These were the words Granny, my mom, spoke to me, her voice trembling with tears in her eyes, just before she revealed to me that I was donor-conceived. She had kept this from me for nearly 31 years, and just weeks before Little Man was to join us, she had finally found her way to tell me.
Do I have hard feelings about the fact that she didn’t tell me sooner? No. I wish that she had, but I am not upset with her that she didn’t.
I think to understand my answer, you probably need to know the kind of relationship that I have with my mom and some of my background. We are very protective of one another. So, I need to point out that she feels very bad about having kept it from me for so long. She continues to apologize for not telling me sooner, and I think she still worries that I am mad at her.
I struggled with depression as a child, and by the time I reached high school I was really struggling with finding myself and finding my way. Considering the topic here, I should point out that this struggle centered around knowing that I was gay and not because I had any feelings that I didn’t belong in my family. Around that same time, my mom was coming to terms with the fact that the advice she had received to keep my conception story a secret was misguided, but she feared that I wouldn’t be able to handle the truth at that point in my life. Part of me thinks she was right, and the other part of me cares more about her motivation than whether she was justified. I continued to struggle with identity and belonging throughout college and post-graduation until I found a community where I felt accepted, a church where I belonged, and the love of my life. That is when I started a relationship with my wife and came out to my family. Just a few months after I really started to get my feet planted, Grandpa B, my dad, had a devastating accident which left him paralyzed. He would spend the next six years in and out of the hospital with illness, infections, and other complications before passing away. Granny, during that time, again, felt like she couldn’t add something else to my stress and sadness. Whether she was right or not does not matter to me as much as knowing that she only did what she did out of the thought that she was protecting me. To know Granny is to know that she lives from her heart. She loves deeply and is fiercely protective of her family.
That brings us back to that moment where this entry started. Finally, seven months ago, my mom found her way to tell me how I was conceived. She finally realized that the time would never be “perfect” and that the upcoming arrival of Little Man was her best opportunity to open the discussion. We have talked more about it since and continue to have open communication on the topic.
This is obviously all new to me. I am now navigating life as a new mom with this new piece of my history. Strangely, I feel more “found” than I ever remember feeling.