Our family is on a big adventure, and things are getting serious in good ways. We have let people in on this adventure along the way, close friends and people in our community, but we hadn't really told our church. It may seem like something you don't tell, this journey, but Val and I have learned that keeping secrets isn't helpful, it's hurtful. Our church community is different too, they are connected to our family in a way, a normal workplace would not be. As someone that has grown up in a pastor's family and now is a pastor-ish person, I know that my life in some ways is of church public interest. Our church community invests in us, and I have influence over them, I am a figure in their families too. As such, I give over some rights of privacy in this community. Though this adventure is ours, our church family will be along with us on the journey, watching the changes take hold of me, and unlike other pregnancies in our community, they won't get to gold this baby when it's over. So it was decided that we needed to tell them about this journey and invite them into it, to pray for all of us. I am not normally nervous about sharing anything with our church family, but this had me quaking in my boots. Here is what I shared on Sunday:
Our family is starting a new adventure it won’t take us away from you, but we would appreciate your prayers. I am now officially a gestational surrogate for a family in Seattle. I am not currently carrying their child, but we are in the process and on track to do that.
This isn’t something we have taken lightly, we have been thinking about it, talking and praying about it for over a year now, and we are working with a very reputable agency and some of the top reproductive doctors in the country.
This decision comes after years of watching friends struggle with infertility, with one friend asking and not needing me to carry. I joked that the compensation we will receive for pain and suffering is my Dave Ramsey get out of debt faster pizza delivery job. Honestly though the more I considered this, the more I realized I was uniquely suited to do it. I am healthy, have always been drug and smoke free, and had two easy pregnancies and deliveries. I also care for students all the time, have very powerful experiences with them and then they grow up and move on, and we have limited contact. I am not their parent, but I am a part of their lives. I know how to love, and nurture, while not being the parent and let go when I need to.
I will say I was fearful at first and nervous about what would happen to my body, but it was then that I read Jesus words on loving others and going the extra mile. The law in his day said that if a Roman soldier asked a Jew to carry their pack, they had to carry it one mile. Jesus said as his follower, you had to carry it two miles. He demands from us sacrificial love, just as he showed in giving his life for us. I challenge you all the time to give of yourselves and be the hands and feet of Jesus even if it carries you out of your comfort zone. The truth is though that a lot of the stuff we do here together is totally in my comfort zone. So I feel called to do this, to follow Jesus in this way and help this family in a way that I can and in a way that really challenges me.
They are a great family. She battled cancer and it left her unable to carry a child to term. They have one son through surrogacy already and they would love to have another child. They are lovely people raising a great kid, and we are excited to help them have another child that will be raised to be a loving, member of society. We have had so many of our own dreams come true, and now it is a blessing to be able to help them with theirs.
We are excited to see God continue working through this adventure. He has already taught us a lot in the months of testing and evaluation we have gone through to get here. I am going to start medications this week, and more in the beginning of December, and then in early January, will be our first attempt at pregnancy.
I am willing to answer any questions you might have, this is a fascinating process and part of a journey God is taking us on, and as you know I am not shy about sharing those things. The goal is for me to be pregnant, and at some point that will be very obvious, yet a baby won’t come to our church family, which may be confusing for some of our younger members. So I also have a children’s book that very beautifully and simply explains this process for kids, with a kangaroo carrying a baby in it’s pouch for another kangaroo, and I would be happy to share that you with you if your children have questions as well.
We appreciate your prayers and understanding as continue on this journey and we look forward to sharing the joy and anticipation of helping this family with you.