Saturday, December 26, 2009

Forgiveness part 2

Forgiveness is a hard thing to write about.  I have no degree and I'm no theologian.  But I need forgiveness, I've received forgiveness, and I've given forgiveness.  So I know a little bit about it. 

It involves so many emotions and decisions that we may not want to deal with.  Forgiveness means recognizing that we have been wronged, yet letting go of the anger so that we no longer feel bitterness toward the person/people who wronged us.  It means that we can no longer complain about it, and frankly, we often get comfort from our pity parties, so forgiving means that we no longer wallow in the junk that feeds our anger.

So instead of giving a whole systematic thesis on anger and forgiveness, I'm going to keep this personal.

For it to make sense to you why I feel the way I do, I'm going to have to tell you some other things about me that you may or may not have picked up if you've read much of this blog.  Stay with me, here...I promise this is going to make sense!

I am a Christian and I believe that the Bible is God's Word, that is, it is what God Himself has said to us.    The one true God who is portrayed in Genesis through Revelation is perfect and holy and completely sovereign over His creation.  And all of us, from our first parents, Adam and Eve, to the tiniest embryos are sinners by nature and choice.  We all rebel against God, whether we do it consciously or not.  We hate God, and everything He is.  We curse Him with every breath we take. 

When we do a job, we are paid for our labor.  The same principle is true regarding sin; when we sin, we earn our punishment.  We don't all sin the same.  Hitler is the poster boy for the horrendous sinner.  We are not all Hitlers.  We aren't as bad as we could be, but we are bad enough to deserve hell. 

So when God changes our natures, He picks us up out of the sin and death that we love, and He takes out our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh.  A heart that beats FOR Him now instead of against Him.  He forgives us for our offenses against Him.  He is under no obligation to forgive us and He owes us nothing but punishment.  It is only because of His mercy that He gives us the gift of life.  Jesus lived a perfect life and died on the cross as a propitiation for our sin - He satisfied the Father's wrath on our behalf.  He took the curse of sin on Himself so that we didn't have to bear the punishment.  And what's more, not only did He take away the punishment for those who believe, but He gave us Himself as our reward.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to purify us from all unrighteousness.

In the book of Matthew (18.21-35), one of Jesus's followers, Peter, comes to Him and asks this question, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?"  Here is how Matthew puts it:

Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.  When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.  And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.  So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'  And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 

But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, 'Pay what you owe.'  So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.'  He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 

When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place.  Then his master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' 

And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.  So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

I am the first servant - I had a huge debt of sin hanging over my head.  The Lord forgave me and took away that huge burden.  If I refuse to forgive my parents, it tells the world that I haven't been forgiven of anything myself.  How can I be forgiven for my sin against God, yet refuse to forgive something against me?   I forgive because I've been forgiven, and not just my parents, but the doctor who set this whole thing up. 

Honestly, Dr. Aiman is the one with whom forgiveness isn't coming as easily.  And the problem isn't that he started the problem, but that he refuses to return my phone calls.  There is nothing like forgiving someone who refuses to acknowledge they've done anything wrong!

And therein lies the rub when you look at the big picture.  There are so many of us who refuse to acknowlege that we ourselves have sinned.  We are told to repent, to turn away from our sin, yet we continue in it as if our disobedience isn't a reality.  That's what makes forgiveness from God so incredible - He gives us the ability to repent and ask forgiveness, even when we don't deserve it.  The apostle Paul puts it this way - we all lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and mind, and were by nature children of wrath, but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he love us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ - it is by grace we have been saved, through faith, though even this faith is not our own doing, but it is the gift of God so that no one can boast.

Because I love my mom and dad, and I know that they love me, and because I had such a good childhood, and mostly because I've been forgiven myself, it's been easy to forgive them.  I have no bitterness toward them.  And because I know that God is working all things for the good of those who love Him, I cannot be angry at Him for doing this.  I know Him well enough to know that there is a purpose to this, and I just need to sit back and see what happens.

All that said, there is a place for righteous anger in this.  I'll talk about that in my next post. 

And I hope to have an update on my search to report very soon!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


It's been quite a while since I've posted here...but not because I didn't want to.  December is always a busy month for us, though I'm not sure why.  I guess all the extra shopping and planning.  All of the children have been/are sick and for the first time since I was a teenager, I've got strep throat.  I've been doing as little as possible for the last two days, and I could use two more days in bed or on the couch, but that isn't going to happen!

So I've been thinking about anger and forgiveness lately.  I really want to blog about it, but I'm not sure where to start.  I think it's safe to say that many of us don't forgive very easily, whether it's the car that cuts you off while driving or the whole donor conceived situation.  And it doesn't matter how big or small the situation is - anger can really mess us up mentally, emotionally, and even physically.  As the mother of five, I'm well acquainted with the small things that cause anger.  I have to forgive on a daily basis, and I'm usually asking for forgiveness on a regular basis as well. 

I assume that most of you who are reading this blog are connected in some way with artificial insemination.  (I'm dealing specifically with the negative side of AI - but I'm not unaware that many of us have non-biological fathers who adore their children as much as any biological father could.)  For many adult children who were conceived this way, there is a lot of anger regarding this route to pregnancy, and in my mind, there are clear reasons why there is so much anger.  A biological parent has sold away the gametes that make up half of a new life.  There are the parents who didn't tell the child how they were conceived and so kept vital information from them.  And then there is the medical community, who has banded together to keep said vital information forever locked away, or worse, destroyed.  The brick walls are erected before the child is even conceived.

I felt like I was thrown into a nightmare that I couldn't wake up from.  It was like one of those huge garden mazes where you can't see over the walls and every turn you take is a dead end.  And there is no handy map to show you how to get out.  Anger is a pretty natural response in a situation like that.  Not everyone will respond in anger, but I think it's legitimate.

Even with a legitimate anger, is there a place for forgiveness?  Is there a need for it?  I believe that the answer to both questions is yes. 

In the next post, I will try to articulate some of the things that I've been thinking about regarding forgiveness.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


We spent Thanksgiving at my parent's home.  All of my parents' brothers and sisters were there, along with a few of my cousins.  Some of them I haven't seen in quite a while.  It was good to see everyone again.  It was also the first time that I've seen everyone since, well, you know.  It saddened me to know that I am not related genetically to half of my family. 

I did get to talk with my dad, briefly, about my conception.  I asked him if we could talk more when I see him again.  I'm glad it's out in the open now.

Seeing all of my family really stirred up a desire to know all of my family.  I wondered how my biological father spends his holidays.  I know that this time of year is difficult for people who have lost loved ones to death or who are just far away from them.  Now I'm getting a taste of it from experience. 

I feel very unsettled after this trip.  It's easy for me to wallow in the seeming hopelessness of it all.  Some moments over the last few days, I had to tell myself to keep breathing.  I keep reminding myself in those times when I just want to cry that I must cast my burden on the Lord, because he cares for me.  It doesn't mean that I can't cry, or be sad, or pray that somehow the Lord would allow me to know who he is.

It does mean, as Tim Tebow reminded football fans yesterday, that I must fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of my faith, and throw off the sin that so easily entangles me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

About The Hymn

I want to explain a little bit about why I posted Light Shining Out of Darkness by William Cowper.  I first heard this hymn sung as a modern song by Jeremy Riddle - incredibly done, by the way.  This stanza really scared me and comforted me at the same time:

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

It scared me because I've had a few clouds break on my head over the last few years.  We've all gone through difficult circumstances.  I hate clouds! 

It encouraged me because it reminded me that those things that we fear most are often the things that either drive us further away from God or closer to Him.  I need to take courage when I see the clouds forming, because while it may rain (or pour), those clouds aren't going to do anything God hasn't sent them to do.

To me, this is the most powerful part of the hymn:

Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.

It would be really easy to ask why God has allowed me to be conceived by a father who is not present in my life.  It seems like such a burden to carry, this not knowing.  But I think that line of questioning is the wrong line of questioning.  I don't think that God allowed it in the sense that he let them (my parents and the doctor and my biological father) create me in this fashion.  I think that Scripture shows us a God who is so involved with His creation that it was not permission that was granted, but rather it was part of God's plan - what He ordained. 

Are you familiar with Joseph whose life is included in the book of Genesis?  Joseph was hated by his ten older brothers because of their father's favoritism toward Joseph.  They hated him so much that they threw him into a pit and then pulled him back out of the pit only to sell him into slavery instead.  He was taken far away from his family and home as a slave in Egypt.  The ten brothers told their father that Joseph had been torn apart by a wild animal.  Long story short, in several years' time, Joseph went from being a slave, to a prisoner, to being second in command of Egypt. 

A famine spread across the land, but Egypt had a storehouse of food.  People from all over the area went to purchase food from Pharoah.  Joseph's ten brothers came before Joseph to buy food, not recognizing him as their brother.  After a long, drawn out process, Joseph, who still hadn't yet revealed his identity, determined that his brothers had repented from the evil that they had done to him and so he could not keep his identity secret any longer.  This is part of what he said to them:

"Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.  For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.  God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.  Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God..." (Genesis 45.5-8a)

The brothers did, indeed, sell Joseph into slavery.  But God ordained it to happen.  Joseph, the one who endured slavery, defamation of his character, prison life, separation from his family...he recognized that God sent him to Egypt through his brothers.

Toward the end of the narrative, Joseph says this to his brothers: "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive."  Joseph may have wondered why exactly his life was unfolding in this manner, but he could see God's providence, even in prison.
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), a pastor and one of America's greatest thinkers, said this about the sovereignty of God: "There has been a wonderful alteration in my mind, in respect to the doctrine of God's sovereignty.... The doctrine has very often appeared exceeding pleasant, bright and sweet.  Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God."

Knowing the true circumstances of my conception has made me love the Lord all the more, because I can see Him working in my life.  Even in the darkest days, I knew that nothing I was going through was by chance or accident.  I don't know all of the whys, but I'm really ok with that. 

Even if you don't like what is going on in your life, God has His purpose for it.  Will you fight Him or trust Him?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

John Edwards and Fatherhood

This article by Russell D. Moore dates back to September 20, but I'm just now getting around to posting it here.  Dr. Moore talks about John Edwards' "love child" with his ex-mistress and fatherhood.  Just a snippet here:

Edwards risked more than his career or his party or even his country. He risked, if the stories are true, his little daughter’s very identity.

And that’s where it matters to us. Because no matter how many jokes are made about the “Brek Girl candidate,” we’re all vulnerable here.

We know from the Bible that a child learns who he or she is in relation to his or her father. That’s why persons in the scriptural story are known as “Joshua son of Nun” or “John son of Zebedee.”

You can read the whole article here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It's Still Surreal

It's been about 6 months since I found out about my conception.  The shock is gone, I think.  It's still surprising, though, to think that I have a biological father out there, somewhere, probably practicing medicine, somewhere.  And maybe I have half-siblings, somewhere.  And maybe, somewhere in his heart, does he wonder about me? 

I've wondered about him...what he looks like...what mannerisms of his that I might have...what he thinks about about that day in August of 1976...

He's known about me for 33 years.  I've known about him for 6 months.

He has no idea, but he has five amazing, beautiful grandchildren.  Three of them probably look just like him since they look just like me.  He is so missing out on knowing them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Husband's Sermon

I think I mentioned that my husband is my pastor. If not, I have now!  He's been preaching through Philemon, which is a little tiny book in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote his letter to Philemon, who was a wealthy citizen of Colossae, a small town several hundred miles from Rome. Onesimus was one of Philemon's slaves, who had run away, somehow met Paul, and became a Christian. Apparently he had become close to Paul and helped to take care of Paul in prison, because Paul says of Onesimus that he was "my very heart." Because slaves were property of their master, it was illegal for Onesimus to run away. Paul was aware of the fact that Philemon had the power and authority to put Onesimus to death for running away.

So do you think that Paul hid Onesimus away? No, though Onesimus was "helping me while I am in chains for the gospel", he didn't. He actually sent Onesimus back to Philemon with a letter, asking him to reconcile with Onesimus since they were now brothers in Christ, and no longer just master and slave.

Part of my husband's point was that Christ brings reconciliation, not just between us and God, but also between people. A master and slave relationship became a relationship between brothers.

It made me think of my biological father. I want desperately to reconcile with him. I want him to know that I'm not angry that I don't know him. I want him to know that in some way, I do love him.

Another part of his sermon dealt with not wasting the opportunities that God gives us to bring Him glory. I could tell you the opportunities that I waste daily, but that would take up too much space here. I thought about this opportunity that God has given me in being donor conceived, though. Yes, I do see it as an opportunity. I've been given the opportunity to see God work in my life through this situation - an opportunity that I would not have had, had I been conceived the 'normal' way.

I've been given the gift of deep loss in that I've lost my biological father. That loss has caused me to see God, my Father, more clearly. He truly is so caring and loving and kind.

I've also been given the gift of losing what I thought was a completely unbroken connection to my Dad, the wonderful man who raised me. The first time I saw my dad after finding out about being DC'ed, I cried because I wanted to be his daughter in every way, both emotionally and biologically. It was painful to know that there is that disconnect, but it made me appreciate that our relationship isn't just an emotional relationship. Because he also loves the Lord, ours is a spiritually-linked relationship as well.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Light Shining Out of Darkness

I love this old hymn by William Cowper.  I thought it would be appropriate to share it here. 


by: William Cowper (1731-1800)

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sov'reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What is my identity?

Identity can be a tricky thing to nail down, and I'm not talking about social security numbers, either.  Who am I?  I am a daughter.  I am a wife.  I'm a mother.  But what is my identity? 

It's funny how God prepared me to find out about my dad.  I spent 9 months prior to finding out about this situation thinking about how my identity must be in Christ.  Here is something I wrote on April 23, a month before my mother's conversation with me:

Maybe He (God) does this for you, too: for several months at a time, He seems to impress on me certain themes, usually through preaching and life in general. One of the things that He has been teaching me over the last 8 months has been that my position is in Christ.

I am a mother. But my children will grow up and I will no longer "mother" them as I do now. I am a wife. But my husband could die before me. I will no longer be a wife. But I am forever Christ's. As the song goes, "no power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand." Paul puts it this way: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8. 38, 39)

God was preparing me for the identity crisis that was headed my way.  He was so good to get me ready spiritually for what could have been a life shattering revelation.  His grace blows me away.  I don't deserve it yet he gives it anyway.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What This Has Done In My Life

Finding out that my dad isn't my biological father was pretty devastating. I felt as though who I am somehow cracked, like an old sidewalk that has worn with age. It was all I could think about. It seemed as though my entire childhood was based on a lie - my dad, who was such an important part of my childhood, was raising another man's child. When he looked at me, what did he think?

The fact is, though something in me broke, it wasn't a permanent broken-ness. It was cracked, but not unfixable. My dad does love me, and did love me and I know in my heart that he couldn't have loved me any more than if I were his biological child. Any questions that would arise in my mind as to whether he ever regretted having me are chased away by the knowledge that I am loved by my dad, even as the Parkinson's strips away his faculties.

As for my father whom I do not know, every waking moment was filled with thoughts of him. What does he look like? Would he like me? How am I like him? Do I have any of his personality? Did he marry and have children? How many times did he 'donate' - are there other siblings? I would look at my children and wonder who their grandfather is. I would look at myself and wonder who I was seeing in the mirror. Washing dishes and wondering about my grandparents. Grocery shopping and checking the faces of the tall men who have dark hair. It seemed to never end. There were days that I couldn't carry on conversations without struggling to focus. He is still in my thoughts, though not like he was.

All of this has caused me to be even more thankful to God because He has made me His child, which makes Him my Father. I have no doubt that I know who my true Father is, and that knowledge is more valuable to me than anything else. He will never hide His identity from me, never make me wonder who He is. He created me with the purpose of bringing Him glory, and I hope that my life does that. The Bible says that God works all things for good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose, which means that even in this situation, God is working things out for my good. That "good" may not look the way I expect it to look, but that is where I trust Him and learn that "good" is all in perspective. When Jesus died on the cross, those who had followed Him for three years and those who had loved Him didn't see any good at all. But once they understood that Jesus had to die but then rise again, their perspective changed. Suddenly, the cross was good because it made a way for us to be redeemed.

I may not fully see on this side of death what the good is in this situation, but I know that I can trust Christ.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Hard Days

When I first found out that my Dad isn't my biological father, I had no idea who I could talk to about it. I didn't know anyone who has advertised the fact that they are donor conceived. I couldn't afford a therapist. My pastor has never dealt with this before, but since my pastor is also my husband, he learned as we went. He was a comfort to me by holding me and loving me and letting me just talk, but he couldn't offer that "been there, done that" experience.

I needed someone to minister to me in a deep way. Telling me that I should be thankful for the dad that I have and that I'm selfish to want to know my biological father doesn't meet that need.  I needed someone to point me to the Father that I do know.  Fortunately I know how to pick up my Bible and read, because that's all I had as far as "therapy" - God Himself who knows exactly what I was feeling. 

There were four really hard, difficult, how-am-I-going-to-get-on-with-life kind of days.  The first day that I found out, followed by the next day, which was harder than the first.  "Shock" is a funny thing.  I think the second day was harder because the news was becoming reality.  Yet I was still in shock.  I think it was at least 2 months, maybe closer to 3 before I felt as though I wasn't in shock anymore.  How do you deal with the reality that your entire life (for me, 32 years) was spent believing that one man is your father, only to find out that he isn't?  My dad has had such a huge influence on me, good, bad, and ugly, but mostly for the good!  I felt that I was stuck in a nightmare and could not wake up.  I was helpless to do anything to change my situation.  So I prayed.

God really did answer in an incredible way.  He hasn't brought my biological father to my door-step (I have prayed that, though!) but He has given me the peace to know that He is not in shock, but has planned this for my good and His glory.  Sounds crazy, I know.  How does not knowing who my father is good for me?  Frankly, I don't know.  But I do know that the Bible says that He works all things for the good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose, so either the Bible is lying, or I just cannot yet understand how God is working this situation for my good.  I know Scripture doesn't lie, so that leaves me with waiting to see how it is worked out for my good.  I only know that God is good and as His child, He knows how to take care of me.  So even when it hurts, I trust Him.

The other two really hard days were the days that I found out there were no records left from my mother's visits to Dr. Aiman's offices and the first day that my house was quiet and I had time to think in silence.  That may have been the hardest day of all. 

My older children where gone to their grandparent's home, and my babies were napping.  The entire day was much less noisy than normal, and once the little ones were sleeping, it was really quiet.  No noise was intruding on my thoughts.  I had 6 weeks to settle in to this new reality, and it really hit me hard that afternoon: somewhere out there is a man who is my father.  How do I live not knowing who he is?  How do I go on not knowing where I came from?  Who my grandparents are/were?  Do I have half sisters and/or brothers?  How could I NOT know??

My emotions had my mind spinning out of control.  The weight of the whole situation was pushing my soul down into this darkness that I'd never experienced before.  When I first found out that I wasn't my dad's, I felt darkness trying to push into my heart, but it didn't get too far.  This time, the darkness wasn't pushing in on me, but I was slipping down into it.  I've never dealt with depression before, and thankfully, I haven't had any major traumas in my life that I had to experience on my own.  My husband and I lost our first baby to miscarriage, he has been unemployed, we've lived with both sets of our parents, but these were things that we went through together.  This situation, this having my heart ripped out...this was mine to deal with.  My husband was with me, for sure, but I felt alone. 

I could feel myself being pulled down into a pit of dispair and I was desperate to get out of it before it enveloped all of me.  But how do you get out of that if you can't change anything? 

My husband came home to find me crying over the sink in the kitchen.  He knew what I was going through, but neither of us knew that THIS was coming.  He sat on the couch with me while I blew up at him.  He didn't know how to help, but listening was what I needed from him and he did a great job of that. 

His best friend had also come home with him, so the two of them listened to me and then talked to me, and I don't remember any great fantastic things that they said, but they were there and that really helped.

After they left again, I got my Bible and read.  I don't remember what.  Somewhere in the Psalms.  God used His Word as a salve on my heart.  He plucked me out of the darkness.  He gave me peace.  Just as Jesus calmed the storm when He was on the boat with the disciples, He calmed the storm in my heart. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Story

I want it known from the beginning that I love both of my parents. And both of them love me. The Lord gave me the parents that He wanted me to have, and I am thankful to Him for them. I'm so glad that I grew up in their home.
I'd always wondered why my nose didn't look like my parent's noses. I have dark hair like my dad and when I was a kid and actually played outside, I had a dark complection like my dad. But my dad has a rather large nose and while mine isn't small, it definitely isn't his. Nor is it my mom's nose. My sister's baby pictures looked just like my mom's baby pictures. I just sort of came out of nowhere with my look. But I'd heard stories about Mom's pregnancy with me and there are even some pictures of us at the hospital, so I knew I wasn't adopted. I never imagined what the truth was!

My mom told me one time that they would jokingly tell people that I was my dad's child from his first marriage, and my sister was my mom's from her first marriage. Of course, they were never married to anyone else - they just said it because I was dark like Dad and my sister is fair like Mom.

My parents married when Mom was 17. She had me, the oldest of the two of us girls, when she was 31. That's a long time to be married with no children. I had always known that it took them a long time to get pregnant with me, but somewhere along the way, I remember being told that Dad had some kind of surgery to fix something and yada, yada, yada, Mom was pregnant soon afterward. That was rather vague, but honestly, I didn't care to know too many details of that topic! When you are a teenager, you don't really want to know too much about your parents and their, um, life together. So I never remember asking many probing questions.

Over the last few years, my dad has developed some health issues that have affected him both mentally and physically. Since they moved away from us, it seems as though he got worse each time I saw him. It was difficult to see him become less and less like himself.

Each time I would see him, I would wonder, "Will this be me in 30 years? Will Keith be caring for me the way Mom cares for Dad? Will I forget who people are?" Those thoughts have been swirling around in my mind for the last few years. Instead of googling what he has and checking out for myself to see if they are genetic, I just put it out of my mind. There are some things about your future that you just don't want to know.

This past May, my second son graduated from Kindergarten. My mom and her sister were able to come be here for it. On the way to the graduation, with only babies in the van with us, I asked Mom if anything Dad has is genetic. She said something like this: "I never told you all the details about your conception. We tried for several years to get pregnant and we decided to go to a fertility doctor. I only had a cycle a few times a year and Dad had a low sperm count. He put me on fertility drugs and got my cycle regular and he suggested we use a sperm donor. But your dad and I kept trying while I was on the fertility drugs. We never told anyone."

My first reaction was something like, "Are you telling me that Dad isn't my real father?" As soon as she said it, though, it all made since where my nose came from. It came from my biological father!

Keep in mind that I was driving! It was a crazy conversation that just sort of happened. There was no plan to it, and I'm sure Mom didn't wake up that morning knowing that she was going to spill the beans on a 33 year old secret. Also, because Dad really did get Mom pregnant with my sister when I was 4, I think that Mom was convinced that because they kept trying while she was on the fertility drugs that he really did get her pregnant with me. I think the use of artificial insemination may have just become a non-issue in her mind. I can't speak for her, but this is what I'm guessing.

So this conversation only lasted about 15 minutes before we got out of the van to go watch my son graduate. Then we all went out to eat. I'm not sure how I went through the evening looking relatively normal.

Once we got home that night, I asked Keith to google the possibility of green and blue eyed parents having a very brown-eyed daughter. What he found was that it was virtually impossible. I cried. Really hard. Keith just held me. But I didn't really need the eye color to confirm what I already knew. When Mom said they used a sperm donor, everything just made sense.

I've read what some other people have said about their "social fathers" and how they never felt close to him or something to that effect. That was not me and my dad. I was a Daddy's girl. I probably had my dad twisted around every finger I had when I was younger. There was no divide or disconnect or anything between us. He loved me and I loved him. Let me correct that - he loves me and I love him.

Keith and I spent a good deal of time talking with Mom about the whole situation that night after everyone went to bed. When they left the next day, I immediately sat down at my computer and started my search.

My mother remembered the name of the doctor that she saw, but she couldn't remember what kind of doctor he was and she also didn't remember where she saw him. The first thing I did was call an OB friend who told me that Mom would have seen a reproductive endocrinologist. A what? I had a hard time saying that. What job title in the world has 10 syllables? A reproductive endocrinologist does.

Google was my best friend when it came to research. Since I was completely clueless about how to even search for this doctor, I spent the first day or two trying to figure out how to look. Once I got a handle on that, I found her doctor easily.  I found a brief "resume" online that told me where he was in 1976. Finally, I had something substantial.

When I first talked with my OB friend, she told me that all records would have been destroyed after several years. I was hoping that she was wrong. After a couple of weeks of talking with the records department and sending in paperwork to release Mom's records, they let me know that the records had indeed been destroyed 10 years after Mom was a patient. That was a let down, even though I tried not to get my hopes up that they were still intact and just waiting for me with the name of my father written in neat penmanship.

I spent every night for a couple of weeks searching on google for anything I could find that might be of use to me. I found several blogs and emailed a couple of people. I discovered that in the 70's, med students were mainly used, especially at medical schools. There were no sperm banks at the time, so everything seemed to be kept "in house" and sperm was not frozen at that time, so I knew that my father was still a student in the late summer of 1976, and not some random student who could have been long gone before my parents ever saw the doctor.

Since the good doctor told my parents that he would pick a donor who looked like my father, I *know* that he was tall, dark complected, and I suspect that he wore glasses. My Dad wears glasses and my eyesight is horrible. That's about all I'm able to discern about him.

My next hope was to find a year book from 1976. I was saddened again to discover that there were NO yearbooks published in the years of '76 - '80 (if he had been in his first year in '76, he could have graduated in 1980) BUT the university did put together a book about the history of the school that included class pictures and names of the graduates. I am currently hoping to be able to purchase this book as soon as possible.

It may be naive, but I'm hoping that since I don't look like my mother, I look like my father. If that is the case, I hope that his face will be easily discernable. I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to cross out blondes, Asians, and African-American men, though I'm not sure how many of the last two categories there would be at this school in the 70's. But it's something to work with.

I am also listed on the Donor Sibling Registry and I hope that someone will contact me...