In surrogacy, you call the parents-to-be Intended Parents, or IPs. You can break that down further to the Intended Mother (IM) and Intended Father (IF). Well, there are no IMs in my situation, so I've got two IFs: J & M. The guys are....amazing. Seriously. I remember when I was sitting at the surrogacy agency 7 months ago and the gal asked me, "Is there anything you are afraid of?" and right away, I said, "If the intended parents don't want a relationship with me during the pregnancy." She told me that people come from all types of backgrounds and I can't expect anything. Many times, they are coming from years of infertility or loss, and they are incredibly scared. She explained that I can't control how the relationship unfolds and I have to be open. For many heterosexual couples, this is their last effort in a long battle of wanting to be parents.
One of the interesting things about working with a same sex couple is that, often, it's the beginning of their journey. That's not completely the case with the couple I'm working with, as they started down this path around 5 year ago, considering both adoption and surrogacy. But now, they are a little nervous, but mostly super excited.
These guys have totally got their shit together. They've been together for 20 years, they know what they want, and they are established in their careers. J is in real estate and M is an artist, and also a college professor. I can't say that if we came across each other on the street that we'd become fast friends...but we have settled in to an easy and fun relationship. They are communicative and open, and I've honestly just fallen in love with them. Is that weird? In the "i'm-gonna-grow-your-baby" kind of way. You know.
M had a gallery opening on the Friday before The Big Day and invited us to attend. I'm was thrilled he wanted us there....but was a little nervous because..uhh..what the hell do you do at an art gallery opening? I realize in this moment that I am an uncultured buffoon, but I just had no idea what to expect. My experience is drawn solely from movies and TV shows, where very well dressed people walk around places talking about the composition and texture and postulating on the meaning of the piece.
Turns out I had no reason to sweat it. We wore jeans and had a great time. The art was interesting and I loved hearing M tell me about his pieces. The highlight of the night was being introduced to some of the closest people in J&Ms life. I wasn't really expecting to be introduced to anyone, I didn't know they were ready for that. I got to meet M's sister and niece, as well as their friends and M's students. One of their neighbors turned to me with tears in her eyes and told me how much it means to her that I'm helping them. She told us about a night about 6 years ago when they were all sitting around having dinner, talking about kids. She hugged me, I started crying, M started crying. It was ridiculous. And totally awesome.