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Wondrous and Smart Little People
Surrogacy – By Sabrina on April 20, 2010 at 8:00 am
“How could you do this to your kids?” or some version of it flies past the ears of every surrogate at one point or another. The world in general, it seems, thinks it is within the bounds of acceptability to challenge our parenting skills when enlightened to the fact that we grow babies for other people, then give them away. But our children… oh, our children are wondrous and smart little people.
When I first explained my first surrogacy to my nearly 4 year old daughter, I was 20 weeks pregnant with twins. We had just gotten back from the big gender ultrasound and I’d decided it was time to let her in on the news that I’d waited to share it till the movements of the girls in my belly were big and easy to show others. We laid down on my bed to watch a cartoon together, and I started talking.
“Daughter…. do you want to know a fun secret surprise??!!”
“WHAT IS IT!!!!?” she yelled back.
” Do you see my big belly? It’s so big, isn’t it! Well guess what! You know how ladies can grow babies in their bellies? Like how I grew you? And how boys can’t grow babies in their bellies? Well (my intended father) really wanted to be a daddy. He REALLY wanted to have kids that were all his own. But he CAN’T!!”
“WHY???!!!” she seemed outraged on his behalf. Hearing that in my head still kind of makes me giggle.
“Because he’s a BOY!! And boys can’t carry babies in their bellies, can they?! So guess what. I’m growing his babies for him!! Isn’t that neat! There are two babies in my belly right now! They are two girl babies, and they are his babies! And I will grow them in my belly until they are big enough to come out and go to his house! And maybe he’ll let you hold them when they come out of my belly before they go to their home with their Daddy, won’t that be FUN??!! Then they will be part of his family!”
“Yes! And I can hold them and I can sing to them and I can pat them on the head! SOFTLY!”
“Yes! Maybe you can!”
How simple. Blissfully simple. The girls were born, my kids met them and patted them on the head and took pictures with then… then the girls went home. Not once were my children terrified that I was going to give them away. Not once were they confused or convinced that I’d just given their sisters to someone else. Smart little people, they grasp the facts without all of that muddled emotion that adults tend to heap on top of simple information. These weren’t our babies. They were never our babies. Facts. Just because they grew in my belly doesn’t make them mine; ours. Facts. And children, oh how they thrive on the facts. Wondrous, smart little people.
Last summer the movie UP came out in theatres. We saw it as a family shortly after our in person meeting with my current intended parents. There is a part in the movie where the married couple learns that they can’t have children and the woman is shown sitting sadly in her front yard coming to peace with it. My smart little girl leaned over to me and whispered her question,
“Why is that lady sad?”
“Well, she’s sad because she wants a baby very much, but the doctor told her that she couldn’t have one.”
“Just like Miss J?” ( my Intended Mother)
“Yes, just like Miss J.”
“Is Miss J sad like that lady?”
“I’m sure she is.”
“Well Mama, couldn’t you just grow a baby for her? YOUR tummy isn’t broken!”
Simple. Wondrous. How could I do this to my kids? With ease. My children are growing to be so much more compassionate and empathetic because of this experience we are living as a family. So much more accepting then the adults with raised eyebrows that surround them. I couldn’t be more proud.