How Surrogacy Changed My Life
A Message from the Heart of a Surrogate Coordinator
Not many people can say that they have their dream job. You know, the kind that feeds their soul, fills their heart, and truly leaves the world a better place when their work is done. But, everyday, Kristie Theilka, looks forward to just this kind of profession. And, as you read her story, you may find that you, too, feel called to a higher purpose.
Where It All Began
I was never one of those people who felt a calling or a longing to be something in particular. However, I knew I wanted flexibility, to help others, and to end each day feeling like I made a difference and an impact.
So, as was expected, I went to college. I switched majors a few times, and after graduation, I was still unsure of what to do with my degree. I took a job and just kept longing for more.
Then, in my search for purpose and meaning in my professional life, a memory floated to the surface of my mind.
The notion of surrogacy was introduced to me when I was in high school. Three women in my hometown all became surrogates during those impressionable high school years. It left a profound imprint on my heart as I watched each of their journeys unfold. I knew, then, that I would do all that I could to be a surrogate and help another family one day.
Filled with ambition for this rediscovered purpose, I began taking steps to do just that. I never could have imagined that the first little seed of surrogacy knowledge would grow into something so incredibly fulfilling.
A First Time for Everything
At the end of 2013 I began researching surrogacy agencies, finally settling on one that felt like the best fit for me. In typical surrogacy fashion there were ups and downs with the process, but I ended up giving birth to a precious little girl towards the end of 2015.
I had assumed that this would be the end of my journey as a surrogate; that I would be a surrogate only once. However, the compassion I had for this group of people struggling to grow their families, only amplified.
Therefore, once I had recovered from childbirth, I decided to find out if I might be eligible to complete a second journey.
A Second Chance
After communicating with my agency and beginning the process again, I was thrilled to find my second set of intended parents! Our shared journey came to a conclusion when I delivered their beautiful twins in the late summer of 2017.
Changed for Good
My life was forever impacted in so many ways when I took that leap of faith and became a gestational surrogate. I wanted to leave behind a legacy and it became something more than I could have ever imagined.
These families have grown and made so many beautiful memories together. They were once longing and yearning for their baby, and now their dreams for family are reality. I get to see these precious dreams growing up via social media, and personal updates from their parents. I get the privilege to have occasional in-person meet ups and see how the children’s personalities are developing and what their interests and sense of humor is like. The relationships are so special and near and dear to my heart.
Love Stretches Far and Wide
Not only has the experience grown my heart and compassion, but I was able to expose this alternative way of family-building to my spouse, my children, and to anyone who will listen!
I think my experience is a gift to my own children. Infertility and family-building struggles are difficult for people to talk about but I can have open conversations with my family about all the different ways families are built and how we can help others in impactful ways. I feel that my insight into surrogacy will help shape my children to be compassionate and sensitive to the painful experiences of those yearning for a child and struggling to make their family dreams a reality.
If I could be a surrogate over and over again I would. Zero hesitation. This experience made me a member of one of the strangest, most beautiful, impactful, difficult, wildest clubs, and I am, simply, so proud to be a part of it all.
Searching for More
I continued to feel that passion inspiring me to go on a mad hunt to find any way to remain in the surrogacy community. I wanted to continue to serve the intended parents and be a support to them. I wanted to be a support system to future gestational carriers. In my dedication to the cause and efforts to stay connected, I stumbled upon the role of “Surrogate Coordinator.”
Truly, this job seemed like a great fit for me.
And it is.
A Purpose and a Calling
It is pretty neat to think back and connect the dots that led me to where I am now. As I sit here writing today, I am entering my fourth year in the Surrogate Coordinator role with Family Choice Surrogacy. Honestly, it shocks me to say that! I guess it’s true what they say:
When you are doing something you love you will never work a day in your life.
In my role, I am able to connect with women who are curious about taking next steps in becoming a surrogate. I get to tell them about the entire process, share my personal experiences, and help them navigate their own journeys.
An exciting component of my job is to participate in the matching process. Helping our surrogates and intended parents think critically about themselves and identify the important attributes that they are looking for in their surrogacy match.
Another aspect of my role that I have really grown to love is having a conversation with our intended parents about how to build a good relationship with their future surrogate and talking through their worries and concerns about this intimate process.
This role is certainly not a “nine to five” job. I do my very best to be available when the needs of our surrogates arise. However, even during the moments I am not needed, I find myself thinking, constantly, about our clients, about ways to improve our process; how to better support our teams, and new ways to inspire compassionate women like me to venture on their own surrogacy journeys. The ideas are endless and the list goes on and on. Often, even my family is involved in my brainstorming sessions. They have been there through my personal journeys, and still, to this day, get to be involved in my dream job.
Dreams Really Do Come True
While I had no clue that a moment in my high school career would shape so much of who I am today, I am so grateful that it did. I certainly didn’t grow up thinking that “Surrogate Coordinator” would be my dream job, but I am so thankful that all the steps along the way led me here and I hope my story inspires you to venture on your own journey!
With Love – From the Heart of a Surrogate Coordinator,
What Does this Mean for Me?
Did you know?
Oftentimes, someone who has been a surrogate before can do it again! If you’ve already had a successful surrogacy journey and you’d like to do it again, Family Choice Surrogacy would love to join forces to support you on the journey ahead! Apply here!