Thursday, May 22, 2008

All in the name of Mom

There are days, and today is one of those days, where I feel like I’m beating a stupid dead horse.  No matter how many times you explain, no matter how many times you try to make someone understand your pain, unless that person is willing and able to separate themselves from their own desperate wants and needs, they will never grasp the immeasurable grief that comes with the intentional loss of kinship.

This is not an impossible task mind you, I know of quite a few recipient moms who ‘get it’ and can distinguish between their own feelings and the feelings of either their child or of donor conceived adults as a whole.  They can see the faults with donor conception, they can acknowledge that their decision may have caused an insatiable pain for their kids, but at the same time they can love and cherish their child(ren).  And these women, I don’t think they get the respect and the gratitude that they so deserve for succeeding in this task, because for many DC adults, these women have become our foundation. 

There are several DC moms who have become what I would call second moms to me, and they know who they are.  Not only do they have the integrity to stand up and say that (quoting one of them) “You know, I did what I thought was the best thing at the time, but looking at the situation, I may have made a mistake, while still loving my child and not being able to envision life without him“ but they selflessly understand that our views, whatever they may be are rightfully ours, and that truly wanting the best for their children is essentially accepting and empathizing with our loss.

However, the majority of mothers cannot begin to fathom this, as they are too defensive, too walled up behind their own emotions, their own insecurities, to be able to ultimately accept the fact that regardless of their own emotions, the child created in this manner is the one who is going to carry this decision as a metaphorical badge of bastardism until they day they die.

I received an email from one of the latter moms yesterday, and in my attempts to form a coherent and sound reply minus several select swear words, I’ve decided to blog about it.

In this email, I was informed that:

“The one thing that is very clear and will never change is the use of donors to create families”

“From the numerous emails I have received in only a couple of months, I feel like you are on the extreme edge of feeling it (donor conception – anonymous) is completely wrong.  I haven’t had anyone with the feelings you express”

“I would be heartbroken if either of my boys grow up to feeling the way you feel”

“And while I get that you are saying that those other situations happen through the realm of life, and as parents we CHOSE to bring our children into the world via donation…well I just don’t buy it.  I just don’t.  We CHOSE a lot more than that.  That (using a donor) is one small aspect”

“Not having children this way is not an option and one that will never happen”

And to top it off…”Please don’t take anything in this email as negative”

Without going all crazy white girl on this woman, I’m truly appalled at her lack of empathy, her complete disregard for an ADULT offspring’s feelings [her children are both under 6], and her obviously uninformed ignorance to the views of offspring.

All it takes is a few seconds to take a look at anything in the right column to see that we are not going to be silenced.  We are adult donor offspring and we deserve the same respect that the majority of these recipient moms take for granted…to know both our biological parents.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a 27 year old female. I was born in what you would call the old fashion way. My mother, GOD help her did the best she could. My father however was pretty scummy. But I dealt with the life given to me. I really find it so hard to listen to all your whining. It is really pathetic that all you can think about is you...and in a negative way. From your photos it looks like you were well cared for and loved.

I now have two kids of my own, that again I had the old fashion way...SEX! I think that there are many other couples out there who are financially and relationship wise much better fit to be parents then myself when I had kids. But what is something happened...and they have to get an egg donor or sperm donor. Are you telling me that a child conceived with all the love in the world....but using donor egg or sperm, is worse off then a child conceived in a lusty night club up against the sink in the bathroom? I am sorry lil girl but I do not agree. Why don't you stop your blame game. Be grateful for what you have. And except life for what it is. Do you really expect people to believe that you would rather your mom not had you at all?

Renee said...

OK, I wanted to share something positive, to tell you you are not a whiny or ungrateful for simply being born. I posted here previously regarding losing our kinship through the break down of family, even unknowingly having relatives living just a few streets over.

My daughter attends a school in which extended relatives also attend, but because the relationships broke down between the mother and father as a young teenager couple, the mother remarried and lost touch with everyone. To say the least, the father, my relative is incapable even today of being a father, but that is who is their dad is, that doesn't mean the children has no interest in everyone else.

Well as I was packing the my kids up in the minivan after school, the mother of the children comes up to me and tells me she was just trying to find the right moment to 're-introduce' herself. Her son, one of my relatives, now a young teenager in middle school at first didn't seem interest, but I doubt most 13 year old boys would be about some woman being his dad's relative. But I told the mom, whenever I saw her son's name in the school's bulletin I shared it with family, and she shared a bit of sadness that when there was a large birthday party/family gathering of an older relative that no one bothered to invite her children and found out later. The older relative is turning 100 this year, I'm sure she wants to see all of her 'great-great' children. These kids know nothing about her, but I know so much of her life.

I told the young man, that if he even needed to do a family tree/genealogy project for school, I could show him where everyone was at the local cemetery and I gave the mom updates on everyone.

I don't see your blog about being ungrateful, in fact it is the desire to be fully grateful of who you are, but how can one express being grateful for life when you're denied half of your ancestry. Just because dad ends up being a bum, it's still good to know who your cousin twice removed goes to the same school as you.

Children aren't puppy dogs, who all they need is love and being well-cared for, we're human beings and have a sense there is a deeper meaning of our origins and the want to connect with them. People deal with it in different ways, some people claim to "except life for what it is" as the above poster, which is ironic, because life can't be created without a father and that is what you're accepting and everyone else is denying.

kisarita said...

still looking for information about known donor kids
do you have anything available?

I first got interested in sperm donation because I know plenty of people who were raised alone by their mothers who were abandoned by their fathers and who turned out better than I did who grew up in a traditional nuclear family

but although they had very poor or nonexistent relationships they did know who he was

Veronica Thomas said...

Lindsay, keep at it. You are doing great. Yes, there will always be negative feedback, but don't let it turn you away. I am flabbergasted (well, maybe not really) by the amount of self-blinding irrationality that some comments can contain. Just remember that whenever they attack you as a person, you can be sure that they are on weak ground. It means they couldn't find anything better to pick apart in what you said. Basically, a lot of it has to do with a desparate need for continual justification for their own poor, usually selfish choices.

Lindsay said...

Anon,

First of all, comparing children conceived naturally and children conceived from donors is like comparing apples to oranges. So, your father was crappy, I’m sorry…my adoptive father is an abusive jerk (so please do not tell me I look like I was well cared for and loved) and I don’t know my biological father – so there! I’ve never said that I’m not grateful to be alive, nor that I wish my mom hadn’t had me. That is not the point. Also, this blog is not just about ME – it’s a voice of hundreds of thousands of donor-conceived offspring who are too afraid to speak out.

Donor children are not conceived with “all the love in the world”. We are created to fulfill a selfish wish of our parent(s) without regard for our dignity as human beings. I am not blaming my mom – regardless of what you think – she did want she thought was the best at the time, but she’s learning now that something is missing for me and that I have every right in the world to want and need to know the other half of me.

As for being conceived in a one night stand, or whatever situation you are construing as a worse off scenario, I personally sometimes wish I had been conceived in this way rather than the cold sterile and completely medicinalized anonymity of DC. For one, my mother would have actually MET my biological father. There must have been a spark between the two, some sort of connection – whether it was alcohol induced attraction or what, at least they have that much. My biological father could be my adoptive father’s child he’s so young, and he was still in primary school when my mom was graduating from college. In no way shape or form could they have met and formed a relationship in normal circumstances. He was most likely a medical student or scientist and my mom was a 1st grade teacher. They are about as opposite as night and day, and here I stand as the proverbial black sheep in my family.

Also, do not call me a little girl, as I’m not much younger than you are, and contrary to wishful DI mom thinking, DC offspring DO actually grow up and have voices and opinions of their own and we are not children who can be shushed and punished as such.

Lindsay said...

Renee and Victoria,

Thank you so much for your support!


Kisarita,

Are you asking about children born from open-ID donors or just offspring who have met their biological father? I have plenty of links to the right of the latter. The former, since the oldest children of open-ID donors are just coming of age, there's very little information, however let me see if I can find anything or anyone and get back to you.

kisarita said...

I first began to consider sperm donation seriously as a l&d nurse for a client who was pregnant subsequent to gang rape by three masked intruders. I kept reassuring her that she could make a good life for her son and raise him to be a healthy individual. Then I told myself, that if that's the case, a sperm donor shouldn't be half as bad.
Or else maybe i was just talking bullshit to her. and she should have just gone and aborted.

kisarita said...

why am I considering sperm donation? after meeting men whom I considered highly unfit fathers...
one of whom I was deeply in love with. the breakup was extremely painful for both of us. I did it only for the welfare of my future kid. that is why I really resent all these accusations of selfishness. if you think people are wrong, mistaken, shortsighted, whatever I can accept that but I don't accept the judgemental stuff.

Lindsay said...

Kisarita,

I don't know what you mean by me being judgmental. This blog is my own feelings and observations...take with it what you wish, but don't accuse me of being judgmental until you've been conceived this way and know what it's like to be on our side.

I also don't understand your rationale of breaking up with the love of your life because he was an "unfit father", for the sake of your hypothetical child. I read that as being selfish in that you gave up on a relationship simply to have a baby who's father wouldn't be a bum. Whatever the case, you wanted a baby, end of story. I'm not saying what you did was wrong, I just don't agree.

I also don’t see the connection between the patient who was raped and keeping her child as justification to use a sperm donor. I try to keep non-related controversial topics off this blog, but I’m sorry, if your reasoning for encouraging this poor woman to keep her baby simply because you’re gung-ho pro-life, then I couldn’t disagree more. I am not a fan of abortion, but I don’t think a woman who has been gang raped should be forced to carry and keep a child from that encounter – have you not thought about what it would be like for her to look at her child every day and be reminded of that horrible event?? Regardless of her ability to raise her child; what a horrible circumstance which she is going to have to face for the rest of her life. Not that abortion is going to allow her to forget, but at least it won’t be a constant reminder. And from that you argue that a sperm donor shouldn’t be half as bad…yeah, except you don’t have to look at your child and be reminded of probably the worst thing that ever happened to you, you only have to look at him and see a man that you’ve never met.

As for your thought of known donors - in my eyes it's the only somewhat redeeming option with regards to donor conception, and I hope you choose this option. I am still trying to find adult offspring who are from open-ID donors, but I haven't any luck yet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynsay,
I came across your blog a while ago. I have been reading so that I can get a sense of the way a DC adult feels. I must say that in reading your opinions I have changed a few ideas that were first in my mind.

I know that these views are purely your own and blogging is a really great place to air those views. I'd love to ask a few questions, if you don't mind.

1.I would like to know why you think that DC is selfish?
2. In a perfect world what would you rather an infertile couple use as an option.

I'd love to engage in a constructive conversation about this if you are up for it.

I am just hoping to educate myself sufficiently.

Rajni said...

Wow. I had no idea Lids. None what so ever. I don't know how far you've come in your search or can even imagine your emotions, but you are one heck of a girl woman. You always have been and you always will be.

Love,

Rajni

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to find your site. I'll have a lot more to say later, but for now, just know that I feel the pain of all donor offspring, though I am not one myself. I want to hear more about your anger and about your feelings of abandonment.

Jay said...

Insatiable pain?? You cannot get enough of it?!?!?! That butchering of the English language aside, I have to say, get over yourself. Life hands us all good things and bad things. There are others who know their biological parents and their ancestry and wished to to god that they did not. Others may have faces or bodies that give them unhappiness. Others may be born with an illness that takes away most of the joys life has to offer. And then, there are the few that may have no discernible problems, and may have picture perfect lives. Nonetheless, no matter where in the spectrum you fall, the best thing to do is make peace with it and try to be as happy as possible in the situation you are dealt.

You have to live with what you have, and be a bit nicer to the woman who gave birth to you. Poetic justice would be you having a child who decided to act like a drama queen for some OTHER reason, and blame you for his/her existence, because it is oh-so-painful.

Anonymous said...

in reaponse to Jay - when you say "try to be as happy as posssible in the situation you are dealt" you seem to come across as saying stop displaying any assertion that IVF fails those it is there for, that is the donor-conceived themselves, I find the points made by DI-adults very intersting. And why not??

Panic Away said...

This is the reality that we have to live with. Not many people, even those who are close to you, will show that they care about these concerns. There are some who are more vocal than others and say words that hurt. Keep strong as even if the path seems difficult, the goal can be achieved.

Anonymous said...

Like the first anonymous, I'm a 27 year old female. I'm donor-concieved. And, in my life, it has never crossed my mind to identify as such. I'm a human being, born because my mother wanted to be a mother. While you're absolutely entitled to your opinions and feelings, and I'm truly sorry that you feel like a victim, and yes, this is your blog, please PLEASE stop saying that you are the voice of "hundreds of thousands" or "all" donor-conceived people. It's incredibly insulting to have someone postulate as though they inherently know what we all feel. There is no connection between you and me and our feelings simply because we were conceived the same way. You do not know me, please don't speak for me. I'm rather horrified that there are potential moms out there, looking to you for advice. Just think... if your mom or my mom listened to you, we wouldn't be here! Embrace the gift given to you; life is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

From your photos, you look like you had a very happy, idyllic, and privileged childhood. When did it all start to go wrong for you?