When I was a young girl, I didn’t thrive on relationships. I preferred a book over the company of others. I gathered getting dirty down at the creek or playing in the barn with the cats over socializing. When I hit young adolescence I wanted to hang out with the boys because they were simple – they didn’t complicate things or require anything from me. Of course that was until I grew boobs.
My female relationships were few and far between. I always felt like I was a chameleon and could just blend in to the surroundings. I had a couple close friends who I still am friends with today. But I was never the one to be in a big group creating female friendships that would go beyond initial chit chat. And yet, here I am… running a company that supports women through one of the most amazing miracles of life – literally life.
When my twins were still in my belly I found a unique community through the local London Multiples Association. This group was where I found my tribe. Women who were all so different and amazingly weird and quirky in their own ways – just like me. It was the first time I experienced fitting in somewhere I could just be myself. We bonded through our experiences with our twins and 9 years later are still amazing friends.
As a surrogate, I found a second unique community. We bonded through our experiences giving life to others. Because I discovered that when I connect, I connect deeply. It’s undeniable that the connections I’ve made have lasted through the ups and downs of all kinds of crazy friendship turmoil and happiness. So as a surrogate who knew the sting of being not supported by the person paid to support me, I found solace in a group of strangers who were all feeling the same rejections from a system that failed them. We grew so close and became like family. It was that flawed system that brought me to the place of starting my own agency. Fast forward a year and a half later and I was hosting my first surrogate retreat at my home for women who I was had the opportunity to support. These women have become like family and my connection with them is deeply rooted. We all share a common bond of pride and giving that unites us.
In July, we celebrated together our community – one I’ve built from the ground up. I was so proud to have these women together, laughing and crying about their experiences. We enjoyed a fun maternity shoot with Mazyline getting spoiled. She was 34 weeks pregnant with her first surrogate baby. She got her belly painted and got to be the centre of attention for the day. The girls got heir nails done at the spa, we painted a ‘treetop’ picture together under the stars while the mosquitoes ate us. We sat around the campfire and giggled till the wee hours of the morning, while crammed into small beds, tents, and couches. It was one of the best weekends I can remember. Those women I now support are the ones who I spend my days fighting for now. I demand respect and integrity for them and have an expectation of all the professionals who I work with that they will treat them like human beings that matter. They aren’t a number.
Because of them I am part of a strong female community for the first time in my life. They’ve taught me to love and appreciate every deep-rooted connection I have with them, instead of shying away from the fear of rejection. They say I’ve given them so much, but the reality is they’ve given me more. They’ve taught me to see the beauty in female friendships again and the strength that comes in a community of like-minded women.