Giving the gift of life


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Becoming a parent is scary and exciting. It’s also a dream some people never get to experience.

The Oorlog family tried to get pregnant for more than a decade. They had almost given up, when an unexpected offer arrived. We meet the family who is expanding, thanks to a few very generous friends.

Angela Oorlog is an expert with kids. She spends all day, everyday running a daycare in her home. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to have a child of her own.

“We tried for about 11 years. We tried naturally and then that didn’t work and then went to an OB. Tried some stuff. That didn’t work. Ended up at Dr. Hansen’s office, the specialist. We went through IUI and all the shots and the pills and just no luck,” said Oorlog.

Angela and her husband Travis even started the adoption process and realized that wasn’t going to work either. After such a long, stressful and expensive journey, the Oorlog’s decided to stop trying. That’s when a surprising offer came from one of the daycare families.

“I was shocked. I kept thinking to myself, why did they want to do this for me? I’m just their daycare provider. I guess I was more shocked and then honored and grateful to them because I wouldn’t be in this position without them,” said Oorlog.

The family was offering the Oorlog’s their embryos. The couple had frozen several after having their own struggles to conceive, and wanted one of their unborn babies to go to a good home. Free of charge.

Even with such a generous gift, Angela still knew she couldn’t physically carry the baby. So she needed a surrogate. That’s when another amazing offer came in.

“It was just really sad. I felt terrible, because somebody that could watch somebody else’s kids all day and have so much love and compassion for some other person’s kid, and not have their own, makes me really sad,” said Martin.

Jenna Martin also takes her child to the Oorlog in-home daycare. She didn’t want to have anymore kids of her own, but she and her husband agreed she would offer to become a surrogate.

“I’m super excited. It’s a totally different attachment. And I hear it all the time. People will be like, it’s going to be so hard to give your baby away. And I’m like, it’s not mine. Angie said it too. It’s constantly having to be like, it’s not mine. It’s not my genetics. I’m excited! I’m just the test tube. I’m the incubator. I’m the oven. Whatever you want to call me. But it’s exciting. I’m excited to see her become a mom,” said Martin.

After piles of paper work, and lots of shots…

“I know I did 167 total, though. Yeah, I counted,” said Martin.

The embryo was implanted into Martin, and a baby girl is growing. Both women agree one of the hardest parts of this journey has been misconceptions around surrogacy.

Something they hope to change by sharing their unique story.

“I don’t know, some people make comments like, so someone is just giving you their baby? And that’s not how it is. And other people just assume things about surrogacy.  And instead of assuming I just wish people would ask,” said Oorlog.

“A lot of people in the Midwest don’t, this isn’t normal for them. This isn’t something people talk about. This isn’t a conversation you have at dinner, or whatever. It’s one of those things that’s kind of quiet, and people have a lot of questions and I guess my thing would be, just ask questions. If you don’t know, just ask,” said Martin.

Brooklynn Grace Oorlog arrived Monday morning at 5:56 a.m. 8 lbs 2 ounces and 21 inches long. Everyone is doing great. 

Luckily for anyone who does have questions, these two are more than willing to share! They have a Facebook page dedicated to their journey, and helping break the stigma around surrogacy.

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