Obviously, we are quite busy these days. There hasn’t been a lot of spare time to compose longer blog posts documenting our adventures. Thus it seems like the perfect time to explore the world of micro-blogging! To this end, I have established Twitter, Instagram, and Vine accounts so I can tap out a few words or capture a moment whenever opportunity strikes. I have embedded our twitter feed on the home page of our blog so visitors can see the latest.
I am new to Twitter but find it very amusing thus far. Unlike Facebook, Twitter gives you the opportunity to communicate directly with so many people you don’t even know. Celebrities are interesting but I also find it very powerful connecting to gay parents across the country and around the world. We may not know each other in real life, but we certainly share a common bond in our special situation.
Last week we celebrated two rarely coinciding holidays, Hanukah and Thanksgiving. The holidays go together well, because both are about expressing gratitude for blessings in life. This year, we obviously have much to be thankful for as our family grows. My sister Annie and brother-in-law Rahul came from New Orleans and Josh’s parents joined us as well for a big family feast.
I am quite proud of the turkey and traditional potato latkes that I made for the meal. Josh shot down my idea of brining the turkey but it roasted nicely anyway with garlic, herbs and seasoning rubbed all over on Wednesday night. Together with my matzoh ball soup, mastering the potato latke means that I am one recipe away from the Jewish cooking trifecta. I will hopefully get the brisket right by Passover next year…
Lighting the candles on the first night Wednesday
The spread 5 minutes before everyone sat down and demolished it
20 pound bird this year
The secret ingredient borrowed from Rachael Ray’s recipe is grated carrot
What a difference a year makes.
Exactly one year ago, my sister and brother-in-law came to Florida to stay for 10 days so they could take AJ and JJ to school and to trick or treat on Halloween, while Josh and I made our first trip to India. We were very quiet about our plans, and not many people knew we were even going to be away. We were so secretive because we felt there was a lot of uncertainty pursuing international surrogacy, and we didn’t want it to be public knowledge if we were about to be swindled.
Investigating our options in 2012, my medical background and our prior experience as parents through surrogacy had already served us well in weeding out some questionable situations. We knew in some cases immediately that we were being lied to: “No need to make the trip to India beforehand. We can just ship your stuff to India because frozen is as good as fresh for IVF.” – LIE; “To ensure success in one cycle, we can transfer to two surrogates. I know you just said you would prefer singleton. The two surrogates have never gotten pregnant at the same time like that, and certainly not with multiples.” – LIE.
But some claims were not as easily disproven, and we had to see the operation for ourselves to make sure things were legit. Once we met Dr. M, we felt comfortable enough to proceed. However, throughout the pregnancy, nagging doubts remained. We had recurring nightmares that we would return to India to find that Dr. M’s Infertility Clinic had been replaced suddenly with Mrs. M’s Nail Salon, and none of the nail techs would know anything about babies… how about a manicure?
One year later everything obviously turned out well, and we were treated with a sweet outcome. But we are also sadly aware of many intended parents pursuing international surrogacy with other agencies who appear to have been tricked into paying for unnecessary medical fees, multiple IVF procedures and possibly even whole pregnancies that may have never really happened. International surrogacy can be a gamble. We feel extremely fortunate for ourselves and sympathy for other IPs who gamble with their wallets and their hearts trying to create families abroad. Trick or treat?
Take your pick – heroes or pirates?
To offset the depressing article discussed in last week’s post, Josh found this piece about a gay couple that opened their hearts and home to an astounding 14 children. I really admire people like this. It goes to show you that just like straight people, some gay people don’t make good parenting decisions, but plenty of others are truly amazing parents!
The Ham Family
I invited Josh to blog about this article he found today, but he is too angry to put his feelings into words.
Celebrity Wedding Planner David Tutera and his partner Ryan Jurica decided almost ten years into their relationship to have children together through surrogacy. They both contributed genetic material to an IVF procedure and ended up with a surrogate pregnant with twins, one fetus biologically related to each of them. Only months into the pregnancy, they broke up. By the time the twins were born earlier this year, the two parents were living separately and were already engaged in a contentious custody battle. A few days ago, they announced that they were going to split the babies up and each raise the child biologically related to them. Below the article are plenty of comments from people quick to point to this sad situation as support for their opinion that gays treat children like property and shouldn’t be parents.
For us, this is simply evidence that some people, regardless of sexual orientation, shouldn’t have children. The very telling quote comes from the video above the article, where David Tutera makes an appearance on The View and says that he and Ryan Jurica went through the surrogacy process hoping that having a family would make their relationship better. This is horribly misguided. Having children will not somehow bring two people with fundamental differences closer together. It will only tax them and drive them further apart.
And now that it has played out in an ugly fashion in the public forum, the haters have all come to the conclusion that gay people make horrible parents.
Good job, guys.
Ryan Jurica and David Tutera