6 New Siblings in Less Than a Year
Yep. You read that right. In the last 10 months, I discovered that I have 6 new siblings (and probably counting). I should start from the beginning…
The weekend Brit and I shared our news about being pregnant was Mother’s Day weekend in 2018. It seemed fitting considering the following year, Brit and I would both be new mommies. Meanwhile, my dad had done a DNA testing kit through 23andMe.com to find out more about where his family had come from. What he found was anything but ordinary. His DNA told him what he already knew — he’s an Ashkenazi Jew from Eastern Europe. After that, he turned off his alert settings as he was being notified every other day on a new relative connection that was 4 times removed. We’re Jewish after all, so we’re always related and connected to someone.
What we didn’t know? My dad had been a sperm donor nearly 35 years prior while in med school. My parents were dating at the time, so my mom knew, and somewhere in the back of their heads, I guess considered that one day “bio kids” may be out there. But considering this was done back in the early 80s, the idea of technology, social media, and DNA kits like 23andMe or Ancestry.com were unheard of.
That very same weekend my dad received a phone call from my aunt. “Sit down,” she said. “I think you have another son…” After catching his breath, he logged back into his 23andMe account and sure enough, under DNA Relatives, were two perfect matches, indicating a son and daughter. After speaking with them both, he learned there was another daughter (she had done Ancestry.com and connected with a sister there).
Anyways, to make a long, twisting, complicated, fun, surprising, awesome story sweet and short, we slowly started to discover what my parents refer to as his “bio kids.” There wasn’t even a split moment where my mom, brothers, wife, or I thought about not including them and integrating them into our lives. For whatever reason, we already loved them. We wanted to get to know them. We wanted that instant bond and connection.
Personally, I have lost track of how many times I had begged my parents for an older brother or sisters. Perhaps I willed them all into existence? Whatever the reason, we were so excited. Then to add an even juicier and yummier layer, Brit pointed out that our soon-to-be daughter would be born into a family with Aunts and Uncles just like her. Being a sperm donor baby was how our family grew. It wouldn’t be strange or foreign. It would just be normal. And for those potential tough days that may lie ahead for her, she has that extra comfort of confiding in her Aunts and Uncles.
Fast forward to yesterday, and I mean yesterday, the latest “newly found sibling” or “bio sibs” (that’s what all us kiddos call each other) surfaced. And just to tally it all up, I have 2 brothers from my parents, so that equals 3 siblings. Last year we found an additional brother and four sisters. With last nights wonderful surprise, there are now 4 brothers and 5 sisters and we are all Aunts and Uncles to four delicious little nieces, all under the age of 6.
To date, half of us have all met in person. By the end of summer, I will have met all in person. How cool is that? In fact, during my family’s annual 4th of July trip to Zion National Park, most of the newly found sibs are trekking out there for us all to spend the week together. Although not everyone can make it, it’s pretty spectacular that most can. Talk about a family reunion!!
We’d love the chance for us all to be under the same roof at the same time, so if anyone has any connections to Ellen Degeneres, let her know that we’d love to all meet her and each other. She’d be one helluva host.