Right in the middle of this surrogacy story is another story. It’s tucked away, quiet and hidden in the background, but actually it’s central to this whole entire thing.
The real story here is a love story, and it started when I was sixteen years old.
I started dating Brad, a college freshman, when I was a junior in high school. At sixteen, I could never have imagined everything our future would hold. We knew of each other when Brad was in high school (we went to the same school), but it wasn’t until he came home for Christmas break that we really took notice of each other.
We both ended up at a mutual friend’s house, watching WWE wrestling of all things. I thought Brad was cute, but have always been quite shy and I certainly wasn’t going to talk to him or anything. We kept bumping into each other that break, spending time with the same friends and at the same events. One night we went to a basketball tournament at Winona State University. We parked at a good friend’s house, one who was later one of Brad’s best men at our wedding in fact. We carpooled to the game, and then went back to get our cars and go our respective ways. I remember talking to Brad outside, in freezing cold Minnesota temperatures, slowly dragging out the walk to my red ‘99 Ford Ranger. Everyone else had scattered. The street was quiet and frosty cold, softly lit by street lamps. We could see our breath and my hands were numb, my nose as red as Rudolph’s. Finally he asked for my number, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Fast forward 19 years later and here we are. And it really feels like we fast forwarded it. These 19 years have gone by in the blink of an eye! It hasn’t always been easy, but somewhere along the way it became the fairytale that dreams are made of. Three kids, three dogs, several houses, several jobs, several college degrees, a cross-country move, joys and sorrows, and now a journey into foster care and surrogacy. I love our life together. I love our family and watching it grow and evolve.
A few years ago, we passed the point where we had been together for more than half of my life. Brad has helped me become the person that I am today. He is always in my corner, he is patient, he is kind, he can always make me laugh, and he is an amazing dad to our kids. It’s because of our life together that I wanted to pay it forward and pursue surrogacy. And it’s because of his unfaltering support that I was able to do it.
Some guys might balk when their wife says, “I want to carry the baby of two Frenchmen” 😂 But Brad was right there with me; we both knew this was what we wanted to do. I feel fortunate that we are on the same page and that if for some reason we aren’t, it’s easy for us to get there.
I’ve had this post in mind for awhile, honoring the unsung hero in this surrogacy journey. The one who picks up the slack when I have appointments and will need to continue to do more if/when the pregnancy progresses (first beta test tomorrow!) and today seemed like the perfect day to share. Today is Brad’s birthday, and even though he thinks it’s no big deal, it means the world to me. I’m so thankful that he’s here, that he’s ours, and I can’t wait to see what our future holds.