hope and patients

I’m making my favorite cupcakes this week. While that seems like a small thing, it’s a pretty big event this time because I’m going to try letting “the one in the leggings” (my almost-6-year-old’s term of frustrated affection for her little sister) help.

Gulp. Okay, okay — it’s not that bad; just like 45% more work than if I made them myself, but I’ve made them myself enough times that another time is “just some more cupcakes,” and that’s not very fun. Or maybe there’s a deeper conspiracy here and I’m always building my legacy of being the way cooler parent. Try proving that.

Anyway, I don’t bake very much, but when I do, it’s for therapy. There’s nothing batter or more ful-filling — baking puns; they seem to come by the dozen! I’ll stop. Sometimes, you just need a cupcake.

Our house needs a little confectionery joy today. We’ve been on literal quarantine with influenza A and pneumonia hitting the same sweet kiddo and if that wasn’t enough, she managed to pick up pink eye, too. She’s on the mend and Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. I have lots of reasons to make these.

If I could box some up and know they would arrive perfectly, I would send some off to some dear friends in Maryland. Because he’s one of those awesome life-long friends you meet in college and she was cool enough to snag him and she’s a really gifted baker, too, but none of those are the real reason I want to send them cupcakes.

When we made up our mind that surrogacy was something we wanted to do, we started telling family and friends. And then we made this blog. Shortly thereafter, we got a note from our friends in Maryland about something super neat. Years before we had made the decision, or even begun the introductory “let’s explore this major life change” conversations about surrogacy, our friend in Maryland had prayed about Amanda becoming a surrogate. We loved finding this out and having support from good friends come from them, specifically.

We feel a unique bond with these friends on the east coast as we navigate seas of surrogacy because they understand it in a way others simply cannot. These friends have been on their own fertility journey. But where ours is one of frequent excitement and abundant adventure, theirs has been marked with deep, searing pain; the kind that permeates your being. Our sweet friend has endometriosis is an Endo Warrior. I can’t speak to what that fully means anywhere near the way she can, but I gather it’s a very hard thing.

Just a few days after we grieved with you here about our first transfer attempt failing, we received a very unexpected package in the mail. It was from Maryland and it was stuffed with love and encouragement.

In that moment, our friends had been waiting for a call. Endometriosis had led them down a beautiful path to parenthood trod by few: adoption. When our care package arrived in January, they were still waiting and getting down to the final two in several adoptions processes and being told no and waiting more etc. But I admire them. They met cruel uncertainty with unrelenting hope and patience.

Their happy beginning (because it certainly isn’t a happy ending) came earlier this month in the form of a phone call, and today their lives change forever. After years of struggle and hoping and disappointment and picking themselves up and trying again and again and again…

They are parents.

When you know what they have endured to bring home their sweet baby, words like “happy” and “joy” seem weak, honestly. Maybe “continent-shifting contentment” is more appropriate.

My wife and our Endo Warrior friend have an odd bond: they are both patients on opposite ends of a fertility spectrum; both are fighting a war on infertility with a weapon of breathtaking power and immeasurable sustenance: