Sunday, 18 August 2013

From Australia : a letter to a daughter

A touching letter from a mother to a daughter...
To our dearest Isla,
I feel privileged to be your Mummy. Your Daddy and I dreamt about you way before you were ever a reality. Having a baby is a big decision, but having a baby through surrogacy is like handing over your heart to someone else. Every breath is harder when you entrust (through limited choice) your baby to another woman. The statement below summarises how we feel about you.
 While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about - Angela Schwindt
The journey to have you has made Mummy and Daddy and those around us grow as people. The birth of you Isla made Mummy and Daddy's love even stronger because having you in India gave us a different future, a bigger brighter one filled with endless opportunity and wonder. India gave us the gift of a baby. While you grew in Santosh's tummy, we grew in life too.
India, Santosh and Dr Shivani showed us what kindness is all about. I often stood in India shaking my head at how I had never had the opportunity to see life differently. Differently in India was beautiful Isla. India didn't have what I was used to in terms of my life but it had more, way more. To see mothers in India with their children made me want to be a better mother, better woman.
Santosh had made a decision to better her family, her daughters life. To provide a life for her that her current situation couldn't provide. India didn't have the opportunity to provide as easy as other countries and she told me she wanted to do what she knew she could do well and that was carry a baby. You. 
There may be times when you meet people who do not agree with Surrogacy when you tell them about how you were born but you need to carry with you that in life your story is yours. You never have to justify how or why but always know you were desperately wanted and loved. It has been said that surrogates (commercial agreements) only do it for money, but I can assure you that if that was the reason Santosh originally wanted to do it, having you changed that.
The day you were born was miraculous. I sat (paced) in the hospital waiting room with people I didn't know. It wasn't until Santosh's carer Rohan came out to let me know that you were still being born that they all cheered and told me they were Santosh's family and that they were so proud of her. They were in awe of what she was doing for us and for them. That changed me forever. I never saw life the same way again. Here we were, two women, two mothers. 
Although I carried your sisters in my tummy, I felt incredibly bonded to your growth in Santosh's tummy. When I held you in my arms the first time Isla, you were mine and it felt the same the day your sisters were born when I held them. 
I remember the days after you were born like yesterday. Santosh unwrapped you from your baby blanket, took off you clothes to count your fingers and toes then wrapped you up, kissed your forehead and handed you to me. Nothing was said but the smile on her face is etched in my mind. She had wanted to hand you to me after she saw you were perfect, and you were.  
I felt incredibly honoured to have a connection with Santosh. When Santosh's daughter told me she had loved you the entire time you were in her Mummy's tummy and that she had loved you for me I knew that life had given me the greatest of gifts, you and her. I admired her strength and as a woman I had put my faith in her (blindly) and the result was you.
Our beautiful Isla. I say 'our' because you are not mine, but both of ours. Without me there would be no you, without her there would be no you and you are perfect. We love you Isla and hope that you continue to grow up kind, happy and tolerant to those who have 'different' lives than you, be it class, race, religion, sexual preference, divorced families and so on. That is all we want for you. We all have different stories in life, it is just how it is told. 
When you sat in Santosh's arms when you were 8 months old I watched you stare at her and you both smiled. I wanted to freeze time and watch that for longer. There was a connection there that will never be broken through time or distance. 
Isla they say it takes a village to raise a baby and we are so lucky that we belong to a surrogacy village. Other families who you will identify with, other children who were loved and dreamt of like you, including your sisters J & E. You are special Isla. We love you and so do many others. 
 Love your Mummy. 


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