Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Donor Information

I have always been of the mind that I would leave searches about Elena’s donor or donor siblings up to Elena. If, at any time, she decided she wanted to pursue this, I would help & support her. I had taken so many choices away from her & made choices for her that I wanted to leave this one solely to her. When Elena was born, I registered her birth with the sperm bank, pulled all the profile info I could off the bank website, I ordered Lifetime Photos of her donor & filed it all away for her.

I thought that would be it for at least 10 years…but I’ve been thinking a lot about it & yes, okay, obsessing just a little. “What if there’s info out there I need to know now?” “What if there are connections there now that will be “expired” when Elena asks?” Plus many, many other what ifs!

I decided it couldn’t hurt to at least register with the Donor Sibling Registry & with the sperm bank family forum. This way, if urgent info became available, I’d be in the loop & if Elena asks, I’ll be able to say, “Here you go, kiddo.”

Interestingly, her donor himself left a post on the DSR. This gave me some peace of mind & a sense of reassurance that I had picked the right guy. Mind you, that post was from 2009, but I was glad that if Elena wanted to make contact, she would be able to fairly easily…seemingly anyway. I mean, there was something about his profile when I originally picked him that made me feel like this was an altruistic choice, it was about more than money for him. He was 29 when he started donating, after all. There was a sense of maturity in his answers. There was a kindness in the answers to the essay questions that I didn’t feel with any other donor. This was important to me because I felt if Elena decided to make contact, she’d at least be encountering a kind man.

There are only 2 other posts; one on the DSR & one on the bank forum. The post on the DSR is just looking for more vials & makes no mention of offspring or success. The post on the forum mentions a son about the same age as Elena & just inquiring if there were any other children. This makes me just a little worried…only because, what if Elena has a deep desire to know half-siblings? What if that’s what her inquiries stem from? I’m afraid she’ll be disappointed. On the other hand, I guess it’s a bit comforting that she doesn’t have dozens a la Delivery Man.

I also feel…I don’t know…at peace that this is done. That I can, in good conscious, put it out of my mind knowing I have done all I can until such time that Elena starts asking questions. Who knows, maybe she’ll never be curious. I’m also comforted that it’s all in place in case something happens to me…but let’s not go there.

Friday, July 11, 2014

SMC Camping Trip 2014

Elena & I had the opportunity recently for a great adventure…we tagged along on a SMC Camping Trip in Idaho with 3 other moms & 4 other kids! And quite an adventure it was!! I am, by no means, a camper…the only camping I’ve ever done was in my 20s where I & hundreds of other 20 year olds would pitch tents for a long weekend, pack hot dogs & batches of Rice Krispies squares & drink all weekend! Not really the experience needed for actual camping. So I booked a cabin just to be on the safe side!

The first leg of our adventure involved flying to Boise, ID & shockingly, there are no direct flights from Toronto! Go figure! Elena & I would have our first experience with layovers & changing planes! We would also be renting a car in Boise, our first experience travelling with our car seat…for this, I am so grateful again for our amazing collapsible wagon. That thing is the best money spent when it comes to travelling with a child!

On all the flights except from Toronto to Minneapolis, I was able to upgrade our seats to the Economy Comfort…well worth the money to have the extra space!! I am so very lucky that Elena is such a good little traveler. We had to wake up at 2am to make our 1st flight! Elena was such a trooper & took it all in as an adventure. She wasn’t as impressed as I was when we got to see Air Force One on the tarmac in Minneapolis but she did think it was the neatest thing that our tray tables came out of our armrests!! She fell asleep mid way through the flight from Minneapolis Boise & slept right through the landing & didn’t wake up until almost everyone had left the plane. We were the last ones off which worked out great as our gate checked seat & wagon were waiting for us & by the time we got to baggage claim, there was our luggage just waiting for us!

Our good luck continued when we arrived at the car rental kiosk…they asked if I wanted a free upgrade. Of course I said, “Yes, please!!” & it was a good thing because we ended up with a Chevy Captiva. I’m not sure how I would have fit all our stuff in the Cruze we were originally booked for! We headed straight for the grocery store to load up on supplies then headed over to meet up with Claire, Fiona & Carys & head off to SilverCreek Plunge. I was very grateful to be able to follow her up as I was in awe of the mountains!! We just don’t have mountains like that here in Ontario!!

What an amazing site we ended up with! The cabin was nicer than some hotels I’ve stayed in!! Chryssa & Felix were there to welcome us & we got down to business of getting organized.

The Hill behind our site the kids like to climb

Elena waiting for fire!

Patty & Libby arrived not long after we did & we all got to know each other over dinner. Claire treated us all to Strawberry Shortcake to celebrate Fiona’s birthday…then we moved onto S’mores! This was Elena’s first experience with open fire & she was awed…but the long day & little sleep started to catch up with her, add in the sugar high & crash & she was ready for bed…except of course she wouldn’t settle down…& then the storm hit!! With the 1st clap of thunder, there was no way Elena was going to stay in the cabin alone to sleep which was a moot point once the rain started so we all called it a night.

We woke the next morning pretty early & I didn’t want us to wake the others so Elena & I headed out for a walk to check out the playground, hot-springs pool & surrounding area. When we got back to camp, Chryssa & Felix were up & the four of us took a little walk about until the others roused.
Elena & Felix warming up Saturday Morning

Carys & Elena giving Jayda some love

After a delicious breakfast we all headed to the amazing hot-springs pool! It was quite cold outside & it was hard to wrap my head around stripping down to a bathing suit…but oh how nice it was to dip into that 98 degree pool!

Later that afternoon we all went for a walk/hike & just enjoyed the afternoon.

The Gang!
It wasn’t long after dinner that I could see Elena was exhausted after a long day of fun & activity & I had no trouble getting her to sleep that night! We moms then spent the evening chatting & sharing stories until the fire burned down to just embers.

The next morning we were up early again & Elena & I took another walk around the park & visited the pool. I had promised her we’d go swimming after breakfast…but we all decided to head out earlier instead…I was feeling guilty for not letting Elena have a last swim but I didn’t really want to have to pack up wet towels & swimsuits…

On the drive back to Boise, we all stopped a little rest stop type place which had the best soft serve sundae bar Elena & I had ever experienced!!! This is where we all said our goodbyes & headed our separate ways with promises to keep in touch & already thinking of ideas for the next time!

I had booked a hotel by the airport to spend the night Sunday before our flights home Monday afternoon. We arrived early afternoon to check in & I was able to redeem myself to Elena for depriving her of a morning swim when we learned the hotel had a pool of its own!! On the way there all I could think about was a nice hot shower (the campgrounds didn’t have shower facilities!!) but upon learning about the pool, Elena & I jumped right into our suits & went swimming. I swear my kid is 1/3 fish!! After that we were famished so ordered in “Man Pizza” (this is what Elena calls pizza we have delivered) & she thought it was the most amazing thing that it was actually delivered by a GIRL!!


We had a great night’s sleep & woke early to enjoy another swim before getting ready & heading for the airport. Elena was not happy about leaving Idaho & insisted we should stay. When I asked her, “What about Gramma & Raina?” she said they should move to Idaho with us!!

On the way home we flew through Denver & we hit some pretty rocky turbulence coming into Denver. To the amusement of the other passengers, Elena enjoyed this very much “whooping” & “wee-ing” the whole time! We were delayed in Denver but were able to pass the time quickly as Elena made friends with a 6 year old little girl & they played until we were finally able to board. Elena was asleep within a half hour after takeoff & slept the entire flight home & like in Boise, didn’t wake up until the other passengers were almost all off the plane.


It was an amazing trip! It meant the world to me to get to meet & connect with 3 amazing SMCs…Elena loved getting the chance to play with 4 of the sweetest little kiddos & it meant a lot to me to have Elena see 3 other strong, amazing Choice Moms in action with their children.

We already can’t wait until next year!!
To see more photos, check our Claire & Chryssa's posts!