As Neva and Kelsey Benton sat across from Amy and John Cardenas at a restaurant table, the old friends caught up on their lives. But Neva had something she wanted to ask — a crazy idea had taken hold, and she simply needed to know if her pals would be on the same page. Both couples longed for children, but both were unable to conceive. Thankfully, though, Neva was brave enough to float the idea of blurring the lines between “friends” and “family.”
Meeting the loves of their lives
Amy, 39, and Neva, 41, first became close when they were students at Sterling College in Kansas in the ‘00s. Both women met the loves of their lives in 2015, with Amy finding John, 41, when she moved to Arizona, and Neva meeting Kelsey, 32, while both were working at a Kansas summer camp.
Charmingly, Neva and Kelsey actually held their wedding at that very summer camp in July 2016, after a whirlwind year-long romance. Over the years, the couples regularly got together for a catch-up.
A joking proposition
The notion that would change the lives of the four friends was first broached in a semi-joking way back in 2017 when they were enjoying a vacation in Las Vegas. One evening while the couples chatted about the difficulties they faced in trying to start families, Neva jokingly told John, “Just give us your sperm. We’ll have a baby, and then we’ll just give you an egg. It’s not a big deal.”
They all had a good laugh, because of course sperm and egg donations are, in fact, a big deal. But at that point, it was still just a joke shared over cocktails, and the couples went their separate ways.
Asking the big question…seriously, this time
Over the following two years, though, the idea started to seem less and less like a joke to the Bentons. In fact, it was beginning to seem like a viable idea! When the couples got together again in 2019 at the Monarch in Wichita, Kansas, Neva took the opportunity to float it again to Amy while John was in the restroom.
She asked if Amy believed John would be open to the idea. Amy thought it was another joke... until Neva assured her she was being genuine. It must have been the last question Amy expected Neva to ask!
"They have a question for you"
When John came back to the table, Amy told her hubby, “They have a question for you.” Neva made her play, asking, “Hey, can we use your sperm? We would like to have a kid.” That's when Kelsey piped up, saying, “And I'll donate an egg and carry for you.” To everyone’s pleasant surprise, John didn’t laugh it off this time.
He said it was something he’d consider, as he and Amy had looked into surrogacy and found it prohibitively expensive. This way, costs would theoretically be kept down because the surrogate would be a friend.