Friday, February 11, 2011

Getting so Big!

Remember these little beauties:

Look at what they've become:

(his head is still giant compared to hers!)

Couple Dating

This whole process of choosing the next set of Intended Parents that I will carry is daunting.

Here is the ad I have up on a popular surrogate website:
Experienced GC looking to help one more family!

I delivered a singleton in 2007 and twins in 2009 for a wonderful NY family. The joy at seeing their family complete brings me back to help one more family.

• am 34, have a 23 BMI, and am VERY healthy. Strawberry blond hair, blue eyes, fair complexion;
• am partnered, have children and am financially, emotionally and socially secure;
• live in Eugene, Oregon, which offers something similar to pre-birth orders;
• have health insurance with no surrogacy or prenatal exclusions;
• have healthy easy pregnancies and deliveries;
• am asking a $**k base comp, with typical extras
• am ready to start cycling in late Summer, early Fall

The Ideal Intended Parents:
• are financially, emotionally and socially ready;
• are good communicators;
• value a healthy lifestyle, low intervention pregnancy and birth, and breastfeeding;
• prefer a singleton and a sibling project over twins

Please email me for a profile, photos and other information. I am excited to match with the right family, get to know each other, and help you have your baby!

I do not discriminate based on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, religion.

So, they reply and ask me a bunch of questions, and it's like internet dating.  Maybe we progress to a phone call, but what typically happens is that we find something in the process that tells us we don't want to be so intimately involved in eachother's lives.

sigh.  I don't like this part so much.  I wish for new IPs to just fall into my lap.  If you know of someone wonderful, let me know.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Birthday Wishes

This isn't me, but it could be!
From as far back as I can remember, I have been drawn to big tractory type creatures.  They lumber around, scoop things up, tear things down, move big heavy stuff, and turn humans into SUPERhumans.  The way some little girls fantasize about their wedding gowns, I've played dress-up in my mind with carhartt coveralls, orange safety-vests and personalized hard hats and ear muff(in)s.

Several months back I mentioned to my boss that it was my 35th birthday wish that I drive a backhoe.  We laughed about it, and in my overly busy way, I promptly forgot.

But my boss and co-workers did not.

We do office celebrations for birthdays, and each year I duck out on my own and ask that we not do much, that I don't enjoy being the center of attention, etc.  And they, begrudgingly, agree.  And so yesterday, I got a very nice card with lots of sweet messages in it, and some happy birthdays and it was blissfully a non-event.

Today, when my boss lured me away for an office errand, they surprised me with Heavy Machinery.  (ok, really is was medium heavy machinery, but still!!!)

I learned how to drive one of these:
which they called 'the Ferrari'.  It goes back and forth, AND UP AND DOWN!!!

And one of these:

which I got to scoop and dump gravel with!  The dumping sounds a little like a rain stick, and was my favorite part.  Well, and the having to ram the tractor into the gravel pile before scooping.

And when we got back to the office, my co-worker had prepared pans of 'dirt' that had hidden treats in it, and there were little front loaders to drive through the delicious 'dirt'.

Best Office Birthday Party EVER!!!

Born this way

I have attached a link to a blog that I think is worth visiting.  This blog is filled with pictures of LGBTQ people when they were young, expressing themselves in all their early-queer glory.

I think this blog is important because while we strive for equality, and the people that love us just see us as people, the truth is that in some fundamental ways, queer people feel different from a very young age.  Most of us didn't even really know why we felt different until our later teen years, some it took much longer, and some knew from the very beginning; but almost all of us knew we were different.

This is important, because it illustrates that being gay is built into us.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On Being a Step-Parent

Ok, so I had NO IDEA.  None. How can one single thing be so so hard?

Let's get this out of the way right up front.  Their Mom?  She's great.  She's a wonderful mother, and she's been a step-mother, had a step-mother.  She's knows it. 

I liked her before I met her ex-husband, and still like her.  So, this really isn't about her.  I mean, it is, of course, but really it's not.  She doesn't make my life hell, she doesn't poison her kids against me, or any of the myriad other nasty ex-wife/real mother stories that are out there.  It's a complex relationship, and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't bumpy, but we all have it pretty good.

And WondefulMan?  He's great too.  He backs me up, he works with me to parent collaboratively, he tries to walk that very difficult road between being her ex-husband and father of her kids, and my partner and co-parent.  He holds me when I cry and gets upset that he can't make it all better.  And he changes his processes to meet my needs, just like I change mine.  Wonderful.

Here's what is hard.  These aren't MY kids.  These are kids that I get to love, that I have to/get to help parent, that I share a home with, that I share a love with. But they aren't MY kids with WonderfulMan.  They are HER kids with WonderfulMan and I am, at best, SecondBest.

So, that's me.  SecondBest.

The kids like me.  Which is nice.  And they don't enact open warfare.  Which is also nice.

But I'm SecondBest and it is so so so hard.  I don't want to replace their mom.  She's a good mom, she loves them, takes good care of them, and she should always come first in their mind.  But you know what?  I don't love their kids second best.  That's not how I'm built.  I love them the same.  I worry about their health and safety like I worry about mine.  I lie in bed worrying about them, and they take up just as much time in my head as mine do.  So being SecondBest?  It's hard.  And it makes me cry.

And so I went looking for information, and research and stuff to help me figure out how to handle these emotions.  And most books tell me how to make it easier or better for the kids (which I'm pretty ok at doing), or tell me how to be a better communicator with their mother (which I'm also ok at), or how to put my marriage/love first (hard to do with kids everywhere, but we manage pretty ok at this too).  But they don't tell me about ME.  They don't tell me how to make myself feel better.  Or how to reframe things.  And so many delight in bashing the first mother, and I don't like/want/do that.

This is so very very hard.

(and wonderful.  because I love the dad that WonderfulMan is.  And I love sharing his joy over his kids, and I love seeing tons of shoes tumbled all about at the door, and I love that my kids wonder and ask when his kids will be back from their moms, and I love that sometimes I get a special moment with the kids where I can feel the love bond grow, and so much more...)

step-parent, blended family, ex-wife, step-mother, stepmother,


It's been a over a year since my last blog, and a fairly momentous year too!

Tomorrow I turn 35, and I find each year is better than the last. No one tells you that growing oldER is a joy, but truly it is!

The man I fell in love with (to be known as WonderfulMan herein) is still an amazingly beautiful man, and I can say this past year has been one of the biggest for personal growth. We moved in together last May, and we have been together for a year as of December 8th. We have been working hard at loving one another, managing a large (!) blended family, and still holding on to our personal autonomy.

On Previous Topics (this is an update post, after all):

Queer Girl dates Man: I no longer feel conspicuous or out of place walking down the street holding hands with a man. However, my social community has definitely changed. My queer friends continue on with their lives, and we don't see eachother as often. While I understand that is part of what happens when you couple, it feels a profound loss to me and I often feel alone and a little lost. My partner is amazing, but he isn't, and has never been, queer. It's hard to share a world with him that he doesn't relate to and has little impact on his life.

Tango: I've reached new places this year, and I am so thankful. Tango isn't angsty anymore! What a relief. SERIOUSLY. I fall deeper in love with the music and find myself in deeper introspection. And it is lovely to share tango with my partner. I heard so many warnings about dating/loving in the tango scene, but it enriches my relationship with tango, and also with WonderfulMan.

Parenting: My role as a parent has expanded. WonderfulMan and I now parent 10 kids:
  • My two biological boys (ages almost 15 and 10),
  • my live-in foster son/adult (19),
  • my former fosterson (22--and he'd probably bristle at the idea that I'm parenting him still, but I am even if he doesn't know it),
  • and WonderfulMan's children: ages 5, 8, 9, 12(the only girl!!!), 13. WonderfulMan also has an 18 year old son that doesn't live with us that I get to love.
WonderfulMan's kids are with us almost half-time. It has been a lot of (rewarding) work on everyone's parts to learn to become a family, and we are still working on it. But, I think, overall, it's been a really lovely thing.

Surrogacy: The twins turned two right about the same time WonderfulMan and I, and our families, moved in together. They, and their brother, are amazingly beautiful, and the older I get the more warm glowy my heart gets. I continue to value the relationship with their parents in a way I can't really begin to explain, except to say that there are many things that I am proud of in my life and that bring me joy, and carrying those kids for that family is way up there at the top.

I am looking for a new family to carry for, and it's been interesting beginning this process again. I have been looking informally for about 6 months, and have talked with many people, but haven't found the right ones just yet.

I hope to keep up a bit more with the blog, but life is full. I also imagine it will take on more of the (dreaded) MommyBlog thing, as I work through parenting littles again. I appreciate you hanging out with me, and understand if you bail.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gender and loving a man

It's weird to have fallen for a man.

I know that it doesn't matter, not really. I've always fallen for the person, not the gender, but for a long time now I've really only been interested in having long-term relationships with women. My few love affairs with men were temporary, and I knew it, so was comfortable indulging that. Like visiting a foreign country.

And I've always loved Women, because they are women. Not because of some trauma in my life, or abuse or any of the other crap that people use to explain away why someone is gay. I've known since about 4th grade, and maybe even younger, that I liked women. My first crushes were Daisy Duke and Laura Ingalls. When I walk down the street, it's women that turn my head. I barely even glance at men.

But here he is, and I've never been so in love or felt such completion. And it is hard to reconcile this in my head. It's a whole reordering of my social universe.

I feel conspicuous with him in public. It feels weird to have people look at us, or to see us slip in a quick cuddle. Like I am doing something wrong. He tells me they are probably just enjoying our being in love.

He's turning my whole world upside down.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The crazy mix

I know what craziness I bring to the mix. I'm keenly aware of it. I have for years heard CC's* mother in my head telling me I'm just too much, that I wear people out.

I always figured it would be after my kids were grown. Because who would understand? Who would be part of the loving mess I created?

Sure, my friends and family support my fostering, my surrogacies, my net full of those that need love. But they don't really understand. When I talk about those aspects of my life, they show respect or admiration, or shake their head at my craziness, or say something supportive and loving and kind. Which is wonderful, but it's's not what I want. I want someone that understands that I do these things because they need to be done, because it is just part of life, because it's just what we do.

And I really thought I'd have to wait. That it would be when they all were grown.

But he gets it.

* Beaches, the movie