenings and interviews and now ….. I’m done, and I didn’t get to carry so much as a suitcase for someone else, let alone a baby.

I said as much to the counselor on the phone, “Wow. That’s pretty discouraging. I, uh, I don’t know what to say. Um, I’m sorry? Because they didn’t like me? Or, sorry for letting you down?” Truly, I was a little bewildered because this just wasn’t supposed to happen. The social worker had told us previously that while yes, occasionally match meetings didn’t go well, it was almost always the surrogate not wanting to work with a couple. Maybe they just seemed different in person than she expected (hello? Sounding familiar?) but that couples are normally so excited to meet the person who can hopefully help them, they are usually thrilled to be moving forward and can’t say yes quickly enough. Plus, I think it was a point of pride to the social worker, after she put the time and effort into presenting the right girls to the right couples, and vice versa. Not that couples NEVER turned down a surrogate …. It wasn’t like this was the first time in their agency’s history this had happened, but she said on the phone to me --- pretty grimly --- it doesn’t happen often, and she wasn’t too happy about it.

In fact, she was downright annoyed on my behalf. Come to find out, the couple had only one reason for not wanting to work with me. Not because they thought I was weird, or crazy, or diametrically opposed to their personal ideas and expectations …. But because Blaine was in the military. And not even because he was in the military (and they were Clinton-loving liberals if you ever saw any) but because … are you ready for this? We were slated to move the next summer, and didn’t know yet where we were going. They were convinced that Blaine was going to be sent to some God-forsaken third world country, and I would be forced to go with him (they obviously didn’t understand the concept of “remote” “unaccompanied” assignments) and that I would have to give birth to their baby in a rice paddy or cave in the desert with no medical attention and then guerilla insurgents would steal the baby and take it to live in a compound somewhere.

Um, yeah. O.K.

We had actually spoken to the social worker about this at great length, the fact we didn’t know where we would be stationed next. Believe it or not, there are a few states where surrogacy is illegal, and the agency needed to be sure I wouldn’t wind up there. Not that THAT would even have been the end of the world, just that I would have had to go someplace else to deliver the baby.

But even that was a moot point, because we knew we were moving one of two places, depending on Blaine’s acceptance (or not) to an advanced military school, and both of those places were on the “good” surrogacy list. We had already done our research, and double-checked, and triple-checked. Although the social worker tried to reassure this couple that their scenario, me being captured by terrorist pirates and the baby and I sold into white slavery bondage, or whatever, was NOT going to happen, they weren’t hearing any of it.

Bottom line, Blaine being in the military freaked them out, and nothing the social worker said could change their mind. (Please note that this was actually BEFORE 9/11, and the Iraq War, and our country was honestly in a very stable military situation at that time. Can you imagine if I’d actually been matched with this couple, and nine months later the Twin Towers had been attacked? It gives me hives just to imagine their reaction.)

Actually, you know what? I was glad. Sorry that they were so ignorant about the workings of the military, but glad that it worked out in my favor. Surrogate relationships are doomed to fail if both couples don’t have a healthy respect for the other couple’s way of life …. And no way could I be matched with a couple who was so suspicious of our military lifestyle. I mean, it’s not like they didn’t like our dog, or the car we drove, or my taste in clothing. Being a military family is what we WERE, and if they couldn’t get behind that, there was no way this would work. So really, I was relieved.

But sad, too, to know I’d been knocked out of the running by someone so uneducated, and unwilling to listen, about the military.

Then my social worker snapped me out of my funk …. “Are you kidding me?” she said, still indignant on my behalf, “This isn’t over … you’re not done. We’re going to set up a meeting with the other couple, the couple you wanted to meet in the first place. I completely mis-read the first couple and to be honest, they blind-sided me as well. But you’re going to meet the other couple, and it’s going to be fabulous. I promise.”

And so I crossed my fingers, and hoped she was right, and agreed to fly back to Maryland with Blaine the next Saturday (ah, geez …. MORE begging for overnight babysitting from my friends) and meet couple number two.

26 comments:

Grandma J said...

Can you feel my blood boiling over??
Consider yourself lucky. I think you knew something wasn't just right in the first place when you wanted to picked the other couple.

Isn't it ironic that Blaine volunteered to make a life long committment to protect people like this couple? I can't even fathom how their minds work.

Misty Thacker said...

wow all cause he was in the military???!!! thats crazy being a military wife myself and seeing that some people have no idea what THIS life is all about amazes me... anyway keep writing keep writing...

Trisha in Leesburg, VA said...

liberals! ugghhhh! shame on them. But I am glad it worked in your favor- seems like with the differences it would have been hard.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your surrogate story. I can't wait for the next installment of your story.
Cheryl

Anonymous said...

Kristie, I have stalked, I mean followed :-) you guys for a while! (I work a mile from CHOA. I often thought of you guys when you were over there but never had the nerve to go find you and say hello...that felt like I would be REALLY stalking you then ;-) ). You ALWAYS make my day with what you write. I have never commented until today....I have to say that people can be so DING DANG Stupid!!!!! No matter what you believe about the war or your political views, EVERYONE should be thanking the military and their spouses for protecting us every day!!!!! Without your sacrifices, we would not be free to do all the things that we do. So THANK YOU BLAINE and all of the other people who are Active Military or even retired Military and your spouses for all that you do and have done!!!! (And, I'm glad it didn't work out for this couple because they are just stupidheads! :-) ) Sara

Lauren said...

I'm fairly liberal, but it never would have crossed my mind that being a military family would be a reason not to work with someone as a surrogate! That is absolutely ridiculous. Makes you wonder whether or not they ever found a couple that was just perfect enough for their liking... God definitely works in mysterious ways, I would think it would be hard to carry their child for nine months and not worry about the way they were going to raise the baby!

Anonymous said...

I'm not really a gambling sort of person, but I'm putting all my money on this next family. I'm betting this is "our" happy ending....to the first chapter anyway!

Dixie

loriedunn said...

Thanks so much for sharing your surrogacy story. I had given my sister a really hard when she talked about wanting to be a surrogate and you’ve changed my mind about the whole thing. Unfortunately, she had complications with her last two pregnancies, so now she’s not a good candidate, but I promise to be really supportive of the next surrogate I meet!

Anonymous said...

I think you need to change the name of this post from "Rejection" to "Validation", because this just proved your feelings were right from the start!

Shanda

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for the next chapter. You're keeping us on the edge of our seats.

Lisa C.

Melissa in CA said...

Yep, I knew it! You should've followed your instinct & gone with the couple you chose first. Oh well, I have a feeling that couple were the lucky winners, huh?

The Running Girl said...

I'm really enjoying reading about your surrogate journey, but I can't believe that first couple. Wow!

heartshapedhedges said...

Ok, this is probably totally UN-PC of me to say, BUT.....

Thank Goodness! Im not sure how much surrogates keep in touch or "follow" the lives of the children they birth, but, with this one, she possibly could of ended up throwing blood on people at a PETA protest or as a war protestor or something like that....not to offend anyone that may be into that stuff...but, I think you all are better off.

And, also, completely UN-PC, I know..but, I cant believe you would be willing to make such a huge committment, offer such an amazing gift, and they would turn it down....I happen to think folks that could do that might not make the best parents...

basically, they didnt deserve you!

Looking forward to the meeting with the nice people.

Deborah said...

I think they turned you down because they found out about your unnatural addiction to DDP. They made up the "military phobia" because it was an easy out. They had no idea how fabulous you really are!

Anonymous said...

I know this won't make me the most popular commentor, but just as you didn't really like them, they didn't really like you. And that's okay. I'm pretty liberal, and find that people who have strong conservative opinions annoy me! Yup, I said it. So, even though I'd give you my kidney if you needed it, I might not want to be your friend. Surrogacy just seems like a situation where you should at least LIKE one another! So, you didn't. Oh well, the best thing is to move on.

Marisa said...

Some comments seem to be focusing on the political side!! I find liberals pretty annoying !! I won't be anonymous though!!
I am truly enjoying your story and would like to THANK Blaine for his dedicated service to this great country of ours. Also, Thank you for supporting Blaine in his service to our country.

Jessica said...

Marisa, you took the words right out of my mouth - on both your points! Thank you Escoe family and all other past and present military families for having the guts to fight for this great country and better the lives of people all over the world.

URBAN BLONDE said...

Wow!

Since when is being a liberal, a New Yorker and/or not understanding how every aspect of the military works grounds for tar and feathering in your country?

Me thinks people are delving too far into the words written instead of enjoying ONE PERSON'S experience as a surrogate.

As blogger's we can use hyperbole to our hearts content to describe events in a story.

As human beings commenting on such stories we can remember to have compassion, manners and respect.

Blondie

Anonymous said...

Being liberal does not make you a bad person, a poor parent or unpatriotic, just as being unfamiliar with the lifestyle of a military family does not make you "ignorant" or "uneducated." It's obvious the two couples found no common ground and just did not click. Leave it at that. Can't we just enjoy this story of surrogacy?

jadine said...

Here's the thing.

THIS IS YOUR STORY.

This is your story on your blog. You can share the details of your story any way you choose, and I believe you are relating the facts/impressions accurately as you had them.

With so varied an audience, with so many polar views (about politics, religion, minimum wage, heck, even over-or-under toilet paper), you're ALWAYS going to ruffle feathers and/or get high praise for the exact same blog entries.

My unsolicited advice: don't write to the comments. Write what's true to you and your story. If you wore fuchsia socks to the get-to-know-ya dinner, that's just a fact (albeit a sad one :) If the first couple was left-wing and you were not, well, that's just a fact. If you were a lactose-intolerant asian orthodox jewish man, you'd be writing the facts as you saw them from *that* perspective.

I hope you reconsider, and continue to share *your* story as you experienced it.

Regardless of what you say, there will be dumb-ass comments like "all democrats are not evil," or "down with right-wing military zealots!" ...well, sheesh, you can't do anything with comments like that.

You know, if commenters miss the point so completely, then there's no enlightening them to what you 'actually said/meant.'

Don't write to the lowest common denominator! Write to those of us who "get" it! :)

arithmancy said...

So what if people get their feathers ruffled. Delete their comments & delete their emails...you don't have to let them into your world. Far more people and enjoying and will benefit from your story than those who feel the need to voice their opinion. Perhaps a better option would be to tell the entries concerning this story with closed comments. Don't give it up; besides part of the reason you stuck with this blog was as a way to put your history on paper for your family. Remember that...and remember that all great authors spark controversy.

Anonymous said...

Kristie,

Please don't quit writing this story. I want to know "The rest of the story". I think it is great, although heart breaking that they did not "choose" you. It was not meant to be. I am glad you did not let your first experience stop you from being a surrogate. Besides, you can't stop now. I enjoy my morning coffee reading your story. It sure beats the news. LOL

Hugs,
Machelle

Anonymous said...

Kristie who cares what some people think. Anonymous does not have to come here and read this. You keep it up girl.
Your MN friend,
Karen

Sue said...

Delurking to say please don't let a few bad apples ruin it for the rest of us! I'm really enjoying your story and would love to hear the rest of it.

Can you continue on with the story, but close comments?

April said...

I am glad you shared your story and that is exactly what it is YOUR story. I appreciate your service and all the other military families that make our lives and freedom possible.

Anonymous said...

..."being unfamiliar with the lifestyle of a military family does not make you "ignorant" or "uneducated.""...

I'm not certain why you, anonymous, took offense to this comment. Don't unfamiliar, ignorant, and uneducated all mean the same thing? It means you do not know or understand something. You could also say they are unfamiliar with/ignorant about/uneducated with regards to military lifestyle. It wasn't a criticism or even an opinion, it was a fact. I myself am uneducated and ignorant about military lifestyle. Why? Because I've never lived it. There is no reason for me to take offense, it's absolutely true. Ignorant is not a bad/mean/derogatory word, it simply means you don't know.

Go on Kristie, tell your story.

Abbie
DSM,IA