National Take Your Kids To Work Day – Gavin’s Back!
Today is National Take Your Kids To Work Day, and at Hope, that means one thing – Gavin’s back! Gavin is LeeAnn’s son, and just like last year, Gavin is spending this day at the Hope Surrogacy office. Gavin is 14 years old, and because of his mom’s 17 year career working in surrogacy, Gavin has grown up around this incredible process that builds families and changes lives. So, what does Gavin think about his mom’s job and the idea of surrogacy itself? Our teammate Brent talked with Gavin about surrogacy, his amazing mother and what the journey of surrogacy has meant to him.
(And if you want to see some posts from Gavin’s day at work, check out our instagram, @hopesurrogacy! )
Brent: Hi, Gavin!
Gavin: Hi, Brent.
Brent: So you’re finishing your freshman year…
Gavin: No, eighth grade…
Brent: Alright, good then, you’ve got some time before you start your career. [laughs] But I know you’ve thought a lot about surrogacy. So, can we start with this… what’s your first memory of surrogacy?
Gavin: Ok, so the first memory I have of surrogacy is actually at Mary’s house. We were having a cookout, and there was a French gay couple there who had a kid through surrogacy. It was fun because we were trying to find common ground to talk to each other, but we didn’t speak the same language so we just started making funny faces at each other…. And we just laughed a lot. It was really funny.
Brent: How old were you then?
Gavin: Maybe 10, I think.
Brent: Has surrogacy always just been part of your life, something that your mom did.
Gavin: As long as I’ve been alive my mom has worked in surrogacy…. As long as I can remember.
Brent: Do you know how many parents your mom has helped to have babies?
Gavin: Probably like, above a hundred…
Brent: I actually don’t know… is your mom around?
Gavin: Yeah… Mom?
[LeeAnn walks in from the kitchen]
LeeAnn: So, when we started Hope, our team had already helped with over 150 births…
Brent: Wow, that’s amazing! … And then most of those babies were delivered for couples. That’s so many surrogates and parents and babies! That’s hundreds of people who you’ve helped to create families.
LeeAnn: It’s the best part of my job!
Brent: [turns back to Gavin] Do you have other memories of meeting the parents or surrogates over the years?
Gavin: Yeah, another time we went to a huge meet up at the Children’s Museum in Madison, and that was really fun just meeting the parents and the kids.
Brent: What’s the best part of those get togethers?
Gavin: I love meeting the other kids. We can just relate to each other.
Brent: Do you ever find it strange meeting them, or is it just like hanging out with other kids?
Gavin: It’s just like hanging out with any other kids. We’re all the same.
Brent: What’s it like meeting the surrogates?
Gavin: It’s so cool. They’re just loving and treat everyone with so much respect.
Brent: So how do you describe surrogacy to your friends or to people at school?
Gavin: It’s sometimes hard to explain because a ton of people just don’t know about it. But even though it’s not very common, even though people are surprised to hear about it, they always want to know more. I just say it’s another way for two people to have a baby. And they have a woman that helps them, someone who carries the baby. It’s like the surrogate is babysitting through the pregnancy, taking care of the baby in every way they can.
Brent: How do people react when you talk about it?
Gavin: They think it’s pretty unique and cool. It sometimes takes them a while to understand because it’s a kind of thing most people just haven’t heard of. One of my teachers at school was very interested. We were talking about surrogacy because we were having a conversation about careers. I got a card from my mom’s work and gave it to her. She said she’s never heard of it, and I don’t know who it was, but there was someone in her family she thought would be interested in being a surrogate.
Brent: That’s so cool. That could change someone’s life!
Gavin: Yeah, that was really cool.
Brent: When you describe what your mom does, how do you describe it?
Gavin: I tell people that my mom is a great people person. She has to know how to talk to people and relate on the real stuff. She can’t be a robot and just try to sell stuff. People know that she takes good care of them and that they’ll be matched with someone that’s perfect for them.
Brent: What makes you proud of your mom’s work?
Gavin: I’m proud of my mom because every day she knows she’s making someone happier, that people can make a family because of what she does. I’ve always thought that was super cool. It’s not like everyone has an awesome job like my mom. She knows that the people she works with will have a family.
Brent: It’s so cool… that’s what she does with every day of her life. Does that inspire you?
Gavin: Yeah, it makes me want to have a job that’s meaningful in the world like her… one day.
Brent: Do you think you will?
Gavin: Yeah, actually right now in school we’re researching jobs in this class called Futures, and I’m trying to research jobs that would allow me to with my mom. One career would be to become a psychologist. Psychology is a very important part of surrogacy. My mom works with psychologists who work with her clients. But mostly…..I want to work beside my mom!
Gavin, you are AWESOME. The entire Hope Surrogacy community is rooting for you! It’s so amazing that you’re sharing the surrogacy journey at school and with your friends… You are an incredible advocate, and one day you’ll be an incredible surrogacy professional. We can’t wait to see what you do next!
And if you, dear reader, want to see some of Gavin’s day at Hope Surrogacy during National Take Your Kids to Work Day, check us out on Instagram and Facebook!
And if like Gavin you want to learn more about surrogacy, send us a message! We can’t wait to connect with you!