Posted by: chicagoshells | April 4, 2013

Well, That Was Unexpected

When we chose our donor, Trouble left it largely up to me.  She figured that she was contributing 50% of the genetic material, so the other half should be more my choice.  I never would have gone with someone she had a bad feeling about (like, say, if I’d been able to overlook the creepy audio interview where a donor we were considering described himself as “cold and calculating” and said Darth Vadar was his role model. Needless to say, neither of us could overlook that, and we chose a different donor).  The three deal-breakers for me were a Jewish donor, a donor who had some of my basic coloring/features, and an open-identity donor (agrees to a one-time meeting with any offspring when they turn 18, if they would like it).  Trouble understood why all these things were important to me, but I’m pretty certain that if I’d suddenly chosen a blond, Baptist, totally anonymous donor because I felt right about it, she would have gone with it because the donor was a “sub” for my half of the genes.  This is a long-winded way of saying that I think the open-identity thing was more important to me and Trouble would have been cool either way. It was important to me that any kids have the option of meeting their donor if they wanted to, so even though that decreased our choices and increased the cost, that’s what we did.

After Mulberry was born, we talked about the Donor Sibling Registry and the possibility of future contact with Mulberry’s potential half-siblings.  Again, I think Trouble would have been willing to go either way on it, although we both agreed that we didn’t think we would ever be the type who try to be “one big happy family” with any potential donor-sibs and their families.  But we thought exchanging pictures or any medical information that came up might be nice, and again, I wanted to have the avenue available for Mulberry if he ever wanted to go down it.  So, we did register.  There was actually one other post from someone expecting their second child by our donor, but they didn’t say they were open to contact, so I just posted that we were and figured we could see what happened.  Again, long-winded here, but the donor sibling registry is totally anonymous, so I figured any contact we made there would start slow.  If it weirded us out in any way, we wouldn’t have to go any further.

The point of these incredibly long introductory paragraphs…I’ve never been opposed to Mulberry making contact with his donor or biological half-siblings.  But whenever I thought about it, it was at some distant point far in the future.

Yesterday, I was contacted on Facebook by the mother of two of Mulberry’s donor-siblings.  We exchanged quite a few messages.  I looked at the pictures of her two (gorgeous) daughters.  Her two daughters, who are Mulberry’s genetic half-sisters.  It’s so wild.

To make it clear…she did NOT stalk me somehow.  She found me in a totally bizarre, round-about way that is really my “fault” for not being careful when I started to communicate with people from an “anonymous” parenting forum on the oh-so-NOT-anonymous Facebook as well.  I think it might have been more of a stunner for her and her wife…I’m not sure they had ever intended to pursue their daughters’ donor-sibs.  And she didn’t have to tell me once she realized who I was and what we had in common, but I’m extremely grateful that she did.  She thinks that, because of the totally-by-random-chance nature that she found me, that it was meant to happen.  Maybe she’s right.

I’m not sure how I’m feeling.  I’m not mad, not sad, but most definitely…thoughtful.   Maybe it’s just that until yesterday, the concept of Mulberry’s genetic half-siblings was just that, a concept.  Now they are real, living, breathing little girls with names and sweet little faces.  Some of their baby pictures have some striking similarities to some of Mulberry’s.  I know what state they live in.  I’m Facebook friends with one of their mothers.  It is so, so not what I expected when I woke up yesterday.

I know it doesn’t “change” anything.  If I wanted to, I could block their mother on Facebook so she couldn’t see Mulberry’s pictures (I have no desire, or reason, to do so).  We don’t ever have to talk again.  We certainly never have to meet in person.  Our children share a donor, but Mulberry’s *actual* siblings will be the other children Trouble carries (whether or not they share Mulberry’s donor), or possibly whom we adopt.  I continue to maintain that genes are not what makes “family.” 

Usually I try to wrap up posts here with some modicum of resolution, but I’m not sure I can just now.  For now, this is all I have.



  1. That must be an awkward situation to be in, especially when it is unplanned and catches you off guard with that. We know that ziggy has two half brothers, but they too are just a concept. They aren’t really real yet.

    I also kind of wish Andrea felt the same way Trouble did. Her argument was that since the genetic material was going into her body that she should have say in who the donor was. Not that I wouldn’t have say, but there was no effort to make it my choice. That, to be honest, still stings a little bit. I wanted to contribute, and hoped that picking a donor with my similar features would be that – unfortunately, we did not go that route. Our donor is awesome, and I love him – but he looks nothing like me.

    Sorry to rant on your space.

    • Rant away 🙂
      I will say this, though…I wanted a donor who looked like me so our child would look as much like OUR genetic child as possible. Now that our son is here, though, he looks nothing like me…and I truly don’t care at all. He could not feel more like OUR son.
      Still, I’m really sorry you didn’t get more say. There are so few things at CAN be our choice as non-bio moms, so it’s too bad this couldn’t be one that was.

  2. we tried for that, too, and so far she just looks like me. I’m hoping she’ll look more like both of us as she grows up. Also had a similar donor sib experience–I know they’re out there, and one mom was really keen to be buddies (I think she got in touch with me when she was 5 weeks pregnant) but we’ve put her off for now. It feels too big, still.

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