Table of Contents
From the Editor
I’ve often said my son is a child of summer. His blue eyes shine with days at the pool and time outdoors. In this issue we’re kicking back to think of issues big and small. Enjoy the lazy days of the season. If you have an article idea you would like to share or write, please send me an email at email@example.com.
Donor Siblings: To Contact or Not To Contact, That is the Question
Recently my hometown newspaper did a cover story on donor children seeking information on their donor and other siblings. The article, focusing on adult donor children and their quest for more information, mentioned Donor Sibling Registry and DonorChildren as sites where children and their families are finding more information.
In looking at the multitude of topics posted on the Single Mothers by Choice Forum, it is obvious that donor siblings and the mechanics of finding and talking to them is top of mind for many of us who conceived our children using an anonymous or ID-release donor. What should you know about making contact with donor siblings?
The Mechanics: When
For some, making contact might come as soon as they are pregnant by a donor. A recent thread on the Forum regarding contact with donor sibling families came from a member who is in the early stages of pregnancy:
“So, I’m only five weeks pregnant, but I couldn’t resist registering with the sibling registry at my sperm bank and checking out how many other children this donor has helped to conceive.”
Some might consider this too early and fraught with risk – mainly what if something happens during pregnancy? Could there be additional heartache if the pregnancy doesn’t go full term?
When to engage with other donor families is as personal as choosing the donor himself. Some might be driven to register early on a donor sibling site based on a desire to know/share medical information or make early connections on behalf of their children. Others might wait until their child is old enough to understand and make the choice themselves.
The Mechanics, Part II: How
Once you’ve made the decision to find donor siblings, the next part of doing so is how? The sites mentioned above are great resources and many sperm banks now have groups for donor families to connect. Signing up is easy and allows for some anonymity, if you still aren’t sure.
But once you’re ready to engage – what do you say? What are you willing to share?
Before making contact, be clear on what is it you want out of the experience – for yourself and your child.
Before making contact, be clear on what it is you want out of the experience – for yourself and your child. Do you want to establish contact in case a medical need arises? Are you curious about traits your child might share? Are you looking to meet other families and create connections? Be clear on your intentions so you don’t set yourself up for disappointment or disappoint others in the process.
Making Sure the Kids are All Right
Sperm donors and their offspring are a Hollywood favorite when it comes to movies. From Vince Vaughn and 500 donor children, to Jennifer Lopez falling in love with her donor, sperm donation is seen as story-telling gold. For us, though, this is serious business.
The most important issue to consider when engaging with other donor families is your child. Making contact with his or her half siblings, and how you explain it, is personal. The SMC Forum offers many discussion threads on how others have done it. From initial contact, to establishing relationships, to successful meetings and maintaining relationships – the Forum contains the stories of families who have been there.
Ultimately, much as your choice to become a mother via donor insemination was one full of thinking, planning and trying, making contact with donor siblings also requires a thoughtful path. For more information or to share your donor sibling journey, visit the SMC Forum here.
The Things Kids Say!
No doubt about it – our kids are adorable and funny. Need proof? Just read the things they say.
“I have a magic vagina”
I don’t know if she was being silly or she really thought the toilet paper that was already in the toilet when she sat down came out of her.
My son gave me some great positive praise today when I was using the toilet….”Good job mommy. (clap, clap, clap). That’s awesome. Good job, mommy. (clap, clap, clap).”
Chatting in the car on the way home from school, I asked my son how his day was. He replies, “Don’t pick your nose and put your boogers in your mouth and eat them. That’s disgusting!”
Well there ya have it folks. Your tip of the day.
My daughter, playing with dolls in the backseat:
“I disagree to agree!”
Me: I need you to pick up all of the crayons that fell on the floor and put them back in their box.
G: Okay, but Mommy, there are a LOT of crayons. I need you to help me.
Me: No, I’m doing my job – washing dishes. You do your job, and then we can both play when we’re done.
G: But I cannnnn’t do it by myself. There are toooo many crayons. I need you to helllllp me.
Me: You CAN do it! But I’ll tell you what, if you pick them all up by yourself, you can have an M&M.
G: (Not missing a beat) And Mommy, if YOU help me, then you can have an M&M too!
My daughter, whose preschool works in some Spanish, was talking to me about when you say thank you then the other person says you’re welcome and then, “Mommy, what does grassy ass mean?” Um, you mean gracias? “Yes, grassy ass” LOL! Mentioned to the teachers that they might really want to stress proper pronunciation on that one.
After not finding any time when I could shop on my own for bras, I took my DS to Kohls. I brought the bras into the dressing room, and I heard other people in the dressing room nearby.
My son came in the dressing room with me, sat down on the bench and loudly exclaimed:
“LET THE SHOW BEGIN!”
Preschool has had a letter of the week. This week it’s Z. I assume that after this they start over, or do numbers, or who knows what. But on Monday my daughter came home and said:
“Mommy! The letter of the week is Z! But that’s the last letter – I think we will have to be on Z forever! We will have to be on Z until we DIE!”
We were walking out of Chick Fil A tonight. A gentleman held the door open for us but D was offended.
D: (emphatically) I can do it! I am big and strong and powerful!!!!!
Gent and I smiled at each other and laughed! Cute.
I got my daughter, 4, out of the tub and wrapped her in her towel. She gave me a big smile and said, “I’m as clean as a weasel!
Alex: Mommy, did we drink milk from your breasts?
Mommy: Yes, you did, for a long time.
Alex: Was it chocolate milk or regular milk?
On My Own
By Cheri Tabel
“Were you married before?”
“Does your son spend time with his father?”
“I had him on my own.”
On my own – in the thinking stages considering caregivers, finances and juggling baby and life singlehandedly. How does that work alone?
“On my own.”
From a state of mind to a declarative statement to a proud declaration.
“I had him on my own.”
But years and situations and community alter my declaration.
“On my own.” But not.
What I could not see in those thinking days were the people and places that would remove the “own.”
A child conceived in my own heart and mind, but not alone. A child raised and surrounded by love, spirit, and community.
What’s the Buzz?
Book Review – Mommy and the Love Child by Signe Fjord
Written for young donor children (ages two to five years old), Mommy and the Love Child is a colorful telling of how sperm donor children are conceived. Opening with a mother’s personal desire to become a mother, the story then turns to the practical aspects of conception for a donor child. With age-appropriate language, the story includes bright and engaging illustrations.
Noted on the author’s website, Fjord wrote the book “to explain the birth of a solo mom -child family in a simple, educational and fairy tale-like way.” For women who opt to have a child by choice, no fairy tales are required and this story is told in a straightforward manner. If you’re looking for a book that can help you explain your choice to your young child or other young children, Mommy and the Love Child is a nice way to do so.
Released recently in Denmark, you can find Fjord’s book here: http://www.solomomtoadonorchild.com/mommy-and-the-love-child-ebook/
Single Mothers by Choice is now an official SMILE organization at Amazon, meaning that anyone who shops at Amazon and goes there via the link below will automatically generate a donation from Amazon to SMC. Shop, shop, shop! And thanks for your support.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to SMC, we are a non-profit 501.3c organization. You can send a check (SMC, PO Box 1642, NY NY 10028) or donate anywhere on the SMC website by clicking on the “Donate” button. We appreciate all donations, large or small, and we will send you a letter of acknowledgement promptly after we receive your donation.
Want to be a Contact Person for SMC in your area? The primary purpose of the CP is to welcome new members of SMC and to let them know what is happening on the local level. The CP may also assist in setting up organizational meetings for new members and organize local chapter meetings. The roles and responsibilities of a local chapter often are distributed amongst those who are interested in having an active chapter. If you’re interested, contact the SMC office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oklahoma City, OK: Rachel McCombs, email@example.com
Makawao, HI: Anne Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to notify us when you become a mother! If you have someone new in the house please send the information to email@example.com.
“My beautiful little nestling, Claudette Perseverance, arrived at 7 p.m., Dec. 5, 2013, weighing 7 lbs., and making me the happiest mama in the world. We are meant for each other – she is my dream come true.” Leslie Cummings, new adoptive mom, Illinois.
Meredith Milby of Georgia had a baby boy named Spencer Janes on May 11, 2014, Mothers’ Day, weighing 6 lbs., 10 oz and measuring 19 inches.
Kerry Watson is proud to announce the birth of her son, Charlie, on April 18, 2014.
“My beautiful baby boy, Samuel Frost Andrews, was born on April 4, 2014. It was the best day of my life.” Michelle Andrews, New York