Surrogacy Story: Chapter 2, The Moment of Clarity

on November 3, 2012

Bill's Moment of ClarityAbout 8 years ago, in a moment of clarity, I looked around my office cubicle and saw myself as an old man of 90 years.  Not literally – like Arthur C. Clarke – but it vividly occurred to me that someday I would be an old, old man.  And I wondered what my life would be like.  And frankly, I wasn’t impressed.

Young men have dreams of walking with giants… of carving their name in the edifice of time.  But the eventual day comes when you realize that you will not be Steve Jobs or Emmanuel Kant, and you settle into a normal, average life.  And when that happens, you think about legacies. You wonder what will be left when you finally leave this place.  Possibly even more, what will become of all the sacrifices of your parents, and their parents? Is this the inevitable culmination of your entire heritage?  Did your parents work so hard for so many years just to reach this endpoint?  All in all, it seemed so pointless.

That’s when you decide you need a family.  You need to create that part of yourself that will continue on.  That will propel yourself into the decades (centuries? millennia?) to come.  And you think of children.

Have you ever seen a retiree cruising at a bar or disco?  Or maybe an octogenarian working in middle management.  The sight fills me with dread – corporate ladder-climbing is a sport for the young and ambitious.  And there comes an age when ambition is far behind you, and the only thing that propels you forward each day is simple inertia. Surely these people have better things to do with their lives then prowl in the savannah of young go-getters.  That’s where I was headed.

It was time to step off the merry-go-round, before I was too old and exhausted to make the leap.  So I looked around and asked “what’s next?”

I have friends who spend their latter years managing charities, collecting art, renovating houses.  This is how they fill their lives when they are no longer young enough to play in the popular leagues.  But these are expensive avocations, and not really my style.

For me, the answer to “what’s next” was always Family Life.

Of course, I didn’t just decide this; I had always valued my family (which is not always an easy task).  I was married.  For me a full family life has always been an attractive pipedream.  It’s the life that seemed so fulfilling for my parents, and their parents, and the many neighbors and casual passersby I see everyday.  And I always found myself fitting easily into that scenario.

(Now is a good time to describe my marriage. I live in Barcelona, a beautiful city where I’m lucky enough to marry the most wonderful Spanish man: Jose.  We’ve been together 16 years, and married for 6.  Jose loves his family as much I love mine.  But neither of us ever believed that we would have the opportunity to be married – that was simply not a possibility in our formative years.  And the idea of a traditional ‘family’ was unthinkable, beyond the role of “Cool Gay Uncle”.  Jose is a few years younger than me, so I reached my midlife crisis before him – but we both knew from the first date that our perfect life would include the stylish home on the Mediterranean with some well-cropped kids running through the yard.)

Anyway, Jose and I were looking to build a new life, and we made the obvious first and easiest decision:  Adoption.

To be continued…

the Pre-Surrogacy Life

Living the good life… Pre-midlife crisis.


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