Dear Potential Surrogate,
Thank you for your selfless decision to help others fulfill the dream of becoming parents. Our appreciation for you and your intentions is immeasurable.
Our names are J and A. We are a fun-loving couple in a suburb of Orlando which borders the Walt Disney World Resort. We have a view of the nightly fireworks at the Magic Kingdom from multiple rooms of our house! We built our dream home nine years ago with our future children in mind. We enjoy hosting family from New York, Maryland, Australia, and Italy as often as possible.
J grew up in upstate NY and manages the optics and machining engineering teams for one of the major defense contractors. He has his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester, his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University, and his MBA from the University of Scranton.
I (A) grew up on Long Island, NY, and split my time between running my own embroidery business and doing software consulting for a firm that supports nonprofit organizations. I work exclusively from home. I have my BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and my MS in Engineering Management from the University of South Florida. We are pursuing surrogacy because I have a rare autoimmune disease that is controlled by medications that are not pregnancy-friendly.
We are no strangers to searching out and finding life-changing relationships via profile matches; we met via eHarmony 14 years ago! At the time, we were both working for the same company, in the same building, just a floor apart from one another—and we had never seen each other before! We married just over a year later. We had a traditional NY-style Italian-American wedding at a beautiful golf course in Florida, surrounded by our family and friends who came to support us from all over the world!
Volunteerism and community involvement are important to us. We have raised three puppies as potential service dogs. Two (Trisha and Tanika) were released from the organization’s program, and we adopted them and kept them as cherished family members for 15 and 14 years, respectively. The third puppy, our sweet Derby, graduated with a young man who lost the use of his legs in a car accident. Derby helped enable his partner to leave his parents’ home and establish his independence. Together, they have lived all over the country and have participated in all sorts of adaptive outdoor activities. We stay in contact with them and their family and are very proud to have been a part of their journey. We have volunteered for many facets of the service dog organization (since 2002!) – from puppy raising and dog fostering to fundraising, events, and supporting the program’s participants. We also volunteer with J’s employer’s Day of Caring, which benefits an array of local nonprofits, and our homeowners’ association. We enjoy shopping for children in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program every Christmas!
Our current two dogs, Casey (~6 years old) and Renzo (~8 months old), are rescues. Both boys are gentle snugglers who enjoy engaging with kids of all ages. We recently learned during a two-week visit with our youngest nieces how much our dogs love story time and “Elmo Slide” dance parties. Who knew?!
When we are not in the midst of a global pandemic, we enjoy traveling (and, particularly, the food that goes along with it). We are just as happy on road trips as we are cruising the Mediterranean and Hawaii. We have traveled on our own, with family, with friends, with and without dogs, and with and without kids! Our favorite place that we have visited was Greece. We are looking forward to cruising the Panama Canal when it is safe to do so, and eventually visiting family in Australia, with whom we are extremely close, despite the distance! Our proximity to the world’s most popular tourist destination (Disney) is not lost on us; we spend a lot of time in the theme parks and at the resorts as well.
In our social circles, we are known for hosting two events each year: our “Christmas Cookie Hoopla” in December, and a pizza party for St. Joseph’s Day in March. While our in-person celebrations have been on hiatus due to the pandemic, we have previously hosted 90+ people at our Christmas party! Everyone brings cookies to swap (THOUSANDS of cookies) and we all enjoy an evening of food, music, and festivities. We set up an outdoor movie screen to play Christmas movies and a fire pit for toasting marshmallows. Santa has been known to show up and visit with the kids. One year, we tried to invite some reindeer, but it didn’t quite work out. As a consolation, we rented a donkey, threw a Santa hat on his head, and proclaimed him to be the one and only “Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey.” He was a HUGE hit. The party has grown every year as friends, coworkers, and the (somewhat incredulous) neighbors are always wondering what we’ll be up to next. (For your eyes only: we have a lead on some acrobatic elves!)
We started hosting a party for St. Joseph’s Day after visiting New Orleans. We were curious about the St. Joseph’s Day celebrations and traditions we had heard about in Louisiana, so we took a trip one year. We were absolutely awestruck by the hospitality and generosity of the churches, businesses, and individual families who hosted St. Joseph’s Day altars and invited us to sit, eat, and hear their stories! We knew we had to bring this type of tradition back home. We make trays of traditional pastries for the party (called sfingi, or zeppoli), and spend the afternoon firing pizzas in our outdoor pizza oven for everyone to enjoy. As is tradition in Louisiana, we collect contributions of food and donations on behalf of our local church’s food pantry.
We have always made sure that our nieces, nephew, cousins’ children, and friends’ children have felt welcome, included, and special in our home. We pride ourselves on being the “fun” aunt and uncle! We cherish their visits and the adventures we have with them, and we have long yearned for the opportunity to add our own children to these experiences.
At this time, we are more than ready for the responsibility and commitment of loving and providing for our own children. We are seeking a gestational carrier for an agency-guided journey (a requirement of our clinic). We are open to a spectrum of relationship options with someone willing to carry for us. A carrier, and her family, will always hold a place of honor in our family. Whether a future relationship is desired by her or not, our children will grow up familiar with the sacrifices made by the compassionate woman who gave them the gift of life.
We have five tested embryos at RMA in Lake Mary, FL (just north of Orlando). We have a wonderful, open relationship with the generous family who selected us to receive the gift of their donated embryos. They had created six embryos, and the first one resulted in their perfectly healthy identical twin boys.
As parents, we promise to provide a stable, financially sound environment where our children feel safe, secure, and treasured. They will be raised to value and model integrity, generosity, kindness, and compassion. They will know the story of how they came to be, and who played a role in bringing them here. They will be encouraged to pursue their own interests and passions, and they will enjoy the adoration and support of an extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. All with lots of giggles. Lots and lots of giggles.
Thank you for considering helping us to fulfill our dreams of becoming parents.
A & J