Woman Falls for Sperm Donor 12 Years After Giving Birth to His Child, Goes Viral
Talk about one big happy family!
Some stories in life just seem entirely too good to be true—as if they were plundered from the plot of the sappiest of romantic comedies. That's definitely the case when it comes to Jessica Share and her family.
Twelve years ago, she and her then-wife were living in the Midwest and decided they wanted to have a child. So they went to a sperm bank and took on the difficult task of choosing a donor.
"Because I was writing a doctoral dissertation at home, I would carry the first baby," Jessica wrote in an essay for the BBC. "We matched the donor to my partner—who was by now my wife—choosing someone of average height and weight who had studied literature, had wavy brown hair, and liked sports. The donor listed his profession as a writer, musician, and taxi driver. My wife and I romantically imagined he was refusing to get a desk job, but instead collecting the stories of those he'd pick up in his cab, readying to write the Great American Novel."
Seven months later, Alice was born.
"We gave hardly a thought to the donor that we assumed we would never meet," she wrote. "My wife was particularly hostile to the idea of ever letting our children know him—she felt that love made a family, and I agreed. But we paid homage to his literary genes by reading thousands of books to our gestating bookworm."
Their daughter Alice was so beloved they decided to re-order more sperm from the same donor so that she could have a biological sibling, this time carried by Jessica's wife. Eighteen months later, she was born, and "it became a fun game to pick out characteristics only the girls shared. They were extraordinarily tall, not average height as the donor claimed to be, had long, thin mouths, small noses, electric eyes, and impeccable vocabularies."
Sadly, three years later, Jessica's wife decided to end the marriage.
"There had been no conflict in our family, so I was shocked and heartbroken. She said she did not want to talk about it and there was nothing I could do to repair our marriage. I continued parenting the sisters five days a week for a few years. But when Alice was 10, my ex-partner blocked Alice on her phone, cut off all contact with her, and refused to return her younger sister following a vacation. This remains the case today."
As Alice grew up, she became more interested in her ancestry, and asked for a DNA testing kit for Christmas when she was 11. The results indicated that her biological father was named Aaron Long, and that she had a half-brother named Bryce.
Jessica looked for Aaron online, and eventually came upon a man who matched the details she remembered about him: wavy brown hair, average weight and height, a writer and a musician. When she found his school photos, the resemblance to her kids was unmistakable. "My daughters make that stupid face," she wrote.
Jessica wrote to Aaron to tell him who she was, and he responded immediately, writing her a "a 50-page long life history," which she "devoured." She also wrote to Bryce, who'd just graduated from college, and who's already found more half-siblings, including a 19-year-old named Madi. A few months later, Jessica, Alice, and Madi flew to Seattle for an unusual but heartwarming family reunion.
It went swimmingly. "We visited the local sculpture garden, played a 'nature or nurture' game that illuminated some shocking similarities, and took a road trip to an arts festival."
At the time, Jessica was in a long-term relationship with another man, who was, coincidentally, also named Aaron. But when that relationship ended, she found herself thinking about her daughter's biological father.
"When my relationship with old Aaron ended, I found myself wondering if my children's person could also be my person, and if Seattle was a place for us to land while we figured it out. Aaron's kindness and continued connection with his exes convinced me that it would be safe to give it a chance."
The answer was yes. They met up again, and it just felt right.
"I already knew he was just like the people I love more than anyone else in the world. He was already family in some ways. His smirk and his coloring are those of my youngest daughter. His empathy and socialism? My eldest."
"I quickly discovered that as a mom," wrote Jessica. "I would gladly take any of our new half-siblings right inside, make them lunch, do their laundry, and take care of them forever… By making a family in all these new ways through the years, I've learned more about what family means than anyone would want to. DNA has become far more important than it was when I first picked a donor from a page. Yet it hasn't replaced the truism that families are built on love, not genes. Being open to that love is what ultimately makes a family. Everyone can be welcomed and stay in the fold. There is room for many different kinds of relationships."
She doesn't know how many of Aaron's biological kids are out there. "He's estimated there could be as many as 67," she wrote. "The building may eventually cease to accommodate all of them, but I've got the sandwiches, and the door's open."
And if that story doesn't warm your heart, don't miss this reproductively challenged couple who found their happy ending through adoption.
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