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Life Happens

July 15, 2019

 

I currently live in the Midwest.  I'm 56 years old, married for eight years and have an 18-year old step daughter who just left for college.  I was in California, visiting my mother for her 91st Birthday and then in San Francisco trying to revive a project to work on. 

 

On Friday, October 6th, I got a FB note from a young woman, R, who was raised by a single mom.  Her mother had been artificially inseminated by an anonymous donor in 1993, she was born in 1994.  But from the biographical info in the chart and the miracle of modern googling, she located me and believed that I was her father.  it was a beautifully written note, with lots of caveats and plenty of room for me to not engage and not feel bad about it.

 

I should add, that over a period of years I supported my early career with donating.  Very few other people get paid for their habits, so I considered myself lucky and was rather cavalier about the consequences.  It was anonymous after all; and what WAS an internet.

 

R had been searching for me since she was a little girl, but apparently had lost the paper with all the info, which wasn't much, and they had misremembered my birth year, so the searches they did, never yielded anything.  But she recently found the paper with the right birthdate and she searched again and...

 

i asked R some questions and she explained how she found me, and it made sense with what I had learned from some research, I hunted up some photos of her and...  Well you can guess.  There wasn't any doubt that R was my daughter.  Wow.

 

We started messaging back and forth that night; with the questions going faster and faster so that we were each only answering about one out of three.  I asked her if she would video chat.  Yes.  So we spoke to each other for the first time for about 30 minutes.  In which about half the time we just stared at each other in disbelief.   She had been imagining the moment for decades and I had never imagined it at all, but I'm not sure either of us was (or really could be) prepared for the feelings.  She told me that there were "more...".  I told her that I wasn't ready to hear that part of the story yet.

 

I was leaving CA Monday for a brief hospital procedure, but we made plans to meet the following day when I drove down to LA.

 

Throughout this whole time I've been madly texting and emailing with my family and friends with an exploding brain.  

 

We met on Saturday afternoon at my good friends' house.  She is an amazing young woman, a musician and songwriter.  We connected immediately.  I introduced her to my friend's housekeepers and asked her how I should refer to her relationship with me.  She looked at me with a quizzical look and said, shrugged and said something to the effect of, "Call me your daughter."   When the housekeeper heard our story, she started crying.

 

R. and I talked and held hands and stared at each other for about two and a half hours.  She had a concert to go to, and I had to leave very early the next morning, but we decided to meet up for a late night drink after her concert.   It went late, but we met anyway, at Swingers in West Hollywood.  (in the Lyft ride over to the restaurant I told my story to the young man driving the Lyft, he was blown away.  He had never met his father either).

 

We talked and talked, and held hands and stared and stared.  My feelings and thoughts were not something I could describe to anyone because I had never felt them before.  What I was feeling was something entirely new.  Magical.  Huge.  Profound (I hate that word, but I can't find another).

 

I think we both wanted to talk forever, but we were both falling asleep.  I knew I'd be coming back to LA in a couple of weeks for my friend's daughter's wedding, so it wouldn't be a long time before we met again.  But my life was changed forever.                  What a difference a day makes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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