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years and had two My name losses with previous is Charlise surrogates. I took a leap Grisham, and of faith and emailed them. I I am the mother was still nursing my youngest, of five awesome boys. My journey to become Charlise ♥ Joel ♥ Shannon so I wasn’t quite ready to jump a surrogate began years ago. I had a private blog in to the journey yet, but I wanted to put myself where I had become friends with many moms out there. It was an instant connection, and they around the world. A couple of them began their seemed like the perfect couple. They wanted the journeys with surrogacy, so I got to witness the same things as I did, but, sadly, they had just incredible beauty of their experiences. I was still entered into an agreement with another surrogate. having children of my own, but I knew that one They had some concerns about her, so they said day in the future, I would want to travel that same they would be in touch with me if it didn’t work path. I have always had very easy pregnancies and out. births, so I felt like I was made for it. A year went by and, in September of 2014, I got Fast forward to the birth of my youngest son in another email. The surrogate didn’t work out and 2013, and I found myself a single mom. I left the they were wondering if I was still interested. I was baggage behind me and felt like this would be no longer nursing, and I was definitely interested. the perfect time to embark on my own surrogacy I got back with them and within days we were journey. I did my research and decided that I talking on the phone and planning to meet in wanted to be a traditional surrogate. A traditional person. surrogate is one who uses her own egg, so she is biologically connected to the child. It was For our first meeting, I brought all five of my boys important to me to not only help a couple build with me and we went to eat at IHOP. I wanted their family, but to also be available to the child and to see how they were with my rambunctious be a part of their life, just like an open adoption. I children. They were as sweet as I expected, and surfed around on some online surrogacy classified everything just felt like it was meant to be. We boards, and in August of 2013, I found a profile decided to wait until after the new year to start on our inseminations so they could finish some home that stuck out to me. renovations they were working on. The profile was of two men, Joel and Shannon, who lived in the Dallas area and were looking for Once the baby’s room was mostly complete, we a traditional surrogate to help start their family. started moving forward. I’ll spare you the details They had been trying to have a baby for five of our inseminations, but it worked on our second cycle. I sneakily surprised Joel and Shannon with the news of our pregnancy and they were overjoyed! 44 February 2016

February 2016