I had a difficult time coming to terms with the fact that I needed to use an egg donor to have a child. It wasn’t so much giving up my own genetics, it was more about whose genetics I would choose. The one thing I knew right from the start, I could not have an anonymous donor. As I searched endlessly through donor egg profiles and websites, I realized that for me, it was more about the ‘person’ than a profile and pictures on paper. Sure, the profiles helped me to narrow down my choices – I wanted someone smart, clean genetic history (of course), no mental health/substance abuse issues, blue eyes, over 5’5”. But the last thing on my list I was not going to be able to tell from a paper profile… I wanted someone with a positive outlook on life… a glass half-full person… very different than my own half-empty tendencies. In my heart, I knew that the only way I could tell this is if I met my donor in person. This was approximately nine years ago—when most egg donors preferred to remain anonymous. I must admit I had a hard time finding donors who would agree to meet with me in person. Most of the agencies I contacted back then were not allowing their donors to meet or even communicate with the IPs (things have changed drastically since then – most agencies do offer donors who are willing to talk, meet, even stay in touch.)
I did finally narrow down my choices and, as I recall, I met with 3 or 4 donors. The first ones were lovely women – but different in person than their profiles and I felt no real ‘connection’ with them. Those meetings left me feeling very disheartened. The fourth time my husband and I flew to Arizona to meet a potential donor in the airport. I know that sounds strange – but you do what you have to do. The second I saw her, I knew she was the one. Sitting with her, talking with her only confirmed my feelings. I cried on the flight home – tears of joy.
We ended up having two children using the same egg donor. I am grateful every day to my donor – and I am so very very happy that I had the chance to meet her in person. I know some women worry that if they meet their egg donor in person, they will see the donor in their child and that will psychologically hurt them somehow. But for me, it is and always was just the opposite. I don’t mind seeing my donor in my children’s faces. It was more important to me that I would be able to tell my children all about her when they start asking. I will be able to tell them what she is really ‘like’ … the feelings I got from her, her compassion, her sense of humor, and most importantly her glass half-full attitude.