“I want to know more about my father.”
She was looking up at me with those big, trusting blue eyes and a subtle but determined set to her jaw. My ElderSpawn was brimming with curiosity about this guy who’d contributed to her genetic profile. I grimaced a little at her calling him ‘father’, he’s at most her donor dad, but I decided I could take that up with her at another time. As the conversation continued, she told me she’d been talking to her cousin about the fact that he knew of a half-brother he hadn’t met. His dad had abandoned that child and his mother before meeting her cousin’s mother, my wife’s sister. His father has a good relationship with my nephew, even if he lacks in responsibility most of the time. This conversation apparently sparked speculation about Hazel’s paternal contributor and the possibility of siblings. She asked me how many babies had been born from him in a week (that was her question, I kid you not). I answered that he hadn’t produced that many babies, but there were others who had been born because he helped their mother’s get pregnant. Her eyes got big.
“You mean, there are other’s like me? “
“Yes, there are some other children who are your half-siblings. Would you be interested in knowing more about them?”
“Yes! I want to know about all my relations.”
I promised that her Mama and I would talk and let her know what we were going to do next. I also promised her she could see the donor’s profile and learn more about him. She already knows she can’t request to meet him until she’s 18, and then it’s up to him to accept the contact. The fact of half-sibs is clearly an exciting development for her and something we’ve been preparing to talk to her about. We already know of 3 other kids, 1 other girl and 2 boys. Their moms have been in contact with us and each other. Unknown to Hazel, she’s already met one of her half-sisters, when she and her mom and family came to one of our summer parties last year. We moms were still being stealth about it because neither girl knew about donor sibs yet. Also interestingly, we’re the only queer couple in this group. We’re hoping Hazel can establish some kind of relationship with the other kids, what kind of relationship is up to them. Some donor-siblings see each other as half-sisters and brothers, others see them more as cousins.
So here we are, on the brink of a brave new world, a world that includes more ‘relations’ for our daughter, and hopefully more friends and fun experiences. I think 2 of the other sibs know about each other and are in contact through email and web cams at this point. Their moms have been asking if Hazel would like to get to know them as well. I’m sure it will be exciting for her, and, hopefully, not too overwhelming. I’m glad she’ll have other kids she can talk to about being donor spawn. She’s been talking a lot lately about feeling so different and not liking it. She cites her glasses, future braces and her epilepsy as some of the differences. She doesn’t bring up the fact that she has two moms and doesn’t know who her donor is, but I’m sure that’s part of the difference she’s been feeling. I’m hoping that by meeting other kids who are not only like her, but related, she’ll feel a little less like someone on the outside.
In a parallel and synchronous development, someone on our lesbian moms email list was talking up a book by COLAGE specifically written for children conceived through donor insemination. COLAGE, Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The book is called COLAGE Donor Insemination (DI) Guide and it goes over all the basics of being a DI COLAGEr. This past weekend we gave it to her, along with the long profile of her donor, which she immediately began to pour over, exclaiming over various details. Since then, she hasn’t said much on the subject, but her usual method is to get information and mull it over for a while at her own pace before coming back for more.
Our Little Bit won’t be asking about her paternal contributor for a while yet. Right now her priorities are getting attention, practicing her monster noises and rehearsing for the next zombie walk. This kid would be the most scary zombie, with her sweet, twinkly blue eyes, her dimples and her back-of-the-throat Linda Blair imitation. She gets crazy eyes, grits all 4 teeth together in a crooked grin and starts growling, while waving her arms in front of her and walking toward you with that funny, just-started-walking-after-being-in-a-coffin gait. She loves, loves, loves playing catch-me and peek-a-boo, especially if I combine monster noises and goofy faces with those games. She giggles, squeals and shrieks, and starts off at a quick pace that she can’t really hold yet… it’s a good thing she knows how to fall gracefully. She is hilarious to tickle, so that is usually the reward of catch-me chases. Eventually, I don’t have to move, I only have to reach out with grabby-hands and growl and she collapses in a fit of giggles and contorts as if I were making actual contact. She is my favorite form of entertainment.
She is two weeks shy of her first birthday and I’ve been thinking a lot about how much has changed in a year. Roxy was reminding me of how stressed out I was a year ago. We didn’t know when the new family member would come, we just knew it was soon. I was a bit cranky about how much my life was going to change. Mrs. Kyle and I had carved out a lot of freedom and flexibility, so this event was going to severely curtail our extra-domestic activities. I was cranky about it, and worried about how it was going to effect my relationship with Roxy, and at that time, Amber. I knew my time slices were going to become very thin, and that I would need partners with a lot of patience and flexibility.
I was also excited. I thought maybe I’d get a son and that prospect thrilled me. I began to remember all the fun of watching a person develop, of seeing their personalities emerge, of helping them discover the world. I can only imagine what it was like to be along for that emotional roller coaster. A year later, I’m happier than I could ever imagine. I have a gorgeous primary family, with two beautiful girls and a wife whom I appreciate more every day. I have Roxy, who is one of the best people I’ve ever known and who is an excellent partner, lover and soul-mate. My life is pretty damned good. A year ago I was a bit of a mess, now I feel balanced and stable and healthy.
I am very thankful for the wonderful people who make my life so good.
Thank you, Mrs. Kyle for bring the beautiful and entertaining Little Bit into the world. Thank you for leaning on me when you’re tired. Being needed is important, and it helps to know you trust me to take charge, to take care of you and the girls.
Thank you, ElderSpawn for being an excellent big sister, for working hard and being responsible and for also continuing to be your very unique, talented and loving self.
Thank you, Little Bit, for reminding me how wonderful it is to parent small human beings and for loving me so much. I’m so excited to be a part of your life.
Thank you, Roxy, for your patience, beauty, tenacity and love. You are the perfect person to be my partner in poly. Our love continues to grow and every day you amaze me with your talent, honesty and strength.
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