Monthly Archives: September 2011

Screenings

If you haven’t heard about my goal to be a surrogate, please go here first.

After the initial paperwork stage, the real first step toward being a surrogate is having your body and mind evaluated to determine that you are, in fact, a good candidate for surrogacy. So that’s what I did today.

My first stop was a fertility clinic in Pasadena. I knew that I’d be having blood drawn, but I wasn’t sure what else to expect. Well, I did expect more paperwork, and I wasn’t disappointed! I filled out about 7 more sheets and was given a booklet on fertility issues, procedures and resources. The appointment was pretty harmless: 7 vials of blood, 1 cup of urine and a pelvic exam. I was given a prescription for birth control pills to start taking the 3rd day of my next period to get my cycle regulated so that if there’s an egg donor involved later, we can be in sync. The results from all my tests should be given to the surrogacy agency in about 2 weeks.

My second appointment was my psychological evaluation. Intended parents (that’s what they’re called) don’t want a crazy carrying their baby: they might never get it back! The surrogacy agency also wants to make sure that I’m mentally strong enough to carry someone else’s kid for 40 weeks, go through who-knows-how-long labor and theoretically never see the baby again. I was interviewed 1-on-1 for about an hour or so, being asked all sorts of questions about my life history and current situation. I was also asked what my ex-husband, “Jake,” thought about my surrogacy plans. I was asked to call and make sure he was OK with it; he was. After the in-person interview, I was asked to take a personality test on the computer (I cracked the joke about wondering if passing the test means I do have a personality; the psychologist didn’t flinch). Most of the questions were supposed to raise a red flag if I answered them a particular way; for example, answering True to “When I’m alone I hear voices that have no visible source.” However, one question’s intent eluded me: “I like to repair latches on doors” (answer True or False). Huh?!? I also wondered if I should have answered True to another question: “I sometimes feel the need to smash things.” Hey, I love a good ant-smashing session when they’re invading my kitchen! Other than those two questions, I think I’ll pass the test. I was told that I should hear about my results in a couple of days.

Updated September 29, 2011


When I talked to my mom after my appointments on Monday, she thought it was both unnecessary and concerning that I was required to call Jake and “get his permission” to be a surrogate. I called the surrogacy agency today to speak to my coordinator “Lila” and asked if they’d heard about my psychological screening results: I’m cleared. I also asked her about the ex-husband issue. She told me that in the past they’ve had ex-husbands start child-custody battles because they thought the surrogacy was inappropriate for their children to be involved in. Lila was concerned that I was not told ahead of time that they might ask me to call Jake and that they didn’t explain to me why they wanted me to call him. She also told me that it’s not a requirement to involve the ex-husband unless there’s a history of abuse or major static between the ex and the surrogate. Lila assured me that she’d call the psychologist and get more information from them about “the ex factor.”

 

To read all my posts on surrogacy, please visit this page.

Thoughts – September 25, 2011

Hebrews 13:1-8

Hospitality:
– the warm reception of guests or strangers

How hospitable are we at home, at church, in our daily lives? Do we welcome other people into our routines? Do we invite others into our routines?

Have you ever noticed how rich your experience is when you invite others into your life? How much stronger the memories are when you reminisce later? How much more do you learn about your guests and about yourself?

How often have you had a guest at your table, at your special occasions, at your normal occasions?

When was the last time you invited someone to your table? When was the last time someone came to you because of your warmth, because they knew you would receive them gladly? When was the last time you went to someone because you knew you were welcome to drop in unexpectedly?

Is your “open” sign turned on? Is it visible from the street, or do people pass by because it is hidden?

Thoughts – September 18, 2011

Romans 5:1-5, Matthew 13:1-23

Self evaluation. One of the hardest things to do is to look at ourselves in the mirror and really be honest about what we see. Which is why God gave us friends, people to always tell us the truth, whether we’re ready to hear it or not. But sometimes only self evaluation will get the task done.

If an evaluation is easy, you’re doing it wrong. It’s like those user-made Facebook surveys. If you know what the survey is looking for, you know which answers to pick from the a) b) c) d) options given. True self evaluation takes a long time; you have to discern for a good while to figure out what you are really made of. It’s not about figuring out which responses will give us the result we want to see. Well, maybe it is…

If we know which responses will give us the result we want to see and the result we want to show the world, why don’t we always make the right choices so we actually get the results we want?

We want to be seen as good, holy, righteous people of God. But so many of our choices each day, each week, give us a different result. Perhaps on the surface we seem like the people we claim to be, but when faced with our reflection and a recap of the things we’ve done, the choices we’ve made, we can see our true selves.

We need to look at ourselves with a magnifying glass, perhaps even a microscope. What do we look like deep, down inside? Are we really fertile soil, ready to accept the things we’re given? Or are we rocky, thorny, down-trodden dirt that doesn’t know what to do with the good news we’ve been given to cultivate?