When I search for a donor, I look for something of myself in her, but I’ve never understood why. What’s the point? Am I trying to fool myself?

I’ve been asking myself these questions for weeks, thinking that they were rhetorical, and then the other day I realized that they aren’t rhetorical. That the answer is Yes. I am trying to fool myself. I am actually searching for a donor who looks enough like me so that my babies might let me forget that we aren’t genetically related.

Never mind how this could possibly work. Why would I do this? It’s an awful lot of trouble to go through when the tricker and the trickee are the same person. I threw out a bunch of different possibilities, and when I started crying, I knew I’d discovered the reason:

It’s not the loss of my genes. It’s the death of my heritage.

I’m a first generation American and the product of a lineage whose survival was doubtful. My parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents have stories of hunger, discrimination, persecution, flight, and death. I’ve heard these tales over and over again, told to me in third world accents during turmeric-spiced dinners – descriptions of where my grandmother laid the beds in their 2 bedroom apartment to accommodate 10 children, and how my aunt’s fingers were broken when she was 8 because she tried to learn to write her name.

And the story of my father who had one set of clothes growing up: a pair of pajamas that he both slept and went to school in. When enough time had passed, and they were finally too small and torn in equal parts, my dad was so excited to be getting something new – not because of the updated wardrobe, but because then his mom would take his old pjs, wrap them up in twine, and give it to him so he’d have a ball to play with.

These stories of endurance are the stories of my blood, and my blood won’t be passed on to my kids. The loss of all this history is too profound for me to swallow right now, and I’m just not yet ready to bury my grandparents’ lineage. What this means is that I’m committed to selecting a donor who can help me pretend this isn’t happening. I’m going ahead with the charade, and I’m looking for an ally in my self-deception.

After several days of toggling between profiles of brown-skinned, black-haired women, a new donor came up. She’s from my family’s part of the world, and there’s something about her that reminds me of my father’s mother, of my mother’s sister, and of me. She could work.

If we conspire together, this woman’s genetic babies and I could nurse the sham for a little longer. I know that more time, more tears, and more therapy will help me accept that my children won’t have my past in them, but I can’t think about that right now. I’m too busy creating a future where early on Sunday mornings, when eyes like my grandmother’s look back at me, I might be able to snooze for 5 more minutes before waking up.


About TG

My eggs don't work, so I manifested a baby via egg donation. Let's blog and see what happens.
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3 Responses to Charades

  1. m says:

    Your funny. I’m someone who’d be arguing from the other side of the fence but your such a good writer I’m just going to chilll. That bit about the pajama ball is brilliant.

    I can’t believe I’m going to say this but in your unique particular instance I think your attempting to honor your family not trick yourself. Genetic parents are uniquely situated to raise their own offspring because of the storehouse of information they have about the family heritage and history, foods, culture, health, peculiarities, habits, vices talents – so when genetic parents fail to raise their kids, its a good idea to find someone else who comes from a similar family so there is less of a learning curve. You have a certain automatic built in skill set and knowledge, your just trying to put it to good use, that is all. You actually don’t seem like you want to trick anyone, just raise a child that is suited to your family because their genetic family is a lot like yours.

    All other women choosing donors are trying to trick themselves and the world., but sounds like you are not. Nobody has written anything that honest about the appearance matching process. As close as I’ve seen to honest introspection is throwing out the “will I feel like a real mother” bate and hook knowing all their girlfriends will rush to validate their brand of parenthood with a fake hug and an bunch of glittering animated smilies

    There are practical reasons for choosing someone with a similar background, you’ll know what the hell your doing when all the social and cultural references are what you are use to. If you were really building an avatar of yourself you’d be looking for your traits only better, straighter, leaner, smaller, bigger, taller and a vanity alarm would start to go off at some point similar family and background – practical

    Don’t stop thinking though. There are lots of rights donor offspring don’t have it seems like a fur ball to manage. As long as you don’t act as if noting was sacrificed in the process maybe it won’t be as hard for you as it will be for the others.

    Your really super funny. You should write for a show.


    • TG says:

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, M. You’re very complimentary and compassionate, and I really appreciate your warm thoughts and the time you’ve taken to reply. Peace back to you ~ xo


    • It’s funny, as part of me wants to find a hazel eyed, auburn haired donor and another part of me wants to find one so completely different from me that I don’t have to do any comparisons. My husband finds that particularly hilarious that a Scottish/Irish/German gal like myself has checked out the profiles of women of Asian and African descent – as he says, everyone will think it was the milkman who knocked me up! :)


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