2024 | Family Makers

2024 Family Makers

© all rights resereved to babybloom

Table of Contents Introduction 8 Our Team 12 Our Families 22 The babybloom Community 166 Community Events 170 Daddy and Daddy Giraffes 184

Our Story 4 The story of babybloom begins with the story of one father’s journey. Our founder, Guy Tatsa, faced a mountain of challenges as he navigated the complexities of the surrogacy process, and so he decided to start his own company to make the journey easier for others. Established on the belief that everyone deserves a family, babybloom is committed to providing prospective parents with an enhanced pathway to parenthood, µ–±‹˜^±s–¿ʼnªsoµl‹™€ʼn±†sʼn±‹˜sĢʼn^™¾‹s±¿Ģʼn^™oʼnǙ^™l‹^–ʼn resources associated with the journey to building a family. As a father of three through surrogacy, Guy recognizes that every journey is different, and that every prospective parent will likely encounter unique needs and challenges. Therefore, babybloom's primary focus is to ensure that the surrogacy journey is as effortless and seamless as possible for its clients. Guy is personally invested in each parent’s journey with babybloom, encouraging an on-going dialogue that spans the surrogacy process and often extends into the child’s life. This is what makes babybloom so special: the support networks we build last a lifetime.

Our Mission 5 At babybloom, family is more than just a buzzword. It is our lifeblood; our sustenance; our inspiration. We take pride in sharing our vast knowledge of surrogacy, and we are dedicated to helping you realize your potential as parents. With a truly international team, we conduct conferences and one-on-one l›™«µ–±^±‹›™«ʼn½›ª–o½‹osĢʼn›sª‹™€ʼnǪ«±†^™oʼn insight into every procedural step and access to some of the industry's most prominent voices. Unique in the world of surrogacy, babybloom is a community. Our tight-knit, cohesive team provides a unique level of support, supervision, ^™oʼn«¿˜§^±†¿Ģʼns™«µª‹™€ʼn¿›µʼnjs™sDZʼnª›˜ʼn›µªʼn collective experience. We are committed to delivering a positive experience, with client satisfaction being the true measure of our success. Nothing makes us happier than when a couple returns to us for a second journey. Across cultural divides and geographical borders, transcending languages and time zones, our mission remains constant: to educate, assist and empower. We take time to understand the unique needs of each client. We have worked hard to build a network of globally minded service providers, ª^™€‹™€ʼnª›˜ʼnsª±‹–‹±¿ʼnl–‹™‹l«ʼn±›ʼnǙ^™l‹^–ʼn consultants and attorneys. This strategic outsourcing blends medical and legal excellence with cost-effectiveness, enabling us to craft a personalized service for each relationship. Our approach ensures consistent standards of s¾ls––s™lsʼn‹™ʼn›µªʼn«sª»‹ls«Ģʼn¿s±ʼnªs˜^‹™«ʼnÈs¾‹j–sʼn enough to incorporate meaningful value into every client relationship.

Our HQ 6 Although the entire surrogacy process occurs in the United States, founder Guy Tatsa's hometown ›ʼnJs–ʼn »‹»ʼn§–^¿«ʼn^ʼn«‹€™‹Çl^™±ʼnª›–sħʼnEsª»‹™€ʼn^«ʼnj›±†ʼn a unique backdrop for his life as a gay father of three and an apt starting point for babybloom’s surrogacy mission, Tel Aviv is a city at the forefront of liberal celebration. It stands as a global leader in championing LGBTQ rights and equality while also endorsing traditional family values. While our headquarters is in Tel Aviv, Guy has expanded our geographic footprint across continents. This expansion not only aims to source the most economical and effective fertility solutions, offering a seamless, cross-jurisdictional service, but also to provide the global gay community with essential information and tools for making informed decisions about the possibilities of surrogacy.

The Numbers 7 12 years of family making Over 130 twins, and 2 triplets Global families: Israel (the lab), United States, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Portugal, Sweden, Australia, The Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, China, Thailand, Switzerland, Austria and more. Surrogates in 38 States Over 600 families

Introduction 8 Dear babybloom community, Let me transport you back to 1984 in the city of Haifa. I was about 15, rushing frantically home from ˜¿ʼnjs«±ʼnª‹s™oʼn ˜‹ªī«ʼn†›µ«sħʼn3¿ʼn^lsʼn½^«ʼnȵ«†soĢʼn and my entire body was trembling. It was Memorial Day eve. As usual, we were chilling in Amir's room, gossiping about the girls in our class. I delved into a drawer brimming with letters and notes we had exchanged during endless hours of mind-numbing lessons, picking out the ones that would make us laugh the hardest. "I'm not sure if Guy is gay, but he's a really nice guy anyway," wrote Michelle, an exchange student from a Jewish school in Chile who had stayed with us recently. Amir quickly said, "I don't think you're like that, or I wouldn't be your friend." "How did this even come up?" I asked, pretending not to care. Amir shrugged it off, saying he didn’t remember, and suggested we head out to the kitchen for dinner. I told him I didn’t feel like eating and ran off home. That night, I locked myself in my room, crying and listening to George Michael on repeat. The next day was Memorial Day, and I remember doing my best to keep my distance from Amir. During the ceremony, we all marched around the schoolyard as the principal recited the names of the fallen. He noted that no school in Israel had lost so many of its former students, and urged us to march in sync with the rhythm – a gesture of respect to the families of the fallen soldiers who attended the ceremony. I may have tried to avoid him, but Amir wasn’t even looking for me, which drove me nuts. 'ʼn½^™±soʼn±›ʼnǙoʼn›µ±ʼn½†¿ʼn3‹l†s––sʼn†^oʼn½ª‹±±s™ʼn±†^±ʼn about me, and I had a hunch that he did ask her about it. But if the discussion about my gayness went beyond “Guy is gay” among the people I trusted, who should I be concerned about? That's what worried me as I walked alongside the girls who had always supported me.

9 After the ceremony, we squeezed onto the crowded bus back home. Dozens of kids packed in, jostling against each other whenever the bus stopped at a red light. All I wanted was to get home. The day after Memorial Day was Independence Day, which meant my mom had bought two cakes. Home was a cozy haven. My mom would serve slices of apple pie and poppy seed cake, and I would tell her lies to make her happy. And in the midst of that chaos on the bus, there was also Omer from the parallel class. I knew everything about him, having secretly stared at him for more than six months during recess. Swift glances quickly averted. I’d learned that Omer was the Israeli youth swimming champion, his parents were divorced, and he got straight As only (just like me), even in gym class (unlike me). He got an Outstanding Achievement Award at the 9th-grade graduation ceremony and went on stage just two minutes before they called my name. Omer wore yellow fabric trainers and lived on Givat Daon's street. He had honey-colored skin, slanted eyes, and red hair that always obscured his eyes. And though, during that period of my life, I couldn't conceive that the Israeli swimming champion (or anyone else for that matter) would take an interest in me, I couldn't help but notice that Omer's stunning eyes also looked away when they met mine. J†sʼnǪ«±ʼn±‹˜sʼn'ʼn±^–“soʼn±›ʼn6˜sªʼnªs˜^‹™«ʼns±l†soʼn vividly in my memory, as if time froze or as if it all happened just yesterday. Inside the noisy bus, surrounded by spiteful gazes, in white shirts adorned with "Yizkor" stickers, Omer suddenly appeared by my side. Soon, I discovered that while the herd danced to “Footloose,” Omer and I preferred “Windmills of Your Mind.” I discovered that not only was I aware of Omer's existence, but he knew of mine as well! It felt like a dream as Omer gently took hold of my hands with his larger ones, his golden hands enveloping my pale ones. He looked at me and said, "Hi Guy, I'm Omer." As if I didn't already know he was Omer… he's Omer, and this isn't a dream! I could feel his hands, and in that moment, it felt like time stood still. It was a moment I never thought I could even dare to dream of, a breathless moment that seemed to last a mere second and an entire lifetime all at once - hands within hands, radiating so much tenderness and strength.

10 The melody of "Windmills of Your Mind" drowned out any effeminate gesture I had ever been criticized for. It was 1984, and acceptance and compassion were simply nonexistent. In a moment of self-sabotage, I pulled my hands away from 6˜sªī«ʼn€ª^«§ħʼn ›ªʼn^ʼnÈss±‹™€ʼn«sl›™oĢʼn'ʼn€^Ãsoʼn‹™±›ʼn†‹«ʼn eyes, silently pleading for him to rescue me. But the moment was too short. Omer was disappointed, and I was left behind, deserted. ......... Fast forward almost 40 years. My eldest daughter, Ella, is nearly 15 years old, just like I was back then. David and Eitan are both ten years old. I'm happily married to Luci, who always comes back home way too late from his military duties. We visited our surrogate during Passover break, and Ella instantly clicked with Blake, her son who's currently studying Theater at Portland University. The boys had a blast feeding the alpacas in the yard and gathering fresh eggs from the chicken coop. They even played a game of baseball with Colton, the surrogate's youngest son, a towering giant standing at 1.95 meters tall. During the Easter break, babybloom celebrated the births of Ana, Eliot, Yannai, and Eitan with their respective fathers. As part of a storytelling workshop, nine heartwarming stories were written, narrating their incredible journeys. These stories are a testament to the love that brought these families together and shattered societal barriers. On the last day of the holiday season, over 200 families gathered for our annual picnic, celebrating the community we have become. The resources and steps required to establish a family through surrogacy are exceptionally extensive. It encompasses various stages such as selecting an egg donor, undergoing genetic, medical, psychological, and regulatory screenings for both donors and intended fathers, shipping sperm to the US, retrieving eggs, creating embryos, reviewing medical records, engaging in emotional Zoom calls, setting up a trust fund, numerous money transfers, undergoing psychological s»^–µ^±‹›™«ĢʼnǙ^–‹Ã‹™€ʼn–s€^–ʼnl›™±ª^l±«Ģʼn±ª^™«sªª‹™€ʼn the embryo to the surrogate, undergoing blood ±s«±«Ģʼn^™oʼnǙ^––¿ʼn–s±±‹™€ʼn›µ±ʼn^ʼn«‹€†ʼn›ʼnªs–‹sħʼnJ†s™ģʼn more blood tests, monitoring the fetal heartbeat, checking cervical transparency, undergoing NIPT and fetoprotein tests, undergoing ultrasound screenings, dealing with legal bureaucracy,

11 attending prenatal classes, traveling for the childbirth, meeting with the surrogate, experiencing the birth, dealing with passport procedures, and even going through a conversion to Judaism. And then it’s time to go back to your own lives. It’s an intricate process, but in the end, you will become parents, and we will be there with you, every step of the journey, until you too, are the best parents you can be. Wishing you a happy Pride, all year round, Guy Tatsa

Our Team What does it mean to be a Family Maker at babybloom?

14 “My dream has come true” Lilach Evrany, Family Maker at babybloom I've always had this dream of becoming a doctor, specializing in fertility and helping children. But life took me on a different path, and that «§sl‹Çlʼnoªs^˜ʼno‹o™ī±ʼn˜^±sª‹^–‹Ãsʼnķʼn^±ʼn–s^«±Ģʼn™›±ʼn^«ʼn'ʼn had initially envisioned. Throughout my adult life, I focused on project management, primarily in the tech industry, and –^±sªʼn›™ʼn‹™ʼn»^ª‹›µ«ʼn›±†sªʼnÇs–o«ħʼn3¿ʼn–^«±ʼn§ª›’sl±ʼn½^«ʼn with Guy [Tatsa], and after that, I began working at babybloom. And now, as I write these lines, almost nine years have passed… So, my dream did come true, just not in the exact way I had imagined. Each day, I have the incredible privilege of guiding people on their path to creating ^ʼn^˜‹–¿ħʼn'ʼnªsls‹»sʼn±†sʼn»sª¿ʼnǪ«±ʼn§‹l±µªs«ʼn›ʼn±†sʼn children seconds after they are born, and it feels as though I'm right there with them in the delivery room. I get photos of the children during holidays and birthdays over the years. I share in your excitement and accompany you throughout the entire journey, both before and after. And for that, I am truly grateful. Thank you all for your trust and granting me this privilege. Parenthood is an immense gift - a feeling that words can’t truly capture. I wish each and every one of you success on this path. Remember, everyone's journey is different, but in the end, each of you will experience that extraordinary moment in the delivery room and ^ʼn–‹s±‹˜sʼnǖ–soʼn½‹±†ʼn†^§§‹™s««ħ We're here to support you, providing guidance ½‹±†ʼnl›™Ços™lsĢʼnsÇl‹s™l¿Ģʼn^™oʼn^ʼnoso‹l^±soʼn commitment to ensuring your success on this journey.

15 "Moved by the sparkle in their eyes" Aviv Babor, Family Maker at babybloom “The babybloom family is looking for a Family Maker”. Two years ago, by pure chance, I came across a short job ad on Facebook. ±ʼn±†sʼn±‹˜sĢʼn'ʼn½^«ʼn’µ€€–‹™€ʼn±†sʼnǙ^–ʼn«±^€s«ʼn›ʼn˜¿ʼn M.A. in psychology, wrapping up my thesis, saying goodbye to my patients, and preparing to start my clinical internship. However, there was something about the term "family maker" that struck a chord deep within me. Now, two years down the line, having had the privilege of meeting incredible couples, some of whom have already begun their journey into parenthood, I am totally convinced that I made the right choice. For me, it is an immense honor to set out on this incredible journey alongside each and every one of you, to be moved by the sparkle in your eyes as you embark on this path. It brings me great joy to offer you comfort, knowledge, and experience that may ease your concerns. I celebrate with you after successful retrievals or transfers, and I am there oµª‹™€ʼn±†sʼno‹Çlµ–±ʼn^™oʼnl†^––s™€‹™€ʼn˜›˜s™±«Ģʼn providing support and guidance as we work together to reach our goal. Recently, I've been even prouder to work at babybloom. Not only am I a proud uncle to so many wonderful girls and boys, but I also feel the «‹€™‹Çl^™lsʼn›ʼn±†sʼnjª›^osªʼn‹˜§^l±ʼn½słªsʼn˜^“‹™€ʼn here more than ever before. Our mission extends beyond the establishment of same-sex parented families in Israel. We aim to cultivate a community that cherishes inclusivity and belonging. We are dedicated to ensuring that, in addition to our individual desires to build families, we do our utmost to create a world where our children can grow up in a society that is free, inclusive, and equal for all.

16 Ŀ »sª¿±†‹™€ʼn‹«ʼnǙsĢʼn–‹sʼn is beautiful, and we are allowed to enjoy it” Liron Nathan Levo, Family Maker at babybloom In 2014, my partner Matan and I came across babybloom during a surrogacy conference at the LGBTQ Center in Tel Aviv. While we talked with representatives from various companies, there was an indescribable quality about the people from babybloom that captivated us. Guy's personal story, which led to the establishment of babybloom, along with his experience and professional knowledge, and the passion of Or and Lilach to help build families, immediately won our trust. We had no doubt that we were in the right place. When our twins, Alma and Ivri, turned one, Guy approached me and asked if I would join the team and contribute to the sacred mission of guiding more and more people in creating new families. I still remember how excited I was that day, and I continue to experience that excitement each time a new family is born. Being surrounded by all these babies made me yearn for another child of our own, leading me on a personal journey while simultaneously managing the journeys of others. And that's how Nili came into our lives. The surrogacy process is undoubtedly complex, jµ±ʼn‹±ī«ʼn‹˜§›ª±^™±ʼn±›ʼnªs^l†ʼn±†sʼnǙ‹«†ʼn–‹™sʼn½‹±†ʼn^ʼn smile and a sense of well-being. After all, your child (or children) will soon arrive, and they will need you to be the best version of yourselves. So take a deep breath, look ahead, and remember ±†^±ʼns»sª¿±†‹™€ʼn‹«ʼnǙsĢʼn–‹sʼn‹«ʼnjs^µ±‹µ–Ģʼn^™oʼn½sʼn^ªsʼn allowed to enjoy it.

17 "A family of families” Ido Ratson, babybloom's Community Manager Five years ago, my spouse Michael and I had our Ǫ«±ʼn˜ss±‹™€ʼn½‹±†ʼnj^j¿j–››˜ħʼn6µªʼns–os«±ĢʼnMª‹Ģʼn was just three years old at the time, and despite the challenges we faced in our initial journey into parenthood, we held onto the dream of expanding our family. That meeting lasted nearly two hours, during which we delved into the professional process in the US, discussed costs, and weighed the risks and pros. But what truly stood out was the attitude. We felt truly seen – our needs, past challenges, fears, and dreams were acknowledged. In the most compassionate and loving way, ±†s¿ʼn€^»sʼnµ«ʼn±†sʼnl›™Ços™lsʼn±›ʼns˜j^ª“ʼn›™ʼn±†‹«ʼn incredible and challenging journey once again. And so, we expanded our family. Itamar joined us, and since then, we've become a family of four. But it's not just the growth of our nuclear family that has affected us. From the very beginning, babybloommade us feel like part of something bigger. We felt that our family was part of a community, and that babybloom is a family of families. As the pandemic gradually faded, so did the isolation, lockdowns, and social distancing. One day, my phone rang, and Guy was on the other end. We met in Yafo, and it was then that I was given the opportunity to become a part of the babybloom family, responsible for nurturing the spirit, fostering connections between people, organizing joyous events, and driving meaningful initiatives – essentially cultivating the babybloom community, which is one big family. What a joy it is to witness all our babybloom families coming together at the annual Tel Aviv Pride Picnic, the writing workshops, the mentorship meetings on Zoom, the host-a-family gatherings on Saturdays, the holiday toasts, the grandpa-grandma get-togethers, and all the other activities. I take huge pride in being a part of this beautiful community and eagerly look forward to µ–Ç––‹™€ʼn^––ʼn±†sʼnoªs^˜«ʼn^™oʼn§–^™«ʼn±†^±ʼn–‹sʼn^†s^oħ

“I realized I was part of something important” Orr Maoz, Family Maker at babybloom My name is Or Maoz, I'm 34 years old, married to Liron, and a proud father to Naama, Gefen, and Nitai. My journey with babybloom began when my brother Eyal and his partner Erez welcomed their o^µ€†±sªʼn6Ǫʼn‹™±›ʼn±†sʼn½›ª–oʼn±†ª›µ€†ʼnj^j¿j–››˜ħ Inspired by their experience, I decided to join the babybloom family and assist couples in realizing their dreams of parenthood. Having worked as a social worker for years, I discovered that my j^l“€ª›µ™oʼn‹™ʼn«›l‹^–ʼn½›ª“ʼn€ªs^±–¿ʼnjs™sDZsoʼn˜sʼn‹™ʼn the process of building families. This year, we organized a grandpa-grandma get-together, where couples involved in the process invited their extended families to gain a better understanding of the process. During this gathering, it dawned on me once again that I am part of something incredibly meaningful and important. I witnessed families becoming acquainted with the journey, connecting with it emotionally, being moved by it, and realizing they were in the hands of professionals. The gathering united two generations who looked forward to welcoming the next generation in their arms. It not only reinforced my conviction that joining babybloom was a momentous decision for me, but also strengthened my sense of solidarity with the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ equality and everyone's right to become parents. I am grateful to all of you for allowing me to be a §^ª±ʼn›ʼn«†^§‹™€ʼn¿›µªʼn–‹»s«ʼn^™oʼnµ–Ç––‹™€ʼn¿›µªʼnoªs^˜«ʼn of starting a family. 18

"Moved by the sparkle in their eyes" Amit Haim Cafri, Family Maker at babybloom I'm Amit Haim Cafri, Or's partner for the past ten years, and together we’re the proud parents of Ella, our own home-bred ninja. J†sʼnj‹ª±†ʼn›ʼn ––^ʼn^™oʼn±†sʼnǪ«±ʼns½ʼn˜›™±†«ʼn½sªsʼn ǖ–soʼn½‹±†ʼnl†^––s™€s«Ģʼnjµ±ʼn½sʼn^lsoʼn±†s˜ʼn±›€s±†sªʼn and found joy in the family we created. We cherish every milestone in Ella's development - her smiles, laughter, love for music, food, and our family trips. I feel fortunate to be a part of the babybloom family, where I can put into practice the values and principles I've held dear throughout my life, especially given the current political climate in Israel. Being a "family maker" is a unique and thrilling role. I guide couples through a journey of ˜µ–±‹§–sʼn«±^€s«Ģʼn^™oʼn‹™ʼn±†sʼns™oĢʼn±†s¿ʼnµ–Ç––ʼn±†s‹ªʼn dreams and become parents. It's exciting to witness the growth of the babybloom community, participate in community events, and, above all, develop deep connections with the incredible couples I accompany. I believe that this journey is a microcosm of life ‹±«s–Ģʼnǖ–soʼn½‹±†ʼns˜›±‹›™^–ʼn†‹€†«ʼn^™oʼn’›¿«Ģʼnjµ±ʼn^–«›ʼn challenges. It demands patience, mutual support, optimism, and occasionally, the ability to let go of the need for control. It's a lot of fun to serve as an ambassador of sorts, both for those who are interested in and enthusiastic about what unfolds at babybloom, and for those who approach the process with excitement, but also with some hesitation and concern. 19


Thank you for choosing us to lead you on the path to building a family

Our Families

25 Who Are We? Barak (39, architect), Idan (40, architect), Dylan (6.5), and Arya (4.5), born in Oregon. Family Moment When they call us from a distance, "Daddyyyyy," who are they calling to? Isn't it confusing for them, too? People have labeled them as "carbon copies" of each of us, but in the end, it doesn't really matter to the kids. They have two daddies who love them, and that's what really counts. When I go to pick up Arya from kindergarten, her friends peek through the window and shout, "Arya, Abba Baraki is here!" while Dylan’s pals shout from the yard, "Dylan, Abba Idani is here!" In these everyday and unassuming moments, we realize that this is our gift and contribution to society. Tip for Future Travelers ›™ī±ʼn±^“sʼns¾±s™osoʼn^˜‹–¿ʼn½‹±†ʼn¿›µĤʼnW›µĢʼn^«ʼn§^ªs™±«Ģʼn^ªsʼns™±‹ªs–¿ʼn«µÇl‹s™±ħʼn Stay positive and optimistic. Your children are on their way, and it's the greatest gift the world can offer. We're here with you every step of the way. Good luck! The Agiv-Hindi Family

27 Who Are We? Danny (38, computer engineer), Yitzhak (39, architect), and Van (1 month old), born in Eugene, Oregon. Family Moment Van surprised us by arriving unexpectedly through a cesarean section in the 37th week. The moment Van emerged was truly magical, encapsulating our physical and mental journey of the past two and a half years. It made us realize that while one journey had come to an end, a new one was just beginning. Tip for Future Travelers Remember to enjoy the journey, and make plenty of room in your heart, because you’re about to fall in love head over heels. J†sʼn –Ç¿^ķ ‹±›™ʼn ^˜‹–¿

29 Who Are We? Yaniv (42, hair salon owner), Tomer (41, product manager at Meta), Leon (2 years and seven months old, wants to be a tractor driver), and Harel (1 year and two months old, won't eat anything but bread), born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment Dancing together in the living room to "Happy Birthday" because it's Leon's favorite song. Tip for Future Travelers Take a very deep breath, and enjoy the journey together. The Alon-Chen Family

Who Are We? Liran (47, marketing and advertising manager for radio stations), Yuval (44, entrepreneur, writer, lecturer for youth and adults, and volunteers with children), W^†s–ʼnijēʼn¿s^ª«ʼn^™oʼnÇ»sʼn˜›™±†«ʼn›–oĴʼnj›ª™ʼn‹™ʼnA›ª±–^™oĢʼn6ªs€›™Ģʼn^™oʼnE^†^ªʼnijďĴʼn born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment We made the decision to sleep in the same bed and got ourselves a 2x2 bed for our new apartment. There's this magical moment every night when we all crawl into bed at the same time, close the door to our room and shout, "The love box is closed!" It's our way of saying that wherever we are, when we're all together, it becomes a safe and loving space. We have fun, laugh, say a prayer and wish each other goodnight. This is the moment we've been eagerly waiting for our entire lives. Tip for Future Travelers babybloom will make your family dream come true. Listen, trust and always be prepared for surprises that happen along the way. In the end, one thing is certain – you'll become parents. The Altman-Kadury Family 31

Who Are We? Guy (45, CEO of Hapoel Be'er Sheva Football Club), Orna (43, psychiatrist), Avigail (9.5), Alona (7.5), born in Israel, and Ari (1 year and 9 months old), born in Meridian, Idaho. Family Moment During the pandemic, we successfully navigated the most exciting, bonding, joyful, and meaningful adventure as a family: the trip to Ari's birth, meeting Ashley the surrogate and her family, and a family trip to the US. Tip for Future Travelers You need to be very patient - because it's all worth it in the end. And at Meridian Hospital, you can order room service for free! The Arad-Primor Family 33

Who Are We? Erez (45, piano teacher), Zivan (43, MD), Renen (3), and Nuri (7 months), both born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans. We had everything planned out: we’d get there two weeks before Nuri's birth, which would allow Renen to meet his surrogate, Robin, and get familiar with the idea of having a baby brother. But then Nuri decided to arrive earlier than expected. While we were on a plane to Idaho, Robin went into the delivery room. The next morning, Renen woke up to the sight of his adorable little brother (although he ½^«™ī±ʼn«›ʼn«µªsʼn^j›µ±ʼn†‹«ʼn^o›ª^j–s™s««ʼn^±ʼnǪ«±Ģʼn†sī«ʼn«‹™lsʼnl†^™€soʼn†‹«ʼn˜‹™oĴħ Tip for Future Travelers Don’t neglect your relationship in the process. The intensity of the project can easily push aside a couple's togetherness if you don't make space for it. J†sʼn »‹^oķ ssªʼn ^˜‹–¿ 35

Who Are We? Shmulik (46, hair stylist) and Ray (2 years and 3 months old), born in Idaho. Family Moment 'ʼnªs˜s˜jsªʼn±†sʼnǪ«±ʼn§^ªs™±ķ±s^l†sªʼn˜ss±‹™€ʼn^±ʼn“‹™osª€^ª±s™ħʼn When they talked about Ray, I welled up. Tip for Future Travelers Be optimistic, take a deep breath, and enjoy your alone time because that’s about to drastically change soon. Most importantly, trust and believe in the person that’s managing your process. The Aseo Family 37

Who Are We? Meir (40, IT support specialist), Alex (39, human resources and event producer), Rafael and Rotem (seven months old), born in Takoma, Washington. Family Moment The most emotional moment was being present in the delivery room. Seeing your children come into the world is an extraordinary experience. Also, the homecoming to Israel when our family and friends waited for us at the airport, showering us with hugs and love. Tip for Future Travelers Be in this together, love one another, and enjoy this huge, exciting experience. The Avraham-Dreishner Family 39

Who Are We? Yuval (30, literature and geography teacher), Ori (38, homeroom and biology teacher), and Carmel (two months old, busy with personal development), born in Medford, Oregon. Family Moment Our family moment happens each night when the lights are dimmed, energies settle, and Carmel finally closes her eyes, giving us some much-needed alonecouple time. But our first encounter with Carmel was the most exciting moment of all. Tip for Future Travelers Meet and connect with the surrogate and her family before giving birth - it gives an added meaning to the experience. The Bar-Givoni Family 41

Who Are We? Ilan (42, IT manager), Eran (41, process engineer in microelectronics), and Adam (5, in kindergarten), born in Wallowa County, Oregon. Family Moment One of the most moving and proud moments was eavesdropping on Adam and his friends. When they asked him where his mom was, he explained in a simple and natural way that he doesn't have a mom and that he has two dads. Tip for Future Travelers sʼn§^±‹s™±Ģʼn€›ʼn½‹±†ʼn±†sʼnț½Ģʼn^o^§±Ģʼns˜jª^lsĢʼn^™oʼnls–sjª^±sʼns»sª¿ʼn«±^€sʼn in the process. Understand that sometimes you need to let go, because you can’t control everything. J†sʼn ^Ãs–ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 43

Who Are We? Shimon (36, government employee), Dudi (37, insurance agent), ^™oʼn ª¿^ʼnijĎĴĢʼnj›ª™ʼn‹™ʼnE§ª‹™€Çs–oĢʼn6ªs€›™ħʼn Family Moment J†sʼno^¿ʼn ª¿^ʼnǪ«±ʼn«^‹oʼnĪ ^oo¿Īħ Tip for Future Travelers Enjoy every moment of the journey. J†sʼn s™ʼnZ^“s™ķ ›†s™ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 45

Who Are We? Itai (52, architecture and design, owner of Nof64 Villa Project), Raz (47, PhD, musical director and producer at the The Chamber Music Center in Tel Aviv), and Dror (2 years and three months old), born in Medford, Oregon. Family Moment †››«‹™€ʼn±›ʼn€›ʼn^€^‹™ʼn½‹±†ʼnj^j¿j–››˜ʼn±›ʼnjª‹™€ʼn^ʼn«‹j–‹™€ʼn›ªʼn ª›ªĢʼn^™oʼn±†sʼnǪ«±ʼn±‹˜sʼn he called us "Daddy." Tip for Future Travelers This process requires calmness, maturity, and stability. The weeks following the birth are crucial in building the bond between parents and the child, ^™oʼnlª‹±‹l^–ʼn›ªʼnjµ‹–o‹™€ʼn±†sʼnl†‹–oī«ʼn±s˜§sª^˜s™±ħʼnE§sl‹Çl^––¿Ģʼn the birth process with a surrogate in the US allows parents what is not usually possible in natural births in Israel - an extended period of time with the child without “background noise.” Take advantage of this opportunity to build the bonds with your child and each other, and enjoy the calm and quiet environment, despite the challenges. J†sʼn ‹™¿^˜‹™‹ķ1s½‹™ʼn ^˜‹–¿ʼn 47

Who Are We? Omri (35, box designer), Tal (47, teacher), and Aviv (2), born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment j›µ±ʼn±½›ʼn˜›™±†«ʼn^€›Ģʼn›µªʼn±½›ķ¿s^ªķ›–oʼno^µ€†±sªʼn »‹»ʼn«^‹oʼn›ªʼn±†sʼnǪ«±ʼn±‹˜sĢʼn "I love Daddy and Daddy." It's a moment we’ll always remember. Tip for Future Travelers Don't hesitate - it's worth it all! J†sʼn –^««ķDs‹™†›ª™ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 49

Who Are We? Idan (39, Capoeira instructor), Honi (33, hair stylist and works at the Loewenstein Rehabilitation Hospital), and Arya (18 months), born in Edinburg, Texas. Family Moment ª¿^ł«ʼnǪ«±ʼnj‹ª±†o^¿ʼnls–sjª^±‹›™ħ Tip for Future Travelers Lots of patience, and make the most of your sleeping hours. J†sʼn ››«“‹–^ķE†^†o‹ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 51

Who Are We? Or (32, product manager at a startup), Amit (30, Family Maker at babybloom), and Ella (1 year and two months old), born Tel Aviv. Family Moment Every morning starts with the kids’ song "In one bed, not so big, three playful trolls go tralalala." Tip for Future Travelers You have chosen to embark on a journey that is a perfect spoiler for what’s to come – on the one hand, the need to be in control and complete certainty, and on the other - learning that life can get a little more complicated than that. So, think positive, use your intuition, and take care of your partner. Soon, you'll hold your child, and undoubtedly, ¿›µł––ʼnǙoʼn›µ±ʼn±†^±ʼn–‹sʼn‹«ʼn’µ«±ʼnjs€‹™™‹™€ħʼn ››oʼn–µl“Ĥ The Cafri Family 53

Who Are We? Gil (43, analyst at Maccabi Healthcare Services), Danny (42, VP of Sales), and Maya (2 years and 8 months old), born in Pocatello, Idaho. Family Moment Our daughter was born during the height of the global pandemic, so we spent many weeks alone as a new nuclear family ijǪ«±ʼn‹™ʼn±†sʼnMEʼn^™oʼn±†s™ʼn©µ^ª^™±‹™soʼn›ªʼn±½›ʼn½ss“«ʼn‹™ʼn'«ª^s–Ĵħʼn J†›«sʼn˜›˜s™±«ʼn½†s™ʼn3^¿^ʼnǙ^––¿ʼn€›±ʼn±›ʼn˜ss±ʼn†sªʼnµ™l–s«Ģʼn aunts, and grandparents were priceless - we will never forget them. Tip for Future Travelers Let go of the need to control everything, and remember that each process is different, and every couple has unique challenges. In the end, great happiness awaits. The journey of parenting is much more challenging, but enjoyable! The Chen Family 55

Who Are We? µo‹ʼnijĐĔĢʼn›Çlsʼn½›ª“sªĴĢʼn ™^s–ʼnijďħđĴĢʼn^™oʼnAª‹s–ʼnijĐʼn˜›™±†«ʼn›–oĴĢʼn both born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment The birth, of course! It was the most powerful moment ever. You instantly become a role player, with the star player arriving in a tiny package and maximum impact. Tip for Future Travelers Learn to let go! Don't get stuck trying to understand and control everything. The Cohen Family 57

Who Are We? Oren (39, training manager at an insurance company), Almog (33, learning manager at an insurance company), Iyar (4.5), and Afek (1 year and nine months old), both born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment Afek and Iyar were both born to our surrogate Adel. We will never forget our family trip with Iyar to witness the birth of Afek. Seeing Adel again after three years was emotional beyond words. Tip for Future Travelers Keep positive, and understand that the surrogacy process involves many stages and variables. Enjoy every stage, understand each variable in the process, and be patient and optimistic – in the end, everyone becomes happy parents. The Cohen-Amram Family 59

Who Are We? Nir (45, art curator), Itay (44, chemical engineer), Libby (4), and Yarden (1 year and six months old), both born in Roseburg, Oregon. We live in Tel Aviv. Family Moment When Yarden was born, due to COVID restrictions, Libby couldn't »‹«‹±ʼn±†sʼn†›«§‹±^–ʼn½^ªoħʼnE›ʼn±†s‹ªʼnǪ«±ʼns™l›µ™±sªʼn½^«ʼn±†ª›µ€†ʼn^ʼn½‹™o›½ʼn at the end of the hallway. She waited to meet him, brimming with excitement, wrapped in a coat in the cold of January. Their meeting was incredibly warm and emotional. Since then, they’ve been amazing siblings to each other. Tip for Future Travelers Even if the journey seems long and sometimes unpredictable, remember that in the end, you'll have the child you dreamed of, and it will all be worth it. The Cohen-Harmat Family 61

Who Are We? E†‹ª^™ʼnijďĕĢʼns–s˜s™±^ª¿ʼn«l†››–ʼn§ª‹™l‹§^–ĴĢʼn ªsÃʼnijďēĢʼnǙ^™l‹^–ʼn›ÇlsªĴĢʼn o^˜ʼn^™oʼn6ǪʼnijĎħđʼn¿s^ª«ʼn›–oĴĢʼnj›ª™ʼn‹™ʼn –ʼnA^«›ĢʼnJs¾^«ħʼn Family Moment From the moment the little ones started talking, they have been expanding their vocabulary on a daily basis. It's exciting and surprising to hear words and expressions, and we also wonder where they know them from at all… Tip for Future Travelers You are embarking on a personal and couple journey. Talk it through, embrace it, and get ready for the craziest and most amazing roller coaster ride you’ll ever experience. The Dagan Family 63

Who Are We? Michael (42, an educator, 10th Grade Level Coordinator and Hebrew teacher at Leo Baeck High School in Haifa), Ido (45, musician, life coach, and babybloom’s community manager), Uri (9, fourth grade student), born in Thailand, and Itamar (3.5), born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment U†s™ʼnMª‹ʼn½^«ʼn«s»s™ʼn^™oʼn'±^˜^ªʼn½^«ʼn±½›Ģʼn½sʼnÈs½ʼn±›ʼn±†sʼnMEʼn±›ʼn»‹«‹±ʼn›µªʼnjs–›»soʼn Monica, the surrogate, and her family. The time we spent together was meaningful and emotional, and brought us all closer together. Since then, when Itamar proudly tells everyone that he has two dads and that he grew in Monica's belly, he connects the story to the renewed meeting we had with Monica, and has a better understanding of the journey. Tip for Future Travelers Understand that the process can get complex and challenging, and remember to approach it with patience, acceptance, and compassion. Because in the end, the dream comes true, and something really good begins. J†sʼn ›–‹™€sªķD^±«›™ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 65

Who Are We? '±Ã‹“ʼnijďĔĢʼn«±›ªsʼn˜^™^€sªĴĢʼnD^ÇʼnijĐďĢʼn§ª›ls««ʼns™€‹™ssªĴĢʼn ^¿^ʼn^™oʼn1s»‹ʼnijčʼn¿s^ªʼn^™oʼnÇ»sʼn˜›™±†«ʼn›–oĴĢʼn born in Roseburg, Oregon. We live in Be'er Sheva. Family Moment We are exactly at a stage where every day brings countless ™s½ʼns¾§sª‹s™ls«ʼnĶʼn™s½ʼn½›ªo«ĢʼnǪ«±ʼn«±s§«Ģʼn±†sʼn›j«s««‹›™ʼn±†s¿łªsʼn developing for "Daddy and Daddy" (they won't go to anyone else... but of course, deep down, we love it). And we can’t wait for what’s to come! Tip for Future Travelers Treasure every moment and enjoy the whole crazy journey... be there for each other and take things as they come. The Edry-Peleg Family 67

Who Are We? Yair (45, clinical psychologist), Itzik (38, civil engineer), and Avigail (3), born in Texas. Family Moment »sª¿ʼn˜›˜s™±ʼn‹«ʼn˜s^™‹™€µ–Ģʼns«§sl‹^––¿ʼn½†s™ʼn‹±ī«ʼn¿›µªʼnǪ«±ʼnl†‹–oģʼn every discovery is exciting - how to change a diaper, how to bathe, how to put to sleep, how not to break our precious little one every time we touch them... but through all the mistakes we've made and will make, we realize that we're building our family, with all the challenges and joys that come with it. Tip for Future Travelers Take a deep breath, trust yourselves, and be organized. At the end of the road, the child will arrive. The Elias-Fromer Family 69

Who Are We? Tal (37, CPA), Noam (50, architect), Omer and Alon (3), born in Quincy, Washington. Family Moment The kids’ meeting with the surrogate and her husband when they came to visit us in Israel. We were all so happy and excited. The children greeted them with love, and we spent a week full of great experiences. Tip for Future Travelers Do not forget that on the other side of this, there is a family and a woman who’s doing so much for you. It is not easy for her, ^™oʼn«›˜s±‹˜s«ʼn‹±ʼn‹«ʼno‹Çlµ–±ʼn›ªʼn†sªʼn±›ʼn^™±‹l‹§^±sʼn±†sʼn§^‹™ʼn›ʼn separation after birth. Make sure to give her lots of love. The Elkabets-Kibari Family 71

Who Are We? Yoav (47, music producer and DJ), Lilach (43, Family Maker at babybloom), »‹»ʼnijďħđĴĢʼnj›ª™ʼn‹™ʼnJs–ʼn »‹»Ģʼns¾ls–«ʼn‹™ʼn^ª±«ʼn^™oʼnlª^±«ʼn^™oʼnț›ªʼns¾sªl‹«s«ħʼn Family Moment Every single day spent with Aviv feels like witnessing a miracle of nature. Watching her grow and develop her own distinct personality, language and insights. She has this incredible ability to teach us something new each day, and it's a privilege that leaves us at a loss for words. Tip for Future Travelers Remember that it's a journey, and every journey is different. Enjoy your own path, be positive and optimistic. Your children are on their way, and it's the greatest gift the world can offer. We're here to support you every step of the way. Best of luck! The Evrany-Arnon Family 73

Who Are We? Nadav (43, architect), Tal (39, real estate lawyer), and Yotam (5.5), born in Canada. Family Moment Yotam's surrogate is getting married, and we have all been invited to the wedding. The excitement is skyrocketing! Tip for Future Travelers »s™ʼn‹ʼn‹±ʼn«ss˜«ʼn–‹“sʼn^ʼn–›™€ʼn^™oʼno‹Çlµ–±ʼn§ª›ls««Ģʼn the result is worth every hurdle. J†sʼn ªs«“›ķ –s‹l†sªʼn ^˜‹–¿ 75

Who Are We? Yarin (37, engineer) and Alma (9 months), born in Boston, Massachusetts. Family Moment Four in the morning, when the nurse entered the room and announced: "It's happening!" Within a few minutes, Alma was in my arms, and my heart exploded. I became a father, and it was an incredible feeling. Tip for Future Travelers Take a breath and try to enjoy this special process. »sª¿ʼn«±^€sʼn¿›µʼn€›ʼn±†ª›µ€†ʼn‹«ʼns¾l‹±‹™€ʼn^™oʼnǖ–soʼn½‹±†ʼn^™±‹l‹§^±‹›™ħʼn E›˜s±‹˜s«ʼn‹±ł––ʼnjsʼno‹Çlµ–±ʼn^™oʼn«l^ª¿Ģʼn^™oʼn¿›µł––ʼnss–ʼn^«ʼn±†›µ€†ʼn¿›µʼn †^»sʼn™›ʼnl›™±ª›–Ģʼnjµ±ʼn‹™ʼn±†sʼns™oĢʼn^ʼn–‹±±–sʼnj^j¿ʼn^½^‹±«ʼn±›ʼnǖ–ʼn¿›µªʼn†s^ª±ʼn½‹±†ʼn’›¿ħ J†sʼn ^™›™ʼn ^˜‹–¿ʼn 77

Who Are We? Nimrod (37, architect), Barak (36, international relations manager), and Aviv (one week old), born in Texas. Family Moment Usʼn†›§§soʼn›™ʼn^™ʼns^ª–¿ʼnȋ€†±ʼn^™oʼn^ªª‹»soʼn’µ«±ʼn‹™ʼn±‹˜sʼn^±ʼn±†sʼn†›«§‹±^–ħʼn After 20 minutes, Aviv was with us, and our lives changed forever. Tip for Future Travelers Patience, optimism, and a lot of work on managing expectations in your relationship. J†sʼn ^±s™¿›ķ6–‹™“¿ʼn ^˜‹–¿ʼn 79

Who Are We? Assaf (41, CPA, works at a bank), Tzion (38, Grade Level Coordinator ^™oʼnĔ±†ʼn€ª^osʼn†›˜sª››˜ʼn±s^l†sªĴĢʼnJ^˜^ªʼnijĐĢʼnǪ«±ʼn¿s^ªʼn‹™ʼn“‹™osª€^ª±s™ĴĢʼn and Rotem (9 months old, crawls everywhere), both born in Idaho. Family Moment Two weeks after Tamar's birth, our surrogate suggested that we go through the process again together. It took some time (and a global pandemic), but it happened! Tip for Future Travelers This is a marathon, not a sprint. It's long and tiring, but it happens in the end, ^™oʼn‹±ī«ʼn«›ʼnµ–Ç––‹™€ħ J†sʼn#^¿^“ķ1sª™sªʼn ^˜‹–¿ 81

Who Are We? Yuval (social worker), Kobi (dentist), Maayan (15, born in Tel Aviv), and Yaara (4, born in Boise, Idaho). Family Moment There is no shortage of emotional and challenging moments. They happen every day. But most of all - the “good nights” and “good mornings, it's time to wake up!” Tip for Future Travelers Remember what Gandalf told Frodo: “Do not despair! For despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt.” The Horwitz-Farber Family 83

Who Are We? Ze'ev (47, homeroom teacher and Grade Level Coordinator) and Eitan (2 months old), born in Oklahoma. Tip for Future Travelers P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E. Things naturally go awry or don't always go according to plan. Save a substantial sum of money because there are always unexpected costs. You can go it alone - it’s hard, sometimes really hard, but possible. The Katz Family 85

Who Are We? Gili (48, kindergarten teacher), Naomi and Noah (5), born in the US. Family Moment It's not just a moment, it's a phase where our children grew up and became little individuals. The conversations, the arguments, the laughter - everything has gotten so much more interesting. It’s truly a pleasure to witness it. Tip for Future Travelers It's more than just a moment; it's a phase where our children have grown up and developed into unique individuals. The conversations, the arguments, the laughter – everything has become much more engaging. It's truly a pleasure to witness this transformation. The Kedmi Family 87

Who Are We? Elad (38, product designer), Alon (33, product manager), and Roi (1 year and four months old), born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment Usʼnls–sjª^±soʼnD›‹ł«ʼnǪ«±ʼnj‹ª±†o^¿ʼn½‹±†ʼn›µªʼns¾±s™osoʼn^˜‹–‹s«ʼnķʼn ‹±ʼn½^«ʼn^ʼn€››oʼn›§§›ª±µ™‹±¿ʼn±›ʼnls–sjª^±sʼn±†sʼn’›µª™s¿ʼn^™oʼn±†sʼnǪ«±ʼn¿s^ªʼn›ʼn parenthood, especially since we celebrated Roi’s birth alone in the US. For his birthday, we made a "The Very Hungry Caterpillar” cake - one of Roi's favorite books. Tip for Future Travelers Surround yourself with people you trust and will be there for you at every stage of the process, from family and friends to reliable professionals. It's hard to go through this alone but in the end, it's worth every moment. The Koren Family 89

Who Are We? 6ǪʼnijďĐĢʼn†‹€†ķ±sl†ʼn§ª›s««‹›™^–ĴĢʼn s™ʼnijďĎĢʼn†‹€†ķ±sl†ʼn§ª›s««‹›™^–ĴĢʼn and Adam (8 months old), born in San Diego, California. Family Moment Our amazing surrogate, Nicole, allowed us to be in the room during the birth and see Adam coming into the world. We were fortunate to be present in this emotional and powerful moment. Usł––ʼn™s»sªʼn›ª€s±ʼn±†sʼnǪ«±ʼn±‹˜sʼn½sʼn†s–oʼn o^˜ʼn‹™ʼn›µªʼn^ª˜«ħ Tip for Future Travelers This is a long journey with plenty of ups and downs. Keep up your optimism, and take things step by step. J†sʼn1^»‹ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 91

Who Are We? o‹ʼnijĐēĢʼn‹™±sª‹›ªʼnos«‹€™sªĴĢʼn3^›ªʼnijĐčĢʼnȋ€†±ʼn«sª»‹lsʼn˜^™^€sªʼn^±ʼn –ʼn –ĴĢʼn Yuval (11), born in Israel through shared parenting, and Ivri (1 year and eight months old), born in Boise, Idaho. Tip for Future Travelers Enjoy the rollercoaster - the result is worth it all. . J†sʼn1s»ķD^Ãʼn ^˜‹–¿ 93

Who Are We? Tomer (41, psychotherapist and couples & family therapist), Doron (35, interior designer), Yanai (4.5), Imri and Zoey (1 year and two months old), born in Sioux City, Iowa. Family Moment During a photoshoot for the Kfar Saba family album, Doron brought a picnic basket from a nearby café. Everything melted, spilled, and got messy; it was hotter than we thought it would be. Imri and Zoey loved the idea and crawled all over the food, and wouldn’t stop howling when we picked them up. Yanai wanted grape juice and cried when he got OJ. These are our family moments, and the photo captured one moment of relative sanity. Tip for Future Travelers Remember that each stage in life brings its own magic. Waiting is a stage in itself with great moments - cherish them because there will surely be moments that are less "picture-perfect". Oh, and if the kid wants grape juice, give them grape juice. Take our word for it… J†sʼn1s»™sªķ Ã^ª¿^ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 95

Who Are We? Lior (42, CPA), Izhar (47, lawyer), and Libby (4), born in Portland, Oregon. Family Moment Last Passover, we went for a family vacation up north. We suddenly felt how much Libby had grown and how much we’d grown with her. We have been creating our own family with our unique language, experiences, jokes, moments, and memories. Suddenly, there’s a family history. It was a priceless moment when we locked eyes and understood that we were all interconnected... Tip for Future Travelers Even if you sometimes feel lost or that you’ve made a mistake, remember that part of the adventure is getting lost, and let the journey guide you to your destination. J†sʼn1s»¿ķ3‹«±ª‹s–ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 97

Who Are We? ¿^–ʼnijĐČĢʼn§†›±›€ª^§†sªĴĢʼnE†^™‹ʼnijďĕĢʼnDZ™s««ʼn±ª^‹™sªĴĢʼn 3^¿^ʼn^™oʼn4›^˜ʼnijčʼn¿s^ªʼn^™oʼnÇ»sʼn˜›™±†«ʼn›–oĴĢʼnj›ª™ʼn‹™ʼn ›‹«sĢʼn'o^†›ħʼn Family Moment s–sjª^±‹™€ʼn›µªʼno^µ€†±sª«īʼnǪ«±ʼnj‹ª±†o^¿ʼn^±sªʼn^ʼn»sª¿ʼn–›™€ʼn§ª›ls««Ģʼn ^ʼn±›µ€†ʼn§ªs€™^™l¿ʼn^™oʼno‹Çlµ–±ʼnj‹ª±†ģʼn^™oʼn«ss‹™€ʼn›µªʼn–‹±±–sʼn›™s«ʼn grow healthy and happy - it melts our hearts every day. We take nothing for granted. J†sʼn1s«“ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 99

Who Are We? Zohar (38, high-tech professional), Shimi (33, high-tech professional), ^™oʼn3‹–‹ʼnijčʼn¿s^ªʼn^™oʼnÇ»sʼn˜›™±†«ʼn›–oĴĢʼnj›ª™ʼn‹™ʼn ›–›ª^o›ħʼn Family Moment The moment when Mili came into the world was the most emotional moment in our lives. It was a joy to share it with the woman who did something so amazing for us. J†sʼn1‹osª˜^™ķE†s˜s«†ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 101

Who Are We? Yaki (43, child and adolescent psychiatrist), Ariel (38, gynecologist), Alma (3.5), and Maya (1 year and six months old), both born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment We heard Alma explaining our family to her sister as "Daddy Yaki, Daddy Ariel, Alma, and Maya." It was an incredible experience that made every challenge worthwhile. Tip for Future Travelers Lean into the process and its complexities. Not everything can be controlled. Patience is key, because everything eventually falls into place. Try to enjoy the journey and navigate through it together, in both the good moments and the challenging ones. J†sʼn3^o‹ķ ‹˜§s–ʼn ^˜‹–¿ 103

Who Are We? Adam (37, set designer), Dan (38, nurse), and Anna (1 month old), born in Texas. Family Moment We landed about a week before the planned birth, and immediately met with our very cool surrogate at a café for brunch. From there, we all went to a prearranged doctor’s appointment for an ultrasound, but they decided to admit us immediately and move forward with the birth. We waited another 24 hours until Anna decided to make her entrance. Ess‹™€ʼn†sªĢʼn†›–o‹™€ʼn†sªʼn›ªʼn±†sʼnǪ«±ʼn±‹˜sĢʼn^™oʼnlµ±±‹™€ʼn±†sʼnµ˜j‹–‹l^–ʼnl›ªoĵ it's an incredible experience that made every challenge worthwhile. Tip for Future Travelers The stay in the US is long and very challenging in the days following the birth. Our parents came to the rescue, which was both moving and very helpful. The Madorsky-Keller Family 105

Who Are We? Liron (33, operations and procurement manager at the New Israel Fund), Orr (34, Family Maker at babybloom), Naama (5.5), Gefen (3.5), and Nitai (2), born in Jerusalem. Tip for Future Travelers Ds˜s˜jsªʼn±†^±ʼn^™ʼns»s™ʼn˜›ªsʼn^˜^˙€ʼn’›µª™s¿ʼnjs€‹™«ʼn^±sªʼn±†sʼnǪ«±ʼn›™sĢʼn and be supportive of each other throughout. The Maoz Family 107

Who Are We? Eyal (38, neurologist), Erez (36, family medicine specialist), ʼn6ǪʼnijĎħđĢʼn§ªs«l†››–sªĴĢʼnj›ª™ʼn‹™ʼn ›‹«sĢʼn'o^†›Ģʼn^™oʼn3^™«sʼn (5.5, a furry pet dog and a perfect older brother). Family Moment We are currently in the second surrogacy process, hoping for a little brother to ’›‹™ʼn›µªʼn^˜‹–¿ʼn^–›™€«‹osʼn6Ǫħʼn µª‹™€ʼn±†sʼn™‹™±†ķ½ss“ʼnµ–±ª^«›µ™oĢʼn6Ǫʼn’›‹™soʼnµ«ʼn›ªʼn the video call with with Shanaya, our surrogate, and when we asked her who it ½^«Ģʼn«†sʼn€–ssµ––¿ʼnªs«§›™osoĢʼnĪ'±ī«ʼn6Ǫī«ʼnj^j¿ĤĪʼn'±ʼn½^«ʼn«µl†ʼn^ʼn˜›˜s™±ʼn›ʼn§ª››µ™oʼn family joy. Tip for Future Travelers The surrogacy process is about creating life and as such, it is not always predictable, but you are in the best hands possible. Parenting is the real journey - full of joy and excitement, sometimes challenges, but mostly, a love like no other. The Maoz-Halevy Family 109

Who Are We? Avi (45, CPA), Ilan (50, homeroom teacher at a high-school), and Omer (2), born in Boise, Idaho. Family Moment There's one moment every day, when we pick Omer up from kindergarten, and she runs to us, hugs us, laughs, and spreads joy and love all around. This precious moment encapsulates what truly matters, and makes us forget all our troubles. Also, every moment when she accomplishes something she couldn't do before is amazing and exciting. Tip for Future Travelers It's a complex and challenging journey, so be patient and take things in stride. You are in capable hands, both medically and in other aspects, and you can trust babybloom to be by your side and guide you. Through this experience, you'll discover more about yourself and your partner - consider it a fantastic bonus to this incredible journey. The Miller-Shapira Family 111