I'm in the Schipol airport in the Netherlands waiting for my flight back to the States, successfully completing my mission to help my friends conceive a child. The process so far was relatively painless and smooth, even though this was done at a large public Dutch hospital involving several departments. Pretty much everyone we dealt with was professional, helpful and kind. Big ups to the Dutch health system!
Now comes the hard part: the couple have to wait six months for my HIV/AIDS test results to come back negative before they can try to impregnate the prospective birth mother. That means, all things being equal, that the earliest they might conceive a child is December 2010!
To me, that seems like an eternity. And that is if they are successful in getting pregnant in the first attempt.
Perhaps just as important as the medical part of the process is the level of community involvement in this venture….
At the party on Saturday night, I got a bit of the third-degree from several of the couple's friends, which was understandable. If a friend of yours was going to have a child with someone you hardly knew, wouldn't you want to know all about him? So they asked me why I was doing this, whether I ever wanted children of my own (I don't), what kind of relationship I might want with the child, and if I preferred one gender over another.
I answered as best as I could, and was honest about the things I hadn't quite worked out for myself yet. It was a really frank but friendly conversation, helped along by delicious Greek food and plenty of wine.
Toward the end of the night, one somewhat inebriated guest said to me, "It's great that you are giving them your seed." She put her arm around me and leaned in. "Cause you are smart, you are cool, and you have dutch cheekbones."
Everyone laughed, so I knew I had passed the Friend Test.