Thursday, October 6, 2011

Inviting historical figures over for dinner

Remember that question?  What famous person would you most like to join for dinner?  Alive or dead.

The first time I remember answering this question I ended up feeling pretty stupid with my choice.  I said Jane Austen.  The person who asked me the question picked Jesus.  Jesus.  Well, not sure how you beat that one.  I think I picked a good one, but you sort of feel like a heel when you don't pick Jesus.

Yeah, I am not putting my donor on par with Jesus - but I wouldn't pick her for dinner either.

Melissa?  This one is for you.

I had a heart squishy post a while back about how much I love donor eggs.  Melissa asked questions about choosing a donor and defining the relationship.  I am amazed someone succeeded in finding something I don't talk about here.  I like to get all my donor thoughts down on paper so I can refer to them later.

It was important to me to find a donor who would allow our child(ren) to meet her when they reached the age of 18.  It makes my hands a little sweaty to think about it.  Absurd, really, but I bet when it happens it will be a time where I put on a Brave Face for DE child and inside I am scared skinless.  But who knows.  Maybe by then I will be so damn old that wisdom will have taken residence in my heart.

The option to meet the donor was not part of the standard contract.  Our lawyers worked with donor's lawyers to discuss the idea.  This is how the communication works.  Everything is routed through the lawyers and agency.  Our donor accepted the modification to the contract and proposed a change of her own.

Our donor has 2 (healthy!  beautiful!) children of her own.  She asked that her children have the right to contact our DE child(ren) upon the age of 18.

This broke my heart wide open.  I sat there in the conference room on speakerphone with our lawyer, tears streaming down my face.  I could only speak with that thick, teary voice.  Of course we would accept the proposed change.

Bam.  Any reservations I ever had about DE were put to bed right then and there.  Another mother who understands what this is all about.  Her biggest concern was her children.  Just like me.  She and I were both looking out for our little loved ones.  I look forward to the day I meet her and I can tell her how much peace her request gave to me.

She offered another connection.  She offered to meet Rocco and I before the contracts were signed.  I said no thank you, dinner with Jane please.

I don't know why.  I don't think about it much anymore.  I believe I was terrified she might do or say something that didn't match the dreams in my heart and head.  Shallow much, Roccie?  I know.

I am also ashamed I never gave The Donor Gift.  Oh, the process that many recipients travel through to find Just the Right Gift.  I could never relate.

I never sent one.  I never sent a card.  What the fuck is wrong with me?  I am ashamed I never did it, but I understand why I did not send it at the same time.

I could explain it all away, but it is weak.  I like to pretend I couldn't find the right words.  I have the card and draft note in my bag.  I carried it around every day.  Still carry it.  Never sent it.  Just never reads right.

What if I give her the same willies I was afraid she would give to me??

Sometimes I am so practical it seems heartless.  I just think if I were a donor I would analyze the hell out of whatever came my way.  I have an amazing talent to find flaws in the flawless, just ask Rocco.  I figured since I wouldn't want a donor gift I would not send a donor gift.

I will probably bring a nice little something when we meet in 2029.  I think I will be able to find it by then.  She has my heart, gratitude and prayers of thanks in the mean time.  I think she is spectacular but I never knew how to tell her.


  1. Just give her the card, draft note, and a copy of this post on 2029. That will probably be the best gift. And if I ever though about being a donor (when my eggs were still good) I wouldn't have wanted a gift either, but above mentioned gift for 2029 would have been perfect.

  2. Thank you! Thank you! I appreciate so much your telling the story and (almost even more) the humor and honesty with which you tell it! Thank you! I am struggling with finding a donor through an agency (which would allow me the option to request contact between my child and the donor should he or she ever want it). My clinic's pool is anonymous, though I'm not sure what that will really mean 20 years from now. It would be much easier to go with someone pre-screened and pre-approved (and pre-chosen!) from the clinic, but I just think about the regrets I might have if my future (hopefully) child would want to meet her. Could I e-mail you and ask which agency you used?

    Donor Love? How about Roccie love :> Thanks again.


  3. I am going the anonymous donor route because I'm scared shitless about just what you write about here. As a result I also haven't chosen a donor gift or card. I don't even know if my clinic would pass it on. Nothing has been mentioned about it up till now. Hmmmm, now you've given me something to think about before my FET next week.

  4. I think you should cut yourself a break. I think that in order to move forward and use DE you initially need space from the donor (unless it's a family member) because the enormity of the gift they are giving you (potentially) is too big, too overwhelming. Good for you and her to give your kids the option of meeting at age 18, most people would be too scared to do that.

  5. Too late. Wisdom has already taken residence in your soul, Mama R. And just like DE lioness is looking out for her little ones, so are you looking out for yours. And that's as it should be. And perhaps NOT sending the card, or a gift, is actually part of that. You are creating the most secure, most feathered landing spot possible, for every member of your family. It's an emotional time. There are a lot of moving parts already. Perhaps the situation simply does not require any more, and your practicality so does not strike me as heartless. (Quite the opposite in fact.)

  6. No, not shallow. I couldn't meet with a donor, it would create too much potential drama.

    Don't be too hard on yourself, navigating those waters is difficult. You can express 18 years worth of gratitude in 2029.

  7. I think it's great that your donor was willing to modify the contract.
    When I still thought I might donate, I was irked that being a known (after 18 years) donor was not really an option (rules and regulations).

    A donor gift? I can barely manage to find my husband a suitable gift.

  8. This is really beautiful. I was just reading a bunch of posts from girl-girl couple parents about sperm donors, and one person said the donor doesn't belong to the parents, the donor belongs to the kid. That really made sense to me. Obviously I am speaking from a place of ignorance, but emotional distance from the donor for YOU and potential openness for the children seems perfect.

    I can also imagine you might find yourself less concerned about the right words or about freaking her out when you've got that precious bundle in your arms. I wouldn't want a gift either, by the way.

  9. Fnding a way to thank our donor was so hard for me, in the end we wrote a card from the heart and found what we hoped was a meaningful gift. I cant wait to hear about your 2029 meet up!

  10. The gift is tricky since they are giving you the most incredible gift. Nothing could compare. I did give my donor a gift and a note. I hope it didn't ruin her vision of me!

  11. A gift would be hard. A card, that is tricky too. Sometimes less is more. I think she "gets" it. And even just two words, Thank you, would be understood. So excited you are so close.

  12. I have a gift for my donor, but it's not a Significant gift, it's just something I know she'll enjoy based on our brief conversation when we met. We each wrote a thank you letter to her that our agency passed along before we even had signed contracts, so I think we're good on that front.

    I love that your donor proposed that modification to your contract.

    And, by the way, even though I met my donor (had to), my fear was that she'd do or say something that ruined my mental picture of her. But she didn't. :)

  13. Hey Roccie...yeah...I am able to comment for whatever reason today!! Anyway...from one DE sista to another...I hear ya!

  14. Just getting around to reading this. Work, toddler, you know.

    LOVE this post. Love your donor. She gets it. I really like Evelyn's idea of giving her the card, the draft, and a copy of this post in 18 years. My situation is different, an open embryo donation. When my daughter was born I sent my embryo donor a big bunch of flowers. I spoke to a florist near her beforehand, so all I had to do was call and finalize the order from the hospital.

  15. I reunite separated families for free and sometimes I read blogs by adoptive parents to get a sense of how they are approaching the child's relationships with their relatives. It's great that bio mom and you are thinking of the siblings being in contact as a positive thing. It moved you you are not dismissing their relatives as being insignificant. I don't understand the benefit to any of the siblings of waiting 18 years though. Why can't they all grow up in contact with one another all the time? It sort of pointless to wait. Then they won't get to develop the deep kind of bond that comes from growing up knowing their siblings and you won't get the knowledge you need on an ongoing basis about the health and development of maternal siblings of the child you are raising. It's hard to see a draw back to them knowing them all their lives. Is there a benefit you see to them being kept from each other? As someone who helps people who donated and their relatives look for the kids they gave up and helps their kids look for them it sure would be easier if everyone was open and collaborative from the begining. Most of the offspring that I've reunited are sneaking around behind the backs of whoever is raising them because they don't want to hurt their feelings. Sure they tell them the truth about their family but then act like its a lie by keeping them from them and messing up their birth records and stuff. Since you are already open to them meeting just do it the normal way and let them grow up together. They'll never need to go behind your back that way at least. If FTDNA is only $99 now imagine how cheep it will be by the time they are 12 or 13.

    Good luck to you. Nice to know that not everyone raising donor offspring is trying to keep them from their families good for you