So Glad I Joined
When I first began considering conceiving a child using donated sperm, I wondered what I would tell my future child about their conception and any extended family they may have. I've decided that I would be as open and honest as I could no matter what. I wanted my child to know how much he/she was loved and wanted. I also wanted to raise my child to feel that their family was normal, or at least as normal as any family could be!
Fast forward to June 16, 2011. My son was 16 months old and I saw online a news excerpt about the "DSR". I knew that my son was too little to understand about having siblings out there but I was curious about them and if any were listed. I signed up and within minutes was emailing three families with little girls by the same donor. My son suddenly had three big sisters!
What came next were a flurry of back and forth emails, facebook friending, picture sharing and plans to meet. All of us live in the same province, most within an hour and a half drive, one about 6 hours away. It was so exciting to talk to these other moms about similarities in our kids, not just similar features but other things like wonderfully spirited, determined (read stubborn!) and intelligent. One of my sons sisters shares his ability to lord over the daycare using force if necessary! Over the course of about a week we fell in love with each other's families. As a group of moms we all clicked and I have to say it was so exciting to have this whole new family open up.
Just over a week after I joined the DSR, I received a devastating email about one of my sons sisters. Her parents had just gotten word from their doctor that their two year old daughter had been diagnosed with a fatal brain tumour. We were losing her before we had even met. I cannot explain the feelings that the email brought up. I had never met this little girl or her moms but I was in love with all of them. This little girl was a part of my son and therefore they were all my family and now we were losing her.
In July my son and I took a road trip 6 hours away to meet one of his sisters and her mom. We all got along so well it was like we had known each other forever. We met with the other families over the next few weeks and again, the same connection was felt. Our joy however was now tinged with sadness, would this family get together be our last with our little two year old? We took hundreds of photos of the kids playing together, I have turned some of them into a book for my son. When he gets older I plan to tell him about the sister he will not get to grow up with.
We have been blessed with such an amazing experience getting to know our new family. Our little girl has outlived her initial diagnosis and is still with us although the outcome is still grim. The other kids are growing well and there has been a new addition to the family, a boy born last month. Plans are now being made to go meet him and visit our two year old again soon.
If I had not joined the DSR, I would never have gotten to know such wonderful people who are now part of my family. Our children, so far all under the age of 4, will grow up knowing each other as brothers and sisters. This will be their normal. I think their lives will definitely be richer for knowing each other, I know mine is.
Update October 2012- our little angel got her wings, she will be forever missed and always remembered by all her donor sibs and their families