Category Archives: Family of Origin

Weekend Visitors

This weekend our donor’s parents are coming over to meet our daughter for the first time.  I have no idea how it will go.  I trust our donor 150%, otherwise I would not be up for this meeting.  Before I could even say the words, he articulated what I was going to ask for: that they follow our lead after this meeting.  We’ll see how it goes and how we’re feeling and we’ll be in touch if we’d like to get together again.  This could be the start of our daughter having two additional people who become part of her web of loving support- which includes my parents, my spouse’s parents, my siblings, my spouse’s siblings, my auntie, a long line of cousins, and a few friends who are integrally involved in her life and have thus been named “Uncles.” Or, it could be one meeting.  I just don’t know.

It’s strange- I don’t feel trepidation about this meeting. I just feel like we’re walking into the unknown.  I was not necessarily ready to take this step before this time, thus our waiting for nearly three years.  I think it’s a culmination of the trust we’ve build up with our donor, my spouse and I working on strengthening our relationship and communicating with one another until we fully understood and respected each others’ concerns about meeting them.  I could be being naive, but I feel safe about this meeting.  A big part of me feels like my daughter can never have too much love.  It reminds me of when I did my first ten day silent meditation retreat.  It was hard- brutally hard.  My ass hurt, my brain was driving me crazy, my back ached, and I convinced myself that I was getting lock jaw because my jaw kept clicking every time I would eat during meal time.  In the silence of that mess hall I listened to that dull click in my head and I was sure I was walking out of that retreat center not talking even after silence was broken.

But I also had great epiphanies and moments of such ecstatic joy I am certain that I had tiny glimpses of what is referred to as nirvana.  In one of those moments I had such a clear, intense thought that it kept beating through me like a pulse coursing through my body: you have an infinite amount of love to offer. you have an infinite amount of love to offer.  you have an infinite amount of love to offer.  It wasn’t even words really.  As I sat there with tears streaming down my face, my eyes pressed tight, but my neck wet with tears, I had a knowing in my entire body.  There I was at that center because I had suffered a heartbreak I was convinced I would never heal from and I could see more clearly than I ever could before that one’s heart is never fully broken.  Our capacity for love is infinite.  So I take that into this weekend.  I could latch onto my insecurities around not having carried and birthed our daughter… around the fact that she doesn’t carry any of my genetic material or biology… that she doesn’t look a thing like me, even by a stretch.  And yet, I choose to not take that path.  I choose to be open to the possibility of even more love in my daughter’s life.  Or at the very least, exploring the option.

– Charlotte

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Meme Dot

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Today would have been my grandmother’s 96th birthday.  She died seven years ago, well before I was preparing to become a mother myself.  She was the type of woman who loved babies, didn’t like kids who got into her stuff, was always on the go, and LOVED a good dirty joke.  We became friends when I was in my twenties.  Until then, we pretty much tolerated each other.

I was one of those kids who thoroughly enjoyed going through her stuff.  I would touch every piece of jewelry she owned, smell her makeup drawer, try on her clothes and shoes.  She was kind of magical.  She grew up in the mountains of southern New Mexico with very little material possessions, a bunch of siblings and an alcoholic father who died when she was just a girl. Until the day she died (and despite a diminishing mind), she was most proud of two things: her biceps (which she said she got from playing baseball with the boys as a child) and her love for my grandfather.

Since becoming a mother, I think about Meme Dot a lot.  I wonder what she would think of my son (who would probably have a blast touching all of her things).  I wonder if she would see my face in his, despite no genetic connection.  I wonder if she would understand how we made him and that he is my son, too, even though he grew in S’s belly.

I think she would get a kick out of him.  She would laugh when he makes silly sounds and she would help him into her high heels just for fun.  She would sneak him mini-doughnuts and ice cream and plop him in front of cartoons (all taboo in our house).

I have been very lucky with having an incredibly supportive family.  When my mom told my grandparents that I like girls, my grandmother’s response was, “That’s ok.  I play golf with lesbins all the time.”  (Typo intentional.)  For a mountain-mama in small town New Mexico, she was amazingly progressive.  It might even have been after I came out to her that we started to become close.  I bet she would have struggled a little with who’s vagina M came out of.  I bet she would have wondered if he was really hers too.  But in the end, I think she wouldn’t mind if he touched her jewelry or tried on her clothes.  I think she just would have loved him crazy.

-Betsy