Introducing Lindsey - our new case manager!
We are excited to introduce Lindsey, our new case manager at AsiaWest and Intend! Lindsey currently lives in Colorado, but lived in Oregon for much of her life. Lindsey has a background in real estate, and also works part-time at Northwest Surrogacy Center. Lindsey loves being outdoors and spending time with her two kids.
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Oregon for most of my life. The first seven years of my life was kind of in every other state and in Germany - my dad was in the army so we moved a lot. But then I went to elementary, middle, and high school in Oregon, college in Oregon, and then moved to North Carolina for four years. And then I've been in Colorado for almost two years.
What brought you to Colorado?
Work, a job.
Nice! What did you do before AsiaWest?
I was a real estate agent and... I've kind of done a lot, like with the military and having to move so often, you kind of just do what you can do. I got into real estate though because when we moved to North Carolina, we bought a house with a guest house and an exterior basement, so I turned them both into AirBnBs and I really liked that. I wanted to buy more and it made sense because we already had so many rental properties in Oregon and North Carolina, to be on the other side and keep building. And then I was a substitute teacher for a while in Oregon, right after I graduated.
What degree did you graduate with when you were in undergrad?
I got a Bachelor's in political science and a minor in sociology. It was political science with a focus in international relations and a certificate in homeland security.
Yeah! I wanted to work for DHS and was planning on heading straight to D.C. to try and find a job, but I got pregnant my senior year of college.
And here we are!
Here we are seven years later!
So what brought you to AsiaWest? I know you were working for Northwest Surrogacy Center because you knew Veronica Bowers.
Yeah, I saw her journey with Northwest. She was a surrogate two times - her first time she had twins for a French couple and the second time she had one baby for an Australian couple. Learning about surrogacy kind of just blew my mind and then learning about the egg donation process - both of Veronica's were anonymous or semi-anonymous egg donations - it all just kind of fascinated me. I have two kids so I never really had to look into IVF, and then when I found out that people were able to make children and make families through IVF, it kind of sparked my interest and that's why I joined Northwest.
And then when Mike talked about the opportunity for AsiaWest and needing a case manager, it kind of pulled me in with being able to work with donors and being able to work with intended parents. The thought of being able to help people make families, since I'm so passionate about my family - my whole life revolves around my family, I wanted to be able to give someone what I already have. I love that.
How old are your kids?
They are seven and three.
Nice! What were you doing at Northwest?
I was their social media coordinator. I still am doing that part-time.
Did you ever consider being a surrogate yourself?
Yeah, I really wanted to be a surrogate, but because I'm Native American (I know I don't look Native American), there's something called ICWA and it's an indigenous protection act, so Native Americans cannot be egg donors or surrogates. In the act at some point it talks about how the tribe can come seize the baby at any point, because they stake a claim to all genetic material. It's just not a liability that people are willing to take.
When you heard about the job at AsiaWest/Intend, did you know a lot about the egg donation world through the Northwest job, or did you learn a lot since then?
I thought I knew a little bit about it before I actually got into it. It's been a fascinating learning process with how far science has come. Science is not my strong suit, so I naturally am curious towards it since I don't know much about it. I think it's been a lot more learning on the fly and getting in there, now being a part of it vs. what I thought about egg donation. Which is why I think it's really cool that you do the TikToks and inform people, because people have no idea. People often talk about surrogacy like, "How could they give up this baby? That's their baby - it's basically adoption!" And it's not! Or people think it's for people who just don't want to be pregnant and it's like, Northwest actually doesn't work with people who just want to do it for cosmetic reasons - it has to be a medical reason. There are a lot of super crazy myths and drama around surrogacy and egg donation just from people who are uneducated.
So that's my focus. We do terminology Tuesday every other Tuesday, and it's just because I want to inform people hopefully on what it actually is vs. what they think it is.
Yeah, there's so many misconceptions out there.
The one with egg donations is, when people found this is my job, they're like "Do these [egg donors] not ever want kids?" So I've sent them your video with the grains of rice being like no! You're born with so many - you will never use all the eggs in your life. Some of these girls have already had kids or are already pregnant, that's not an issue.
Exactly. What part of this job are you most excited about or have been the most excited about as you've been in it for a couple weeks?
I think the part I'm most excited about is the relationship building between myself and the intended parents, and myself and the egg donors. Like with Northwest, they keep in touch with you. I can see the connections between the case managers and the surrogates and the families and the connections that people build, and the families you create outside of your own. Yeah, I think I'm most excited about the relationship building between everyone that's a part of egg donation.
And becoming more knowledgeable about IVF. It's a super prevalent thing now! So many people I know are going through IVF journeys that I didn't even know were a thing - I thought people just got pregnant! My generation especially, thirty year olds, a lot of my friends are struggling with fertility issues.
I got pregnant twice and I feel bad now because I work with people who struggle, and that makes me sad. But it's also what motivates me to get these donations through.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I've always been an outdoor person. My generation was the experimental group - we grew up outside but we also grew up with the first cell phones. I really like to hike, I like to take my kids hiking. I like to snowboard. I like to draw with watercolors - I just got watercolor pens. I'm currently teaching myself to play the ukulele as well; it's not going as smoothly as I thought it would go... And I love to cook. I've tried every cooking service - HelloFresh, Blue Apron - and I keep the cards so I can remake the recipes. Love to cook, love to bake. I like to ride my bike, love to swim. I try to spend as much time as I can outside because I grew up in Oregon where it rains 300 days of the year and it's sunny 300 days of the year here!
Ugh, that's so nice!
It is. It's super nice. I love it. The only time it's ever overcast or cloudy is the day before it snows, and then it snows and then it's blue sky again. It's an incredible state.
Note: this interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.