Also, tomorrow is my birthday. Yay birthday! I may be turning 26 but I still like to celebrate birthdays with the same enthusiasm I had as a kid. Except other people don't like to celebrate like that anymore so I have no friends to invite over to wear silly hats and play games with me. But I'm enthusiastic regardless.
Now for what's been rattling around in my head for over a week. Last Saturday, before Scott and I went to talk with Father M, a friend started offering reasons why he thought the Orthodox church doesn't support surrogacy. I would like to start by saying that NONE of the reasons he listed were given to us by our priest, but I have read them as being the Catholic stance. This person was raised Catholic so I get the connection, but it wasn't accurate to our current church, and was really hurtfull. I have thought about addressing the situation with my friend but he is the kind of person that always thinks he is right, and anytime there is a disagreement he thinks it is a chance to debate and is not able to "agree to disagree" and I don't really want to get into a big emotional debate on the subject. Add to that that a different friend voiced concern that my approaching it now would have more to do with my pride and therefore probably not a great move, is making me think I shouldn't bring up the subject. Anyway, here were his arguments:
Because Rachel is Jewish, being both of her genetics and grown in her womb will be "spiritually damaging for our child." That our child would somehow be obnoxious/out of control/damaged/psychotic or something. That having a baby from non-Christian parents would make our child extra sinful or damned.
When I pointed out that adopting a baby would most likely mean it would not be from Orthodox parentage, he said "But Scott and you would not be involved in creating the situation." ("Situation"?! Like this is some unemotional business proposition?) I can't even begin to tell you guys how much that infuriates and offends me. While we can debate nature vs. nurture all day, and I do recognize that a child that is biologically Rachel's will posses many traits of hers, I don't think that my child will be doomed to be a serial killer or anything. The child will be loved, blessed and prayed for regardless of whose womb is grows in! And honestly, I've met plenty of Christian people who are not half as nice, honest and awesome as Rachel. I can't imagine a better fit for us!
He said that to continue to pursue surrogacy would be willful, disobedient and sinful. I'm sure he had other points but my rage kind of blacked out some of the conversation. I sat there and didn't say anything. Mostly because I knew that if I did I would start screaming and such an emotional outburst wouldn't really help my argument. He himself has 5 kids, and while they did suffer a miscarriage, he doesn't know the pain of desiring a child and not having one. I don't think he can really talk to me about having patience or giving it up to God etc. (Although I do have absolute faith that whatever God desires is what will happen) And so below is the letter I wrote and would like to send but wont because in truth it probably is a bit about pride. But at the same time, I feel that someone has to educate him or else he will continue to go around shooting off at the mouth about something he has no real experience or empathy with. I also know that as blunt as he is with people, he has expressed a desire that they be blunt and honest with him back. But that's hard for someone as reserved and people-pleasing as myself.
"Dear ____(name omitted to protect their privacy, although I know most of you would never meet them),
I have been thinking over our discussion on Saturday about Scott and my decision to pursue surrogacy. At the time, I didn't say anything because truly I was very upset and felt that if I did say anything I would have either broken into tears or become angry and I did not want to handle the situation so emotionally. I know that you did not mean to upset me. But I felt that I had to let you know that what you said was hurtful. It also was inaccurate, as far as it being the Orthodox stance. None of the reasons you listed against surrogacy have ever come up in my conversations with Father Mark, although I have seen them listed as reasons the Catholic church does not condone surrogacy. But I am not, and never have been, Catholic.
I know that you have been through some difficult and traumatic events, and comparably I had a very easy childhood. However, you have not experienced infertility and just as I can not speak to the traumas of you life, this is a traumatic event that I feel you should not talk about so decidedly.
Please know that I want us to be friends and do not want this to turn into a debate and that I don't hold any grudges, but felt that I had to be honest with you about how I felt."
I guess I know what to say
To top it off, the time down here in Bloomfield has gotten a tad awkward. T's dad is one of those talkative button-pushers, who thinks he's really funny but isn't. He keeps joking about keeping my dogs (ha ha ha...) and feeding them people food (the vet tech in me wants to scream) and he keeps giving T a hard time about how messy her house is, how much time she spends on her laptop etc etc and she is getting all irritated and me being the peace keeper feels like I'm in an awkward place. So I spend a lot of time on my laptop or my Nook trying to avoid the tension. Mostly I wish that we were just heading back north today, because while my roommate situation is very tense, I've learned how to avoid my roommate and hide in my bedroom or take a long soothing shower. Here I don't really have a space to retreat to. And I had to turn down dinner with Rachel and I would much rather being having dinner with her than staying up here and having all my food options be junk like pancakes and lasagna. Ugh all the grain is making me nauseous.
Wow that all sounds really whiny but it's where I'm at today. *shrug*