Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Jenny and Erin, my chosen embryo recipients, had some questions for us. They needed to know us well enough to make an informed choice to accept our embryos.

My wife had been avoiding writing to the recipients, preferring to wait to involve herself until they were pregnant. But she had the experience that Jenny and Erin needed to hear so she wrote to them on her own to share her thoughts on possibilities for the donor-recipient relationship. They had asked about my health and personality and that of my relatives. It is hard to describe yourself so I asked her to do it:

"This is Katherine's wife, Sonia joining in this incredibly interesting discussion. Katie is right that we are making this decision together, but I'm letting her make the initial contacts and see how she feels about people before I get involved. The embryos are legally both of ours, but I give Katie the lead in this process, as they are her "blueprints."

I am actually very happy that you prefer "knowable" (however we end up defining that) donors; years ago, before I met Katie, I donated eggs to 2 friends of mine (hetero): they had boy/girl twins and live in a neighboring state. My friend is completely open about the egg donation with friends, family and her own kids, and it has been incredibly fulfilling to see the children grow over the last 6 years and to know that they think of me as sort of an extra-special aunt.

I agree with you that children are driven to know their genetic origins. I myself am adopted and found my birth mother when I was 18. We have been quite good friends ever since, though it is sometimes years between visits. I mention all this to say that Katie and I are fairly proficient at negotiating the waters of being related to people but not in their family, or of having "family" include some pretty low-key, far-flung relationships.

Since I have family in near your home it might be convenient to meet up every now and then when we bring the kids to see my relatives (usually no more often that once every year or two), but of course that would be totally up to you. I think it would be great for our kids and the recipients' kids to be sort of like cousins and you know that relationship can be close or far, depending. The point is, we're flexible, but I think it would be great to keep in touch.

About our family: Katie is an avid cyclist, and has completed many 100 and 200 mile day-rides and long tours when she lived in the West. She tries to fit biking in whenever she can in our city, though it's not great biking territory. She's healthy, and comes from a healthy and long-lived family. I've become quite close to that family. Katie's mom was a great beauty and Katie inherited her fine bone structure, perfect eyebrows, and beautiful eyes.

Oh pshaw! Sonia had more to tell our recipients but this was enough for them, and you, to think over for now. More tomorrow...