Thursday, May 27, 2010

The start of the surrogacy story

Most people visiting India are chasing a miracle of some description. I’m not really sure how many people actually achieve their miracles. We did – we’re amongst what I feel are the lucky ones and this will become the story of how we got our miracle(s).

I’m not really sure how this is going to turn out as a story. Most things I tend to be involved in have a slightly organic way of evolving into something so I probably should begin with myself. It’s probably the best place to begin.

I never expected to be here. I really didn’t. So this will probably also become my story and my story with Larry. Yay, a memoir. Am I self-important enough for a memoir? Probably not, but I am fabulous enough for one.

I don’t really know what I expected from my life. I spent a large part of my life just fumbling around – happily existing in what was effectively a very large rut. I did enjoy my rut I suppose. Apart from the work thing largely, I hated my job, I really did. But it paid reasonably well. First piece of advice girls, find something that you love and find something that you want to do for a very long time. Work is such an important part of your life – you have to find something that you love. We will try to help you with that give you a nudge here and a nudge there.

I was very fortunate in that I got a secondment into a job – I did actually enjoy, so I managed to get out of my rut. I was then about a year later made redundant – so I was given a nice tidy sum to basically never go back to that company. I was happy to take it. I did love the team I worked with and I do miss them at times.

I met your father, and he blew me away. He was everything I could ever want in a person. Smart, tall, handsome, funny, intelligent, good-looking, romantic, goofy. He did something incredibly sweet on our first date and I hope that when you find love – it’s this sort of love. We had dinner, he offered to drive me home because it was raining, we got out the front of my apartment complex, got out of the car and kissed me in the rain. At that point I kind of figured out he was a keeper (thankfully even after a some embarrassing personal revelations on the first date he decided I was a keeper as well!). As a father’s wish I do honestly hope that both of you find a love like this. I will love your farther until the day I die or the day he dies. We may kill each other first though – we have our problems but all couples do. Just don’t go to bed angry at each other! And do try to make each other laugh at least once a day. Laughter is seriously underrated in relationships. Although I do think your father spends more time laughing at me than laughing with me.

There’s so much more that I can tell you about my life but I won’t – life was an interesting journey for me it really was. I have made so many mistakes in my life – some I deeply regret and it’s partly my job as your father to help make sure you don’t make the same mistakes. You will make your own mistakes and I know you will but I will be here to help you with those too.

See I ramble… it will get worse (we’re nowhere near India yet!)

Our journey to creating a family wasn’t an easy one. It was a long one and one that crosses parts of the world. Sounds exotic and exciting doesn’t it? Originally, we looked at adopting a little girl from Vietnam (which entailed some shenanigans) and a couple of trips to India. Life is never dull girls – it’s really not!

So let’s start with Vietnam. Vietnam for me was so exciting. It was my first trip overseas since I went to Hong Kong in 2003. Your father was in the process of changing jobs and had some spare time and (unbeknownst to me at the time) he wanted to have a look at a few orphanages in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The plan being at that point that “we” (your father) would adopt a child and we would raise her in Australia. There were a few problems with this – namely the red-tape made it next to impossible. Although we did enjoy touring through Vietnam (if you ever go avoid the war museum – it’s just a little too gruesome! Seriously!). Also I will let you into a funny moment. There’s a hotel in Saigon called the Rex Hotel, which is quite famous for the rooftop bar. So we decided to go have a few beers and dinner and see what it was all about. It was cool. The funny bit was as we were leaving. There’s a taxi driver standing at the bottom of the lift. Your father walks out – hey Joe, I can get you what want – girl, boy! Your Dad, just shook his head and said no thanks. The guy looks at me and says hey mister – I can get boy for you. I was slightly mortified – apparently even when we travel overseas I’m quite obviously what I am…

So the adoption route was closed to us. We weren’t really sure what we were going to do and we did want to create a family more than anything on this world.

In 2008, your Dad was coming home from a business trip to London (he travels a lot!). He came across an article in the International Herald Tribune that discussed surrogacy in India. We had considered surrogacy in the US but it’s expensive – unfortunately, really expensive. We couldn’t afford it. And suddenly the option of something cheaper and more affordable came up. There was a way that we could create our family.