Tara’s surrogacy journey began in 1999. Quinton was due in late October, but he knew he wouldn’t get any Halloween candy unless he stayed in Tara’s tummy so he decided to wait. But finally, Tara issued him an eviction notice and he was born on November 4, 1999 weighing 8lb 1oz. Their surrogacy experience was so beautiful and many were fortunate to read about it in the February 2000 issue of O.C. Family Magazine where their pictures graced the cover and inside their story was told.
Then, only 9 months later, Quin’s parents decided they would like to have a brother or sister for him. Tara and her family were only too happy to help them in this special way again. Mom, Dad & Quin came out for the medical process, but Dad couldn’t stay the whole time. When it came time for Tara’s embryo transfer, Quin’s Mom assumed my role. She took Tara to the clinic, took pictures and got Tara all tucked in at the hotel afterwards. What was I doing?? Having the time of my life! Quin needed a sitter and I was thrilled to be able to spend a couple of days with him. I can’t say it was the easiest time, but it was one of the happiest times in my life. My husband and my children enjoyed him very much too. Things were going so smoothly that I decided to invite some surrogate moms and their kids to join Quin and I at the Wild Animal Park. It obviously has been a while since my children were young like Quin, because I forgot a very important rule. You cannot confine a 9 month old! We got on the tram, which is an hour long, and after 5 minutes he was done with it. I tried to give him some crackers and even though the signs clearly stated not to feed the animals, well, let’s just say Quin was in charge and he decided the animals would be fed crackers, fruit and everything else in our goodie bag that day. I was sure we would be removed from the park as I lost count of how many rules we broke. But, somehow, we managed not to. I must say that I have a renewed respect for mothers of young children.
Anyway, back to Tara’s story. This second surrogacy experience was just as beautiful as the first. Mom, Dad and Quin were able to visit a few times before the anticipated birth date. As Tara had a history of delivering a little late, I decided to go to Texas to visit my parents on March 20, 2001, almost 3 weeks before Tara was due. As I arrived to the airport in El Paso, my pager went off. I was sure it was my husband checking to see if I had arrived safely. But to my surprise, it was Tara! She was in the hospital and the delivery was about to happen! It wasn’t possible for any of us, including Mom, Dad & Quin, to make it in time for the birth. So, they did the next best thing. Jay kept them on the phone so they could hear everything in the delivery including their son’s first cry. When I spoke to Mom on the phone that night while she was in Chicago waiting for a morning flight, she was sad to have missed the birth, but was completely at peace. She said, “Tara has taken care of him for the last 9 months and I haven’t needed to worry for a moment. And I know she will take care of him a little longer until I can get there. He was always in the best hands and he still is.” So the next morning, Tara introduced Taran Jeffrey to his Mommy, Daddy and big brother. This little cutie weighed in at 5lb 14oz.
This special group of people has done a great deal to share their story with the domestic and international media. They are a beautiful example of what surrogacy is truly about and I am so proud and feel so blessed to have shared in these incredible experiences with them. Last May, Tara and Jay were kind enough to welcome into their home a film crew from Spain documenting a Surrogacy Story in our program. Then these past few months they interviewed with Chicago Magazine and you can read all about their incredible journeys in the October 2001 issue.