Mothers

So.  On Saturday I talked to my parents.

When they were visiting here, about a month ago, I told them that I was in the process of applying to become a gestational surrogate.  They weren’t particularly enthusiastic, but not negative either.  They both had a lot of questions, understandably, about the process, why I’m doing this, and and what it will mean for me, Knox, and our kids.  My mom encouraged me to make this decision prayerfully.  And that was that.  We didn’t really talk about it for very long.  I’ve been updating them throughout the process; I let them know when I was officially accepted to be a surrogate with the agency.  And when I first found out who my potential Intended Parents would be (Urs and Ingmar) I mentioned to my parents that I had some news, but didn’t want to share until it was definite.  So when my mom called Saturday evening, that news was what she asked about first.

I just told her, straight up.  I said something like “They’re [nationality], they live in [place], and they’re both men.”

She said, “I’m not so sure about this, Nia.”

I told her that I know it’s controversial and probably a bit of a shock for her, but that this couple has been together for more than 15 years.  They’re good, kind, generous people and they want a family.  I told her that I’m excited about helping them do this.  The conversation was a little uncomfortable, but it was necessary.  I could sense her trying to be supportive while also expressing her concerns.  She and my dad were in a temple recommend interview lately and they asked about the church’s official stance on surrogacy.  The Bishop (or Stake President, I’m not sure which) wasn’t sure about that so he looked it up in the handbook.  There’s only one line: “Surrogate motherhood is strongly discouraged.”  I think this really applies to traditional surrogacy, in which the birth mother is also the biological mother.  Or, at least, I’m happy to assume that and thank the handbook for being so vague.  Mom said I should talk to my bishop about it to make sure I’ll still be in good standing with the church.

But the most difficult thing for me to hear was my mom saying, “I think it would be so sad for a child to grow up without a mother.  I think mothers are pretty great.”

Aaaaarrgh!  What can I say to that?  How can I disagree?  I don’t disagree with her that mothers (my own especially) are wonderful.  I certainly value my own identity as a mother.  Will this baby suffer from not having a mom?  I don’t know, I can’t know.  But I’m pretty sure that any child lucky enough to have two parents who love him or her is awfully lucky.  I told my mom that Urs and Ingmar have sisters and mothers themselves, and that they would have a Nanny (since they have careers).  Women will be involved in raising this child.  But of course, none of that is exactly the same as having a mom.  Urs and Ingmar seem like gentle, sensitive, loving people have everything good to offer this baby.  I can’t fault them for both being male.  Besides, not all mothers are, you know, moms.

Anyway, I have lots of thinking to do about this subject.  But the good thing is that my mom’s closing words were encouraging: “Just know that whatever you decide to do, we will love and support you.”  I was so comforted to hear that.  I really thought it might have been a deal-breaker when my mom and dad found out that this baby would have two daddies, and I’m relieved to know that my mom, at least, is trying her best to understand where I’m coming from.

I didn’t really talk about it with my dad.  He deserves a post of his own anyway, so… later!

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