“The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
As February draws to a close, one can’t help but look forward in anticipation as our
pear trees show their blossoms, and the weeping willows we planted are sprouting
leaves. It’s time to plan ahead sorting the seeds for our raised bed and in-ground
gardens, consider the expansion of our lavender bed, and oh, as I look out my window,
what day do I want to launch the kayak into the lake to visit our resident Blue Heron?
Hmmm…I wonder if the ducks, once mated, will choose the cubby in the stream
meandering through our backyard? (Right now they are swimming in the puddles in
our back yard!).
I’ve had an unsettling chapter close in my life, and I’m stepping with cautious
uncertainty into change. Don’t know what that may even entail at this point, but I am
certain in my faith that “all things will work together for my good” (Rom 8:28). So
onward and upward, and my outlook for now to quote The Hatter: “It’s Always Tea
Time.” Meaning…I’ll be open and curious to those events that unfold in the days and
months ahead, not with trembling and trepidation, but with a sense of gusto and
adventure. Always keen for a cuppa…
I have been tasked by K1 to introduce, organize, and manage this little corner of the
blog – it’s something a bit dear to my heart, because it involves people. When it comes
down to the nuts and bolts of life, it really is people that matter – more than things,
situations, social media, etc etc. That is where our investment and return should be.
Their stories, life experiences, wisdom, laughter, tears. People from all walks of life on
various continents I have visited have never ceased to amaze me. Human nature is a
curious thing, and oh! has it poured into my soul, helped shape who I am, provided
teaching/correction/guidance, and a sense of joyful connectedness with many over the
This corner is a tribute to those who have wonderful stories to tell, poems to share,
words of wisdom, and perhaps insightful and even unusual views of life’s journey. If
anything, I believe what is shared may instill hope, joy, affirmation, among many
things. Once a month, we will have a guest writer, and I am so thrilled to add this to
our literature arm of WPA. So, let’s embark on a wonderfully creative adventure….
It is my absolute honor and pleasure to introduce our very first guest writer: an
amazing woman and friend, as well as a former colleague of mine, Cathey Stoner. She
is one of the best Health Coaches ever (one of the many hats she wears!), and has very
inspiring and creative thoughts, teachings, and ideas. But that is only part of her
story…She co-hosts “Talk to Me Sister” with her twin sister on Instagram, and I
encourage you to follow and watch…it is absolutely fantastic! So, without further ado…
March 2023 Guest
Cathey Stoner on surrogacy after her twin sister Sarah’s cancer diagnosis.
Slowly, I began to breathe again as I watched Sarah heal. I watched her eyelashes grow back and her smile return. Maybe this won’t last forever, I considered the possibility of normal life again. How do we move on? Spoiler alert, we didn’t. You don’t, can’t, just carry on like you did before. But we did put one foot in front of the other with a new perspective and calling.
From now on, after my sister’s cancer, I decided to be more present, live bigger, love out loud, with no shame. Looking for miracles in the mundane.
I’ve always felt this in a way. My senior quote in my high school yearbook was a song lyric by the talented Ben Harper. “ If you’re going to live, live it up. If you’re going to give, give it up. If you’re going to walk the earth, then walk it proud. If you going to say the Word, then say it loud.” But now, this zest for life was brighter and …more focused. There is a fighting spirit I gained and wasn’t letting go.
Precariously, life carried on. As hospital days became a blurry memory, the beeping machines and hospital smells were less present in our dreams. We began to have play dates again, see friends, go to the gym, life was moving forward, and we were getting our sea legs for life after cancer.
Helping our wobbly stance gain stability was the fleeting thought of surrogacy.
It wasn’t talked about much. But it would come in my mind and out again. The future. The possibility. The Hope.
The idea of being a gestational carrier came years before Sarah was even sick. I was pregnant with my youngest and listening to birth story podcasts to prepare for his arrival. I’d listen in the car, while I cleaned, and while I walked the neighborhood. I remember the day. It was finally warm enough to put my two-year-old in the stroller and walk to the nearby park. With my headphones in I listened to a birth story about sisters. The mom had had an emergency hysterectomy after a traumatic birth and wanted to grow her family, and in an incredible tale, her sister-in-law carried her next child. They cried in the retelling and of course, I cried along with them. The story stuck with me for days. I couldn’t get it off my mind. Looking back, this was the first moment that my heart softened to this incredible gift, the seed was planted. I never in a million years thought it’d someday be me.
Alex and I started to talk about what our future looked like. Did we want more kids of our own? What would surrogacy look like for us really? We had discussed this in a dream-like way previously, so this wasn’t a new conversation, but he could tell I was reeling in all the “what ifs,” while I talked out loud in a stream of consciousness. He carefully approached me, eyes deep in question. “When did this start feeling real for you?” He asked. I appreciated his restraint. We continued to pray and seek answers for our own family before we felt ready to talk about Sarah’s family
When we were considering surrogacy, I would pray for a sign like a banner in the sky. But what I received from him was better than a sign in the clouds. It was affirmation and continued reassurance. It was peace in my soul. It was from other people, from my husband, From doctors and my family. My spirit stopped questioning and started saying “when and how” rather than “what if.”
I don’t think “callings’ are revealed in a singular moment. They start as a small heart tug. A fleeting thought or a seed someone sowed a long ago. Then it takes over. It’s something you can’t run from; you can’t stop thinking about. It is what you think about in the quiet nighttime moments or lulls of a Sunday afternoon. “Should I say this crazy dream out loud?” was a reoccurring question I wondered to myself when surrogacy burned in my chest.
I’ve heard this similar experience with adoptive parents or families making big moves/changes. Both partners separately have this yearning and when they finally come together for the conversation, it’s a surreal “No way, I had the same dream!” moment. These are moments we can’t ignore.
Listen to our whole story on the “Talk To Me Sister” Podcast on Spotify and Apple
Loved the “Guest House”!
Very refreshing. Was very interested in your guest Cathy Stoner. Please keep up the Guest House with your very qualified & nformative guests.
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Cathey has an amazing story to tell…Thank you for your kind comments! There are more amazing guests to come!
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