The good news… I am no longer in the “What’s next?” Limbo and instead I’m in the, “Oh Shit… What if I’m Crazy?” Limbo.
Not really. I’m pretty sure I am not any more crazy than the rest of the average American population. At least, I hope I am not.
In the surrogacy process, most agencies follow the same basic protocols: basic application, more detailed application, phone interview with agency rep, collection of medical records, insurance review, background checks, a home visit, then you’re “on the market”…. then you WAIT.
It’s a lot all at once and then, for most, a period of waiting. My process with my agency went as normal, but even before my profile “went live” I got a call saying that one of their case managers had a couple of IP’s that might match perfectly with us. So we skipped right over that first wait time and jumped right to the next flurry of excitement. We leveled up!
Level two’s process, again, is similar no matter what agency you work with. You get to read IP’s profiles and either move forward, or move on to the next profile. My husband and I liked the first set of parents we were given so we moved forward setting up the Skype meeting (you can read how that went here). Long, awkward story short- we all agreed that we would love to work together! Yay. Leveled up AGAIN!
I had grown used to the flurry and constant contact so when it stopped I got anxious. I don’t know exactly why, but we were told we were ready to advance and then… crickets. It was really nerve racking- which is when I wrote my Limbo post. Had they forgotten about us? Had the IP’s changed their mind and decided they didn’t want to work with us? Was this normal? Was I over thinking it? Was a loosing my mind… most definitely.
The only explanation I can come up with is that there are a LOT of professionals that have to be involved in this whole surrogacy process which means that there is lots of communication that has to happen and be coordinated- between IP’s and their case manager, between the agency and the IVF clinic, between the surrogate and the case manager, etc… the point is, there are a lot of cooks in this kitchen! And, lucky me, it was spring break. Families everywhere were taking vacations and time away from the office which surely had an affect on the lines of communication! (or so I hoped.)
Anyway, back to level three:
The IVF clinic that the IP’s are using needed to review my medical records to decide if it was even worth the next steps. This was the first hang up. I finally heard from my case manager that the doc at the clinic was out of the office which is what caused the delay. I was thankful to have some communication and some reason for the slow down. So, after nearly two weeks of waiting, we were moving again.
The next step is the psych eval. My agency found a lady near me so my husband and I were able to schedule the visit quickly and didn’t have to travel too far. They want both the surrogate and her husband (in the case that the carrier has one) to attend to make sure the environment and family can handle the changes in dynamic that occur in a surrogacy situation.
I realize that not all agencies and procedures will conduct their exams in the same way, but for those of you out there that might be interested or anxious and want to know what it might be like, here are the details of mine:
First, we were greeted by a counselor who wanted us to fill in basic info- she would use this to help guide the conversation. It took us about 10 minutes to fill in the questionnaire.
Then, the conversation started. She asked a lot of questions:
Describe our childhood? (we both had to do this)
Were either of us ever married before?
Describe your relationship with your parents.
How did you two meet?
Describe your kids and your pregnancies.
Describe your relationship.
What do you do to handle stress?
Describe your personality? (we both had to do this)
Describe your health and workout habits?
Who have you told about your surrogacy journey?
How have they responded?
What do you plan to tell your kids about this process?
How do you think this journey will affect your family?
There were probably a few more questions, but they were all in the same vein. It was very much just a conversation and she was very personable. Nothing to be nervous about. It took about an hour and a half.
My husband was allowed to leave at this point, while I remained to take the MMPI-2. A mental health assessment that asks the same questions in different ways 567 times (literally… there were 567 questions?!?!). That took me about an hour. Then I was free to leave.
That was on Thursday of last week… and now I am waiting again.
I do know that the next step is the medical screening and that it will be in CA and that my husband and I will, obviously, be traveling to the IVF clinic there to have it completed. I do NOT know when that will be scheduled or if there are any other hang-ups that might prevent me from even getting to that point.
Ugh, the not knowing makes me loony. But hopefully we are getting closer to the part I am confident in: growing babies!