By Abbey Doyle
Evansville Courier & Press, Ind.
Surrounded by traditional blue and pink décor, Sara McCarter excitedly went from loved one to loved one gripping Tara Pearce’s hand.
“This is Tara, and these are my babies,” McCarter said with glee, touching Pearce’s burgeoning belly. “Eeee! I’m so excited.”
The baby shower was something McCarter never thought she’d experience. As a teen she received the news no young woman wants to hear — she’d never bear her own children due to a condition she was born with. But thanks to Pearce, McCarter and husband Zach McCarter will welcome their biological twins in April.
“I almost have to pinch myself,” McCarter said. “This whole thing is a dream. I kept thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m at my own baby shower. This is crazy.’ Days later and I’m still saying that to myself. I never thought I would get the chance to celebrate this.”
Even with the nursery nearly ready and just weeks left to go, there are days when the reality that she will be a mother to twins hasn’t yet sunk in.
But then she’ll see Pearce.
“I think, ‘Oh my gosh, those are my babies,'” McCarter said, excitement plainly in her voice.
The two women, who hadn’t met until Pearce heard about McCarter’s quest for a surrogate, are now close friends talking daily; each say they have a lifelong connection.
While Pearce — who has five of her own children ranging in age from 13 to 21 months — is a little anxious about the delivery, she said, she’s excited to play a part in making Sara and Zach McCarter parents.
“I can’t wait for Sara and Zach to get to meet these little guys,” Pearce said.
Just a few months before the embryo transfer the women hadn’t even met. McCarter was working with Surrogacy Together, an organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the surrogacy process. The group doesn’t pay for the process but instead works with professionals — reproductive lawyers, surrogacy agencies, reproductive specialists, etc. — who offer their services pro bono or at a significantly reduced cost making the financial burden one that the McCarters, both 28, felt they could bear. A typical surrogacy costs between $60,000 and $120,000.