RIFers, due a technical glitch, we had to send our Read It First eblast for The Sacred Thread twice. But not to worry, no need to enter twice! Happy reading, and good luck, everybody.
In 2008, I traveled nine thousand miles to northern India near the border of Pakistan, to have a child. I went to India under the direction of a fertility specialist to whom I had spoken only over the phone, to undergo IVF treatment with the help of an Indian surrogate I had never met.
After three pregnancies, three miscarriages, and dozens of tests and disappointing diagnoses (mis-shaped uterus and utirine fibroids the size of oranges!), I realized I needed an alternate route to my happily ever after. My doctor advised that I should consider adoption and/or surrogacy.
After my husband read an article in the New York Times about the Akanksha Clinic in Anand, India – where a Dr. Patel works to bring together two women from disparate cultures to help each other – I started to open my mind up to the world of foreign surrogacy.
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Several months, hundreds of research hours, and thousands of dollars later, I board a plane for Mumbai. There, in the 107-degree heat of Indian summer, I meet Dr. Patel, undergoe IVF treatments, and form a deep bond with a 26-year-old named Vaina, a surrogate mother who would eventually give birth to my children.
I couldn’t stay away. I packed up and went to Anand for the balance of my surrogate’s pregnancy, immersing myself in the culture and traditions of India, and shaping a lasting friendship with my surrogate, Vaina.
I have a deep spiritual connection to India after healing from the death of my mother the first time I went and later having my girls in the country. The Sacred Thread offers my perspective and a look at the landscape and culture of India through the lens of an American couple searching for family, an Indian family searching for a future, and a doctor offering a chance for both to find what they seek.
I am now the proud mother of twin 3-year-old girls. I cannot imagine life without them. They absolutely fill me up with joy, love and laughter (oh, and exhaustion!).
The Sacred Thread by Adrienne Arieff – Excerpt
ADRIENNE ARIEFF, an expert in new media and communications, is the principal of the public relations firm Arieff Communications. She has freelanced for Daily Candy and C Magazine and writes her company’s blog, Weekly Pulse. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two children.
Visit Adrienne online at TheSacredThread.com.