It’s been nearly three years to the day of learning that I am donor conceived, and not my father’s biological son. In that time, I have written extensively about most of my thoughts and experiences. That includes the cast of characters involved in the story, with special attention paid to my dad and sister, as well as Morgan and Thomas. And as time went by, CJ, Amber, Meghan and Dallas too.
There has been a glaring omission in this cast of characters, though.
And the proverbial 800 pound gorilla in the room, and the greatest missing link — or unexplored corner — of the blog is this:
The identity of my biological father.
I have substantive reasons for why this question has collected dust on the shelf. I’ll explain and explore them in time.
For now, I hit the rewind button to a few days after my parents told me that they’d used a sperm donor to start their family, with me.
Those days were like an emotional waterboarding. And while I may have a penchant for dramatic language, it’s rarely a tool I use without justification. I feel confident that any drama you’ve read in these pages has been obvious and carefully placed.
So here it is: I struggled to use my mind and body that week in September 2017. It was like trying to stand up inside a wave; impossible and disorienting. I was stunned, broken, held together, broken again and sobbing intermittently, going on bike rides with no headphones, listening to the wind, staring at the sun. Then I’d sob again. And the next day, I’d repeat the routine.
Some semblance of a new normal began to form as the waves receded, days later.
Despite all of the wounds I’d obtained, I was reminded that I’d survive it all.
Yet, as that process played out, another unfolded. And the next most-obvious question formed itself in front of me like a wall. No way around, no way through. Just an imposing edifice to be reckoned with and broken through in increments with a small pick — who is my biological father? I learned enough about recessive genes in those post-discovery days to learn that my blue eyes were an inheritance from the man.
But those genetic inheritances were never more prominent and in-my-face than on the day I met my brother Thomas. Seeing him was like seeing my most intimate personal qualities shown in the face, voice and mannerisms of another person. A person, at that time, who was a total stranger.
And a total dead-ringer for me.
Same bald head and shape. The blue eye color. Same crow’s feet around those eyes, and the same animations that come with them. I watched how his eyes move with surprise, interest or shock, and how he gestured with his hands, or inflected his voice. The way his posture found its home when he’d sit, and when he’d stand; the exact same height as me, 5’8″.
All of it — all of it — was like watching myself. And by extension, watching our biological father.
He is a man I’ve never met and never seen. And yet, I know him. How could I not? I am him, and in Thomas, it is and was reinforced just how much. I’d spent next to no time at all dissecting the why of who I was before learning I was donor conceived. But now I know with a degree of certainty that all the things I see in Thomas, reflected onto myself, are certainly broader reflections of our donor.
A mystery man. Bald. Blue-eyed with crow’s feet; the ones that reveal every thought or reaction in transparent detail. And presumably somewhere around 5’8″ tall.
But who is he?