Psychological Clearance

This journey has already been so different from my first and Psych Clearance has been no exception! As a brief recap, this is what happened last time. Yup, that’s it. One of my biggest criticisms of my previous agency was that there should be a more rigorous screening and psych clearance process. Well that is what I have experienced this time around and as time consuming as it has been I appreciate the thoroughness of it.

To begin, I received a quick call and email from Dr. Carol Pierce Davis with 8 documents (some were multiple pages) that I needed to complete over the weekend. There was even a section my husband needed to complete in his own handwriting. I had an early morning appointment for a gestational carrier screening interview with Dr. Pierce Davis during which we went over my completed documents and went into a little more detail. Then I stepped up to the computer and took the MMPI-2 Test, all 567 T/F questions.

Amy & Al also had an Intended Parents interview with Dr. Pierce Davis. Once we all had completed our separate appointments, then both couples had a Group Evaluation appointment. I had no idea what to expect out of that, which made me a little nervous. Some of the same questions I had been asked in writing and verbally were asked again, only this time with my husband by my side and my IP’s sitting nearby. What possessed you to do such a crazy thing? How did you first learn of surrogacy? What kind of relationship are you hoping to have? Do you still keep in contact with your previous IP’s?

Then, Dr. Pierce Davis turned to my husband and asked what he thought of all this? Will you be a good, attentive, healthy support to your wife while she is pregnant with this child that is not yours?

What kind of communication and level of support do you plan to have from a long distance? How do you plan to include and care for each other during this journey?

All of the answers were lovely. There may have been a few tears. But in the end, it just helped solidify for everyone that this felt right. After the appointment we went to an impromptu breakfast to squeeze in one more visit before Amy & Al fly back to Nebraska for (hopefully) a few more months.

Brandon and I are getting to enjoy watching Amy and Al’s excitement grow as more good news keeps rolling in and more boxes get checked.

May I Introduce

 

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Al & Amy

Greetings from Nebraska! We want to introduce ourselves and tell you our story. We live in Omaha, NE and have been married for 3 years. Al owns a convenient store and I work as an elementary school paraprofessional. We are both originally from the Omaha area and have made it our home.

After several years of dating, we were married in September of 2013  (It took Al a little while to ask the question :). In January of 2014, I suffered a stroke at the age of 37. While I was in the hospital for a month and had 6 months of therapy to regain the use of my right side, I am so blessed to have made a complete recovery. We are so thankful to our medical team as they found the cause of my stroke. I have Factor V, which caused blood clots and 2 bleeds to the brain. I guess I learned that the hard way 🙂 Needless to say, it is all behind us and I have tremendous doctors who have helped me recover. I also had a hysterectomy in 2015 because of a history of breast and ovarian cancer. Both my mom and sister are cancer survivors! I was tested positive for the gene, so we knew a hysterectomy was the best option.

We are a couple who enjoy life to the fullest in a very simplistic, easy going way. We enjoy traveling, playing games, the outdoors, sporting events, watching our nephews, spending time with family and friends and living every day to the fullest. The two of us spend a lot of time at the kitchen table talking about the day we each have had, planning our week, or trying to beat each other in games. (A little friendly competition is never too bad) With laughter, fun and hard work we make the best out of every opportunity.

Our values center around love, respect and acceptance. The love we have for each other and our family is abundant. We respect people for who they are and who they want to be. We have learned to accept people and things the way they are and it certainly makes life much easier for everyone.

Al and I are in our early 40’s. It is our dream and in our hearts to become parents. Al comes from a big family and has 3 other siblings all living here as well. I have an older sister living in California, a step brother who lives outside of San Antonio, and 2 half sisters who live in Virginia.

We have been pursuing adoption since April of 2015, but have yet to be matched.

 

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Amy & Me

 

When One Door Closes…

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After a slow and painful end to the match with my friend, I reached out to a contact to let them know about the change of plans. About a week later she asked if I wouldn’t mind being an educational resource to a couple dear to her that were interested in learning more about the surrogacy process and possibly going down that road. If you’ve read any of my blog posts you’ll probally guess that I said, “Of course!” because I am all for educating and helping others. A few lengthy emails and one conference call and my title started to shift from educator to potential surrogate. I am not a very emotional person, passionate, but not emotional. There were a few times during our conference call that I got goose bumps and my eyes misted up. Sparklers were going off around me and even though I was trying hard to ignore it this match was meant to be. Toward the end of the call I was asked, through a hesitantly hopeful voice, would I consider being their surrogate? I was honored and said that I would consider it, but that we both needed to ask some more questions before making that initial commitment.

A week after the conference call, this sweet couple came out (flew) to meet us in person. We all met for dinner the first night they were here then they came over to our home the following afternoon as well. Between the two visits we covered all kinds of questions from procedures, timelines, family, and general life. We enjoyed food and jokes together like we had known each other for years. What a relief! Toward the end of the visit in our home I agreed to the match and sent off an email to my lawyer to get the legal process started.

The past month has been a busy one filled with emails, legal document drafts, and appointments. My IP’s (I can say that now!) also just came back for a very productive couple of days. After looking into my suggested clinic of TFC and a clinic closer to their home in Omaha, NE they decided to go with TFC. During this trip they had appointments at TFC, Psychological clearance appointments, and more fun visits with us.

We’ve all expressed how thankful we are and how it really feels like God pulled us together at the perfect time. There is a desire for transparency, group communication, and genuine interest in each other’s lives and activities. Following along with that thought process I will be writing a post with my IP’s introduction and their story. You might just melt for them too.