Monday is day 1 of an 18-week training program that will carry me right up to the Dallas Marathon on December 15th– just 5 days before my 50thbirthday. I’m calling this the #roadto50. Not sure how I got here from there, but nevertheless it is upon me. And I need some inspiration. As I mentioned in my post last week HERE I will be sharing stories of every day Super Women every week from now until race day to inspire you right along with me!

In my life there is one Super Woman who stands out among all of the incredible others – perhaps because the gift she gave us radically changed our lives – the gift of life for my biological son John. You might have to read that another time to grasp the meaning. You see, my sweet friend Tara Jones freely gave of herself to serve our family in being a surrogate to bring our baby into the world. You can read more of the story HERE.

After a C-section following pre-eclampsia, then complications in the hours after delivering my twins, I had an emergency hysterectomy a couple hours later. We still had embryos from IVF but our plans for more children were totally confounded. But God. He put a vision in a dream of a woman with a giant heart and she called one night to share her dream and offered to be a surrogate for us. Over the next few months she and her husband Tom flew in (they live in Las Vegas) to meet with us and our pastor to talk about the serious nature of what they were offering to do. I had almost died the day my twins were born. It was hard to comprehend that they were willing to give so freely. And maybe freely is also a good way to describe the whole process. These friends would not take one cent for the gift they were giving us.

We were fortunate that Tara is a flight attendant and she was able to fly in for all of our medical appointments (including both of them coming in so Tom could learn how to give her injections) until about two thirds of the way through. Then I flew there for final ultrasounds and appointments.

Tara and I were together when we found out the pregnancy test was positive. And except for some difficult first days when the doctors thought we’d lose the baby (and then to the doctor’s astonishment, the next test revealed our numbers tripled when they had expected them to go down – don’t ever discount the power of fasting and prayer) it was a completely peaceful pregnancy. A peace that surpasses all understanding.

A lot of people expressed their concerns as the months went on. “Won’t it be hard for her to let him go?” But Tara never ever wavered in her simple resolve to help us grow our family. As she explained it to her 3-year-old daughter “Auntie Erin’s tummy is broken so mommy is helping her to have her baby.” We were moving at the time and we were using PODS storage. We joked that Tara was our own Personal On Demand storage.

Does she love John still? Yes, but we have been dear friends since before we had any children and now between us we have six. We love each other’s kids unconditionally. We vacation together. The kids all connect online. They are special family friends – and we just have an extra special bond over a really great kid.

Maybe those of you who know John can better understand his story. His life came into being because of a Godly dream. We fervently prayed to get him into the world, and he has been charming people with his sweet personality and his heart for God ever sense.

There really are no words to say thank you to someone who so freely gives of themselves to serve others. We are eternally grateful for Tara – she is our own personal Super Woman.