Monday, January 28, 2013

Working From Home: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Many boast that the bedroom is "where all the magic happens."  Not in this house.
THIS is where families are created.  Each and every day.
I've shared with all of you what I do for Circle, and you may have already reached the conclusion that I work from home.  Indeed I do work at Casa de Denhof.  It's the swankiest office in town.  Working from home has it's perks, and it also has it's drawbacks.


It's home.

Which means it's comfortable.  It's convenient.  Every day is casual Friday.  And these are the heels I wear to work each day.

You can't beat the commute, I can throw a load of laundry in on my lunch break, and it's nice that even when it looks like this outside:

I don't ever have to go out in it.  I turn on the fireplace, take a seat, and I work.  

The view from my "office".


It's home.

Which means I can't pop my head into the offices of my co-workers just to say "hey".  It means when the office is having a bonding moment, I'm not a part of it. It means no holiday parties, no shared lunches, no in-person socializing with the people I have become so close to.

It also means I never officially leave work.  Or at least it takes a conscious effort to quit for the day.  I have round-the-clock access to work and sometimes it is difficult for me to call it a day and decide I'll finish a task the next day.  If there's work to be done, it's hard for me to not take care of it immediately.


It's home.

Which means when the alarm goes off at 6:00 and I have to be "at" work at 7:00, I can be lazy, lay around in bed until 6:45, hop in the shower, throw my hair up....and be "at" work on time.  Why is this ugly you ask?  Well, I don't want to injure any readers with an actual picture, so just imagine this:

with no make up, hair in a messy bun on top my head, sleepy eyes...
you get the picture.
And unfortunately, it's UGLY.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Birthday To Me

Today, I am 38 years old and I've never felt better.  38 is going to be a great year for me, I can just feel it.  As I get older, birthdays become less and less about celebrations which involve gifts and cake and parties.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy celebrating, but nowadays, I view my birthday as an opportunity to appreciate the former year, anticipate the year to come and remember my goals and dreams for my life.  

This last Christmas, I bought the girls a poster for their room.  They didn't really care much about it at the time, which I knew would be the case, but when I saw this poster in the store, I knew I had to get it for them.  The poster is written in ABC order and encourages being daring.  I am inspired by the words on this poster and hope that one day, the girls will be as well.

Dare to:

Ask for what you want
Believe in your dreams
Count your blessings
Do the right thing
Enjoy the moment
Fail, and dare to succeed
Give more than you receive
Have no regrets
Inspire kindness
Join in more
Kiss and make up
Love all you can
Make a difference
Never settle for less
Overcome adversity
Practice moderation
Question authority
Reinvent yourself
Shoot for the moon
Take personal responsibility
Understand more, judge less
Veto hate and negativity
Walk your talk
eXercise body and mind
Yodel more, yawn less
be Zany

It's a great day for a birthday.  A great day to remember all the things that inspire me to be a better person.  A great day to DARE.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

I'd Really Love One Hundred

Currently, Love Makes A Family Has 96 followers.  I know that we have many, many readers who are not listed as followers and that's also fantastic!  I love that you're all reading.  Truly, I'm so honored that you choose to read and follow this blog.  Thank you.

96 is a good number.  Strike that.  96 is a great number!

100 would be SPECTACULAR!

If you enjoy reading this blog and think that someone else might as well, may I ask that you share it with others?  The following is a list of some of the ways I've thought of that you could potentially share this blog:

  1. Bumper sticker
  2. Facebook 
  3. Skywriting
  4. Twitter
  5. Email
  6. Shout it from the rooftops
  7. Blog
  8. Superbowl commercial
  9. Whisper it to everyone at the library
  10. Billboard
  11. Instagram
  12. Public Service Announcement
  13. App Banner
  14. Text
  15. Sing it
  16. Pinterest
  17. Classifieds
  18. Fax
  19. Sign Language
  20. Radio Ad
Is 20 ideas enough to get you to share?  I fear if I list any additional ways, the only place you'll share this blog is in the post script following my obituary.  

Jeni Denhof
Mother, daughter, aunt, friend, surrogate.  Survived by her beautiful daughters, Skyler and Savannah.  Would have lived a much longer life had she not annoyed her readers with hideous requests for the sharing of her blog.  May she rest in peace.

P.S.  Let it be known that I'll be smiling 6 feet under knowing that in the end, YOU SHARED IT!  VICTORY!  :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Question #1 What Exactly Do You Do For Circle Surrogacy?

In order to best explain to you what my job entails, we are going to play a little game of make believe. So if you'll please join me in putting on your imagination hats.  Mine looks like this:

Got your hat on?  Good.

Now let's pretend you're a potential surrogate. You've thought about it, done some research, you've even Googled it. (Good choice.  Google rocks.)  Your search will hopefully lead you here: Surrogacy Guide: An Introduction To Surrogacy  Once you've downloaded the guide, you have my contact information and are encouraged to contact me with any questions you may have. You'll also receive an email from me thanking you for downloading the guide, and introducing myself.  If you've got questions, I'm your girl.  You and I communicate back and forth, sometimes for an afternoon, sometimes for months.  If I do my job well, you'll feel excited about taking the next step - applying.

This pre-application communication is something I very much enjoy.  However, it may surprise you to know that this role is just a very small part of my job.  Each and every application that is submitted to Circle Surrogacy is reviewed and processed by yours truly.  Some applications cannot be accepted due to the requirements and guidelines set in place by the agency and the IVF clinics with which we work.  One thing I am extremely proud of is the fact that we send a response to each and every application we receive.  You're not left wondering if we received your application, if you've been approved or not.  You'll receive an email from me either way.  And you'll hear from me in a timely fashion.  Almost always within 24 hours.  

Since we're imagining, and I call the shots in my imagination, your application has just been accepted!  Yay!  I'm so excited for you!  You will receive an email from me welcoming you to our program.  I will have attached all the paperwork we will need from you.  It's a lot of paperwork, and I completely understand that you may be feeling overwhelmed.  Don't worry.  I'm here to help you through all of it.  I will be available to answer all of your questions and help to ease any concerns you may have about the process.  TOGETHER, we'll get all of your paperwork and medical records collected so that we can submit your file to our IVF physicians and insurance company for approval.  I do not work alone. There are several awesome women I work with who do an amazing job making this process run quickly and smoothly.  Once you are approved by our physician and insurance company, you have officially "graduated" from pre-screening and you and I tearfully say our goodbyes.  Ok, so maybe you're not tearful, you're usually pretty darn excited. You are now on to screening with one of our amazing social workers.  Screening is the last step before....MATCHING with intended parents!  

So there you have it.  My job in a nutshell.  Now repeat the above scenario a few times.  Well, maybe more than a few times.  As we speak, I am at one of the aforementioned stages with 156 surrogates.  No, that was not a typo.  One hundred fifty six.  I work a lot.  Some people can't believe the number of hours I work in a week.  They can't understand why I would be ok working a 10 hour workday, only to work some more at night.  They think it's crazy that I usually work 7 days a week.  They have the most puzzled look on their faces as they ask me, "WHY?"

Why?  Well that's simple.  Because I love it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Must Watch

Simply because it's Friday. 
Simply because we're constantly bombarded with bad news. 
Simply because we always need more happiness in the world.

This video is short.  And I promise, you won't be disappointed you took the time to watch.  I smiled.  I cried.  And my heart grew one size bigger.

In a world where we seem to focus on the negative, this is just a little (big) reminder that in general, the world is a positive place.  
In general...people are good.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The 6th Of The Month

I'm one of those people who would always refer to my kiddos as 3 months old, 6 months old, 11 months old, etc., but once they hit 12 months, they were ONE year old.  At 18 months, yes, they were a year and a half old.  I would talk with some of my mommy friends who proudly shared that their baby was 15 months old, or 22 months old, or, wait for it....43 months old.  Ugh.

When people ask me about the twins and how old they are, I often have to think for just a minute.  My reply is often, "They're over a year old now!".  And soon it will be, "They're a year and a half old!"  One thing that I have noticed with Gus and Milena that I never had with my own kids is that I'm acutely aware of the 6th of every month.  Their monthly birthday never slips my mind.  This doesn't necessarily mean that I immediately know how many months old  they are, and when they're 2(ish), I certainly won't be referring to them as being 26 months old, but I wonder if there will ever come a time when the 6th of the month arrives and I don't reminisce about "the 6th."  The 6th is a very special day of the month for me.  I think about Farid, George, Gustavo and Milena EVERY day, but I like the fact that on the 6th day of each month, I'm just a little more aware, reminded just a teeny bit more, of an unforgettable experience that will forever hold a space very near and dear to my heart.

Happy 6th of the month!  
And in case you're wondering, Milena and Gustavo will be a year and a half old in 4 months.  

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