MY MIDDLE SCHOOL CLASSMATE IS MY BROTHER

In the span of two weeks in January 2019, I got married, went on my honeymoon, and returned to discover that I had another new brother. Welcome to the life of a donor conceived child. Mercifully, I’d left behind the ability to be shocked by the discovery of new siblings after I was blindsided by […]

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A HANUKKAH WISH

Two more years have passed since this original piece was sent to David and Thomas via email on the first night of Hanukkah as siblings. In the years since, I am slowly gaining experience with my family in our holiday traditions. I can sing the blessing without much of a stumble, retell the story of […]

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THEN THERE WERE FIVE: A CRISIS OF IDENTITY

“The trauma said, ‘Don’t write these poems. Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.” ― Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase August 19, 2018 I went to bed last night thinking — knowing — that down in my bones, I’d been healed by whatever had wrought damage on me in the […]

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A [BIGGER] FAMILY AFFAIR

August 18, 2018. Being told in your early-30s that you’re donor-conceived is not a conversation that happens once, then disappears into the abyss. Not even close. The questions of origin abound, then they shift and eventually reappear. Days at a time. Weeks at a time. In some ways they never go away. Yet an irony of […]

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THIS IS MY FATHER

I have tried and failed to explain my father, his story, and all its nuance in under 2,000 words — a blog post. It’s not feasible. But each time I start, I find myself back in the pages of Barack Obama’s “Dreams from My Father.” It’s a book I read in pieces years ago, but […]

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SIBLING MEETING DAY

October 5, 2017: I’ve just walked through security at Rochester International Airport, thankful for the expeditious mercies of TSA Pre-Check on a morning that began at 3:45 a.m. I approach the monitors that list all departing gates and quickly find mine, then take a deep breath. Rochester to DCA airport in Washington D.C. via JetBlue […]

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Who Am I?

Who am I? This isn’t a question I’ve pondered often. I’m introspective, so sure, to some degree it’s crossed my mind. But these existential questions of self, of identity, are more like distant cousins than bedfellows. I think I’m ‘unique,’ but I think everyone else feels that way about themselves too, and thus, who I […]

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SARAH BERRY

I’m told that young boys tend to view the arrival of new siblings — particularly the arrival of sisters — somewhere between skepticism and outright xenophobia. But when my mother, seated next to my father, tells me, “David, you’re going to be a big brother in August — you’re going to have a baby sister!” […]

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A NEW SISTER & BROTHER

Learning you’re not your father’s biological son is no less unsettling on day two as it is on day one. I slept poorly last night. I had more questions for the mirror’s reflection than any night prior, wondering about the origins of the features staring back at me. A stranger. A man with blue eyes […]

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SOMETHING’S NOT ADDING UP

Intuition is a compelling concept. It’s our mind’s way of steering us toward truth when our research and rationale have been exhausted, like an otherworldly power. Yet we have no evidence to prove it exists, other than an unexplained compulsion within us; a compulsion that engages whether or not we ask it to. Even if […]

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