Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bio Mom to DI Dad: "I Did Not Sign Up For This"

no. 394

The other night I called my wife over to the computer and asked her to watch a webisode of this 5 minute comedy per day called "Where are the Joneses?" Besides her dumbstruck reaction to the content of this very strange donor sibling search psuedo-comedy she quickly stated that I am nuts and she "did not sign up for all this".

By this she means my continuing involvement in ongoing DI issues and the occassional absurdity (i.e. the aforementioned web based video sitcom) that I find related to it. In her mind we used DI to make the kids and that was the end of the story. Don't misinterpret this to mean she would count herself among those hetero families that use DI and never tell a soul much less the kids. She doesn't believe that and she is a firm believer in openness / disclosure. She just means she doesn't think about this stuff every day like I do and wants simply to put this all in perspective whatever that might be.

Truth is I can see her point of view. She is not affected like me as she is the bio parent and her day to day life is raising two small kids, shuttling them off via the NYC mass transit system to school, classes, playdates and general household stuff etc. She really does not have the time to stop and focus or obsess on these issues. In her mind we used DI to get around infertility, it worked, we have two kids growing up in NYC so lets stay on that plan and continue to raise them and ourselves.

This all got me thinking whether as time goes by, does the bio parent generally forget about these issues and only the social parent continues to revisit them from time to time? Again this blog forces me to not just forget this stuff but to dwell on it perhaps unnaturally.

To be honest when I look at my kids I don't see neon DI signs on their forheads I just see them. Truth is we signed on to be parents and we got that but occasionally we have to remember the other stuff and prepare to address it when the times come that it will be raised by them. And I know my wife will be with me when the kids realize what this all means.


abogada said...

My daughter was conceived using donor eggs, and I rarely think about it at all. In fact, my thoughts are probably closer to your wife's thoughts. The only time that I ever think about it is when someone says my daughter has some of my features, or when we go to a new doctor and I'm asked about certain illnesses on my side of the family. I find this very odd, considering that I struggled for so long with giving up a biological link. Now? It doesn't seem to matter at all. I hope that my daughter feels the same way someday.

DI_Dad said...

I can relate to all of that. When we are playing in the playgrounds or normal to day to day stuff it never even enters your thoughts which is amazing and just shows the capacity we all have to love these kids.

damianhadams said...

Hi Eric,
sometimes I wish I did not think about DI issues as much as I do. It would be easier to go on without giving it another thought, because honestly it would give me a lot less grief that way. But I can understand that the non-biological parent would think about it more than the biological one would. It makes a lot of sense. Also, your wife should be understanding of your position.
What if one day one of your children says that they do not like the way they were conceived - will your wife also state that she didn't sign up for that too? Donor conception just isn't that simple if you take the time to think about it in depth. My wife would probably prefer that I just put it aside as well.

Anonymous said...

I am a (hetero, married) bio-mom to a DI toddler and I probably obsess about the DI issue more than my husband does. He feels very strongly that our daughter is "His" and I support his commitment, while at the same time being aware that they don't look much alike, which could cause issues later when we do disclose to her (as we plan to).

We are struggling with the issue of disclosure to family (basically we've told mine, but not his--husband's choice). Because there's not a lot of resemblance between our daughter and my husband, I find myself nervous when people comment about her appearance.