It’s bright and early on a weekday morning and Dr. Letitia Plummer is like most moms, getting her four boys ages, 16, 13, 11 and 1 ½ ready for school, and then, off to work she goes. Her beautiful vintage, yet contemporary dental office set in Pearland, gives you the feeling that you just arrived at an upscale spa for a moment of relaxation. While most people dread the idea of visiting the dentist, this office and Dr. Plummer’s staff have the reputation for making all of their patients feel right at “home.”
Dr. Plummer talked with me a bit about what makes her practice so unique compared to others in the city. She said, “In light of the ever changing economy and the eliminating of small businesses, it has been a daily struggle to continue to care for the communities in which I practice. I have and will maintain impeccable customer service, priceless patient rapport and dental services that are state of the art and supersede the standard of care.”
Dr. Plummer continues by quoting, “If your love what you do, then it doesn’t feel like work.” This is how I feel on a daily basis. She adds, “I know that dentistry is my passion and I love creating one beautiful smile at a time.”
Dr. Plummer, herself, has a smile that lights up any room and a personality that pulls you in with her warmth and energetic spark; and there is no denying that she is easy on the eyes and incredibly beautiful. Behind that smile, charm and winning personality lies some deep personal hurts, triumphs and true passion for her community. She is, in every sense of the word, a warrior and true survivor.
Dr. Plummer is not only an incredible dentist, she is also a true humanitarian and activist for several causes in our community. She is also actively involved in politics.
Dr. Plummer states, “I believe that we all experience challenges in our life and the issues really don’t matter. It’s what we decide to do about it. Our political environment, locally and nationally, has some issues that I feel need to change. Instead of sitting back and complaining, I decided to get involved. As a victim of Domestic Violence, I am involved with the Houston Area Women’s Center and currently working on assisting with policy that will allow women to know their rights in making decisions during the dissolution of marriage (divorce).”
Finally, she is also the contributor and future ambassador for The Miracle Foundation. This organization supports children’s homes in India by actively counseling and caring for the orphans and supporting the housemothers.
One would have to wonder where the foundation for her craft comes from and how she has accomplished so much with a prominent dental practice, and as a single mom. I decided to ask Dr. Plummer to share with me the moment she knew this was what she wanted to do in life and how she supports such a hectic lifestyle.
Dr. Plummer said, “I am a second generation dentist and honestly I have been actively working in a dental office since the age of 12. When my friends would hang out after school or on Saturdays, you would most often find me at my dad’s dental practice working as a dental assistant. Looking back, I believe that working in a family owned business at such a young age taught me solid work ethic values, and social interaction skills, as well as entrepreneurial success.”
She also expressed to me how important her family is to her success.
Dr. Plummer said, “Family is the most important thing to me other than God. I wake up on a daily basis for my children.”
Her adoring admiration for them is obvious, as she describes her boys as brilliant, energetic, respectful and compassionate.
She continues by saying, “I teach them that they must walk presidentially, live authentically; each spoken word should inspire or motivate, think freely and remember to represent your family.”
Dr. Plummer is the eldest of three siblings and has a very close-knit family. With her father serving as her foundation/mentor and her mother, who too survived breast cancer, being her inspiration, she has had great examples of faith and perseverance. And finally, her grandmother at 94 years old is the true matriarch of the family. She is the “Rock” that holds them all together.
But even with all the accolades her practice and community efforts hold, there is a much deeper story that became a turning point in her life.
At age 42, Dr. Plummer entered menopause and was unable to conceive children. Women are typically creating families later for various reasons, which is why she says infertility is on the rise.
She said, “My then husband (now divorced) and I wanted to have a child between us to add to our already amazing blended family of 5 boys. Due to the desire to have a biological link and to incorporate my Indian heritage, we chose to use an egg donor from India. World of Surrogacy assisted us in this journey. Surrogacy is a wonderful way to create families and Alex Malik Metze was born via a surrogate in Delhi, India, on August 18, 2014. It was a wonderful journey that just didn’t end so well, hence the creation of legislation and support groups. There are more success stories than not and so therefore, I am an advocate for Surrogacy and will continue to close all the legislative loopholes.”
By September 2014, she found herself going through a divorce and she had no idea of her rights as an intended mother.
She states, “I found myself limited in financial support as a domestic violence survivor and most of my decisions were made based on fear vs. facts. In that process, I found that relinquishing my rights was my only option. Once I healed and strengthened my mind, body and soul, I began to determine what would have made my situation different. I found I did have options and I realized with the support of State Representative Joe Deshotel, that there was no law that prevented a judge to ask the right questions during a divorce when a surrogate child is involved.”
This is where the brainchild of House Bill 1704 was created by Dr. Plummer to protect surrogate children and the right of the intended parent during the dissolution of marriage.
She said, “We passed unanimously in the legislative house and ran out of time in the Senate. The group Intended Parents Right; Surrogacy/IVF was established to be a place of support on policy, personal decision when considering surrogacy and dissemination of accurate information on state laws.”
In 2015, Judge Pope reopened her case and they are now awaiting a final decision.
With tears rolling down her face, Dr. Plummer said, “I will fight to the Supreme Court if I have to. That’s what mothers do! After losing Alex, I realized, more than ever, that you have to live a full life with what you have at that moment. I am a Basketball, Lacrosse and Golf Mom. I go to all my children’s events, games, conferences, etc. We sit down for dinner as a family every night. I practice and manage two successful dental practices named Maxwello Dental and Orthodontics. It may sound ‘Superwoman Like’ but it’s not. We, as women, are powerful and strong. When I need help, I ask. When I’m tired, I just rest and I remain faithful and supported by family and friends through it all.”
This was such a unique case that I wanted to know how people could get involved and what advice Dr. Plummer would give others who may be going through a similar situation and process.
Dr. Plummer shared with me that awareness is really important. She said, “Get good legal counsel for both parties, be sure to research the Surrogacy Agency, and know the laws of their state. You can also follow the cause on Facebook Intended Parents’ Rights; Surrogacy/IVF for all the legislative updates for the upcoming session. If you are interested in getting involved, please email Dr. Plummer at Drplummer@maxwellodental.com. They will need volunteers very soon.