Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Najla and I awoke to an e-mail this morning from Dr. Patel, explaining that she did not like the look of the eggs of Najla's donor. Lucky for us Dr. Patel keeps extra egg donor's and surrogates ready for events such as these. After several telephone calls back and forth to Najla, then Najla to India, it looks like next week, the retrival will take place.

To my surprise we also have a new egg donor, and it appears to be the same egg donor that we had before. Najla and I are trying to schedule everything togather, because our plan is to travel to India togather with our families, and tour Southern India.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Tonight while Najla's family and my family are tucked in bed safely asleep, two women in India will have their eggs removed, for the benefit of our families. This week, has been one of a lot of uncertainties along with a certain amount of stress, even though we are thousands of miles away. What happens if our surrogates end up with twins? Will either one of us reduce? Are the surrogates strong enough and healthy enough to carry our babies? What do our donor's look like? I have already switched out the surrogate, because I was uncomfortable with her weight of 88 pounds. In India most of the women are small and that is what they weigh, and they are able to carry twins without significant problems. The intresting part of all of this for me, is that I didn't even think about all of these questions when we went to India the first time. We were going to use the same donor as Mark, but it didn't work out, and Dr. Patel has a darker donor. At first I couldn't understand why, then it was brought to my attention that she was trying to look out for my emotional needs.

I remember sitting down with Dr. Hitesh Patel, asking him if he knew how the donor's or the surrogates felt about surrogracy. He said that most of the people do not think that much about things, they live for today, and have to figure out how they will get money to survive. Most are not even able to envision getting seven thousand dollars. We would have to try and put ourselves in their shoes, most do not even have a tv, and the majority have less than a high school education. The Patel's have set up a charity, that is for the children of the egg donor's as well as the surrogates, and it is to help educate the children. When intended parent's go to Anand, if it the charity event is planned, Dr. Patel usually solicits everyones help.

The implant takes place in a few days, and we will get an email telling us the quality of the eggs, along with a video of the eggs. Then its the two week wait......................................................

Friday, June 12, 2009


I woke up this morning to a message on Facebook, from someone that I grew up with 30 years ago. This invoked a lot of memories, that have been stirring in my subconscious all day long. My friend, Patty informed me that she had named one of her daughters after me, and wondered if her daughter would ever meet her namesake. Patty's two daughters have children of their own, and Patty is a grandmother. I told her about Mark, and that I started late, just as my parents did, and how honored I was that she would name her child after me.

The ironic thing is that I had been thinking about my childhood a lot this week due to the tragic event at the Holocaust Museum, which is just 20 miles from my home. A man went into the museum and shot and killed a guard for no other reason than hate. I have been to that museum and would have never thought that someone would even think of commiting such a vile act. I cannot understand how someone who is educated and was accepted into Mensa, could remain intelletually ignorant for 88 years. The hatred of the act is what made me think of growing up, because those were times of racial hatred.

Where we grew up in New York, we were in the minority therefore we were not a threat. I grew up in a "White" environment, and we seemed to all get along. It was clear that I along with my sibblings had assimilated just fine. The reality set in when I was 17, and my parent's decided to move to rural Virginia, to retire. My mother's family owned several acres of land in Rice, Virginia which is close to Farmville, Virginia which has a history of its own, and it is known around the world. After growing up in a White environment, and then trying to assimiliate into a Black enviroment, is a story all by itself. It would have been no different than a "White" person trying to fit into a "Black" environment in the south. We had cousins that lived about 25 miles from us in New York who were also assimilated were like us.

At 17, when we moved to Farmville, Virginia, we were baptised into a world of racism that had been unknonw to us in New York. The history of Farmville leaves a lot to be desired. Farmville closed its schools to the "Colored Children" in 1959 for 5 years. My mother's sister, Dorothy, was a teacher in Farmville, and subsequently had moved to Maryland when the schools closed to find a new teaching job.

The school system that I went to in 1979, at age 17, was inferior to the school system that I came from in New York. If someone had told me what it was like for so many of the children who came from parents without even high school degrees, I would have not believed them. I was upset with my parents for a long time, that we moved when we did. I look at it now as a gift. You cannot imagine what life is like for so many people, unless you see if for yourself. A large number of students that I went to school with had parents who could barely read or write and had no idea of the value of education. The school system at that time was still divided due to the fact that many academies exist in the south, and these academies consist of mainly of 'White" children. Although we are told we have come a long way, Blacks in America have a long way to go. Academic testing proves that point. Unless we as a people come to feel that we are truly equal, and as worthy as any culture, then we will perish.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Raising Mark In A Non-Religous Home

As I sit in my office listening to the rain pounding the roof, my mind drifts off to our Sunday morning breakfast at Goldberg's New York Bagels located in Pikesville, MD. Before Mark was born, I would get in my car and go every Sunday. To my surprise Colin, woke me up and said that he wanted to go, and get bagels and that we would take Mark. It's intresting to go to a place that is frequented by Orthodox Jews. People do their best to make you feel welcome, but usually I'm the lone Black women in the crowd, except for some of the hired help. I'm always curious about the wigs that most of the women wear on their head, and I wonder how I would look with one similar to what they have. They all seem to know one another, and the whole setting always feels like a family affair, and very idyllic. We sit at our table, waiting for the server to bring our everything bagels, and we hand Mark a prayer bagel. Prayer bagels are little pieces of bagels which have been cut to be used as part of prayer.

I like building memories, so I turned to Colin and explained to him all of the feelings that I was having at that moment. Colin took a more materialistic approach. He said that the family values exhibited at Goldberg's Deli were not religious but were a trade-off between money and family. In his view, if you are not wealthy and want to spend quality time with your family, you have to work fewer hours, commute less and live where your family is rather than where the money is. By family, he explained, he meant extended family. In India, we saw whole families making charcoal in a dirt lot. That meant the kids didn't go off to University and/or move to the United States to seek their fortune. Instead they stayed with their parents scratching out a living in the family business.

Colin's thinking is that giving up wealth could be a key to stronger family values, and therefore religion does not play a role. In spite of what he is saying, I think religion and culture play a role in family development. With that said I have never been one who has faith in any religion and I have a serious problem with the tenets of most religion. In the end, our family will find many things to do that will strengthen it besides getting up for a Sunday service.