Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is Important?

Choosing a donor is not easy. At times I just want anyone who is ready and other times I feel very picky.

Since we've given up hope on our #1 donor (she doesn't know when she would like to donate again, which is fine, but we want to get going on this), I went back to the RE yesterday and looked at the big book of donors. It's very confusing.

Do I pick someone that looks somewhat like me - same eyes, hair, height, weight, etc? Or someone who has the same education? Or similar interests? I was an athlete when I was younger and I find myself drawn to those who played sports in high school or college. I'm also drawn to those who are musical. I'm not musical but both my parents are.

What I want most is that my child can be proud of her bio mom. That I could say, we picked your bio mom because she was smart, athletic, and looked somewhat like me. I want our child to feel good about their bio mom.

I don't know if this is going to sound weird or not, but here it goes. Many of the donors listed their ethnicity as white or Caucasian. The form has an area for them to list the ethnicity of their parents and grandparents as well. Many of the donors listed "white" for all of their grandparents, too. I don't know if that was just laziness or not knowing. My initial reaction was to rule those donors out because I want my child to know his/her ethnic background. I don't want there to be a void for half of her heritage. I'm white but I also happen to know that my ancestors are Irish and German. I have no contact with Ireland or Germany but it does form part of my identity.

And it does come up occasionally - in childhood and adulthood - that you are asked your ethnicity. I want my child to be able to say, " I am part x, part y, and part z" not, "I'm half x but I don't know the other half".

Is this nothing to worry about? Am I worry about something that isn't important?

So, why do I bring this up now? Well, as mentioned, we're not counting on the original donor we chose though she was listed as Irish and German and Swedish and had a lot of characteristics that I like. So, I went through the book and selected a couple of other good options. The one I like the best for her features, her education, etc., listed all her parents/grandparents as "white".

I have asked the donor coordinator to ask the donor if she has more details on her ethnicity. I don't care what it is, I just want to know so when it is time, I can tell the child (that will hopefully come from this).

Other than that, she looks like a great fit for us. She played college basketball, I played college water polo. She is a teacher. I'm a social worker. She is almost exactly the same height,weight, eye color, etc. She doesn't look like me but close enough.

Still on the topic of choosing a donor, what am I supposed to think about eye color? I have light eyes as do both my parents, all my siblings, and all my grandparents. DH has hazel eyes and his sibs have blue eyes. OK, so, would it be weird to have a brown eyed child? Meaning, would people say, oh, where did she/he get those brown eyes? Would it automatically draw attention or would nobody ever notice in a million years? The next two candidates on our list both have brown eyes.

See? I don't know what to worry about. I only want our child to have a good sense of who he/she is and I guess I have the need for the child to chose when to tell people she is an egg donor baby.

Anyway, I think we have chosen a new donor - only need to hear if she will accept and when will she be willing to do it.


Rebeccah said...

So sorry to hear that your first choice isn't going to work out. It really is quite a process, isn't it? We chose our current donor (and I'm hoping she doesn't back out, knock wood) because her bone structure, coloring and smile are a lot like mine, and she seems like someone I would be friends with if I were 15 years younger. I really wanted someone whose smile and attitude would seem most like mine -- which would give the child a good chance of having some privacy, as you mention, plus give me that feeling of familiarity and make it easy for us to explain why we chose her. Her ethnicity is a mix of European countries (like mine) plus an east Asian country. So her eyes are brown too, and my DH and I have bl/gr and hazel eyes. Her brother has green eyes, so there is clearly a recessive gene somewhere that might come through. My sense is that personality is a lot more important than eye color. But you are right -- there is so much to think about ...

Swim said...

sorry your first choice didn't work out. there is a lot to consider with chosing a donor. i too would want to know more info than just 'white'.

i don't know how i would choose a donor but i can tell you from personal experience that my sister and i both have blue eyes and that raises questions because my dad has brown and my mom has green. i always get questioned about it. i have always thought it was a rude intrusive question for people to ask but people are stupid and ask anyway.

i am wishing you luck in your decision.