What is your role at Creative Family Connections?
I am one of 5 wonderful and supportive Case Managers. It’s my job to guide gestational surrogates and intended parents throughout the surrogacy journey, from their first video-conference meeting until post delivery support. I also help Samara and Suzanne on the Surrogate Recruiting team by traveling for in-home visits where I meet potential surrogate candidates and their families. Check out my full article on one of my favorite in-home trips!: https://www.creativefamilyconnections.com/day-life-surrogacy-case-manager-following-fall-foliage-massachusetts/
How did you first learn about Creative Family Connections?
I first learned about CFC over the years growing up since I am Diane’s daughter! She adopted me as a single parent and then later met my dad. I love being able to work closely with Diane every day!
How do you balance your career at Creative Family Connections and family?
I love the flexibility of being able to work from home, as well as a co-working office in Colorado Springs. Our in-home visits to meet potential surrogates are all over the country, so it’s great to have easy access to the Midwest and west coast! We have some very busy weeks, but it’s amazing to be able to prioritize both my work and my personal life with friends and family.
If you could pick one theme for Creative Family Connections to turn into a book about the company, what would it be?
“Sometimes it takes a village!” In addition to our team of 13, we work closely with so many important third-parties, like attorneys, insurance experts, and medical and mental health professionals.
If you could switch your job with anyone else within Creative Family Connections, whose job would you want?
I would love to be Niki for a day! Niki is one of our awesome Case Managers – She really has a unique perspective for supporting her cases because she was a surrogate for twins for an international couple! She is such an inspiring, goofy, smart lady!
What advice do you have for prospective Creative Family Connections intended parents?
My advice for intended parents in general would be to take things step-by-step and to stay super positive if you can! There are unexpected ups and downs that can happen in a surrogacy journey—Keeping a positive attitude is key! There are so many agencies out there nowadays that it’s really important to figure out what is most important to you in a surrogacy journey and in a surrogate. If you want a very personal, high-touch case manager and attorney team to help answer any and all questions (usually within 24 hours!), then CFC might be the perfect agency for you!
How would you describe your case management style?
Cheery, optimistic, and flexible. To support the lovely surrogates I work with, I try to be as accommodating and positive as possible. Keeping a positive attitude and staying patient through all the stages of the journey (even the more boring parts!) can be really crucial in everyone having a great journey! My emails definitely have a lot of smileys! 🙂
What do you find the most challenging at Creative Family Connections?
Even with all the technological advances in the past years, nature is still in control and has a way of its own. Egg retrievals and embryo creation do not always go well for intended parents for a variety of reasons. Those can be very sad and frustrating days, but all you can do is take a deep breath and keep going. Everyone has the same goal of helping start a family!
What do you like most about Creative Family Connections?
I love being able to really get to know some amazing, fabulous people over the course of a journey, which can be anywhere from 1.5-3 years from the surrogate’s in-home visit up until a few months post delivery! I also love being able to support our surrogates and intended parents emotionally. I’m here to listen and help!
What drew you to Creative Family Connections originally? And how has Creative Family Connections changed since?
I am truly Diane’s biggest fan and knew I wanted to be a part of this incredible company she has created. Our team has grown tremendously over the past years. Every team member brings their own unique strengths to the table.
What is on your wish list for the next 10 years with Creative Family Connections?
I would love our blog and writing presence online to grow over the years. We have so many amazing perspectives and stories that should be shared with anyone curious or passionate about surrogacy!
What is your proudest moment at Creative Family Connections?
From helping expand our Surrogacy Map (surrogacymap.com) in 2015, to capturing a great in-home visit in a blog post, to supporting new intended parents and new surrogates alike, there is a lot to be proud of! But what I’m most proud of are my fellow co-workers. I am honestly so impressed and proud of our team of hardworking, passionate, opinionated, and determined women!
Tell us a little bit about your life outside of Creative Family Connections.
I love living in Colorado Springs with so many close friends and family. I love yoga and meditation – I’m a certified teacher and teach occasionally. I love going on a hike somewhere I haven’t been before. I’m also a big hobby collector/nerd and love learning about wine, SCUBA, music… I take classical voice lessons regularly and used to play flute. I also love trying to keep up my French and Russian!