Saturday, February 3, 2007


The last issue I was trying to resolve with our would-be recipients was how they, as Christians, could foster a sense of Jewish heritage in the genetically Jewish children who might come of my embryo donation.

With great hesitation, I had written them to make some suggestions as to how they might accomplish this. Were they open to my concerns? Jenny and Erin wrote back immediately:

"Of course without hesitation we would let our children know of their bloodline and the history of their ancestors and how they are a part of that history and future."

I stopped reading here. I was struck by the fact that they looked not just to the past, as I had, but forward to ways their child(ren) from this donation might bring their Jewish heritage into the next generation. If this was their perspective, or at least their intent, they were the right recipients for us, despite being Hebraically-impaired.

They went on to specify which activities they thought would work within their own family:

"Reading storybooks about Jewish holidays and history would be no problem at all. I hope that our children are inquisitive about their heritage and we would foster that at an early age. Erin and I are both open to the idea of participating in the occasional Jewish holiday with our children. While we do not have any personal friends here that are Jewish, Erin’s parent’s next door neighbors (who they are fairly close to) are Jewish."

It sounded like these recipients were open and responsive to my concerns. I didn't even mind the standard reference to the only known Jewish person in each Southerner's life: their dentist's third-cousin's mail carrier. At least they had some kind of resource for knowing which end of the Hannukah candle to light.

This was the final hurdle I had put up for myself. The recipients had leaped it gracefully by turning my gaze to the future. I was wasting my time looking sadly into the past.

The rest was details. Jenny and Erin were the right recipients for us and we would give them our embryos.