If there is any advice that I would recommend to all Intended Parents...it is to be patient. A journey toward parenthood that requires third-party reproduction--is just that: a production. There are 100 important milestones from the day that you start the surrogate process until the moment that you carry your child through your own front door. These steps are almost all reliant on outside influences and sources. Everything takes time and requires patience.
Just committing to the journey, and choosing to stay the course and trust the process--will save you so much unnecessary worry and anxiety. Your entire support team: agency, surrogate, clerks, nurses, coordinators, doctors, clinics, lawyers, psychologists, labs, more doctors, OB/GYNs, more lawyers, clerks again, judges, etc. are 100% focused on the big-picture. This is a year-long process. It is a marathon not a sprint, and all support staff is going to operate at that pace--it's the simple truth. Embracing that will make your journey immensely less stressful and infinitely more enjoyable.
I definitely understand that for an Intended Parent, this is often not what they had hoped to hear. Why does it take two weeks to send records? Why does it take two months to receive the contract? Why am I spending three hours in this waiting room? There are going to be so many steps where you think "I could get this done in one-day/five minutes/much faster." The problem is that there is a specific person who needs to complete each related task--and nearly all of these people are in the medical and legal fields. Nights, weekends, holidays, Fridays at 5pm--we won't be getting any answers during those times. Again, their focus is on the end-game. As frustrating as it may sometimes be...everyone has to wait in line. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't attempt to prepare you for that waiting. And waiting. And waiting. So much waiting...
There is a process, and as you will find, nothing is done in one day. As long as we have forward progress, we are on the right track! Let that be the focus. So many things (almost everything really!) is completely out of our control. And, unfortunately, there will be set-backs. Our main focus will be to mitigate those set-backs and make sure that a speed-bump doesn't turn into a road-block. Everyone is on the same team, but it will become apparent that no one else is in any great hurry. I can promise you that your single BIGGEST frustration will come from trying to re-invent the wheel. Don't do it. ;) It's not necessary, and will only lead to MORE frustration. Just try to be patient and trust the process.
And that "end-game" I mentioned earlier? The moment you walk into your home for the very first-time with your two-day old newborn in your arms...it will all be worth it.
SO. VERY. WORTH. IT. And you will forget that you were ever in a seemingly pointless holding pattern through those previous 99 steps, and you will wish someone would have said to you "relax, it is all going to work out." If it is possible to understand that before-hand, it is the biggest gift you can give to yourself and your surrogate. Well, at least until your baby comes and steals the show! <3