Thursday, March 06, 2008

When Talking Progresses to Research ...

Pre P.S. Woah! I appear to have struck a nerve with my costume complaint, with most of you agreeing we should pull our children out of this school immediately and move to rural Siberia where costumes are never required, only polar bear coats. What I find truly ironic is only a few hours after I hit the "publish" button on that last post, Brayden came home from school with the following announcement: "Mom, I have to dress up like an old lady in the assembly on Friday; can you get me a dress and a shawl tomorrow?" (sigh)

I was glad to see so many of you commenting, though. Crickets had started chirping around here and I was re-thinking the current storyline. For now, I'll plug along and keep going.

*************************


So once I acknowledged my interest in surrogacy was more than a passing fancy (what does that mean, anyway, "passing fancy"?) I got online and started researching. Started reading everything I could get my hands on, from Ask Jeeves and websites and message boards, all about the world of surrogacy. And … well …wow. Just wow. There was so much information out there, and I was on overload; it was overwhelming. Some good, some bad, some accurate, some from the land of crazy, and let’s be honest, I was completely ignorant of the entire process. I wasn’t sure what information was reliable, and what was normal, and what was too bizarre to even be considered.

At the time, most of what I was finding felt a little too “on the fringe” for me. I can be pretty conservative, and definitely don’t consider myself to be a “leap first, look later” kind of gal. (Unless it involves a shoe sale at Nine West … then yeah, I pretty much plow forward with no common sense whatsoever.) But for big ticket, life altering experiences, I am more of a cautious type. Online, I was finding couples advertising for surrogates, surrogates advertising for couples, arranged parenting requests (??) alarmist stories of what could go wrong, legal precedents and complications ….. for someone like me, who had no clue where to begin, it seemed a little frightening and unsupervised. Trying to navigate this process, and embark on something like this, by myself, via the ‘net, was too intimidating. I mean, everyone knows the anonymity of the Internet can be a tricky thing, and how could you be sure what you were getting into?? I clearly remember saying to Blaine, “I am not about to wind up on Jerry Springer like these people …. Advertising on the internet for a surrogate …. Who does that?!” and reconsidering the entire thing. I mean, what was the most well-known surrogacy story at that point? The Baby M fiasco --- who wants to be a part of something like that!?!

In hindsight, I have to laugh at my naiveté. Just because *I* wasn’t familiar with that particular process, didn’t mean there was anything wrong with it. It just meant that it wasn’t the right process for me, at that time. So I kept looking, at that point with more morbid curiosity than anything else.

Then, I found a website for a surrogate agency located in California that seemed .. well … more organized. More professional. More supervised. Ahhhhh, for an anal-control freak like me, that was good. That was more in my comfort zone. Again, it doesn’t mean it was better, it just means it was better for me.

The agency I found is a well-known agency within the world of surrogacy, with offices located in California and Maryland. At that time (it was summer, 2000) they had been in business for twenty years, had facilitated the births of over 700 babies, and they appeared (to me, anyway) to be a firm, solid, secure, reputable agency. They advocated a very controlled, well-guided, let-us-take-you-by-the-hand-and-lead-you-through-this kind of approach. Although I wasn’t sure exactly what that process would include, I did love the wording on their site:

“We believe that surrogate parenting should be a collaboration of professionals who guide the entire process. The team should consist of doctors, psychologists or psychotherapists, attorneys and an agency that is the liaison between all the participants. {Agency name} has created a "team" that is unsurpassed anywhere in the world. {Agency name} is unique because we have created a team that is involved with each surrogacy arrangement from beginning to end.”

And at that point I turned to Blaine and said, “Ahhhhh, relief. I’ve found the way I want to do this; a way that makes me feel safe.”

And sent an online request that very evening to the powers that be on their webiste to “please contact me; I am interested in your surrogate mother program.”

17 comments:

Alice said...

If I promise to comment every day will you keep telling this story??!!?? I have so wanted to read it since you did your whole Brayden adoption story. I LOVED reading that. And I want to keep reading this one! So just let me know how many comments you need each day to keep it going! :)

Anonymous said...

Love your story...I don't comment as often, because it takes so long to download the comment section overseas for some reason!

Rachael J.

Deb said...

Keep the updates coming!! I love this story!

Anonymous said...

Keep the story coming! I love it!
Claire in TX

Anonymous said...

LOVE it! keep going! :)

Elaine

Anonymous said...

Kristie, first of all, your blog is always part of my day. I love your writing, whether is be serious or lighthearted.

That said, please don't stop telling your surrogate story. It is so interesting and, just like your adoption and infertility stories, it will open many eyes. Beyond that, it is just great to read!

Cathy in Cali

Anonymous said...

I've never left a comment before, but I'm hear every day to read your story.
Keep em coming.

Donna, Alberta, Canada

Mary said...

Kristie,

Please don't listen to whatever noise is copying the cricket-chirp sound......your surrogacy saga has been eagerly anticipated and I love that you are sharing it with your readers!!! I don't comment often but am always reading and greatly admire your writing and storytelling skills. :)

Mary from Illinois

charing said...

Costumes are a big drag for us Moms but really.....Keep the story coming I am really so intrigued waiting every day for the next chapter.

Kelly said...

I can't wait to read the rest of this story! Very interesting!! Thanks for sharing Kristie!!

angie said...

As I sit her on my 4th week of bedrest...with at least 6 more to go, I'm reading your story thinking, "Hmmmm....she could carry this baby the rest of the time for ME"!!! Ha! Ha! Ha! LOL!!

On a more serious note, I love to read your blog, and I am so glad that you are sharing this story. I think surrogacy is a miraculous thing, and I've always wanted to know more about it. I can't wait to read....The Rest of the Story:).

Pam Earley said...

So glad you are continuing this story!

Been a daily reader since the Kendrie/caringbridge days, but seldom leave a comment. Sorry. I will start commenting more, just please, please, don't stop writing!!

Anonymous said...

Did you get paid to be a surrogate?

Anonymous said...

These cliffhangers are killing me!!

Dixie

Trish in Leesburg, VA said...

I'm with Alice, I will comment daily if that is what it takes for you to continue the story!

And funny you should mention Baby M, because everytime I hear surrogacy I think of that sad story!

Cindi said...

Thank you for sharing your surrogacy journey with us. It's so refreshing to read about someone being selfless instead of selfish!

As far as the school costumes are concerned, it sounds like your children's school is going just a tad overboard. At the school I teach at, we come up a list of dress up dates before school starts and send it home in that first week. And we stress that participation is NOT mandatory! We tend to do simple things too, so that helps. Personally I wish we'd cut it back to just one dress up day a quarter!

Anonymous said...

Also a faithful, daily reader who is trying to do better at commenting. You are such a great writer!

I now get to come up with a Sacajawea costume for my blond hair girl. My co-worker gets Napoleon Bonaparte for her blondie! I think I got the easier end of this deal. Should both be adventures!

Lenaya