Launching a journey they'd never imagined
"What would you think about getting on a plane?" she asked Jay tearfully. The news seemed too momentous to deliver by phone. "Let's go," he said.

A few hours later, having led Chad astray, they were on their way to the airport. They paused in the parking deck long enough for Sissy to bend over the seat of their minivan so Jay could administer her daily shot of progesterone. Under the circumstances, the $1,500 they shelled out for tickets to Atlanta simply didn't seem to matter.

"Is it really happening?" Chad asked. "Is she really pregnant?"

With Sissy at his side, he called their mother in Valdosta, Ga., and put her on speakerphone.

"Hey, Mom," Chad said. "How do you feel about being a grandmother again?"

"Nooooo!" Debbie Young exclaimed. "Oh my gosh, I'm so excited."

Chad was pacing around the living room, almost hyperventilating. "I'm still in shock," he said.

They celebrated over Thai food at a neighborhood restaurant, brimming with anticipation. Sissy, 34, joked about printing up a T-shirt with an arrow pointing to her belly. "This is my brother's baby," it would declare.

Though new responsibilities lay ahead, David felt light with relief. For more than two years, their lives had been hostage to their quest to have children.

"I didn't think I could go through this again," David said. "This is one of the brightest days of our lives."

As they waited for their food, 1-year-old Anabelle entertained herself by squeezing a plastic cup until it croaked, over and over again. Her 2-year-old brother jabbered loudly while trying to coax milk from a bottle lying flat on the table.

Sissy grinned mischievously. "Now," she said above the din, "y'all have to get ready to be parents."

David laughed. "Let us enjoy the moment before we start stressing," he said.

*

How many babies?

Three days later, coral roses brightened the living room table, arranged with pink and blue balloons. Debbie Young had ordered them for her son and his partner, and had sent a matching bouquet to her daughter.

Unable to contain themselves, Chad and David had spread the word to family members, friends and readers of the online surrogacy bulletin board they frequented. Their best pals had thrown an impromptu "baby brunch" to toast the pregnancy, with Bloody Marys and champagne for everyone but Sissy.

The expectant fathers dusted off their list of baby names, and admitted to each other that they really wanted a girl. They began scrolling through Web catalogs selling Burberry strollers and Holstein-patterned car seats.

They called their friends Barry Golivesky and Dan Bloom, a gay couple in Atlanta who had just learned their own surrogate was pregnant with twins.

"Your kids are going to have a playmate," David chirped.