Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Location. Location. Location?

A lot has happened in the last few days. I finally got my Official "Cleared" email from Growing Generations. Now that I'm good to go, they were able to send the Intended Parents (IPs) my profile.

They had actually sent me the IPs profile a few weeks ago. Rick and I looked it over and we thought they sounded splendid. I have always said one of the best things about Growing Generations is their ability to help match you with the perfect IPs. As long as you're honest with GG about what you're looking for in your journey, chances are the profile that you get will be spot on.

Getting the Intended Parents profile is like Christmas. It is so exciting. You get an increased heart rate and butterflies once you realize the profile is actually in your email inbox! When you read through it and look at the pictures, you immediately start thinking of what the next year will look like. It's like seeing pictures of a house you are thinking of buying- you start to imagine your furniture in the living room, the kids will love that backyard, with a kitchen like that, I might actually cook more, etc. And you haven't even seen it in person yet! Surrogacy matching is very similar.

First of all, my potential IPs are in Australia. Even though we aren't matched, I already feel the need to learn about their home. After all, I know there's a lot more to it than The Wiggles. It is crazy- all of a sudden I have this feeling that I need to learn the didgeridoo ;)

I am glad that I am excited about this because I'm also a little nervous. Historically, I have had major reservations about doing an International Surrogacy. I just had this feeling that I'd never see them again and I couldn't imagine that, especially now after having 2 sets of IPs that I continue to talk with and visit. I have lucked out that up till this journey, my matches were in California with me . . . but as I've learned from other surrogates, regardless of where the IPs live, it doesn't guarantee you'll see them a lot through the process or after. So, when Growing Generations asked me to rethink my view of International Surrogacy I did. They said that they had a great match for me. They were everything I was looking for except they did not live in the United States. I said okay, I'd take a look at it . . . and they couldn't be more right! After working so closely with Growing Generations over the last four years I think they know me better than I thought.

So yesterday, before they left for the day, they sent the guys my profile . . . which was 9:30 am the next day their time (they're 17 hours ahead). I was told I'd hear back in a day or two and that sometimes with the time difference, it could be a little longer. This is when you start getting nervous . . . Will they like me? Are they making fun of the pictures I choose? (Damn It! I knew I shouldn't have used that picture) Have they already shared my profile with their friends or family for input/ridicule? And you start to doubt yourself. And no matter who you are, how many times you've done this, or how many of your blog followers who are IPs say that you're awesome & you're going to make someone happy, etc. you doubt yourself. I remember doing this last time too.

Really! When I woke up this morning I was going to blog all about it. About how I got cleared and how they sent off my profile . . . about my new found curiosity with Australia- but then I decided NO. Not yet.

Because what if they came back and said NO straightaway?

What if they didn't think I was as marvelous as I think I am?

What if they were luke warm about me?

What if they saw how great I was (who are we kidding right?) but they didn't think we'd be a good match? (Oh)

What if?

What if?

What if?

It happens to the best of us. Even though I always talk up my uterus and joke and brag about my "beautiful uterus" or that my uterus was over looked for a GLAAD award, I still have these thoughts.

However, this morning I heard from Growing Generations that the guys liked my profile. YAY! So now we move to the next step. They already had a trip booked to the U.S. at the end of August, so that's when we'll try to plan the official, in-person, Match Meeting. For now, Growing Generations is going to set up an informal Skype meeting for us to talk more and introduce each other. This brings about more random thoughts . . . What should I wear? What if I say something stupid?

I do know one thing for sure. I will have to prep my husband who thinks he's funnier than he really is at times. For those of you who watch Modern Family, I swear the character Phil was loosely based on my Rick.

* No stories about his experiences (or lack thereof) with Boomerangs

* Under no circumstance should he refer at all to the movie Crocodile Dundee (in conversation or accessory choices)

* And he can't utter anything about Dingo's eating someones' baby.

* Even though he can do a great Steve Irwin impression, the match meeting is not the place for it. Actually, I'm not sure there is any place where that really works anymore.

* The words "Shrimp on the Barbie" should not leave his lips, not even once.

I am sure Rick will do great (with some ground rules) and my kids seem pretty excited too. They all voted that we should help one more family have a baby and once Ruby heard they were from Australia, where one of her favorite shows (H2O) is made, she was 100% on board. The more I think about it the more excited I get. And maybe someday, we'll take the kids to Australia, you know, to say Hi really quick.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pool? New Belly? Pool? New Belly? Damn it!

So my husband and I are getting estimates about getting an in ground pool built. We figure since our home is worth half what we bought it for and we're under a good $250,000, might as well get cozy for the next few decades we'll be living here. I'd say LOL, but it's more like WOL (weep out loud).

This is something we planned to do when we first bought this house almost six years ago- it's kind of how I agreed to move to a town of less than 6,000 with a handful of eating out choices and a good hour from the nearest GAP and Banana Republic. A pool would be worth it. Then we decided that at gazebo and hot tub would suffice and be tens of thousands less. It worked for a bit. Then later, we decided to invest money in a friends start -up (instead of getting a pool) . . . the business went bankrupt and we never got our money back.

Let me preface this next part by explaining that I've said from the get go, once I'm completely done having babies for others, I'm getting this extra skin hacked off and my boobs put back where they belong. Birthing 7 babies (which included two sets of twins) has done quite the number on my body. So I finally decided that I'd do one more surrogacy, the third is the charm, right? Which means putting off the "mommy makeover" for another year or so . . . but I know it will be there.

Now . . . here we are again in our pool discussions . . . we're setting up a few consults and Rick tells me, "You know, it's either a pool or your new belly" . . . What?! Why can't I do both? (stupid question) RIck is still not sold on the pool totally, it is tons of money, but I think he thought I'd say Belly. Silly man, doesn't he know me as a mom yet (after almost 10 years of being one?) . . . I will pick my kids over myself EVERY TIME . . . so if we do end up going through with the pool this summer or next year, I will be the lady in the swim dress, with the pounds of excess belly skin floating while teaching my kids how to do a proper flip-turn.

Unless anyone knows if there's a kickstarter for putting surrogates back together? I can post BEFORE and AFTER Pictures . . . and let the donations start rolling in? Haha! I may be onto something.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Newest Goal . . . Getting this Documentary Funded

My post at The Next Family this week is about a Surrogacy Documentary that is looking for funding on

I have pledged $50 and am trying to spread the word . . . when you read my post you'll see why . . .


To pledge (become a backer) you can either CLICK HERE or I have a Widgit Set up at the side of my blog (look for it, no down, a little more down, YEP! There it is) :) You can pledge $1 or more . . . I'm sure they'd gladly take whatever you can pledge.

I'm so excited to see this film be made. Positive PR on Surrogacy AND one on a gay, interracial couple to boot!


Friday, July 1, 2011

The Screening . . . Part 2- Psychological

The Screening . . . Part 1- Physical can be found HERE.

On to Part 2, the Psychological Screening!

I left Dr. Kolb's office in a great mood. Nailed it! ;)
I can't report that they threw a Ticker Tape Parade for my Uterus, but I could totally tell they wanted too . . . I mean, like, if they had more time to prepare. It's not their fault. I'm sure when GG emailed them about me doing my screening, they wrote down Kelly Rummelhart but didn't realize it was THE KELLY RUMMELHART.

So, onto Growing Generations Office to complete my Screening. When the cab pulled up in front of the building, for a moment I thought I was at the wrong place. I had totally forgot that they moved across the street since the last time I was there. I got in the elevator and took it up to the 13th floor. As I walked out, I peered down the hallway . . . ah, there it is. Behind these doors, the very FIRST STEP of a creating a family takes place

I rang the bell and was greeted by a few of their Staff, including CEO and Co-Owner, Stuart. We chatted for a while and then they introduced me to another Surrogate Candidate that just happened to be from Sacramento. (I swear, Sacramento is a Hot Bed for Surros!) I told her all about how I LOVED being a Growing Generations Surrogate and how once she is cleared, to email me to join our Facebook Group.

Dr. Kim Bergman wasn't there that day (kind of a bummer since she was such a support in my last journey and right after), so instead I spoke with her intern Trudi. It was very similar to the last two times I had spoken with the psychologist at Growing Generations (Fertility Counseling Services, Inc). We discussed several things like . . .
* Why I wanted to be a surrogate.
* What my last two journeys were like.
* What I was looking for in IPs and a match (during/after) and What my ideal IPs would be like.
* If I had any plans for the money.
* Who would be the most supportive in my journey.
* If there was anyone in my life that wasn't okay with my decision, or wouldn't be supportive
. . . . and many other topics.

It was nice to talk about surrogacy and my hopes and dreams. The whole time Trudi was listening and typing notes on her laptop. She typed several more letters than just "SHE BE CRAZY, OH HELL NO!" So I think I'm good!

Later I took my psychological assessment . . . this is always my favorite. A few of the questions are exactly like an activity I facilitate in the Human Sexuality class I teach. I am in the Psychology Department, so I use the activity it to teach my students about Social Desirability within surveys and questionnaires. I know at other agencies, the surrogates take the Psychological Exam at home with a scantron sheet. At Growing Generations, it's on a computer. I'll take a mouse over a #2 Pencil any day!

The first time I took the test, I giggled through several questions but the second and third time, besides laughing, I tried to think of what type of meaning they are getting from my answers. And sometimes, questions come up that I know I'm answering "undesirably" but I am being honest.

Some of my favorites . . .

* Yes, I do enjoy talking about Sex. After all, it is my job. Does it look better if I say I get paid well for it? No! Wait!

* True?! No False! No True! Damn it! What is considered "Unusual"?
I have some pretty "Non-Vanilla" friends so my gage of "usual" is a bit off kilter. ;)

The question, "Much of what is happening to me now seems to have happened to me before," is equally difficult.
* Yes, this is my third time taking this test . . . I have flown to LA several times in the last year . . . I have stayed in two different Westin hotels in the last week, I have been to a fertility doctor before . . . AUGH!!!!! What do you want from me??!!!!

So now, with both my psychological and physical screenings behind me. We just sit and wait to hear that we've cleared. I am feeling very good about it. I have been cleared two times before and I didn't get escorted out of the building by security . . . . and I'd say that was a positive sign in itself!