Be forewarned… There will be schmaltz ahead. It’s hard to express these big things sans schmaltz.
Mom and Dad,
When we first set off on this journey, you wouldn’t even allow yourself to dream about a baby. I’ll never forget how you carried yourselves when we met for coffee in that god awful joint I picked, so anxious, so incredulous that this could even be a possibility. I knew on the spot that this was going to happen. It was like dating, when you know, you know. While I’m aware it may come across simplistic, or maybe even cavalier, doing this with you, for you was such an easy decision to make.
I’m not religious, but I feel as though this is as close to a real miracle as I will ever get. It’s amazing how life puts you right where you need to be, right when you need to be there. After my friend A passed away, I wanted so badly to find a way to share her light. Giving was just “her,” right down to her core and helping you to have your baby helped me pick up the pieces and honour her in a way that she would have loved. The balance of science/hope/love and patience and of our relationship was like a beautiful dance that all fell into place in the most extraordinary way. I don’t imagine it was ever easy for you, but I hope you know you handled it extremely well. I always felt appreciated and supported, and definitely loved.
I want you to know that for all its –ahem- discomforts and its MANY embarrassing moments, sharing this with you was a pure joy. I won’t lie and say that it was always easy, but it was ALWAYS a joy. Pain always has a purpose, and the purpose ended up being a saucy little stunner! You two were unbelievably brave to entrust someone else with your most precious possibilities and I’m deeply honoured that the someone else was me. Really, that it was us, my whole family. We are all forever changed by E and by you – how could we not be? From despair to elation to hysterical laughter, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life or felt so many feels in such a short period of time. When I felt shitty or tired or bitchy (not that that EVER happened), I only needed to think of you all and I realized how inconsequential the short term truly is in the grand scheme of our lives.
What I didn’t know is how completely changed the whole experience would leave me. I feel completely the same and yet, somehow, completely different. My heart feels more full, my mind is more clear. I learned to slow down a little (for which Schmoopy was very grateful!) but more importantly, I learned how completely fortunate I am. I realize more fully the gift that I’ve been given in having two healthy, beautiful, mouthy, hilarious kids. I realize that the body that I sometimes hate, that I often bitch about and make fun of is actually an incredible, powerful tool that can make incredible things happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably still make fun of this ol’ thing, but I’ve been given tremendous perspective as to what I am capable of doing. I didn’t realize I needed that.
Then there’s E. Your beautiful, perfect, healthy little baby. YOUR BABY. Holy shit, guys, you have a baby! Seeing you go from Guy and Girl to Dad and Mom was beautiful. Watching Mom throw open her arms to welcome her with Dad’s shaking hand on my shoulder may have been one of the most moving moments of my life. I’m not great with big emotions and being told that she was going to have my name with her forever was pretty much as big as they come. While I’m sure I didn’t adequately express it, I feel flattered and overwhelmed. She is a perfect mix of you both and is destined for big things, even if she is carrying my name with her along the way!
Over the years, I’ve found that the secret to my happiness has been to never turn down the opportunity to do something AWESOME, regardless of how insane it may sound. I try really hard to take steps away from the familiar without hesitation, to dive headlong into adventures like these without looking back and on nothing more than blind faith that it will all work out. The prospect of surrogacy is about as insane as it gets, but I am so glad we took this leap together without looking back because “awesome” just doesn’t do it justice. The creation of your family has become one of the greatest adventures of my life. It has brought me more happiness and fulfillment than I could have ever imagined – I am proud of what we’ve all done and would do it again without hesitation.
I hope that when you look back on the last year or so, you feel the same peace and awe that I feel. While I know it’s not goodbye, this phase of the journey is closing and I wanted to tell you that we all feel very blessed to have been able to do this together. We love you three so, so much and wish so many good things for you all! Be happy, be well, be good to one another. Take those leaps into insanity every chance you get, I promise you won’t regret it!
Merry Christmas to the whole family, and extra snuggles to E!
Extremebabysitter, Schmoopy, Bean, Duck and our Mutt
PS – oh and I was thinking, when you’re ready, let’s maybe do it again sometime?
One thought on “To the New Parents”
Oh my goodness! My husband and I are just beginning the surrogacy process as intended parents, and I just read him this letter. This is the most beautiful thing I have read. You are a wonderful writter