We are holding this fundraiser and an online art sale (ART4BNK
) in hopes of starting a family with the help of IVF and gestational surrogacy (Mariah's egg, George's sperm, and Havvah's womb!). But it doesn't stop there; we intend to share the journey with the world through a documentary.A BIT ABOUT US
Mariah – [aspiring biological momma] 34-year-old fashion+portrait+travel photographer and creative director/designer.
George – [aspiring biological poppa] 34-year-old fine art painter and receiving manager/store opening team at Anthropologie.
Havvah – [gestational carrier!] 27-year-old yogi, dancer, foodie, and most importantly, mother of two incredible & vibrant children, Lucah (5) & Haven (6).
Annnd the animals – a dog and a pet pigeon (who we rescued as an egg. See his whole story on Instagram. He's kind of a big deal. @campthepigeon
We have been together for 5 years, married for 1, and have always shared a passion for life, travel, laughter and the desire to become parents. We live in Lincoln Square, Chicago, and love practically everything about this city.
We've always known that IVF (in vitro fertilization) was likely in our future because of damage caused to Mariah's fallopian tubes by a surgery she endured as a child. We had begun that process in February, but then sadly learned that her body is also unable to support a pregnancy, and in order to have a biological child, we would need to work with a gestational carrier.
This was hard news to digest. But we both knew we would continue to support one another & be strong sources of love for the world no matter how our situation turned out.
And then, while exploring other options, adoption included, we received a phone call that changed our course: An opportunity to have a biological child with the help of a trusted gestational carrier – someone we know and love – an old friend of Mariah's named Havvah. In short, while we were going back & forth to the fertility clinic & hospitals, not speaking much to anyone, Havvah had simultaneously been feeling a "calling" to become a surrogate (knowing nothing of our situation, as we had kept it very quiet)! That first phone call is one we will never, ever forget.
And so, we have joined forces intimately over this potentially life-changing journey together, and have spent a great amount of time figuring out the logistics. OPENING UP
We had prepared ourselves financially for IVF as we've always known Mariah's medical background likely made this necessary, but the need for a gestational carrier tipped the scale. We have kept our medical business very private, and opening up to the world about this was something we debated for months. It is a very personal and difficult (yet increasingly exciting) journey for us. One of the scariest aspects is that there are no guarantees. The procedure might not work. Additionally, we've had to prepare ourselves for the many questions and potential judgements that may come.
But at the end of the day, what's most true and important is that it's our reality
; we need the support more now than ever. And through embracing vulnerability and sharing the story with the world we felt that maybe, just maybe, someone can find solace in our story.THE LOGISTICS
The financial challenge is that in order for Havvah to be our carrier, we need to begin the IVF process this year. And once a surrogate (gestational or traditional) is involved, health insurance coverage exclusions & legal expenses abound. Unfortunately, the laws have not kept up with technology. And so we, and many other couples, have a burden to bear under these types of circumstances.
**SEE EXPENSE BREAKDOWN: EXAMPLE 1
-and- EXAMPLE 2
So, in the face of this opportunity and timeline, we have decided to expose our story to the world and launch a 3-month fundraiser & online art sale in hopes of raising the additional money that we need.
So yes, we're shooting for the stars. Why not at least try?!
Please help us welcome a little one into our lives ♥ HOW TO HELP
There are two ways to contribute & become a "baby-backer":
By donating here through our youcaring.com
page or by visiting the ART 4 BNK Shop
and making a purchase!
**NOTE: Contributions made through purchases in the ART4BNK shop will be added to this goal tracker the next day, excluding
the cost of producing the items.
(BNK = Baby Naella-Keaton)THANK YOU
Each and every bit of your love, support, compassion & contributions are appreciated beyond words. Here's a big cyber hug from us to you! And stay tuned. www.babynaellakeaton.com
(**video by Jack Whaley Media – www.jackwhaleymedia.com) ♥