Thursday, April 17, 2014

Whatever Happened To....

It has been nearly two years since I popped my head up in the blogger universe. For a host of reasons, that seemed to be the time to push away the keyboard and step away from sharing the stories that make up our days. Since then, it seems that most of the blogs I used to read have likewise met and passed their denouement. Where did everyone go?!? 

Over the last month, I have randomly received a few very thoughtful solicitations to find out what’s going on with our family.  ‘…a simple update would be grand,’ per one prior reader who met us in 2009 when we were just a couple of guys with a seemingly far-fetched idea for creating a family, as seen on Oprah!

I guess those emails have tugged at my heart strings, inspiring this update. Plus, to be honest, I have missed writing about the trials and smiles of our family. When I wrote in the past, I was able to capture events in words that confined a memory into an easy-to-revisit capsule. And I do revisit them every once and a while. Like a great old photo, those old posts usually demand a grin and typically a little fog of the eye too.

I am still a major-league nostalgic sap in case you were wondering!

Much more importantly, I imagine these stories will be fun for my girls to read, and relive though my eyes, at some point.  Some day, they will be able to process the profound significance they have had on our world. In the meantime, I shutter to think of the millions of little moments that are lost in the corners of my mind, having only had the pleasure of a short prominence before – POOF – they joined all the now forgotten gems of our girls’ story.

In looking back, I found a few emails from curious intended parents who, at the time, were considering traveling to India. Their first email to me was always filled with some level of anxious trepidation surrounded by a cautious hope of finding their path to parenthood. They read our story, saw our girls, and knew it could be true. The possibility was tangible and therefore less abstract….achievable in fact. I can totally relate to those first feelings. We have dozens of similar emails sent to those who went before us, prior to 2009.

The thing that got me was that those emails are from people who are now parents. I got a lump in my throat when I realized the role our journey and my blog played for at least a few families. As we faded back into our unshared daily life, I had forgotten how important our world-wide community of support became to those who embarked on this foreign adventure. We took turns celebrating successes and holding hands when mourning was necessary. It really was quite remarkable and special.

We became a forever-connected family of sorts. No matter what happens in life, we will have shared a path that was unique and special but at the same time, common. Our children will know pseudo cousins from all corners who share a similar story. 

And just like a real family, along the way, some went rouge for one reason or another. So, while we can be sure they won’t be at the table come Thanksgiving time, we still love them and their children for their perspective on our journey-in-common anyway. But, from afar is fine.

All of that being said, a few books worth of stories happened in the last 2 years.

First of all, I would be remiss if I did not admit that there have been times when I justly wondered if I would make it to the end of the day without collapsing into a pile of fatigued angst while clutching my fists above my head, declaring ‘WHAT have we done!!!

I’ll let you in on a little secret of parenting multiples that nobody will tell you when your little bundles arrive: despite the long hours of around the clock butt-wiping, feeding, puking, changing, shhhh-ing, rocking, and laundry, the baby years are – by a country mile - the EASIEST part due to their mostly rounded heads acting like giant anchors, safely securing them to the earth below your feet.

Sure, crawling and then the first steps inspire moistened eyes of pride and joy. However, once mobility fully sets in, it’s GAME ON, BITCHES!!! For a while, you can manage fine. In fact, you will rather enjoy the comedy styling of drunken baby bumper cars. But, once they secure their sea legs and add on top of that the vocabulary of emerging personalities, sibling competitiveness, and confidently declared independence, it’s a horse of a totally different hue.

Whoever first coined the phrase ‘terrible twos’ had not yet had a three year old…much less three of them! I am now in a steady state of lower back-pain from the human origami I play with my 35 pound juggling balls of wiggle. They insist on climbing, poking, and prodding from the very first, right up until the very last, moment of each day.

I have been known to start the day with an inspirational speech geared towards our attention-challenged trio. I sit the girls down and gently explain that there has not been a single day in their entire lives where they did not cry at least once. Could today be the day!?!? COULD TODAY BE THAT HOLY, LOVING, QUIET-ISH DAY?!?!

At the same time, I spend most of my days and nights engaged in extended discussions with toddler terrorists who are vastly more influential negotiators than anyone I have encountered in the business world. Truly…I am challenged to find the type of pushy persistence that is steadily hurled upon us with escalating urgency as that of a three-year-old who wants something. ‘No!’ is rarely a serious obstacle when they are in pursuit of something…anything. Seriously, I think their little brains translate the word ‘no’ to ‘INSIST LOUDER ‘CAUSE PAPA CLEARLY AIN’T LISTENING!!!’

At 3 ½ years old, if words could be converted into energy, the utterances of ‘I want…’ in our house could alone power a small village. Said in rapid succession with varied demands attached, it could make your mind positively spin on a quest for just one quiet minute where nobody is yelling, fighting, hurling things, or taking off their clothes for a moment of public exhibitionism.  

I am told this is normal but, our girls’ moral code of justice is questionable at best. The mind of a toddler does not fully understand accountability nor consequences of actions. So, if they pull hair or shove or hit a sister in the face, I can predict their answer with surprising (maybe not!) accuracy to the question of ‘Did you hit your sister?’ With a confident reply of ‘No!’while shoulders are being shrugged - despite mounting evidence to the contrary – we will then pursue an unattainable grain of remorse and compassion.

Potty training has proven to be our Everest! Despite all best efforts we have only succeeded in training 2 ½ of our girls. The ½ is for our holdout that has a special place in her bedroom that she affectionately refers to as her ‘poopy corner.’ I’ll save more of that story for another time. If possible, when it starts with a funny ‘Remember when she used to…’  

Notwithstanding all the challenges and endless chores and duties, none have been insurmountable.

There have literally been thousands of joyous moments of pure bliss that could not match the value of all the gold in the world. When you least expect it - and usually most need it - they become the reasons to wake in the morning and smile at the sky!

Random and unsolicited little voices saying ‘I Love You’ could forgive the worst behavior…resting their little tired heads in the crook of your neck while they take contented deep breaths while falling asleep….taking their sisters hand and skipping for no reason at all….dancing and singing like they are working to impress the back row of Carnegie Hall….telling me a joke – a really adorable joke – and getting the punch line JUST right….an unprompted ‘Thank You’ said to a stranger who had no idea of the morning we all just had….crawling into our bed and sighing as they plunge into deep pillows of lazy contentment….funny little stories and nicknames that grow more and more strange….

All of it continues to make us the happiest and luckiest - and often tiredest - people we know!

So, there you have it….not so much a story but a State of the Family.

Life is very good!

Since you made it to the end of this run-on tome, here’s a photo montage we made for INSTAR (Indian Society for Third Party Assisted Reproduction) in support of the SURROGACY WALK that has been organized for April 20. It's a walk beginning in Delhi at Nehru Stadium with participation anticipated from 500 surrogate mothers, their relatives, doctors, and supporters.

Surrogacy BUILDS Families!  TRUE 'DAT!  We are forever grateful for the journey!!!


I have missed you and hope to hear from you too!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The End

We have reached that time.

It is certainly not the end of our story, however these are the last and final words that will appear on this blog.

I do not know what the future brings. At some point, I may write about our family again in a different setting.

However, for now, this is the end of our public diary.

I am grateful that I will someday be able to share the many stories, photos, and videos that resulted from this journal with our children when they have grown old enough to understand.

I have immensely enjoyed writing every syllable that you have been kind enough to read in the 350 posts over 170,000 page views that precede this one.

Our extraordinary journey is forever a part of our colorful history!

Thank you for coming along...



2 Daddies and 3 Little Girls