When Newton resident Peter Gordon is jamming out with his music friends, Grateful Dead tunes often dominate their practice sessions. One of those Dead favorites, "I Need a Miracle Every Day," could have been written about Gordon's own life.
After years of waiting, Gordon recently got his miracle. Actually, he got two miracles.
On Dec. 16, 2011, Gordon, 45, became the father of twins, Olivia Ann and Noah Lawrence. The twins were born through surrogacy, a difficult process made harder as Gordon was undertaking the challenge as a single, heterosexual male.
“It’s inexplicable. The reality that I have a family is one of the more powerful emotions that one could ever have. These are my kids," says Gordon, who is the head of the middle school at in Chestnut Hill. "I look forward to telling them that I stopped at nothing in order to be able to have them."
Gordon says his love of children can be traced back to his own happy youth as a camper and a counselor at Camp Cedar in Casco, Maine.
"The best teachers I've ever come across have had camp experiences," says Gordon.
Born in New York City, Gordon moved to Boston in 1985 to attend Babson College in Wellesley. Following graduation, he worked as a sports coach, science teacher and dorm parent at the in West Newton.
He eventually moved on to the Brimmer and May School in 2005. Passionate about sports, he also coaches baseball, basketball and soccer there.
Although happy with his profession, Gordon always saw himself getting married and having children of his own.
“I’ve had my share [of relationships], but always short term. I really believe that you have to be lucky in love. I’m still confident,” Gordon says.
But as Gordon's career as a teacher and coach continued to rise, so did his longing to be a parent. Eventually, Gordon decided to take matters into his own hands.
Gordon started to review his options through adoption, and found that many agencies were very reluctant to deal with a single man with no partner. He then began looking into surrogacy.
“My profession has taught me to plan and be prepared. This served me very well in terms of doing my research,” says Gordon.
Armed with folders of information, Gordon chose to work with an agency called Simple Surrogacy based out of Dallas, Texas. He decided to go with a process called gestational surrogacy. This process involves three people; a woman to donate the eggs, a woman to carry the eggs and Gordon’s own sperm.
After the time consuming process of securing his finances, he began looking for the donors. Based on a picture and a profile, he secured an egg donor right away.
But finding someone to carry the eggs was harder. After one false start, he eventually found Sara from St. Louis. Gordon and Sara spoke every day during the pregnancy and still remain good friends.
Gordon considers himself lucky that the entire process only took a couple of years.
The pregnancy and births might have otherwise been somewhat routine, but contact from the ABC television news show 20/20 changed all that. Simple Surrogacy received a call from the news magazine program saying that they were doing a show on unique births and asked if they had someone who might be willing to chronicle their journey. Simple Surrogacy immediately suggested Peter Gordon.
20/20 began shooting Gordon and his surrogate in July, with ABC Newswoman Elizabeth Vargas interviewing Gordon and following the progress of the pregnancy and birth. The program is scheduled to air in February, during sweeps month.
In the meantime, Gordon is on paternity leave from Brimmer and May, focusing on his kids and his new life as a father. Despite the less-than-traditional road to fatherhood, Gordon is much like any new dad, noting that his experience has been "life altering."
To quote the Grateful Dead: "What a long, strange trip it's been."
"I sacrificed everything to make sure these humans came into the world," Gordon says. "It’s been life changing and I know that seems so obvious, but it is beyond comparison. It is beyond expectation, beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. I can’t believe they’re mine.”