An Interview with Kerrie Olejarz by The Next Family
TNF: How has it been blogging for TNF?
Blogging for TNF has been a lot of fun for me! I do have my own personal blog (http://markandkerriesjourney.blogspot.com/) but it is really nice to be reliving every moment from the past as I write for TNF and recount the series of our family-building events. Sometimes, it is cathartic as it brings me back to emotional times and opens the wounds somewhat, but also allows me to realize how strong I have become.
TNF: How is your family like every other family and how is it different?
Our family is totally the same as any other family out there. How we became a family may be somewhat unusual to some, but in the end, we are just a normal family, enjoying everyday with our daughter.
TNF: Did your family accept you and your lifestyle? If yes, explain and if not, explain what you have done to help them to accept your decisions and your lifestyle.
We did not have any challenges with our family accepting us going to India to work with a surrogate to start our family. We have always been very forthcoming with our struggles and everyone who knows us is aware of our struggles and how we never stopped trying! I think our strength kind of carried our family’s emotions throughout the whole process.
TNF: How do you juggle the work at home with your jobs?
Currently I am on maternity leave so there really is no struggle yet. I do however dread the day I have to return to work! Maybe my movie deal will come through by then!
TNF: What lessons do you feel are the most important to teach children in this day and age? Are there any lessons they, or perhaps we as parents should unlearn?
Tolerance and understanding are hugely important to us. We have always accepted people for who they are –black, gay, straight, white, Catholic, Muslim –it does not matter. Many parents tend to stigmatize people in life and sadly children pick up on this and become like their parents. Small changes make a huge impact on society, and we hope to raise our daughter with this life mantra.
TNF: Any words of wisdom to pass on to our readers?
Specifically about surrogacy in India – it is a leap of faith and you need to be prepared to dive in, eyes wide open or shut. Finding the doctors and clinic and making this decision is the first step in letting go of most controls surrounding this journey! Once you feel comfortable with your clinic choice, be prepared to feel very little control for the rest of the journey! Wiring money to another country, travelling for IVF, having a pregnant surrogate, wiring more money, waiting for updates and scans – the uncomfortable feelings never end for some. My advice: trust in your doctor, trust in the process, and know that there are options, should things not go as planned. Lean on experienced IP’s for advice when needed and try really hard to enjoy the experience!
TNF: Why did you choose India for surrogacy?
Initially cost was the main factor. To work with a surrogate in North America would have cost us close to or more than 100k. The process in India, including travels, ended out at about 35K upon our success. India also offered very advanced IVF medical facilities, and the security of knowing that, by virtue of their culture alone, our surrogate would not be smoking and drinking during the pregnancy. Furthermore, most Indian women sign up for the program for the monetary aspect and not with any agenda to keep the baby, or black mail you for more money. Since we started out in India, there are now many clinics to choose from versus the initial three that were available when we started in 2008.
Kerrie, it has been so nice to follow your story. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!