Back in college, I took a health class that had a section on relationships. The professor talked a lot about marriage and life partnerships during that part of the course. On the very final day, as the very last thing he said to the class as we were packing up to leave the big lecture hall, he offered us his last bit of advice. In fact he said that if we remembered just one thing from not only that course, but from all four years of college, it was this:
Select and don’t settle.
Though I don’t remember the name of the professor or the name of the course (let alone much from any other course I took those four years), I did take that one statement to heart. It’s guided me through all of my years since then, and I often silently thank that nameless professor from way-back-when.
But that same statement also left me wondering about something related. I understood the difference between selecting and settling, but what about making the wrong selection? What accounts for poor judgment? Whether it’s choosing a mate that’s hopelessly unsuitable, or taking a job that’s a bad fit, or making bad situational decisions, it’s not enough to actively decide on a course of action. We can actively choose something and yet it still might be a poor choice.
Then the key to success hit me.
In order to succeed at anything, we must chart our course of action and make decisions not only with the facts of the situation, but based on deep self-knowledge and awareness of ourselves.
It’s for this reason that I decided to create a journal to accompany my Successful Surrogacy book. While I can offer you plenty of information and share my experiences with you, only you know what’s most important to you, what you’re looking for, or what you’re apprehensive about.
Contrary to popular belief, the decision to use a gestational carrier isn’t always a difficult one. For many couples wishing to have their own genetic child, it’s a welcome, or possibly the only, solution to their infertility issues. It can be a very positive step forward.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s always an easy step forward.
Everyone involved in the process is human and we all come into it with our best intentions, but we also have our own unique backgrounds, perspectives, and preferences. There are, of course, plenty of checks and balances built into the surrogacy matching process (psychological screenings, social worker meetings, medical screenings, etc.), but they’re mainly aimed at ensuring that your prospective surrogate mother is physically and mentally fit to be a gestational carriers.
But what about you, as intended parents?
Are you entering into your surrogacy arrangement with clarity and confidence? Do you have a strong sense of the kind of experience you’d like to have with your surrogate mother? Do you know what’s most important to you about the surrogacy? (other than a healthy baby, naturally) How do you feel about establishing and sustaining a very intimate relationship with the woman acting as your gestational carrier? Or do you shy away from that thought?
Of course there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, and the myriad of other questions pertaining to surrogacy. There are only the answers that are right for you.
Knowing these answers is what puts you on the right track, because self-awareness is the key to success.
By taking the time to work through the questions I pose in Successful Surrogacy and the accompanying journal, you will be well on your way creating what might be the most exciting and rewarding experience of your lifetime.
Successful Surrogacy: An Intended Parents’ Guide to a Rewarding Relationship With Their Surrogate Mother is now available on Amazon in both print and digital formats and comes with an illustrated, companion journal. It's a one-of-a-kind resource for intended parents or those who want to know more about surrogacy, or have loved ones or friends going through surrogacy. Get your copy today!