April saw the publication of two stories I had worked on for a long time. First, a story on a surrogate here in Oregon who was carrying a child for a New York couple. Oregon is one of the most surrogacy-friendly places in the country and the world. I spent several months following both families as they worked together to bring a child into their worlds. In October of last year, the baby boy was born. I was able to be in the delivery room and see those first moments when Will and Dan met their son after he had been carried for nine months by Yessenia. It was simply amazing. The story was part of a larger USA Today project on the laws and emotions surrounding infertility and the lengths potential parents go to to have a child. The Will and Dan portion of the project can be seen here.
Second, I pursued a story at a new place in downtown Salem. Church Street Boxing is actually on Church Street, but it is also a church/boxing gym combo. Sundays, people gather to worship. And the rest of the week, people come to workout and learn to box. The pastor behind the space says he likes that both the boxing and the spiritual guidance teach the same values; determination, discipline and a sense of direction.