Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's too uncomfortable, too hard when it comes to helping others?

What is a good reason to not do something to help someone else? I mean really, what makes something not do-able. What risk is too big, what discomfort is too much, what fear to insurmountable?

Hundreds of thousands have been willing to dump ice cold water over their heads and post it online to help with ALS. Whether or not it is raising a ton of money or people are actually looking up what ALS is and learning, I like it. I like it because it's forcing people out of their comfort zones to help someone else. Comfort can be stifling. It can make us forget about those around us, and it can make us desire more comfort to continue to be comfortable. So this is great.

I haven't had a chance to respond to my challenge yet, because for the past few days we have been preparing for, and processing, a big step in helping others as a family. We are exploring those questions about what is too much to risk for our own comfort as a family a lot lately, as we get closer and closer to entering into a surrogacy contract. If things continue to work as they have, I will be a gestational carrier for a couple unable to medically carry their own child. In the winter, I will be implanted with an embryo, that is someone else's genetic material and of no relation to us as a family. This will involve a lot of medical appointments, medications, procedures and nine months of all the stuff that goes along with pregnancy. Add to that a birth, the healing after the birth, and the biggest thing, a long term relationship with a family, previously unknown to us. It is something my whole family will be a part of, even if it's happening in my body.

We have thought of and heard a lot of reasons not to do this.

· there is a risk to me

· I could end up on bed rest

· this will make me tired and grumpy thus stressing my family

· my kids will have to deal with pregnant me

· it will be harder this time because I am older

· my body won't come back the way it did before

· it will be hard to let go of the baby

Those are just a few of the reasons that have come from us and well-meaning friends. They are valid points. Those things will happen.

But are they reasons not to do this? Should those things stop us from helping a family's dreams come true? Should we refuse to bring a person into the world that will be loved, and raised by great people to hopefully become a loving person, because I am worried I will get fat, or have stretch marks, or be grumpy?

Maybe they are, but maybe they aren't. Maybe it's time for us to get uncomfortable, to put our fears, and my vanity on the line for someone else. Maybe it's time to get to know a whole new family and through awkward first dates in doctors’ offices, get to know each other and allow our lives to be connected in a very intimate way. Maybe...

I should say it's not without reward. We will get some compensation for our pain and suffering. But I have never been part of helping someone, when there wasn't reward, even if it was just a knowing you helped. There is always some kind of reward, and there is always some kind of sacrifice.

Right now we sit in discomfort, wondering if after meeting us, this family will choose our family to do this for them. Are you good enough, can they trust us enough to carry this precious life, and care for it, before they can? Will we experience rejection in the next few days, will we not be chosen? It's uncomfortable, it's a risk, and it’s awkward and could be painful. Again, though was that reason enough not to try, not to but ourselves out there, not to make ourselves available?

I don't know. And maybe I am horribly naive to think this way, caught up in the emotions and possibilities of it all. I just can't turn off the voice that says we should try. That prompting from my studies of scripture and Jesus that says if you can do for someone, you should, even if it means giving up part of yourself.
the last time my body housed a baby, the outcome was pretty awesome!

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