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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Am I Absorbed or Obsessed?

There is such a fine line between being passionately absorbed and dysfunctionally obsessed. Since I received my Family Finder DNA results I've found myself fixated on downloading and analyzing the lists of  genetic relatives. Even though its been a few days since I have received the results, every time I log in, I get a little high. I feel my mouth curl into a smile and my heart races a little. I look at the 100s of names....Adler....Goldstein....Mitchell and I am in awe. I cannot believe after 30 years of excepting that half of my identity would remain unknown forever, I received this tiny glimpse into the unknown.
The closest matches I found are third cousins which mean we likely have great to great-great grandparents in common. While this is exciting, it's not very useful in locating the donor. Lately, however, I wonder if that really is the point.  Maybe I just wanted to be connected to something and that doesn't all hinge on acceptance from a single human being. Maybe connection is a bit more general than I once thought.

Despite all this philosophical rumination, the analytical part of my mind grasps for all the data....the facts. I'm so overwhelmed with the sudden dearth of real information vs. conjecture and fantasy sometimes I can't shut down my thinking to sleep. I don't know if any of the relations I've found are from his mother's or father's side or whether they are direct or "removed" third cousins.

I'm totally preoccupied. Mapping out all the potential relationships can give you a headache but I cant get enough. At work I find myself drawing out the little family trees you used in junior high biology class to show how recessive blue eyes were transferred through a family. Little boxes and lines that were once so meaningless have become this high-reward puzzle.

But a puzzle it remains. With all the family trees from all over Eastern Europe I doubt I can narrow anything down. This would be a hard task even if I knew my biological father and his relatives.

I absolutely LOVE the fact my relatives are all Jewish although my mother specifically requested a Catholic donor. Why she made such a request, I have no idea, because while I was baptized and made communion we don't really even go to church.  But elaborates on my assertions that while some parents think anonymous donation is the crispy clean resolution to their infertility woes it actually is a very sharp and dangerous double edged sword. Those who are not asked to step in to the light and own up to who they are can deceive more easily. How can any parent tell from a microscopic sperm that it carries the ancestry or eye color they anticipate?

The relatives I have contacted have been friendly and open to my inquiries.  A couple of my newly found cousins came to the genealogy site to trace roots back to relatives killed in the Holocaust. It's very ominous to look through so many of the family trees and see an entire branches evened off in a single year....Date of Death: Auschwitz, 1944.

It leaves me to wonder if the donor was aware of this history and how it effected his decision to donate sperm. I'm totally captivated and almost unable to work. My mind cycles rapidly over so many new questions.

It's as if this hope and energy- which I had to put to bed in my 20s before it ran itself ragged in a futile search- has suddenly been re-awakened.

I'm not quite sure where this all goes and the energy borders on anxiety but at its core it feels hope........and that is such a good feeling.

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  1. Amen sister!!! And I think the idea that maybe even having this connection to our actual relatives is almost more satisfying than a potentially rejectionary encounter with our bio father.

  2. Amen is right...finally some progress.


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