After sharing the news of the interesting turn my journey has taken, here’s what you responded with:
- Offers of food
- Actual food
- A note in the Kotel
- Offers to watch my kids
- Prayers (complete with my Hebrew name)
- Offers of flowers, sushi, or chocolate
- A pussyhat
- Facebook comments
- Facebook private messages
- Text messages
- Rallying the Catholics
- A minivan with extra seats
- Shared anger
- Doctor referrals
- Your Amazon Prime account
- Positive vibes
- Tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
- Donations to Mayyim Hayyim
- Places to crash near the hospital
Some of these offers came from people I have never actually met in real life.
I had two key conversations after finding out this news, too. One was with Jamie, my spouse. The other was with Lisa, the colleague I’ve worked with for almost a decade and the closest thing possible to a work spouse. Each of them promised me that they hadn’t been in cahoots with the other to develop their message. And each of them said very similar things.
First and foremost, they told me I could do this. That I could, actually, do this. That whatever happens, it’s a limited amount of time, thank God we’re not talking about a real risk to my health, and that everyone around me will step up to help support me, and we’ll make it happen together.
When you apply to become a surrogate, they ask you all kinds of questions about what kind of support you have in place. While I’m fairly certain this exact scenario is not what’s prompting their inquiry, it’s deeply clear to me now why they ask. Because all of you out there – my friends, my acquaintances, my family, my colleagues, my board members, my neighbors, my community members – you are what’s helping me move towards believing that I can actually do this.
Originally, I was a little nervous to tell work about my plans to become a surrogate, not knowing entirely how they’d respond. I had a fairly good feeling about it, with our top lay leadership including a woman who adopted three kids following her own fertility journey, another mother of six/grandmother of 19 (at the time), and yet another who owns a baby gear and toy store. The cards seemed to be stacked in my favor. I wasn’t quite asking for permission when I told them, but I also told myself that I wouldn’t go through with it if I felt that it would be detrimental to my organization, or to the relationships I have built. As it turns out, everyone at work that I told (staff too) was thrilled. They loved the idea, and it’s those same people who are rallying behind me now. Those are the same people who are reminding me that I’ve been out on maternity leave before (for much longer than I plan to be away following delivery this time), and so surely our team can also handle what may come of this. After calming down from the initial shock of it all, I know that should the worst-case scenario actually happen, the strength of our team will carry us right on through.
In the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I’m a sure T – a thinker. This indicator is about how we make decisions. Those of us in this category make decisions based on logic, as opposed to the the F’s – the feelers – who make decisions based on emotion. And I’m looking at all this data around me, and I will say that the task feels somewhat less daunting. My heart isn’t there yet for sure, but I suspect that underneath it all, my head may already be there.