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Ms. Toad

(34,059 posts)
Sat Jun 18, 2016, 02:47 PM Jun 2016

My daughter will spend Father's Day with the man who gave her her curly hair. (Update post #30) [View all]

Last edited Mon Jun 20, 2016, 05:29 AM - Edit history (1)

Sunday will be a day I don't even have words for, and one we had given up on ever seeing.

Nearly twenty-seven years ago, in the first few days of November, we made our 4th and final attempt at donor insemination; one last try we begged our doctors for, since they wanted to stop out of a concern that an earlier illness had left me infertile. We wrestled with the DI requirements that selected a donor by matching my wife's characteristics or, as a fall-back, mine so we could pretend that she was our biological child (as two women, right ). More significantly that they required us to sign away our daughter's right to ever know her biological heritage. The rules echo the adoption protocols from a few decades earlier, in which the biological families of adopted children were routinely erased.

Our 26 year old daughter has always wondered about where she came from, and we have done what we could over the years to help her find her donor. But we ran into a series of carefully crafted, as well as accidental, roadblocks that seemed to make the task impossible.

But in the wee hours of Easter morning this year, my daughter emerged from her room, plopped her computer on my lap, and said, "Look at this Mommy!" One of the genetic genealogy services had matched her with her donor. The genetic match was nearly 50% (parent-child matches are approximately 50% with each parent), so there is little doubt about the validity of the match. It took less than 5 minutes to find him on social media - and confirm he had been in the right place at the right time, and that he had the ethnic heritage we strongly suspected (based on her chronic illnesses - and on the attempted match to the country of origin for my wife's family). Since then we have confirmed that he donated to the sperm bank we used - and has a daughter who, from pictures, looks remarkably like our daughter.

So, on Father's Day, our daughter will meet, and spend the day with, her donor(?), biological father (?), as well as half bio-siblings (?), step-bio-mom(?), cousins, grandfather, aunts & uncles etc. She will start the process of acquainting herself with others who look similar to her, may have mannerisms or facial expressions that are genetically inspired - but who have lived very different lives. Informally, she started referring to him yesterday as "Dad."

Coming, in the wake of Orlando, opening our family (specifically our daughter) to someone who was likely unaware his donation would be used by a lesbian couple (and may not be happy about it), feels a bit less safe than it did a few months ago when the match was made.

Don't get me wrong - I'm thrilled for her. But I'm also a bit terrified that it won't go well - or that it will go too well and reinforce her emotional distance from her other mom. Hoping it won't be too overwhelming for her to manage alone (we're not, at this point, invited). Hoping that if "Dad" isn't a good fit, that a new, perhaps not yet envisioned, role will be right. Wondering where we go from here.

And what the heck I call all of these new, not-quite-relatives, anyway?

31 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Good luck to ALL! elleng Jun 2016 #1
Thanks! n/t Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #6
fascinating JI7 Jun 2016 #2
I'll post something - Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #5
What to call them? SCantiGOP Jun 2016 #3
That would be the best outcome! Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #4
What a complicated mix of feelings you are experiencing today, Ms Toad. pnwmom Jun 2016 #7
Complicated mix about describes it! n/t Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #12
I have a feeling this is going to turn out so well for all of you. Since "Dad" didn't reject your monmouth4 Jun 2016 #8
I hope so! Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #10
Why has your family gotten a lot of PR? 7962 Jun 2016 #20
More than our share of LGBT firsts in our family. Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #21
WOW. So you also have a lot of courage! Thank you for the info. nt 7962 Jun 2016 #23
Nope. I just do what gets put in front of me. Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #24
Wow - thanks for sharing this story! tosh Jun 2016 #9
Keeping my fingers crossed! n/t Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #11
Call them by their names Warpy Jun 2016 #13
It will be interesting to see where this goes. Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #14
You raised a smart kid Warpy Jun 2016 #15
Not one, but two illnesses - Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #17
Blessings and the best of luck to all. What a lot of complicated emotions... Hekate Jun 2016 #16
That captures it pretty much perfectly. Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #18
Amazing story. Thanks. Ash_F Jun 2016 #19
Best of luck to all of you! smirkymonkey Jun 2016 #22
You call them family connections... And hope that your daughter forms a warm 1monster Jun 2016 #25
You can call them "In laws" -- or, if they have a sense of humor "outlaws!" MADem Jun 2016 #26
Nothing that suggests tolerance (or not) on FB. Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #28
Wishing everyone the best possible outcome through a stressful time ... slipslidingaway Jun 2016 #27
She's gone for the day! Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #29
So far, so good! Ms. Toad Jun 2016 #30
I'm so happy for both of you that it went as well as it did. pnwmom Jun 2016 #31
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