SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)– After Tomer Levner Azarya and his husband Doron got married in 2017, they both wanted to start a family at some point. Which led the couple to find a surrogate outside of Israel.
Kerri Watts has been a surrogate for one other family other than Tomer and Doron in the past 7 years.
“I don’t know how exactly that happened, but she got up to the zoom with her husband, Derek, and I was at the zoom with Doron next to me and we were sitting and I looked at her and I told Doron she’s the one. And we had four or five surrogates before that and I told him no at the first frame, so I have no idea exactly how that worked,” said Tomer.
“Yeah there was just something about them. Once you got to start talking to them you could see how passionate they were, how ready they were for loving children and they were just ready to start their family,” said Watts.
4 and a half years ago, Yanai was born. Then, last year, his brother and sister Imri Ann Zoey were born, all with Kerri serving as a surrogate. The families keep in touch with video calls every week.
“We wanted someone that will be a family for us because we think this is the best, the most amazing gift that a person can get when he’s unable to do it himself. and because of that Kerri became like a sister for us,” said Tomer.
“They actually have a book that they kinda drafted up and had created for the oldest, so that they read it to him. He knows who I am, he knows kinda what part I play in the family, and so it’s really nice to have that be that involved with them,” said Watts.
Tomer, his husband, and 3 kids are much like any other family. They enjoy going on hikes, swimming, and being outdoors. However, due to recent events, the family is scared to leave their home.
“We are trying to be patient and deal with the situation without the kids understanding what’s exactly going on. We have alarms, we have rockets above our heads,” said Tomer.
Tomer’s family lives 24 miles away from Gaza, that’s almost the same distance as Sioux City to Le Mars.
“It’s very terrifying knowing that they’re over there, knowing the story that we’re seeing on the media, the stories that we’re hearing from them. They’re not in direct line of everything right now, but I mean they can go outside when we’re on the phone, they can hear the bombings going on, they can hear the destruction,” said Watts.
The family is attempting to come to the United States.
“When someone will offer me a job that can sponsor my visa it’ll be good, but i don’t even know how to try to search for someone that will sponsor a visa for someone in Israel that he doesn’t even know,” said Tomer.
Tomer said he hopes to live in Sioux City, maybe even living a few houses down from Kerri and her family.