Fourth Annual Reunion
We are part of a donor sibling group that as of next month (there are twins on the way) will number 29 children. We just returned from our fourth annual gathering where 11 donor siblings and their parents attended.
I posted a success story a couple of years ago when a large group of us first met. I am happy to report that since that time our friendships and true affection for each others children have continued to grow. We've moved from sharing pictures and comparing traits among our kids to providing support and advice to each other as the kids get older, parenting challenges get more complex and our respective life circumstances change.
My initial hesitancy in finding and meeting donor sibling families was rooted in a fear that somehow knowing these people would dilute or compromise the uniqueness and preciousness of my own children. While this is not a particularly rational fear, it abs0lutely was my primary concern. Coming in at a close second was the fear of inviting craziness, clinginess and homophobia into our lives. I didn't want to be part of filling some stranger's emotional void due to a missing "daddy"..
Our gatherings have had quite the opposite effect. Each time I am with donor sibling famlies, the uniqueness and preciousness of my own children is amplified by the number of children in the room and then some. Those of us with donor conceived children have an amazing vantage point in the theater of nature/nurture. We've all gone to great lengths to have our children and share a common bond in that journey that the majority of parents do not. We cannot take any of our kids for granted.
So far the common ground easily trumps any differences in personalities, parenting styles, choices about donor conception etc. that are an inevitable part of the landscape.
Amy Moore - Silver Spring, MD