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  • I'm on one side of the world thinking about you. It seems quite possible that you have no knowledge of the link between us. Unaware, you go about your daily life in Kazakhstan, and maybe suffer from hiccups now and then, as Russian superstition would have you do when someone far away remembers you.

    I call the connection between you and me miraculous, not necessarily in the religious context, but rather in the sense that it apparently contravenes the familiar laws governing our universe. Our connection is a child, a normal, healthy, happy child, who came into being by unusual means. Here I pause and wonder if you know that your son donated to a sperm bank several years ago. Do you know he's gay and might pass on your DNA through this means only?

    If you were reading this, you would wonder how I know so much. Aren't sperm donations anonymous and confidential? Yes, of course, in the old rules of our universe. But now we have The Donor Sibling Registry, an online opportunity for half-siblings of donors to connect with each other. My daughter registered on behalf of her son and learned that she could send an identity-protected message to the donor. Your son replied. His childhood anecdotes described your warmth and devotion. The photos he sent of himself as a child could have been pictures of our grandson.

    When I think of you like this, a tiny exquisite pain stings my heart. The beautiful boy who calls me Nana won't know to call you Babushka. You have not sung him lullabies nor rocked him to sleep. His warm wiry body has not cuddled in your arms. I fear you will never experience such joy. I envision you, alone, pretending to read a book but unable to focus because of an ache that defies description. For all of our sakes, I hope our universe continues to expand until broad enough to define us as family. I can picture you meeting all of your many grandchildren (seven have already registered on the website). I would like to hold your hand when you meet the grandson that connects you to me.
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