In spite of a rainy start, more than 30 people braved the elements for ConceiveAbilities’ first annual Chicago surrogacy picnic last weekend. Armed with umbrellas and good humor, staff, surrogates and their families gathered under the park shelter for cookie decorating and a chance to discuss all different aspects of the surrogacy process.
We were thrilled to welcome several women at the very beginning of the process looking to learn more. “The picnic,” said Amie, “was a relaxed and casual setting, yet I felt comfortable asking all of the serious and important questions. I left with a lot of good information and very excited to start the whole process with ConceiveAbilities!”
Kristina, who is four months pregnant, is a regular at our meet ups. “As is true for any gathering where ConceiveAbilities or other fellow surrogates are at, the picnic could not have been any better,” she said. “There was something for everyone.”
By mid-morning the skies brightened, giving the kids – and several husbands – a chance to venture out from the shelter. Sara, who was there with her husband and their two young sons, said “The kids couldn’t get enough of the playground and cookie decorating…and puddle jumping!” It was also a chance to share her experiences so far – she is four months pregnant with twins! “It was fun to meet family members and potential surrogates,” she said. “And, of course, see the other pregnant ladies!”
Danielle is preparing for an upcoming IVF cycle with her intended parents. “It’s wonderful to know that there is a great support group of friends that know and care about what you’re going through,” she said. “I loved getting to know the families of all the surrogates and seeing old and new faces.”
Indeed, Kristina introduced us to several friends who are interested in the program and was also able to connect for the first time with some of our staff as well. “I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to get to know a few of the staff members better, especially those that I haven’t had as much contact with.”
“ConceiveAbilities is an amazing ‘surrogate family,’” Sara affirmed. “I couldn’t imagine going through this journey any other way.”
The weather was just another example of how these ladies handle the unexpected with grace and a smile. In an often unpredictable journey, we were once again reminded of the dedication of our surrogates.
Cindy, who is soon to be matched with intended parents, put it best: “It’s amazing that a group of women can come together from all walks of life, different backgrounds, but with the same common goal – to provide a gift to a couple that they have been longing for.” It’s truly what ConceiveAbilities is all about, and we are so fortunate to work with these incredible women who make that mission a reality.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.