No parents should be forced to outlive their children, but that is exactly what happened to Holly and Darren in 2013. They were expecting twin boys, which they had already named Jude and Brinly, but the unborn twins passed away before they could experience the world. Brinly passed away at 18 weeks, and Jude passed away at 21 weeks. Such an unimaginable loss is hard to fathom for most, but the couple was determined not to let it destroy their lives. Just one year after the incident, a family reunion was scheduled in Portland, Oregon at the site of the scenic Multnomah Falls. The reunion was meant to serve as a memorial for the children, but the family had no idea what else Darren and Holly had planned as a surprise.
In the aftermath of losing the children, Darren and Holly learned that it was a gestational issue, and that Holly may not have the ability to carry a child through the full term. They were determined to have children, so they had some of their embryos implanted into a friend who volunteered to act as a surrogate. The procedure was a complete success, and Holly and Darren were surprised to learn they had a second set of twins on the way. Wanting to create a memorable experience for their family, they waited to tell anyone until the pregnancy had reached six months along.
Their grand reveal happened at the family reunion at Multnomah Falls during a group photo. While the family was gathering and positioning for the photo, a stranger in a blue top who was obviously quite pregnant entered the scene and stood right in the center of the scene in front of the family. The family was understandable shocked and confused as to why this pregnant woman would interrupt their photo, but Holly approaches the woman and places a hand on her belly. She introduces her as the couple’s surrogate, instantly changing the scene from one of confusion to joyous celebration. Holly even had another friend record the scene from a distant so they could catch every reaction. The family is overjoyed with the news of a second set of twins.
Tears are running down cheeks as the family takes turns embracing the surrogate, who was 46 years old and refused any sort of recognition or payment. On the contrary, the surrogate and her husband even paid for the C-section procedure. The bill was over $5,000, but the couple wanted it to be a gift to the new parents. Holly was so grateful for the amazing act of this woman that she equates with the most amazing thing ever done for her. Her reaction is understandable, especially when you consider how exorbitant some surrogate fees can be, and the high cost of a C-section procedure.
The second set of twins, also boys, were named Beckom and Noah. They were born on November 14, 2014, which was only a few days shy of the anniversary of Jude’s stillbirth. They couldn’t have asked for a better turnaround in a single year’s time, and the couple is thrilled to have two happy, healthy twin boys. Holly and Darren continue to thank their surrogate, not only for her commitment to helping create strong families, but for her sacrifices along the way. She happily gave up her time, energy, money, and even aspects of her health in order to give this tremendous gift. If more people sought to change the lives of those around them like Holly and Darren’s unnamed surrogate, the world would undoubtedly be a much better place to live.