In my experience, my girls like going out on dates. My wife is a laid-back country girl, who likes to have a beer or two, whereas my six-year-old daughter, well… she is quite the lady.
Thinking my child had no idea that we had begun working with a Surrogacy Agency
A couple of Saturdays ago I was taking my daughter Jo, short for Joselyn, out for ice cream. My wife appreciates these moments because she gets her well-deserved “me time”. When Jo and I go out, we both dress up. I like to ask Jo what she would like me to wear, so this time she picked out a pair of jeans, a white shirt and my favorite cowboy boots. She told me that she was going to go get dressed, and that it was going to be a surprise for her Pa.
As my wife and Jo went into Jo’s room to get Jo ready for her date, I made sure that dinner was ready just to heat up and sit down to dinner. I know that Jo should not be eating ice cream before dinner, but it was Saturday, and weekends are meant to be different.
Before I knew it Jo was ready. She paraded into the kitchen in a beautiful flowered dress, twirled to show her dad, and ran into my arms. I kissed my wife good-bye and told her we would be back in about an hour.
Realizing my child knew that there was something going on.
The neighborhood ice-cream store is walking distance from the house. Jo really enjoys taking the “short cut” through the park. She usually smells the flowers and talks about the different sounds the birds make, but that day was different. We started out as usual, and when we reached the short cut, she stopped, looked straight up at me and asked….
Pa, what is mommy doing?
I should have known that this was coming. My mind went everywhere in that split second.
It began one day when I went to pick her up from school, because my wife had to go to the Surrogacy Process psychological screening. Jo was curious as to why her mother was not picking her up as she usually did. On another occasion she asked her mother what Omega was, because she had heard her mother mention it when she was talking through the computer on Skype. We thought Jo was asleep. Because we had agreed to wait until the pregnancy was confirmed to tell Jo, my wife brushed off the topic saying that mommy could be getting a job at Omega soon.
How I told my child that we were on a Surrogacy Journey
I squatted down to meet her eyes, looked at her in earnest and said:
Jo, darling, some mommies and daddies can’t have babies.
So, you, mommy, and I are going to help a family with that.
She looked at me, then looked down at herself and asked if I thought if she was going to be able to have babies. I hugged her very hard and told her that we would find out in the future, but that for now she had nothing to worry about. Our job right now was to be able to help the Tseng Family, and help mommy the best way we both knew how.
Jo seemed content with my answer, took my hand, and skipped all the way to the ice-cream store. We bought two cones, and a quart of chocolate flavored ice-cream (mom’s favorite). We finished our cones at the ice-cream shop and walked home.
How others have told their children about Surrogacy
How we became part of the Surrogacy community
When we got home, my wife was waiting for us with dinner served. I had texted her about what Jo had asked, so all three of us had a sit-down. We explained to Jo that mom and I had been very lucky to be able to have a baby. This baby is a very smart, active, and beautiful girl named Jo. There are some mommies and daddies that are not able to have their own babies. (Although Jo already knew that!) What these parents do is ask someone else’s mommy to help them.
During the next weeks, Omega held a spring fling and we took Jo. She was able to meet other kids and have ice-cream. My wife introduced me to other Surrogates that she had met at the Surrogate dinners and I was able to meet other Surrogates’ husbands. I asked other husbands about how they had told their children about participating in the Surrogacy Process. In most cases the kids had asked their mothers, not their dads. But that’s the thing about Jo and me; we have a special way of doing things.