After Aubree’s interview, Gavin and Akira were really pleased.
“If every girl is like her, we’re going to have a really hard time choosing a surrogate,” said Akira.
“I know right, said Gavin. “Luckily we have their files to review as well. Plus, I’m sure Carmen and Laurel will have opinions to add. They’re spending much more time with the women than we are, though it’s not one on one time.”
“True,” said Akira, “but I don’t want to put too much weight on their opinion. They’re not the ones who have to live with the surrogate choice, we are.”
“I know,” said Gavin, “I’m just trying to make sure we’re considering all possible information so we make an informed decision.”
Their conversation was cut short by the entrance of the next candidate. In walked Candace Ochoa (known as Candy according to her name card). She sat in one of the chairs and smiled at them expectantly.
“Hi,” she said. “‘I’m Candace Ochoa, but everyone calls me Candy.”
“Nice to meet you Candy,” said Akira. “Are you ready to jump right into our questions?”
Candy nodded, so Gavin asked his first question. “Tell us a little bit about yourself, whatever you’d like us to know about you.”
“Well, I am a small town girl and live a simple life,” began Candy. “I put that my occupation is a mixologist but we all know that’s just a fancy word for bartender. what I really do is I manage the place for my boss when he’s not around so I am like the second in command. I am single with no intentions of getting hitched anytime soon.
“My only pregnancy resulted in a sweet little girl. But she was born before I was ‘promoted’ at work and my income was pretty piddly. I knew I couldn’t take care of her properly so I gave her up to her baby daddy and never looked back. It would have been too hard. We weren’t together and he wanted her. So it worked out.
“Well about a year ago, he got married and his new honey didn’t want to raise my daughter. So he came in and dumped her on me. Just. Like. That. Now let me tell you, I love that little girl but I can’t do right by her. I tried, but my hours are crazy and I still don’t make a lot working in a dive bar so I brought her to work with me and she slept in the office bedroom. Someone called CPS on me. I told my boss and his fiance and they decided to adopt her so she wouldn’t get taken by social services. I miss her, but I know I did her right.
“So I am here because I know I can easily carry a baby to term and then give it up. I can give someone a child that wants it and frankly, I could use the money. Win. Win. P.S. – I am fun to be around!”
“It sounds like you want to make sure your children are well taken care of, so that’s good,” said Gavin. “And it sounds like the reason you want to be a surrogate is because you feel you could do so safely and you could use the money. Is that right?”
“You got it,” nodded Candy. “I had an easy pregnancy and delivery. My body was MADE to have babies. I wish I could take care of a kid, but I can’t, and I readily admit it. Maybe someday if I find that right guy, but I’m getting older and soon my childbearing years will be a thing of the past. If I can have a child, well at least I can feel like my life hasn’t been wasted. Oh that sounds so…what’s the word…a little high and mighty maybe.
“But really. I can use the money and give you boys what you want. You don’t have to worry about me lookin’ you up later to get my kid back. There are no losers here. Only winners. And because the child will be a part of you, I would expect nothing less. I don’t want her – or him – to be a part of a broken home. You boys better love it. Oops. Sorry. Sounds like I am interviewing you. It’s just, I had it happen before but now I know my child is where she should be. I just want the same assurance. That’s all.”
“Don’t worry, all of our children will be very loved and wanted,” said Gavin. “We’re actually having them sooner because I want my grandparents around to meet them, so they will have extra layers of love.”
“Speaking of being around, said Akira, “because the plan is to have two pregnancies, you will be around for the infancy and maybe early toddler stage of at least one of the kids. How do you feel about that? And what are your thoughts on contact after our surrogacy agreement is completed?”
“Ohhh – wow,” said Candy, surprise showing on her face. “I get to see the kid? And maybe take care of it! Wow – just wow. I never dreamed I would ever see it – or them it seems. I would be honored to be around for a portion of their lives. I suppose I could introduce myself as their Auntie.”
“We’d have to figure out what they’d call you, “said Gavin with a chuckle. “Auntie may not work if one of them ends up looking like your clone.”
“Haha,” said Candy. “Some people look a lot like their Aunties, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It’s just the thought of spending time with them sounds really lovely. I mean, I get to see my little girl every now and then but it’s nothing formal. She was almost 5 years old when she went to live with my boss and his fiance. So she knew me but not well. We never bonded like we should have, but they have lots of love to give and a HUGE family. Together they have four children, now five with Dakota. So she is surrounded by family and every time I see them together she seems really happy.
“And grandparents! I am so happy my babies will have grandparents to love and spoil them and a sibling too! That’s awesome. As far as contact afterwards. I guess I will leave that up to you. If you want me to be a part of their lives, I will. If not, I will walk away knowing that they are loved. I mean I would know because I would have seen how well you love the first one which would certainly give me peace. And if it looks like you aren’t able to take care of the baby like it should be, you won’t get your second kid. Just sayin’.”
“Well, alright,” said Akira, exchanging a look with Gavin. “You have nothing to worry about Candace. We are more than able to take care of the babies you’ll have with each of us. Let’s switch gears a bit. Super random question, but what is your favorite season and why? Let your imagination run with this one.”
“Well, I guess time will tell,” said Candy. “You boys do seem nice enough. Sooo. My favorite season. I would say summer because it’s the busiest time at the bar and my tips are really good. It’s so sticky and hot down in Twinbrook in the summer that everyone goes where there’s cold brew and A/C – and a great bartender! Ha.
“But really,” she said with a sigh, “fall is my favorite. The air is cooler and the humidity is gone. Oh! And our fall festival has the best haunted houses and jack-o-lanterns.”
“My little girl…uh sorry…,” Candy said as she sniffed and got teary-eyed, “she dressed up like a fairy princess. I got see her for a few minutes. She and her soon to be brother were trick or treating and rang my doorbell. He was a super hero and was holding her little hand, showing her the ropes. You could tell he was taking his big brother duties very seriously. Plum. I wish I had had a brother or sister. Sorry – so yeah. Fall is the winner.”
“No need to apologize,” said Akira, “it just shows us how much you love your daughter even if you aren’t the one raising her. That’s very important to us, so thank you for saying more than just ‘fall’ as your answer.”
“Agreed” said Gavin. “So tell us, how do your traits and aspirations add up to you making a good surrogate?”
“Hmm,” began Candy as she considered the question. “Aspiration…? Well, I really love to cook. Maybe that’s one reason I am good at my job. Mixing drinks perfectly – knowing how to combine the flavors for that perfect drink and you know we don’t just serve drinks, sometimes we have to whip up a little sandwich or some fish-n-chips and Leroy – my boss – let’s me experiment a bit.
“So really, if I can ever save enough money I would love to go to culinary school, so I can help out in the kitchen while I am livin’ with you cute boys. Of course I am always in a good mood and ready to chat up anybody that will listen. Haha. I guess you can tell I like to talk. I guess that also makes me good at my job! So, it won’t be boring with me around – I can promise you that!
“And, you know I already said I didn’t want to try and raise my own kids alone. I just can’t see myself being a good mother alone. Maybe if I ever find the right man. Ahhh-well that is wishful thinking. The man I want won’t be comin’ into that dive that I work in so maybe this surrogate thing could be my ticket. Kill two (or three) birds with one stone. Get you boys your family and get me into culinary school and maybe I can meet a famous chef that will want to make babies with me. Yes. I might just commit to that.”
“Hehe,” laughed Akira, “I love the way your mind works. Well, if we decide to pick you, you have to let us know if you find that chef to settle down with in culinary school! That was our last question, Candy. Thanks so much for coming in. Before we let you go, do you have any questions for us or anything else to add?”
“Just that I think we can make beautiful babies together! I mean look at us,” said Candy. “We are already gorgeous. Well I may look a little too skinny but I just got that high metabolism thing goin’ on. But don’t fret, I eat like a horse and my baby girl was perfectly healthy. But you two hunks, mmm mmm! Yep – pretty and healthy babies. Thanks boys.”
Candy seemed like she was done, then she added, “and if you’re ever in Twinbrook, please drop by. Drinks are on me and maybe some mean fish-n-chips! But anyway, thanks again. I really think we could have fun and maybe I can get my happily ever after too. Know what I mean?”
“We know what you mean,” said Gavin. “And just so you know, there are some amazing culinary schools around here. If you prefer a small town feel, Willow Creek might appeal to you. Our world isn’t a bad place to start over, I’m just saying. It’s something you should consider if we don’t choose you to be the surrogate.”
“I’ll definitely consider it,” said Candy, on her way out of the room.