The inspiration for Conception Story was the journey to conceive my son. And what a journey it continues to be.
Conceived with the generous gift of an anonymous donor in South Africa, after 8 years of losses and fertility treatments, Luc Tayten (“the Light of Great Joy”) Hunter Bend was born on his due date, May 7, 2010.
Eight years of losses, and now eight years of living with this ebullient soul (and a few others), I am ready to share what we learned—and are continuing to learn, along the way. All the “not pregnancy” pee strips, sonograms, injections, surgeries, doctors, statistics, and choice points are still fresh for me, but not with the same emotional charge. Now, with my grief complete, I feel only compassion for anyone walking this path. And a passion to share solutions, to see it all as a gift.
Today, what’s astonishing me is how Luc’s conception story continues to unfold for him. I carried him in my womb for 9 months, nursed him at my breast till he was almost 4 years old, and he claims he’ll co-sleep with me for the rest of his life. I am definitely his REAL mom. And yet he is profoundly aware of his adopted genetics and “donor” mom.
I made Luc a book to tell him his conception story—how loved and wanted he is—and gave it to him as a gift on his second Christmas.
Why so young? For a few reasons…First, the psychological and emotional process for adopted children is well-known. It’s essential that children know their parents relationship with them from the beginning. A surprise can create a break in attachment and complicate their self-image. This is true also for children conceived with any kind of fertility intervention, especially a genetic adoption, like ovum or sperm donation.
Second, I needed to fully process and grieve my own loss of passing on my genetics. I could not delay this grieving. As soon as he was born, people noticed that Luc did not look like me. His olive skin, dark brown-auburn highlighted hair, his rich brown eyes are not from my blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes.
Third, I needed to prepare for his questions. I needed to be able to answer them at his developmental level, be there for him, not just awash in my own memories and emotions about the 8-year-get-pregnant trudge. Making Luc’s conception story was a way for me to grieve, and process all the complications of navigating the fertility treatment system. Otherwise, all this stuff would flood my brain. He would feel my complicated emotions, but not be able to understand what he was feeling from me.
His questions did come, in layers of increasing curiosity and concern from 2 to 8 years old. So far I’ve been able to address each one calmly, at his developmental level. But they are getting tougher as they become more about his identity.
I have owned this domain name for six years, repaying each year, not quite sure what I would do with it. As Luc’s conception story unfolds for him, and he peels back layers into deeper and deeper territory—belonging, family, race, difference, trust—I know Conception Story needs to come alive.
I am here to share our story of adopting genetics, both the challenges and the grace that come with raising a child who feels all of that deeply. I want to help you have the courage to conceive your child, and to tell their conception story.
Born 13 days after Luc in May of 2010 is Tru, a spectacular Anglo-Shagya Arabian horse. My mare, Giselle (Luc named her “Mama G”), actually played a pivotal role in conceiving Luc. Pregnant together, we walked the Redwood forest trails to stay in shape as we grew our babies. Tru lives up to his full, registered name—“My True Companion”—and like Luc, Tru teaches me about heart and courage, boundaries and love. Plus nutrition.
In 2015, our family stepped onto the spiritual path, and moved to Ananda Village, a modern ashram community of yogis living for joy and dharma in the Sierra Foothills of California. I’ve been meditating twice a day for almost 3 years now. Meditation has seriously re-wired me. It’s re-wiring our whole family, as Luc meditates and does yoga in his Living Wisdom School.
The spiritual path has raised my consciousness to the grace flowing through every loss, every joy, every moment of life. It’s time to share the grace…
4 thoughts on “The Inspiration”
heartwarming and courageous
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Woow your story is very touchy and it gave me hope in my situation,I was diagnosed with endocromesis sorry about my spelling. I would love to do IVF i would like to know how much it cost I live in South Africa (Cape Town)I’m 40 years old not married. I am very fond of children and I wish to have one of my own one day thats my dream. Every time when I pick up my nephew I have that silent prayer to ask God to bless me with one of my own.It hurts to see girls younger than me carrying their kids while I don’t have one even so I still believe one day God will answer my prayer. What will be your advice to me … currently I’m not financially stable but I’m working.
Thanks for sharing your story with us
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My advice is to follow your heart, keep praying (also meditating, sitting in silence, because that’s how we listen to God), and take the steps to fully understand your body, the treatment options and the costs. God will work with you on the divine plane, if you put out the energy on the material plane. The next story I’m writing talks about choosing what’s important to you, listening to your heart, and features a single woman who got pregnant at 48 with ovum and sperm donation. She was also single, like you, and she inspired me to take the next step. Being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever loved. Being a working mom is even more challenging, but our children grow up knowing the value of work, and family time. If you contact Cape Fertility Clinic, they can design the treatment plan for you. Endometriosis is a particular condition to treat, but it’s not a stopper. In all fairness the costs may not look the same to you living in South Africa. My experience was coming from the US where health care system is different and the costs are higher. I also had the advantage of exchange rate on my side. CFC will give you a good estimate.
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Thank you for sharing your story. So wonderful to read. My 8 month old son is also a Cape Town baby, living in Australia. He has made my life whole, after trying 6 rounds of IVF in Australia, and being told my eggs were too old, and the chances of success were highly unlikely, I decided to seek abroad for an egg donor (and sperm donor, as I embarked on this as a single woman). Egg donation in Australia is both tricky, as well as very costly. The staff at Cape Fertility were AMAZING! I had so many questions, they had all the answers in such a timely fashion for me. I am so unsure how the following years will unfold, as my boy starts to ask questions about his heritage. But we’ll tackle it as they come up. I’m not ashamed of where he comes from – I love him more than I had ever thought was possible. He’s such a special little human, and I just hope he doesn’t hate me for his existence in the years to come.
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