Thursday, June 18, 2009

Another Donor Egg Related Post- God parents

Just another weird thing that I didn't consider when I decided on DE. God Parents. My sister and her husband are Piccolina's Godparents and guardians should Mr. Peeveme and I both come to an untimely end. But this child is not genetically related to them. Would it be better if we chose someone on Mr. Peeveme's side of the family for those duties? I'm not really asking you...just wondering out loud here.

I could ask my sister (who does know about the DE) how she feels about it. I'm pretty sure she sees no difference between this child and Piccolina. BUT........and this is a big butt (tee hee), technically, Nolan (my step-son) is just as "related" to my family as this child is (he's Mr. Peeveme's DNA but not mine)...and my family has never embraced him...although there are LOTS of reasons for that which are not their fault...he was older...they never saw him...he's kind-of a self-absorbed jerk....It's a totally different situation, I know, but it does give me pause because my family has never really embraced anyone who was not of our genetics (which is why I am not telling my parents). I always grew up hearing my mom say things like, "They aren't really your cousins....Your uncle just married someone with kids". Or "They aren't 'insert my tribal name here' because they are adopted". So I know how my mother feels about genetics. It has certainly impacted the way I feel about genetics...which is why doing DE was such a hard decision for me and obliviously I am still working things out. But I had a HUGE incentive for changing my thought patterns about genetics....I wanted a family. Without DE it would not be possible for me to add to my family.

It worries me that, even though people are excited about this pregnancy, when Bambina arrives what if they don't feel connected due to lack of genetics? Everyone loves a little, innocent baby. But as she the differences become apparent...will they feel the same? And if the worst happened would they be able to love this baby and take care of her the same as Piccolina?

I know after she is born most of these doubts will fade and she will simply be my baby. But there are those situations that make me think about it and the God Parents aspect is one of them that I did not anticipate when I started.


areyoukiddingme said...

It's like your family is the opposite of mine! I've heard stories from my mom of how her mother wouldn't let her talk to certain cousins because the cousins' parent(s) had committed some unpardonable sin. Like getting divorced, or marrying someone unacceptable. Apparently, my grandmother even suggested that my mother should give one of my sisters to my aunt when she was born because my aunt was having problems having children. In retrospect, I think that was a missed opportunity for me to be even more of the favorite...

I think most people (who are not that concerned with genetics) connect with babies because they're new and unformed. They try to see the parents in the baby so they can predict what the baby will be like when he/she gets older. And once the connection is made, it's not usually unmade. They just attribute the differences to weird Uncle Joe, who no one ever sees, or Aunt Sally who had those unusual eyes.

It's so fascinating to get your perspective on these things. It's not exactly something you come across every day.

Sky said...

You've stated why things were different with Nolan. And of course they were, he wasn't YOUR child. This child is YOUR child - your biological child (just not your genetic child).

I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell your family won't love the child as much as they do your genetic child.

And, ultimately, you will love her the same.

Birdee said...

Such good points. I hope this baby is just as accepted as little P.
I think it's wierd how I can love my friends kids, but I'm not crazy nuts over them like I am my neice, or even my cousin's kids. But when my uncle adopted a little African baby, I fell completely nuts in love over her. She has me wraped around her pinky. (as she does everyone else in the family). I hope it's the same with your family with little B.

Brenda said...

Even though I didn't think my parents would have a problem with having a grandchild who was not genetically related to them, it bothered me enough that one day I decided to have a deep discussion of how they felt about us using DE to have kids. I let them ask all the questions that they wanted and then asked bluntly, "do you feel uncomfortable that these children will have no genetic ties to either of you?" My parents were genuinely taken aback. I don't think that they thought about it before. After a moment my Mom looked at me and said, "these are our grandchildren regardless of whether we share the same genes or not." I didn't think that it would ease my mind, but it did.

LaceFace said...

I've been following your blog a few months now...Have to say that if your family doesn't embrace any child you bring into your household, be it donor eggs, biological, adopted, whatever the case, I wouldn't waste my time and emotions on them. People who truly love children shouldn't care about their "genetics."

nishkanu said...

Hmmm, it's interesting, we are in the opposite situation (although a different 'opposite' from areyoukiddingme's). Mr. Nishkanu's parents have always been very clear on the line of who is 'in' the family and who is 'out.' So, for example, even after dating Mr. Nishkanu for 5 years I was still introduced as "Mr. Nishkanu's acquaintance." Their attitude about all this is partially why I kept my own name after getting married (yes, I am still a rebellious teenager in some ways). I don't know exactly how they feel about genetics per se but I have heard them say some of the typical things about adoption that people say when they haven't been educated about it (e.g. 'not her real child, but adopted'). My family is the opposite, my sibling's and my good friends are considered by my parents as 'just like family'.

Before we went ahead with DE I had a long discussion with Mr. Nishkanu about whether his family would think that the little one was 'theirs' more than mine. He said they would not, I kind of doubt it, but he knows to run interference if anything happens. And if his parents ever say anything that suggests anything like that I can guarantee you that there will be a no-holds-barred Setting Them Straight On The Matter.

Because of this background I think my inclination would almost be to find a guardian who is on 'my' side to counterbalance any trend to erase my side of the family in the event of my untimely demise. Similarly, if we had had a kid who was genetically mine I would have been OK giving it just Mr. Nishkanu's surname, but I don't want people to take that as a code for "it's not really my kid", so it is getting both, poor thing.

Anonymous said...

Obviously you would have a way different relationship with Nolan had you carried him for 9 months, and been an influence since day one! I think your family will love this baby if they are involved in her life - and if they aren't genetics wouldn't make a difference.

You aren't genetically related to Mr Peeveme either, and you love him! I agree that any "family" that can't/won't embrace ALL your children doesn't need to be part of your lives. Hope all the crazies work out.

Anonymous said...

My father is obsesed with geneology, and finds resebmlances between people that, frankly, really don't exist. When I was first considering donor eggs I got kind of freaked out, thinking of how my dad has treated my brothers step daughter (i.e. aside from ignorning her existance he also attempted to exclude her from the family geneology book he was putting together!)
When I went over to talk to him about it, his first reaction was to ask if my cousin could give me eggs. this cousin is from my mothers side. So that sort of blew me away. I do fear the resemblance talk that may or may not happen depending on how many donor sources we pull in, but hmmm. I don't know if I'd worry so much aobut the genetic connection in terms of god parents. I think I'd think more about who is likely to be around and have a real relationshp with Bambina so that in the unfortunate event that gaurdianship has to be invoked, the relationship is there to sustain both of them.
But! Given your tribal issues and what you've shared about the efforts to rebuild the tribe, I can see why this has been so important for your family. It is so interesting how some familys are permeable and others aren't.

DD said...

On the save vein as musicmakermomma, people fall in love all the time with people with who they have no genetic bond. Genetics do not equal unconditional love at all.

Our godparents for my DE daughter were picked solely b/c of the qualities they possess, not b/c of blood.

I should add that we did not tell anyone in our families that our daughter was DE. It's my daughter's story, not mine; not my MIL's; not my father's. It's not b/c I'm hiding it from them or b/c I think they would treat her differently. It's funny how many comments I get about how she looks like me.

It's an incredible gift you and I were given. You will find yourself staring at you new baby to figure out if the shape of the nose or the curl of their ear is from the donor and instead of feeling like the odd one out of the genetic pool, those differences will fill your heart with such awe, it will almost ache.

Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.

Kami said...

I have had similar thoughts even though everyone - family and friends - see the DE thing as no big deal.

Brad and I have been trying to figure out who should raise her if we both die. His family is not an option. My family is not related and each of my sisters have some issues. Maybe our donor? She would be the closest "blood" relative to LB. Does it matter? I don't know.