This holiday season I got one of the most amazing gifts I’ve ever received, and I want to share the story. The week before Thanksgiving, I found out that I have two adult children that I don’t know anything about. I’ve had a lot of excellent conversation starters in my life, but that’s definitely one of the better ones. Here’s the story…

Decades ago when I was in graduate school, I was a sperm donor for a year or so as a way to make a little extra money. For years I hadn’t thought much about doing that, because donating sperm was anonymous. Five years ago, I did my genetic ancestry through 23&me to find out more about my family history, and a year or two later I suddenly realized that I could have children out there who might find me. So I left my profile open and wondered, but I never heard from anyone.

Then, just before Thanksgiving this year, I got a short and kind of funny message from a young guy named Bob Bobson on Facebook. 

“Dear Dr. Guda, This may seem like a weird question, but have you ever worked as a sperm donor? (DON’T WORRY! THIS ISN’T ABOUT ME!)”

Of course, I immediately went to Bob’s profile where I saw a photo of him and his girlfriend, Gracie. As soon as I saw Gracie’s picture and knew right away that she was my daughter – it was so obvious. Without saying that I had seen this, I sent a short message back to Bob, just saying that I had and why was he asking. His reply came back right away. “I’VE FOUND YOU!!!!!!!!”  

Gracie and her boyfriend, Bob

I found out that Bob had been helping his girlfriend, Gracie try to find her biological father for six months. We did a quick genetic confirmation through, and then Gracie and I talked the next day. Halfway through our conversation I found out that I am also the biological father of her brother, Dustin! Apparently, when people get donor sperm it’s common for them to use the same donor if they have more than one child, which totally makes sense. That way their children are full sibs.

I was blown away. Rachel and Izzie and I were all excited! I had told Rachel that this might happen, and Isabel was super excited to have new family to meet. Over the last month we’ve been talking by phone, text and FaceTime. All of us were excited to find each other, and their mom, Belinda, was super excited too.

Then, the week before Christmas I suddenly I found out that all of them would be coming through Dallas for a couple days at the beginning of a family vacation. Of course, I dropped everything and went up to meet them.

What an amazing and wonderful trip. Gracie and Dustin are so smart, curious and fun, and they are a joy to spend time with. We had an amazing 24 hours together, and I’m grateful that this beautiful family has been so open to meeting me and opening up their lives to me. I’m more excited than I can express about the idea of us all sharing time together in the years to come. This is truly the one of the best gifts I can imagine.