Welcome to Abandoned by Default, my blog about navigating the world as a person conceived via anonymous sperm donation. I have known I was created in this way since I was 7 years old, after my parents separated. My dad never knew that I knew, and he passed in the summer of 2012. His family still doesn’t know that I know. At this point, I have mostly shared this info with everyone in my life except my uncles on my dad’s side, who I pretty much rarely communicate with. I talk on the phone with one of them semi regularly, and I consider him my family still.
I have actively avoided dealing with this part of who I am until I was 33. It started with a DNA kit that someone got me as a Christmas present. It sat on my desk still in it’s shrink-wrap for about two weeks before I finally sent it off. The things I knew and the things I would let myself realize were not really coming together. I knew I could find half siblings, other close relatives, and even my biological father. There was absolutely no way my brain was going to let me entertain these thoughts, until, I sealed the box. At this point I felt one quick wave of emotion. Probably the first of its kind. I let myself imagine finding a half sibling, someone who maybe has the same features that never matched my family. Someone who has the same personality traits that never fit in at any family gatherings. I felt tears welling up in my eyes… took a deep breath, and moved on with my day.
Sending that package, I had no idea it was just the beginning… A year and a half later, that little DNA kit brought me 11 half siblings.* But it’s done so much more than that… I am now aware of deep pain that was hidden away under the surface all of these years. Pain that was preventing personal growth… Pain that has interfered with relationships… I was hiding from others, but mostly from myself.
Although every donor conceived person’s experience is unique I believe that many of us who feel pain share a core emotion that is hard to put into words. For me, connecting with others in my position has helped me immensely. I hope with this blog to try to put into words some of the feelings that have no words, to share my experiences, and to provide a snapshot for those outside for what some of us are going through. That all said, I believe if we go deep enough, we can all relate through human emotion, regardless of the context.
“There are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.”
― Douglas Coupland