Posted by Kirk
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly;... who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly" ~ Theodore Roosevelt
This quote came to my attention as I began reading the work of Brené Brown, in particular her book Daring Greatly. I later went to a national training that she led to study more deeply how to work with issues related to vulnerability, courage, and authenticity in both my personal and professional life.
We have received a lot of support about our process of becoming dads. We have also had some difficult conversations with folks who disagree with our approach. We've found ourselves defending and explaining our choice to pursue surrogacy and our decision to be so public about it. We've been told that running a crowdfunding campaign, specifically for a surrogacy journey is, at its core, egocentric and a plea for attention. Perhaps our (or anyone's) desire to have children is totally self-serving. Some could argue that the decision not to have children is just as self-serving. But as soon as that newborn baby starts crying and we step into the awareness that a tiny human being is completely dependent on us, we'll have a crash course in selflessness.
I think choosing to have or not to have children is admirable when you are making an informed decision. Of course we don't want to have children so that we have to sacrifice all of our own passions and needs. No. We want the experience of being parents. We want to love our kid(s) fiercely and raise them to love fiercely too.
We understand that not everyone is going to resonate with our story. We also recognize that people have strong opinions about family planning and parenting. But let me be clear: we value honesty. We believe in a community with diverse perspectives. We strive for authenticity and compassion. We practice altruism. And we're going to be awesome dads.
As we are days away from launching our crowdfunding campaign the quote above comforts me. We are about to step into an arena. It's possible that we will fail. It's also possible that we will succeed far beyond our expectations. Either way, this is not an ego-centric plea for attention. Asking for support in this way might be one of the most humbling and authentic things we've ever done. Together we will be courageous. We will look out into the crowd and choose to turn towards the support seats. We will be vulnerable, because to be vulnerable is to be alive. And to take risks is to dare. And our child(ren) are totally worth daring for.