Strangers become Family.
I joined the Donor Sibling Registry (DSR) in May of 2021 because one of my (twin) girls (born in 2013) (donor conceived) asked me about possible donor siblings (diblings.) There are 24 of them on the DSR, but 34 in total. I sent a short note to each parent with the hope of connecting with a few. I heard back from three moms. One currently living in Australia and two moms who both live in Oakville, Ontario (a town of 220,000 just outside of Toronto). At first, I was quite confused as to how two moms who used the same donor and lived in the same small town didn't know each other. I then asked Tara (mom of John 15 and Raven 13) if she knew a mom named Laura who also has a donor child (Thomas, 13) and she had never heard of them. I was quick to give Tara Laura's email address so they could connect. What are the chances that not only they both have kids who are 13...BUT Thomas and Raven go to the SAME private school, same grade and know each other! The world just got smaller! WOW! Both John and Thomas also play hockey at the AAA level too!
The two moms living in Oakville soon made plans to connect so the two families could get better acquainted. The first meet-up was a causal hike in ravine trails with their respective dogs. The next activity was a fun day of tree trekking.
Both Laura and Tara expressed their gratitude to me for connecting them after all these years living less than 5km apart with no idea! I was the spark that started the fire of our collective friendship and family connection of 4 moms and 7 diblings.
Laura was keen to keep the momentum going! She had a brainwave to get the Canadian group of diblings and moms together in cottage country. Knowing I lived in Ottawa with my girls, and the other 3 moms and diblings were in the Toronto area, midway was Haliburton!
Laura threw out the idea to the group not knowing, if they would think it was too ambitious or too forward. We all responded with enthusiasm etc.
Laura also extended the invitation to another Ontario donor mom, Alice and her children Abby and Spencer (boy\girl twins, 13 years old).
Alice responded the same day and within hours, the four families all had cottages booked for a 5 night get away. The countdown was real!
On June 25, 2021, strangers became family. Watching seven kids meet their "diblings" was nothing short of magic. There was an instant connection (after the initial shyness wore off) and it was easy to see the familiarity and sense of comfort these kids felt. The kids (and moms) spent five beautiful days on the lake, water skiing, tubing, parasailing, jet skiing and even flyboarding! The way each kid cheered the others on, the way each kid was proud of one another, the ease at which they all communicate, we knew we did the right thing by getting everyone together.
It was an instant bond for the moms also. We are a sisterhood. Our children share DNA. It really doesn't matter what hobbies or passtimes we may have in common, all that really matters is our child(rens) connection to their brothers and sisters.
We have all booked the same five days for next summer and we are in the process of finding a few days over the Christmas holidays to get together.
It is just so amazing that our children now have a broader understanding of who they are and are given the gift of an incredible extended family.
I am so thankful to my daughter for asking me about her siblings, because without her curiosity, we would never know the absolute beauty of our new found family.
*names have been changed to protect identity*