Twelve and a half years ago, you came to live with us. Surprise! I wanted to try for a baby, Dad brought home another puppy. A puppy with the longest tongue I'd ever seen. When I first saw you, I cried. And today I am crying again. You've been a good dog. You were cute, happy and friendly, sometimes stinky and obnoxious, and always lovable. Even as the years began to show, you still managed to muster up that energy you're so famous for. That energy was still there, all the way to the very end, but your body told us (and you) differently. Goodbye's are always tough so instead I will say thank you. Thank you for choosing us as your human family. Thank you for your loyalty. Thank you for the tail wags and the smiles. Thank you for all the loves and "kisses". And thank you for letting us know when it was time to say goodbye.
Back in the day, I'd lace up my roller skates, my white speed skates with the florescent pink racing wheels, and I'd rock the limbo. How low can ya go? I could go real, real lllooowww. I was good at the limbo, and I enjoyed it. There are no roller skates for me any more, but sometimes in life, I feel as though I am still doing the limbo. Sadly, I'm not so good at the limbo of life. My life is good. Scratch that. My life is awesome. I'm so grateful for all that I have and equally grateful for all of the opportunity that my future likely holds. I'm so very anxious to see what my future looks like and I have a real hard time with a little something called patience. I have so many question marks - some things I have control over...others that are completely out of my hands. Just show me already! What can I expect for my future?
Deep, deep down, I know what I need to do. I know what I should be doing and where I will attempt to shift my focus. I need to focus on NOW. This is my life. Each moment that I spend worrying, wondering and focused on the unforeseeable future is another moment of my now that I have not been completely present for. I don't want to miss a single moment of this lovely life. I need to embrace the fact that where I currently am, even if it does feel a little like the limbo, is exactly where I need to be right now. It's my current...my here and now. I cannot be anywhere else at this moment. Here and now is where I need to be. It's where I shall stay until my future reveals itself and becomes my new here and now.
I'm lacing up those speed skates, and I'm doing a whole lot of stretching. This girl's going to rock the limbo yet again. After all, perhaps I'm not quite ready for what my future has in store for me.
Or maybe, just maybe, my future isn't quite ready for me?
This Wednesday, the kids went back to school. 6th and 2nd grade. My, how the time flies.
Skyler's homework for the first week of sixth grade was a show and tell assignment. Yes, in 6th grade. The assignment: Fill a small brown paper bag with 5 things that tell something important about you. Skyler didn't seem to have to give it much thought. Her choices:
DQ (surely you remembered we own a DQ?)
I wonder how long it will be before it doesn't completely amaze me how incredibly proud my kids are of our surrogacy journey. Proud enough to stand up in front of your brand new 6th grade class and display a photo of your mom's ginormous pregnant belly. As well as a photo of a two dad family.
I'm so proud. Proud of my children. Proud of Skyler's teacher who didn't bat an eye at Skyler's show and tell choices. Proud of the kids in Skyler's class who seemed to accept the situation for what it is. Proud to be a surrogate.
My desk is a place where I spend many hours a day. On it you'll find many things. My laptop, stacks of papers, a calculator, printer and ink, post-it notes, an empty toilet paper roll, tape, notebooks, etc.
Yes, I said an empty toilet paper roll.
More than likely during a moment when she was incredibly bored, Skyler decorated an empty toilet paper roll with words she felt best described me - character traits. I'm hopeful that the toilet paper roll was simply a blank canvas and not one of the things that represented me. I'm a very neat, organized person and yet this toilet paper roll has graced my desktop for over a month.
The character traits listed are:
2. Hard worker
5. So smart
7. Kind (yep...kind is on there twice. Score!)
NOW do you see why I can't bring myself to throw this toilet paper roll away? I look at that roll and realize: these are the traits that my daughter sees in me.
Most of us know and love Bernadette, her 2 precious babies and her entertaining, awe inspiring, and at times, heart breaking blog. Bernadette has now been in India (by herself) for 128 days. 128 days. The good news is, Hayden is finally well enough to come home. It's not going to be a simple process getting him home but the important thing is that it's now possible for Bernadette to come home with her babies. It's TIME for her to come home with her babies.
Help any way you can. Make a donation, share on your blog...whatever you can do will help. Imagine what a great day it is going to be when we read that blog post we've all been waiting so long for - "We're home."
I am not a very political person. Scratch that. In the past, I was not a very political person. My political beliefs have changed. Drastically.
I don't know if you've heard, but there's a bit of an uproar regarding recent statements made by Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy.
I do not wish to get into a huge debate here, but let me just say this about that. Does Mr. Cathy have a right to say what he did? Sure he does. Is Mr. Cathy realizing that there are just a few other folks out there who also have the right to speak their opinion? I'm thinkin' he's realizing this....a few million sandwiches less at a time. Freedom of speech does not mean that you do not have to endure the ramifications of your words.
Obviously, word of Mr. Cathy's statement has spread like wildfire on Facebook. My personal news feed shows some Chick-fil-A supporters here and there. And then there are the surrogates. Smart, beautiful, full of life and passion surrogates. I love you all. These women are consistently posting about equality. You can feel their passion in each and every post.
They're loud. They're proud.
Many surrogates, myself included, have been given the opportunity to share close relationships with individuals who happen to be gay. We witness first hand the love that these individuals have for one another. We get to share in the moment that they learn they're pregnant. We see the joy on their faces as their pregnancy progresses and we witness first hand the emotion that comes with a baby being born - a family being created. Because of this, we become very defensive about the fact that these people we love so very much are not given the same rights as everyone else.
The same rights.
Everyone is different. Not a single one of us is exactly the same as anyone else. We all have different opinions. We have different beliefs. This is acceptable and good! We ALL have the right to think and believe what we want. But do any of us have the right to determine someone else's basic human rights? Think about it. Someone once felt they had the right to say:
YOU CAN'T VOTE.
YOU CAN'T GO TO SCHOOL THERE.
YOU CAN'T DRINK FROM THAT WATER FOUNTAIN.
YOU CAN'T SIT THERE.
And here we are in Two Thousand Twelve and we're telling people:
YOU CAN'T MARRY THE PERSON YOU LOVE.
I would encourage those who do not believe in equality to take a moment - just one moment - to consider your own personal family. Suppose your child or future grandchild reveals to you that they are gay. Would you change your mind then? Suppose someone made a huge impact on your life...imagine if a gay man or woman saved your life or the life of your child. Could you look that person in the eye and support the fact that they are not given the same rights that you have? We are talking about PEOPLE here...human beings. It's really quite simple.
To all of my fellow surrogates and equal rights supporters: Keep up the good work! I am so proud to know you all! I'm proud of the fact that we are comfortable speaking out for equal rights. We're making a difference! On Facebook...and beyond.
By the way, if you and I are not already connected on Facebook and you'd like to be, let's make that happen! Jeni on Facebook