Our journey started out blissfully and full of expectation and hopes on both sides. We were excited, nervous, scared, joyful and hopeful. Things came to a screeching halt about 11 weeks into the pregnancy and the next 28 weeks we muddled and struggled through our journey with heartache, fear, pain and confusion at the hands of an agency who had no business being involved in surrogacy. Upon learning your true age, I spent months worrying about how this little girl would thrive and be cared for. Upon the agency abusing your trust, you no longer trusted me.
And then birth happened and a perfectly and amazingly beautiful little girl entered this world in the most horrifically painful of births and waited patiently for her mommy's arms to wrap around her. I spent the next 1.5 years dealing with inner turmoil and fear, as I felt manipulated and used at not being offered informed consent. And then last weekend I met a mom who was the same age as you. Her dd was one of our guests at my dd's birthday party. As she ran around after her daughter who had an official ADHD diagnoses and she apologized right and left, I kept wanting to hug her and tell her she didn't have to apologize. That she was an in touch mother, loving her child and doing a far better job than many of the mother's half her age that i'd seen ignore, brush off and spoil their children at the school.
Instead I sat and I thought of you and sweet baby E. It has been 2.5 years since I have seen you or her. No updates, no communications which usually is just fine as I understand this is a part of surrogacy. But until this weekend, I was never able to shake the fear of the unknown for my role in surrogacy. And then I saw a mom, the same age as you who was offering everything you'd hoped to be as a mother and I realized, we fear the unknown and in our society we do not have that many mothers who are 60+ years in age of small children. I had simply been fearing the unknown as I had not been told the truth of who you were or your age. And you simply feared your dreams of becoming a mother would never happen so you lied to me.
If it had not been for you dear IM, I would not be so actively involved in this world of surrogacy. I would not have best friends who came from this very community, who have held my hand and my heart during the worst parts of my adult life. I would not have friends who are previous potential IMs that i still email, laugh with, cry with, have over for dinner and are no longer simply 'potential IMs' but true friends in my life who love me for who I am outside of surrogacy and have never left my side.
I have learned that surrogacy is not simply about a healthy and whole baby, there are many who are robbed of that. Surrogacy is about hope, it is about dreams, it is about mankind giving to each other in pursuit of not having their hopes dashed by another human being. Surrogacy IS beautiful. Surrogacy is scary as hell. Surrogacy is healing. Surrogacy is risky. But it isn't the final outcome, or how many surrogacies you do or how many babies you carry/bring into the surrogacy world, or how much your comp is . . . the healing is in what you make of it. It's taken me a long 2.5 years to finally learn all of this and to you, I am thankful. My life has bloomed and opened up and I have changed in ways I never expected surrogacy to change me. I never thought I'd heal from my journey, but I've done more than that. I've changed and I've had my eyes opened to me and I've been forced to learn things I never would have thought twice about. And I am a better mother and friend thanks to our own journey.
Know that I wish you the best of luck, all the love and many years of blissful parenting and I hold nothing but love for you and sweet baby E in my heart as a friend who was blessed by my experience and is daily blessed by the wonderful and true friendships that surrogacy has given me.