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Monday, June 6, 2011

A Complicated Web of Family....Found?

I almost broke my neck sliding on a rug in a frantic dash to the laptop in my bedroom. Minutes earlier I'd received a note on my BlackBerry while watching some mindless reality TV. A donor-concevied friend had gotten her Family Finder results early and they were online. She suspected mine were too. The DNA sample she provided had uncovered tons of 2nd and 3rd cousins all likely related to her unknown sperm donor.

I sent my DNA kit around the same time so the note made my heart skip a beat. "Laptop" was the first thing I thought. "Need to get to laptop." I vibrated with an energy I can only remember from childhood in the early-morning hours before Christmas, when I'd float down the stairs with anticipation.

I jumped up from the couch, into the hallway and caught the rug on my turn into the bedroom. After I hit the floor, I scrambled back up and calm myself enough to locate the laptop. I grabbed it and plopped on the bed. Passwords and kit numbers.....dammit....why does everything have to be locked down these days? It's life's cruel joke that as my short term memory wains with age I must simultaneously amass more and more random usernames and passwords. 

Making matters worse, my brain lacked its normal processing capacity already wrapped up in fantasies about what was to come. Suddenly I understood why some men say their brains stop working when they are anticipating ...ahem....exciting events.

Finally I cracked the code and opened the site.  There they were.


"MATCH" such a small, simple word that holds tremendous emotional meaning to the donor-conceived. It's the holy grail........the label on the door to the promise land.....the Emerald city....- choose whichever metaphor you prefer. A match is what forever evades us...its what we instinctual seek but rarely find. It is, in many sense, the penultimate resolution.

And there they were.

 HUNDREDS of matches. Second cousins, third cousins, names, family trees, countries, sometimes This hasn't happened in a while but I felt like I couldn't breath. Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland. I actually was connected to real people with names from countries with real names.  Has the world gone mad???!?!?!?

Just seeing the names, the full names of people, not numbers, not "donor 1234," not "unknown," not an icon and dumb screenname like "spermguy," but full, your-momma-gave-them-to-you names - was completely mind-numbing.

In fact, I think my brain just stopped working for a few moments. I mean it was a power down, end program, good night kinda moment. I couldn't hear anything and I stared at the letters and checkboxes so long they seemed to start dancing around. The "M"s and the "T"s jumping up and down....."here were are and we so excited for you!!!".... and the lowercase "i"s and "o" clapping and smiling in celebration.

I came back to reality and then, like I've been doing so much lately, started to cry. Damn....I thought...why am I crying again? I've started feeling like a soap star lately.

But anyway, it turns out the donor was most certainly from Eastern Europe.....but wait for it....wait for it... surprisingly Jewish. TA-DA!

My mom would pass out.  Although we have many Jewish friends...and both think the faith is incredibly interesting and beautiful....I knew she wouldn't expect this. She was 150 percent positive the donor was Catholic as she had requested. As if she could sense whether the sperm inside her went to the synagogue or mass prior (give me a break.)

Back to the results. This is like being given a puzzle in a billion little pieces with no box cover to copy. I'm also blindfolded because I don't know anything about the donor and or if my new cousins want to help. The term "Sperm Donor" can be like people repellant in an email. An icky, don't-touch-it-its-dirty kind of word.

I'm going to try to put that out of mind for now to savor the moment and revel in the excitement of possibility...of some anonymity conquered through the very same tiny bits of dna that travelled without a name or departing station.

I'm one step closer to a destination unknown and it feels - pardon the french- just fucking glorious.



If you liked this piece you can also read about my experiences submitting the DNA kit in this earlier post. Plus I don't wrap that post up with the f-bomb.

Sorry again for that, but sometimes only an f-bomb will do. You know what I mean?


  1. Hi there, thanks for your comment on my blog (The Journey). It prompted me to finally update it again, lol. :-) Your blog is very interesting too! Good luck with everything.

  2. You are very welcome. I hope to include as many parents in our debates here as possible so I look forward to your comments and perspectives on future posts.

    All the best


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