The crowded Washington D. C. airport reekedsmelled of greasy fast food. I sat beside my mom in the food court, eating a slice of pizza from one of the many vendors. We had just been visiting the city for my mom’s work. Our flight was scheduled to depart in about a half an hour. “Alright, stop eating and listen to me, because I have something really important to tell you,” said my mom. “Okay? What is it? ” I asked. “Your father and I, well it was very difficult for us to have kids,” she began. At this point, I thought she was going to tell me I was adopted or something.
After several years, we decided an egg donor would be the best option. ” “Okay? what are you saying? ” “I’m not your biological mom… Aunt Anette is,” she stated. As it turns out, my mom was not my biological mom; the woman I had known my whole life as “Aunt Netty” was. “Wait, wait, hold on a second. You’re telling me that Aunt Netty is my real mom? So it’s kind of like I was adopted? ” “Well, no. She gave me her eggs when she found out I couldn’t have children,” said my mom “Oh, okay. I guess I understand,” I told her. “That also means that Gillian, Hannah, and Kyle are your half-siblings. ” “That’s so awesome!
It’s like my family just got so much bigger. ” “You’re not upset? ” she asked me. “Of course not! ” I exclaimed, “This is amazing. ” “I’m glad that you’re not mad at me, but you have to remember that you can’t tell anyone,” my mom told me. “But why not? This is wonderful! ” I said. “I have brothers and sisters that I didn’t even know I had. ” “It isn’t easy for me to tell people,” said my mom. Her countenance portrayed a woman strained and worn from having to keep this secret for over twelve long years. “Well why not? ” I asked. “I don’t want my entire life displayed for other people to gawk at.
“That makes sense,” I said. “We still have to tell your grandparents. I don’t know if we’ll ever end up telling some of our family in all honesty,” she confided. “How did you keep it a secret all these years? ” I asked her. “Very carefully. We wanted to tell people from the start, but I didn’t think it would go over so well with some people. ” As we boarded the crowded plane to go home, I kept peppering her with questions. My insatiable curiosity nearly drove her mad, and after the first twenty or so questions, she told me to hold on to them until we got home.
The rest of the ride I sat jittering in my seat, going over and over my new ancestry. I couldn’t believe that no one had noticed the similarities between me and my half-siblings. I couldn’t believe that no one had told me before. I couldn’t believe that my parents had to go through my whole life, not being able to tell anyone, but wishing desperately that they could. My mom explained to me that they hadn’t told me before now because they wanted to make sure I was mature enough. They didn’t plan on telling my little brother any time soon. When we got home, the first thing I did was ask my dad about the whole situation.
There’s a term for people like you; it’s called being a ‘test tube baby’,” explained my dad. “I actually got to see them mix you up inside a little test tube. It was pretty cool – it was almost like some science experiment. ” Hmmm. Test tube baby. I toyed with my new title in my head, rolling it around, examining it from every possible angle. He was right; it did sound like I was a science experiment. “Now, don’t think this makes you any less of a person,” my dad told me. “I mean, I think this is super cool. How many people can say they were made in a test tube? ” I laughed.