After the birth of my daughter in 2013 at midnight one night while I was up feeding her, I felt God. It was the strangest experience I have ever had. Many times in my life I have said in prayer “Please God, hit me over the head with the answer because I can’t take hints.” He did.
At the time I was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
I was a convert to the church, raised United Methodist but converted in 2008. Baptized, endowed in the temple, the whole bit.
I had always felt some cognitive dissonance when it came to issues within the Mormon church regarding doctrine on the LGBT community, and several other things, but assumed those imperfections would be found anywhere I tried to worship. I told myself that humans were only human, and that I should forgive and understand when someone was ill informed on LGBT issues.
So there I was in the middle of the night, sitting in my daughter’s nursery, rocking her and nursing her quietly when my entire body was covered in goosebumps.
I felt warm, I and had a single thought come into my head: “Surrogacy.”
I was exhausted, up at 12am, sure to be up again in 2 hours, and had a notion pop into my head that struck me so hard I would not be able to think of anything else for the next few days. God hit me over the head with a calling, and he would NOT let me ignore it.
It felt like an obsession, and I sat at the computer while my children napped, my own belly skin still loose from the weight of my own child, looking up how I could carry a baby for someone else.
There were two situations in the world of surrogacy that touched my heart the strongest. The first was thinking about the couples in the world who struggle daily with infertility, the other was how difficult and stressful it was for a gay couple to adopt. I felt pulled to help in both situations, more strongly than anything I had felt in a long time.
When God asks you to do something important, he makes it very hard to ignore him.
I know this because the struggle in me was real. I approached my Mormon church with my plan, and both scenarios were highly discouraged, especially the idea that I would be making a family for a Homosexual couple. That thought itself was highly disturbing to them.
I decided that I trusted my own promptings from God more than I trusted the opinions of those in the church I attended. So in 2013, I left the Mormon church. When I left the church, I lost a great deal of “friendships” and relationships with some family members, but it didn’t matter to me because the work I had set out to do was infinitely more important than their opinions, and opinions could always change later.
In August of 2014 I gave birth to a baby girl, her mother supporting my leg as I pushed. She finally held her daughter after 20 miscarriages and years of losing hope at becoming a mother.
We cried together and wondered over her tiny features.
I will never forget feeling God in that room when I delivered. There wasn’t a dry eye in the delivery room. The image that stays with me from that day, is the quiet contentment of that mother as she sat holding her baby. It was as if no one else was in the room. They were wrapped in such palpable love, she could have moved a mountain surrounded by such strength.
Today I am 27 weeks pregnant with Boy/Girl twins for an amazing gay couple. This journey has been my most controversial by far, and I can’t tell you how incredible the support and love I’ve gotten from my community has been.
I currently attend the Los Altos United Methodist Church, which I found through Believe Out Loud’s Welcoming Church Map. I feel so blessed to be in a loving supportive community.
The Intended Fathers have been just like any other nervous father to be.
They’re buying cribs and laughing when the babies kick. They’re reading up on baby poop and childproofing. They cry right along side me when we see photos from our maternity photoshoot we did together, and they have no idea how much their hearts are about to triple in size from the love of these babies that are coming.
When we took the photos, I told the photographer that I wanted a very specific image. I wanted a photo of my pregnant belly, around which would be my hand, the hand of each father, my husbands hand, and a hand from each of my children so that the babies would know how many loving hands went into bringing them earth side.
Today I am walking slowly, but filled with conviction and love. I’m due to deliver these little ones by Aug 16th. I appreciate prayers for a safe delivery. I can’t express enough how much the Believe Out Loud community has helped me feel supported and loved as I sacrifice a part of my body to make this family.
Mine is not anywhere close to the physical sacrifice Christ made.
But I like to think that he served as an inspiration for me to accept that this body is currently not my own, and needed to serve a higher purpose.
Photo provided by Corinne Oestreich