“Back in the late nineties, I was your typical college student at USC. I majored in theater and music, performing in the school musical every spring. I was in a sorority and had a boyfriend. I was also the music director of a new acapella group on campus, the SoCal VoCals. Though USC is often referred to as the University of Spoiled Children, I was from a more modest family. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky students who were able to attend on an academic scholarship. The scholarship covered all my tuition and books, but I still had other expenses, so one day I made a decision that would profoundly impact my life in the best way possible decades later. I answered an ad in the Daily Trojan looking for egg donors.
My sorority sisters were hesitant, but it seemed like a great win-win from my perspective. I have never been squeamish about medical procedures (and egg donation requires quite a few self-administered injections and the extraction process is done under anesthesia). Here was a chance to help a couple who otherwise couldn’t start a family of their own. It seemed like a beautiful opportunity, and I was thrilled when I was accepted by the agency and matched with a couple.
The contract stated I was never to initiate contact with or try to find the family, which I understood and respected. However, I did indicate I would be open to meeting in the future if any children resulting from my donation wanted to meet. Because of the privacy stipulations, I was never told if any of my eggs resulted in viable embryos or successful pregnancies. I just went on with my life, but in the back of my mind I always wondered if I’d ever get a knock on my door.
In the almost 20 years since I donated, I’ve had an amazing life. I graduated from USC and went on to perform professionally all over the world. These days I work with a non-profit called Luminary Arts that brings performing arts into schools and produces shows for children and young adults, so music and theater are still an integral part of my life.
I met my husband singing at Tokyo Disney, and we went on to have three gorgeous kiddos of our own. He’s always known about my egg donation, but we never really expected to hear from anyone involved – until a few weeks ago.
I was messing around on Facebook when I received a message from a stranger named Amanda with an old picture of myself, asking if I knew who the woman in the picture was. That seemed a little sketchy, so I just ignored the message. But later that day, I received a message from a young lady named Gaba who claimed to be the product of my egg donation all those years ago. Apparently when Gaba turned eighteen, she was given access to my file which had my first name, that old picture, my birthdate, and the fact that I had gone to USC. The two girls had done some internet sleuthing, found my picture in an old Alpha Phi yearbook and had put two and two together. I knew the timing was right and Gaba does resemble me a bit physically, but when she sent me a video of her singing, I knew immediately she was my daughter. Our voices are so incredibly similar! And the real mind-bender is, she also goes to USC and sings in the very same acapella group I directed all those years ago!
We started texting and learned we have so many similarities! We knew we had to meet and planned a lunch date. One night I told her I had a really strong feeling we should sing together, and she said she felt the same way. We met for lunch near my home and things clicked immediately. We were both nervous and manic for the first hour or so, but we were both so excited to learn things we have in common and catch up on the last 18 years. I asked if she was comfortable coming back to my place to meet my family and sing. Of course, she said yes, and we headed to my house. My three kids were a little shy, but excited to meet her. When we sat down to sing and heard our voices blend, it was truly magical. We both almost start to cry at the same point in the video we took during that first song.
I know some people are surprised I want to share this story. Egg donation and surrogacy has a bit of a veil of secrecy around it. But I’m happy with the decision I made all those years ago, and I couldn’t be more excited to have this awesome chick in my life now. I was thrilled to find out I have a new daughter. She’s one of the most amazing people I’ve met. Not only is she a truly beautiful singer, but she has an enormous heart. I’m overjoyed to have had some small part in her journey. We intend to continue building on our relationship, and I hope we stay in touch for a lifetime. Who wouldn’t want more love?”
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