A letter to Alcea Vol. I


A pregnant Bree carries for Alcea <3

As soon as I met her I knew we would we be great friends. She was my kind of crazy.

Fast talker, no bullshit—Angela was the kind of person you listened to. The kind of woman who talked because she knew what the hell she was talking about. She fills the room with a certain warmth and excitement, and in the world of surrogacy, a much needed sense of safety. After our first conversation, I came to a couple of conclusions about Alcea. First, Angela Richardson-Mook was one of the smartest women I knew. She could spit out the language and explain it well as if she knew every nook and crevice there was when it came to medicine, legalities, and financials. There wasn’t one question she couldn’t answer. Her genuine excitement about the area coupled with the fact that she had been a surrogate multiple times herself, made me feel like I would be in the right hands. Which led me to my second conclusion: this was the person I wanted to embark on this surrogacy journey with.

When I think about the first meeting, I can’t help but think about how foreign it all was. Everything was entirely new to me, and it all seemed to happen by chance. One day at work, I decided to go down the hallway and talk to a couple of my favorite people Dr. Kurian and nurse Stephanie. Something I’d done plenty of times, something so natural. Right before I rounded that corner Angela had texted Stephanie asking if she knew anybody that wanted to be a surrogate. And that was it. There I was. Stephanie, knowing how wonderful my pregnancy was with my son, asked if I was interested and, without hesitation, I said yes. Decisions like that are funny. We all make them, not knowing where we will end up or who will create the largest impact. I stood there, some time ago, not realizing that that text would be the start of one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Truthfully, surrogacy was an option I’d never considered until it was presented to me. I had always wanted to donate my eggs, but I think if you aren’t already deep in the surrogacy community it might sometimes be hard to actually think of it as an option for you. But why not me? I was already a mother who’d had a wonderful pregnancy with my own son, and the idea of giving that same experience to a couple of incredible Intended Parents made me feel like I was doing something even bigger than myself. The next step? Telling my family.

My husband couldn’t have been more supportive from day one and it made me love him even more. On the other hand, explaining surrogacy to my boomer parents and getting them on board was an entirely different experience. “Yes Mom surrogacy. No Dad I don’t keep the baby.” Ultimately, my family just wanted me to be happy and healthy. It was all that really mattered to them. I think it helped that they saw a change in me as I talked about surrogacy. It seemed that for the first time in a long time I was feeling excited and passionate about my endeavors. I was thrilled about the possibility of change, about impacting my life and others, and doing something good. My family saw that and with that we were off.

If I had not known from our conversations, I would have never guessed I was the first surrogate for Alcea. Angela and Christy (our Director of Operations) couldn’t have been more professional, supportive, and proactive. They were able to handle every situation no matter how difficult. It felt like they’d been down this road a million times, working together, laughing together, and treating me like I was just a part of the pack. They are a major reason why my experience as the first surrogate for Alcea Surrogacy and the first surrogate to deliver in the state of New York is something I will always be proud of. These are accomplishments I never really set out to make. At times it feels like they found me, knowing I was ready for the honor. (Though I am still waiting to get my key to the city.) And I appreciated every part I got to experience. The scary parts, the fun parts, the parts where I got to learn and grow and change with Alcea—all of it.

Now that I am part of the Alcea team I can say that I truly feel like I’m home. I consider each and every one of them a part of my family, and have been so lucky to get to know the kind of people they are. They are a team that will lift up your spirits no matter the situation. A team that will be with you every step of the way. This was only driven home after going with the Alcea team to New York for Pridefest 2021. It was a day of bright colors, loud music, and a lot of acceptance. And as one of my favorite memories, for me it was a day of love.

My pride at working for Alcea stems from a number of things, but especially because of what they stand for. Angela and Christy are the most creative and badass leaders in the surrogacy world. They are constantly pushing for change, inclusivity, and accessibility. They continue to emphasize diversity, both in their action and their message. Though seemingly simple, as a surrogate I was able to see that Alcea’s priorities are rooted in standing up for people of color, gay rights, and greater representation across the board. It sets us apart from the surrogacy crowd. And when the lines are drawn, and the noise is deafening, I’m so glad I’m on the right side.

I know that Alcea hasn’t even begun to reach its full potential. I have already gained so much knowledge and confidence from the Alcea team. The kindness and love we show for each other and our clients, and the determination we all have when it comes to changing surrogacy for the better has created a different kind of team. We have a lot of big plans, and a lot of big hearts, and I am so excited to get to be a part of it all.

To Alcea: you’ve changed me and I will forever appreciate you for it. Thank you for continuing to provide me with a safe and loving space, for continuing to make me laugh, for continuing to support me, for continuing to understand me. Our journey has only just begun.

Love always,