Well, my extended family does the former, but very rarely do we actually make it to the latter. There were close to 20 of us at dinner this year, always held at my cousins' house about an hour away. There's never a holiday that goes by in my family without some sort of argument or crisis that involves some sort of yelling or taking sides. This year it was comments by a non-family member about our President which raised many eyebrows and sent a few of our more conservative relations out of the dining room in a pissed off flurry. Well, that comment and the fact that she unwillingly called 4 different people fat, and told several others they needed to get married! All the "adults" -- basically my parents, aunt, uncle, and my mothers cousins -- then argued about who held the Christmas get-together (a supposed monthly dinner outing for the so-called 'adults') last year and who should holding it this year. Apparently it's now going to be the day after Christmas at my parents' house........that took all of 45 minutes of intense arguing to decide.
Oh the joys of family.....
So anyways, on to more important discussions here.
As I mentioned, my family kind of misses the entire point of Thanksgiving. We spent more time gossiping about other family members and arguing.
So maybe I come by the fact that I'm un-grateful for being born honestly.....or maybe not.
Being grateful for our lives is something that EVERY donor-conceived child is indoctrinated with from day one.
- We are told that our parents' medical or social infertility is a terrible thing and that they wanted us so much that they used a special person to help have us!
- We are told that we should not need our biological parent and that loves makes a family! Despite the fact that our parent(s) chose donor conception over adoption so they could have at least a partially genetically-related child, we are told that genetics are not important and that it's the person that changes our diapers that is the real parent.
- We are made to feel as though we hold the weight of our parents' infertility pain, and that that pain is far superior to any pain that we could possibly ever have, and thus we must be happy with our perfect lives.
- We are informed of the immense costs involved in IVF and ART and that we were very expensive children to conceive and thus must be more loved and more special than any other child.
- We are made to feel excessive guilt if we even THINK that we would want to know our biological parent.
- We are taught to love our social parents so much that we could not even think of possibly hurting them to find our biological family.
This only cuts to the surface of all that donor-conceived children are put through in their lives to be made to be grateful to have been born. But you know what, I'm just going to say it now because it needs to be said, loud and clear.
If I had to choose between being conceived with half of my identity and half of my kinship deliberately denied from me for eternity....or never being born? I'd choose never being born.
Now, before you go call the suicide hotline on me, let me explain. First off, if I was never born I would never know that I was never born and thus there is no loss involved. There would be no one to grieve my non-existence because they would not know that I did not exist. This is not a terrible thing, despite what many people may think. However, since I am born and I am a 24 year old woman, I HAVE A LOSS, and that loss is my biological father. We were not adoptees, where supposedly they were rescued from an abortion or being thrown in a trash can, and are subsequently told to be grateful to be alive. We were created to carry a loss. A loss that no human being should have to endure.
If a child is born and their father has passed away sometime between conception and birth, we as a society sees the injustice and the unfair life dealings for that child and feel sympathy for that child's loss. While this is indeed a loss for that child, he or she has dad's extended family in their life, pictures and stories and memories. As donor-conceived children, we are not given that luxury. We are seen as a cure for infertility and nothing more. We are seen as "miracle children" that are so loved and wanted that nothing else should matter. No one feels sorry that we are not able to ever know our biological father, because "he just jacked off in a cup for money" and "he could be a murder...or worse, a communist", and "he signed a contract and his privacy is more important".
Well, you know what??? I'm sick and tired of being grateful - of being just "happy to be alive" - of being so wanted that nothing else is important!! So I'm ungrateful.
I'm ungrateful and I wish I was never born to be denied the right to know my biological father.