Yesterday, I attended a luncheon held by the New York Times on Women in Leadership. It was a great opportunity to sit down with women who are leaders in their fields, and who have great stories to tell, and to learn from them. One presenter, in particular, spoke extensively about her research on the lives of women who were pioneers in their field; what were their lives like as children, how did their families interact, when they went to college, who encouraged them to pursue their dreams?
When I speak with friends and family members who are new to the idea of egg donation, they all say the same thing: “You’re going to have a child running around somewhere! Doesn’t it bug you?” And, first of all, not my kid. I just don’t have the same connection to my DNA that other people do. But second, even if I had that connection to my genes, it wouldn’t bug me. I’m happy to have given this gift to another family. We’ve spoken extensively on the blog about adoption, and I think this is similar. I’m happy to help others have a family.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want good things for my eggs. Of course I’m curious about the type of family that they’re going to. The screening process is entirely unfair in that I don’t get to see THEIR family profile. They know almost everything about me; my height, weight, eye color, but more than that, they know my hobbies and my skills and my passions. But I know nothing about where my little eggies are going.
But I can hope. And I hope that they go to families that will support them in whatever they want to do. I want a family that will challenge them, argue with them, and make them critically think about why they do what they do. I want them to be loved, of course, but I don’t want it to be a love that limits them by overprotecting them. I want them to have the freedom to make their own choices, and parents who are responsible enough to make them own the consequences, good or bad, and who will help them learn and grow. I want purposeful parents who encourage creativity and who find joy in their successes, but who can find the silver lining in their child’s failures. I want a father who invests in his children, especially his daughters, and who allows them their voice. And I want a strong mother who encourages her babies to find balance and joy.
I’d love atheist parents, but if my eggs aren’t raised that way, I want a family that is ok with the idea that religion doesn’t define life, but it can complement it. I want parents who will teach and encourage compassion and kindness and humanity.
Basically, I want parents who are like me. But I’m so grateful that it’s not me having and raising these eggs. They’re not my children, despite our DNA connection, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t and don’t hope for wonderful things for them.