Saturday, December 1, 2012


Archer was born almost two years ago. Throughout that time people have asked, "So, big life changer having a baby, huh?" In truth, Shannon and I worked so hard to make Archer a reality that our lives had already changed long before February 17, 2011. I might go so far as to say that having a baby in our lives was a relief. This was life back to normal. We slipped into parenthood like it was a favorite slipper. We were home.

Success has a way of ironing over difficulty. Wearing Archer-colored glasses, our thoughts about the India experience can't help but be influenced by our knowledge of a happy ending. I mean, it worked! Once upon a time, our first attempt with S ended in a miscarriage. Those days were filled with sadness, steely optimism, and a wish that the damn thing would just work. Today that first attempt is a convenient anecdote adding suspense to a tale with a guaranteed happy ending. The fact is surrogacy in India doesn't always work any more than surrogacy at home would work. It's not a guarantee, just an alternative for those with limited alternatives. Shannon and I were tattooed by that experience and will carry it with us everywhere but we were one of the lucky ones.

Archer is an exceptional boy. Bear with me here as I know what you're thinking. I'm reminded of something my father once said. "Look. I realize that as a grandfather, I am expected to be biased. Let me tell you, being as objective as a person can be - Archer is the cutest, smartest, most amazing little baby to ever be born on this earth." He does smile, really, just about all the time. Only cries when he has good reason. Sleeps well, eats well and lights up around others. He loves his parents and he couldn't make us more proud. But sure, he's not the first baby to be like this. But he's still amazing. Let me explain...

There are 7 billion people on our planet. Sounds like a lot but consider that every time a man and woman join, over 300 million sperm fight for the right to grow. And consider how many unions fail to result in any pregnancy at all. And consider how many people of the seven billion fail to meet one another, the number of possible joinings that never happen. That 7 billion actually represents a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the possible number of people that could have been or would be born. And even then, after all of these caveats, after factoring out all of the reasons standing in the way of each individual being born - Archer still would not be on this planet.

It took one other additional step. It took the meeting of a couple with a woman willing to carry a baby to term. A woman who nurtured the baby not just in a general sense but in quite a personal way. Her whole life experience had an impact on our son. Her physical health and her emotional health. Studies tell us that even personality can be influenced in-utero. Archer is the product not just from the coupling of mom and dad's DNA but of the world given to him by S in, of all places, Mumbai, India.

Archer is truly an amazing boy. And if you are contemplating surrogacy, we wish you an amazing child all of your own.