To Meet, or Not to Meet – One Egg Donor’s Experience

by Admin on April 1, 2011

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MEETING MY INTENDED PARENTS

Being a case manager with Family Creations, I sometimes facilitate donor and recipient meetings.  Whether it is a meeting to determine if the donor is the right “fit” for the recipients or whether the cycle is coming to a close and the recipient wants to meet their donor to thank her in person, the meetings are always really nice.  I’ve never had a recipient say that they wished they hadn’t met their donor.  Likewise, donors are always pleased with the meeting and enjoy having the chance to actually see and meet with the family that they are helping.

Being a case manager and also a donor myself, I’ve always been fascinated with the donation process and seeing both sides of the cycle.  I speak with recipients and donors all day and see similarities in personalities and mannerisms.  It’s really amazing.  I’ve always been an advocate for both parties meeting, speaking on the phone, and really just open donations in general.  There always seems to be a sense of closure for everyone once these meetings take place.

I have personally been a donor twice before. During my first donation, I was read a letter that was written to me by my recipients.  The letter told the story of how they both met and how a tragic accident brought them both together again after being separated for several years.  I look just like my recipient’s sister and my recipient’s favorite song is titled “Emily.”  It seemed like a perfect match.  The letter brought tears to my eyes and I kept my recipients in mind throughout the cycle.  They even sent me a thank you card while I was on the medication.  I was really touched.  They remained in my thoughts throughout the cycle and I still think about them to this day.

My second donation was anonymous.  However, seeing my recipients first names drafted into the contract really meant a lot to me.  They weren’t just “my recipients,” they were Jack and Jill.  (Names changed to maintain anonymity.) Even this little bit of information I held onto dearly, and when I heard that they were pregnant with twins, I was ecstatic.  This process is so miraculous and I’m thrilled that I was able to be a part of it.

Since this past donation cycle, the clinic called me to see if I would be interested in meeting potential parents-to-be for another cycle.  They were working with a gay male couple who was looking for the perfect donor and the couple was extremely interested in meeting me after reviewing my profile. So we met! As soon as they walked into the room, I could see a spark in their eyes and I knew it was a perfect match.  They were both dressed very smart and had the sweetest disposition.  They told me the story of how they met, fell in love and moved to California.  The only thing missing in their life was a family, something they have wanted for a long time. That’s where I come in! They kept saying over and over that my profile was so different than all the rest and I finally asked what set me apart.  They said that they sensed a certain humanity about me.  They listed other things such as my athletic ability, beauty, etc (all very flattering) but they said over and over how the humanity I had working in this field and having the desire to help so many people really touched them.  I too was touched by their kind words.  During the meeting they explained that they had also thought about using a family member as their egg donor.  While I really fell in love with these men, I wanted what’s best for them and I knew that if they decided not to work with me it would be okay.  They are an amazing couple and I wanted them to be happy, whatever path they decided to go down.

I couldn’t get them out of my mind for the rest of the day and was anxiously waiting for a phone call from the clinic the next morning.  As luck would have it, they thought just as highly of me as I did them and we’re matched for an upcoming cycle!   Whoohoo! Now, they are pursuing their search for a surrogate! Hopefully they will find a candidate very soon and we will be ready to get started! I still think of them every day.

Having the opportunity to meet my intended parents was really a chance of a lifetime.  Throughout my first donation cycle I always wondered what my recipients looked like, where they lived, what kind of lifestyle they led but having the information provided in the letter at least gave me a sense of who they were and that really motivated me throughout all of the appointments, injections and going through the retrieval.

The letter and the recent meeting are nice reminders that there are real people on the other side of this process whose lives I’m touching forever.

While personally and professionally I have had great experiences with these types of meetings, they are not for everyone. I am happy to work for an agency that gives our recipient clients and our egg donors choices. We offer specialized packages, tailored to fit the needs and desires of everyone. We offer completely anonymous egg donor cycles, semi-open donation cycles, and completely open egg donation cycles. Through our online database of egg donors, recipient parents can easily identify which donors are open to what, ensuring that they are only focusing on the appropriate egg donor candidates. We will tailor any package to better fit client’s needs.

You can learn more about our specialized packages here: https://www.familycreations.net/packages.php

I am excited for my next donation and will keep my intended parents in my thoughts throughout the coming months. Happy Friday everyone!

~Emily Penn

Egg Donor, and Family Creations Case Manager

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