I have been thinking lately about everything I see when I look at an IP (surrogacy- related term for Intended Parent- the person that is intended to become a parent by the end of the process).
I think about all the things people say about surrogates. Aside from all the negative things and the misunderstandings, people seem to see that surrogates give their time, their bodies, their hearts, and receive in payment for services rendered varying sums of money, or no money, as is the case for many. I have been called a blessing, an angel, and a gift. I am embarrassed to be spoken of that way, for I am none of those things. I am just a woman doing something that I know God wants me to do. And when I think about what I have received as a surrogate, it brings me back to the IPs. So, I have been writing a letter in my head to all of my IPs (and somehow to all IPs) and I am going to go ahead and try to write it now.
As I imagine meeting you, I wonder what you will be like. I imagine a woman suffering from the loss of dreamed-of- motherhood, I imagine a woman who has been weakened by sorrow, and overcome with despair. I imagine a man by your side who is empty and aching for the joy of throwing his own child into the air as she squeals with delight. I look at my children, and I imagine the loss of each of their lives, and can only barely, slightly, infintesimally glimpse the horrors you have seen as you have watched your living children die, as you have watched your body betray you and leave you vacant inside. I imagine the pain in your eyes, and I don't know how I will bear to see the hurt.
As I meet you, I look into your eyes and I am amazed by what I see. I see the strength of having endured unimaginable loss and still being able to believe in miracles. I see the determination of a person determined to succeed when all they have met with is failure. I see the power of true love in the man who married a woman knowing she would never be able to bear the children of his dreams. I am amazed by what I see, and by what I don't see. I don't see anger at the world, I don't see jealousy of the mother walking by, I don't see you feeling sorry for yourself. I see someone driven to action. I see someone who knows that there is always a way. I see a mind with a dream. I see a heart full of hope.
And when I see your strength, when I see your determination, when I see your love, and mostly, when I see your hope, I am humbled. I am humbled to know that I will never be as strong as you. I will never be as determined as you. I will never know what it means to try and try again. I will never have to hold to hope as tightly as you do, and I will never be able to inspire anyone as you have inspired me.
Dear IP, you have taught me what it means to love. You have taught me what it means to hope. You have taught me that if you never give up, you will reach your goal. You have taught me to believe in miracles.
I thank you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for granting me this moment to see into your soul. I thank you for sharing your most private pain with me, and for allowing me to see the brilliant light of your soul reflecting through your eyes. There will never be adequate words to express my gratitude for the values you have brought to me. I will be forever changed.