By Joe Shacter

I met my wife in 1988. We were married in 1991 and three years later decided it was time to start the family we both desired. In the spring of 1994, my wife became pregnant for the first time, virtually immediately.  We thought, naively, this is going to be easy!

Then came the miscarriage, the first of what would become a virtually annual event, with six more to come. Each loss was more devastating then the last.

The hardest part was watching my wife break down after each try. She was overwhelmed with anger, frustration and sadness. I felt powerless. No matter how many times I hugged, kissed and consoled her, I could not help her.

We began looking into adoption, but we didn’t want to give up hope of having our own biological child. We started investigating surrogacy, although my wife, after everything she had been through, was initially skeptical.

We heard of ARR through a family friend and counselor associated with Resolve. Throughout the entire process, the people at ARR treated me as an equal partner. They were as respectful and concerned about my needs as they were about my wife’s. And, yes, I was impressed.

We were one of ARR’s first surrogacy clients so they informed us that it could take a while to find the right surrogate. ARR teamed us up with a wonderful woman, but unfortunately she didn’t pass the medical exam. It was back to square one. Like my wife, I was starting to feel as though we were cursed. But a few months later, ARR set us up with another potential surrogate, Angie.

When we met with Angie and her husband, Felix, I didn’t know what to expect. What do you say to a total stranger who may carry your child? And what the heck do you say to her husband? But as soon as we started talking, it was as if we had been friends for years.

As soon as the embryos were implanted, we began talking with Angie every day. I was a part of virtually every phone call and doctor’s appointment. Angie’s husband was also very supportive; it was nice to have another guy around who understood what I was going through.

During the entire process, I felt like I had to be strong, but I finally broke down on the wonderful day when my wife called me at work to tell me the transfer had worked and Angie was pregnant. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, mainly because I just knew this was going to work. We were going to have a baby!

Actually, make that plural. As we found out a few weeks later, Angie was pregnant with twin boys.

I was very emotional the day the boys were born. Our dream of creating a family was finally a reality, and I was now responsible for two human beings. But, I was more overwhelmed with what these two babies meant. My family was complete.

No wonder, early on, we started calling Angie “our guardian Angie.”

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