I can’t find any other word but “giddy” to describe how I felt when I received the first draft of my surrogate profile.¬† It was all becoming so real!!¬† The¬†profile was created using my answers from my initial application to NYSC and contained a photo, basic demographics, my hobbies/interests, a medical history overview, the cost of my monthly (surrogacy friendly!) health insurance premium, a brief social history, surrogacy terms such as transfer attempts and feelings on termination/reduction, and blurbs on why I want to be a surrogate and how I’d describe my ideal Intended Parent(s).¬† It was really important to me that my profile used inclusive language so that single and LGBTQ IPs knew that I would love to match with them!

As usual, Joe was wonderful to work with when it came to tweaking my profile.¬† I can’t tell you how many edits I sent him; he never batted an eyelash (at least not that I could detect via email) when I suggested an¬†edit, even down to syntax and punctuation (“do you think that should be a semicolon because I think that should be a semicolon…”).¬† After going back and forth a couple times, it was ready!¬† Joe let me know that NYSC already had a couple families in mind for me!

One night, on my way home from my pole studio, I saw an email come in on my watch titled “IP Profiles”.¬† I was so damn excited that I pulled over in a gas station to read it!¬† NYSC had sent over two families for me to read about.¬† The IP profiles included a photo, basic demographics, a short bio, IVF process status/embryo details, surrogacy terms such as transfer attempts and feelings on termination/reduction, and blurbs on how they’d describe their ideal surrogate and what type of relationship they’re looking to have¬†with their surrogate.

I promptly texted my best friend to see if she could meet me at Trader Joe’s.¬† I had planned to stop there for a few things and I just couldn’t wait to start talking through it.¬† Both families seemed so lovely!!¬† We did both feel what we described as a “cosmic pull” towards Matt & Kyle, a couple up in Buffalo.¬† Their/my answers to Ideal Surro/Ideal IP seemed to describe each other with an uncanny accuracy.¬† One of the biggest things was that they were really looking for a connection and lasting relationship with their surrogate.¬† After TJ’s, I came home and talked to my partner, Jon.¬† I’m not gonna lie, I really struggled with the dichotomy of saying “yes” to one family meaning saying “no” to the other–but he assured me that the best thing I could do for a family that wasn’t a perfect match for me was to make the space for them to match with a surrogate who was a perfect match for them.¬† Ultimately, with the other couple hoping for a DET (double embryo transfer), which happened to be a hard no for me, I knew Matt & Kyle were the IPs I wanted to meet.¬†¬†I am so grateful NYSC only shows us two IP profiles at a time, and also that no IPs see your surrogate profile until you’ve agreed to meet them.¬† Time and time again I feel assured that everyone’s emotions are considered in this process.¬† I took comfort in knowing the other family would never know that I had to pass on them in order to say yes to another family.¬† I hope they have found their perfect match!

After sitting with my choice for a few days, I scheduled one last phone call to bounce my thought process off of Joe (he’s a saint, truly).¬† We even tweaked my profile a couple more times (which is actually really cute because I’d later find out that Matt & Kyle were frequent profile-tweakers too) and in the morning off it went to their inbox!¬† I did, of course, send Joe a panicked text about how my profile never mentions my pescatarian diet (I later made the suggestion that there should be a spot for dietary restrictions in the surrogate application) but turns out they didn’t mind and were interested in meeting me as well!

So, off my medical records went to their fertility clinic for perusal.¬† This is another step in the process to ensure things in our control are smoothed out before surrogates and IPs get attached to each other!¬† After getting the OK from the clinic, we scheduled our Pre-Match meeting.¬† When the day for the meeting came, I was so nervous I was shaking!¬† It’s so pleasantly overwhelming to feel like you’re meeting people for the first time with the knowledge that you’re essentially auditioning to be trusted to love and care for their baby for a whole 40 weeks (ish).¬† To hold their baby even before they do–and to be part of such a monumental and special time as they grow their family.¬† *sigh*

Of course, NYSC had hit the nail on the head so well with this match that the¬†nerves didn’t last long.¬† Matt, Kyle, Jon, Joe, and I were on Zoom for 2 hours (new agency record!) and were having such good conversation that towards the end Jon had to leave to get our¬†kiddo from school and came back to us still talking!¬† I learned that they had been trying to grow their¬†family via adoption for a while before turning to surrogacy.¬† We talked about our relationships, our families, what we’re looking to get out of the surrogacy process, parenting philosophies, and birth.¬† By the end of the call we had 2 inside jokes and knew each other’s zodiac signs and favorite colors.¬† Later that night, watching MTV’s The Challenge, the teams on the show were assigned colors purple and orange (Matt & Kyle’s favorites–a sign!).¬† They got to meet our daughter and we said goodbye–but in the next few hours we all¬†relayed to Joe that we were definitely feeling the match!¬† Our official match email was in our inboxes the next morning, including each other’s contact info so we could¬†get in touch directly.¬† Cue: the group chat!

One of the things we share is a love for a good cup of tea but since we’re an hour’s drive apart we planned a time we could all have tea while chatting over Zoom.¬† It became our thing so I ordered¬†us all matching tea time mugs with our names on them because our birthdays were all around then and also because I can’t help myself.¬† When we met in real life I definitely had “First Date” jitters but I walked¬†in with the¬†box of mugs and gave them hugs and the¬†jitters went away quickly!¬† We shared a wonderful meal at their favorite place and while I was stuffing my face with sushi they noticed an owl on the¬†wall behind me (see blog photo).¬† It was then that they told me they were planning on decorating their¬†nursery with an owl theme (another cosmic sign!).¬† The day was rainy so we spent the rest of our time walking around the¬†nearby¬†mall.¬† It was like being with friends I’d known for years–window shopping, people watching, beverage sipping–we even found a cute pair of boots for my daughter!

Anyway–

tl;dr Timeline
October 22nd– Received First Draft of My Profile

November 22nd– Received 2 IP Profiles

November 29th– Phone Call with Joe

November 30th– Records Sent to Fertility Clinic for Review

December 3rd– Records Approved and Pre-Match Meeting Scheduled

December 9th– Pre-Match Meeting

December 10th– Officially Matched¬†ūüĖ§

January 8th– Our First “Tea Time”

February 23rd– Met in Real Life!

We have been matched for 7 months and to this day, my group chat with The Dads is “pinned” at the top of my messages app and is one of my most favorite and active chats.¬† I absolutely adore them and I can’t wait to help them grow their family!¬† Our daughter calls them “Mac n’ Kyle” and they bought her her¬†first tea set which¬†is so stinkin’ cuuuuute.¬† Stay tuned for my blog entry on medical and psychological clearances :)

With love,

K