With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air, heart-shaped candies are filling up the aisles of your favorite grocery stores and pharmacies, and cute cards are being crafted with heart-felt notes to loved ones. Valentine’s Day comes with a lot of expectations – maybe because society labeled it as a day where love needs to be expressed to a partner in a special way that stands out from every other day.
Here at VCRM, we believe that love should never be taken for granted and we should celebrate love every day the best way that we can. This Valentine’s Day, we want to share the love that Joseph and Dale brought into our office, the love VCRM gave them, and the love their June 2020 baby girl already has waiting for her,
Dale and Joseph’s Story (told by Dale):
Joseph and I met in a Washington, D.C. coffee shop in 2012 during my lunch break. After first seeing him, it took a couple of lunch breaks to finally work up enough courage to give him my number. After our first date we become inseparable. We have been together since then and got married on June 22, 2019.
Joseph was born and raised in Beckley, WV and I was born and raised in Roanoke, VA, about 2 ½ hours away from each other. While we are different in many ways, we value family and spending time with each other. Prior to meeting Joseph, I was a horrible cook and ate out 90% of the time. After making one particularly terrible meal, Joseph made it a mission for me to improve my cooking skills and realize that meals at home are better than anything that came from eating out. Without us knowing, we were building our relationship and learning the skills we would need to become parents.
However, growing up and coming to the realization that I was gay, I began to think it would never happen. After I graduated from Roanoke College in 2008, I started my career as a contract auditor for governmental clients in the D.C. During those first couple of years, having a child was something I looked into but was unrealistic since I was just starting my career, single and still trying to get used to the move from Roanoke.
After meeting Joseph, having a child was on my mind but for the next six years, we focused on our relationship and our respective careers. However, just before Thanksgiving 2018, something in me just couldn’t stay silent anymore. One night coming back from dinner, Joseph was talking but I couldn’t hear anything he was saying because a voice told me “if not now, when?” So as we were pulling to our parking spot, I just blurted out “I want us to have baby.” This caught him totally off guard and we just sat in silent while he digested the statement. After a while we talked about it the decision and what it would look like for us. That is when I had to confess that I had been research it for months prior and had even made an appointment with VCRM for an initial consultation.
During our first appointment with Dr. Sharara in December 2018, we were given a lot of information and details on what the embryo creation and surrogacy process would be like and some costs to consider. It was apparent during our first meeting that Dr. Sharara was there for us and had no doubt that growing our family is not only feasible for us, but that we would be in good hands. When deciding to explore the IVF process to create our family, trust is a component that must be established.
If there was one word that would sum up the relationship between Joseph and I and Dr. Sharara, it would be “trust.” This trust was built over the time it took to both – create our embryos and find a surrogacy. While we were interviewing different surrogacy agencies, we ultimately took Dr. Sharara’s reference and are truly so happy with our decision. In addition, we worked with Dr. Sharara and his team during the embryo creation. There was moment during the embryo creation process where Joseph and I were trying to make major decision that would shape our family and felt overwhelmed. But we could clearly remember meeting with Dr. Sharara and he looked at us and he said “trust me, everything will be alright.”
One of the greatest decisions during this process was to trust Dr. Sharara and his staff. Even after we found our surrogate, during difficult times, we reminded ourselves that we have got this far by trusting Dr. Sharara, there is no reason to doubt him now! That trust lead us to where we are now. We are currently expecting our baby girl in June 2020.
Love is hard – it takes a lot of patience and work to make something so worth it, come to life. Love is the most painfully beautiful experience, and the love that comes from having a family, is inimitable. Here is to the love Joseph and Dale have, and the love everyone deserves in their lives!