Chicken n’ Dumplings with Gratitude


If I was stranded on a desert island and only allowed one meal for the rest of my life, it would be Chicken n’ Dumplings.

No, this is not a recipe post and it’s not what’s for dinner on Thanksgiving.  But a word of advice, if you are interested in soft fluffy dumplings, always go with Bisquick. If you like doughy and dense, you should contact my Aunt Bridget in McKinney, Texas. I like them all.

I am thankful chicken n’ dumplings is her favorite food.  I am not sure why, it’s small, but for me significant.

This week I received the go ahead for the anonymous egg donor. Her eyes are blue, her hair is brown. Her favorite food is chicken n’ dumplings. She loves Fried Green Tomatoes. It’s Kismet.  At least for today.  I have learned not to get too attached to anything in this process.  One day at a time.

I’ve learned things about egg donation that are baffling.  What lengths will people go to for the perfect egg?  Did you know you can actually pay extra money to get donor eggs with high SAT scores? Can you imagine? “Hey kid, I paid an extra $500 bucks for you to get into a good college.”

If I thought for one second that would be $500 well spent, I might spend it.  But at the end of the day we are 30% genetics and 70% environment.  My mother skipped two grades in school, is an amazing artist, a dentist, a neat freak and plays three musical instruments.  I got none of it.  I got my own things, my husband got his own things and our child will have their own things.  All beautiful.  All perfect.  We’re interfering with nature enough, I think, so we’ll take our chances with someone who likes chicken n’ dumplings.  The Girl Who Likes Chicken n’ Dumplings.

When it came time to move to this phase, we basically looked at some pictures. I showed them to my husband. We sent in a list.  A beautiful young woman agreed to help us. She is a nurse. My grandmother was a nurse. My aunt is a nurse. It’s Kismet.

We will never meet her, but we will know enough to give our child a story.

The next steps are deposits and attorneys. I don’t know exactly when, but I am hoping the next phase of this journey will start very soon. In the meantime, I am learning all I can about raising children who are conceived through egg donation.  How do you teach them their story?  This video inspired me and gave me a great deal of comfort. I love how this kid talks about her own creation. I hope our child will one day have a similar story to tell.  What a gift.

On Monday I wrote this blog. It was raw, personal and oh, so scary. On one level, it was a completely uncensored (though heavily edited), authentic me. On a practical level, it was absolutely not me all. I know that makes no sense, but there is really no other way to say it.

After I hit publish, I walked away. By the time I got home from yoga that night, I had received several personal emails and Facebook messages. Many from old friends and many from people I had never met. For a blog that has two entries per year and about six readers, this was a high traffic day.

The funniest notes were from two people concerned that I still might want eight children. Ummm. No. I stopped wanting eight children after I took my four younger cousins to see Beetlejuice alone in 1985. In fact, after that, I am quite certain I went through a phase that involved the phrase, “I will NEVER have children.”  

I always said I would never have just one because I was an only child.  Another thing I have learned in this process … never say never.  At this juncture, I will be grateful to have one.

On Tuesday there was an even greater response, though one email was concerned I was worshiping George Burns. If I could bottle the kind of faith so many of my friends have, I would wake up every morning and bathe in it. I envy unwavering faith. Mine wavers. A lot. I really wish it didn’t, I would probably be less neurotic. But for the record, I am not worshiping George Burns. I simply put a George Burns mask on God because I saw George play God more than I saw the inside of the church growing up.  I did, however, sneak a relic of Jesus out of Russia in 1992. I purchased it, but it was actually illegal at the time to take religious relics out of the country. Please do not tell Vladimir Putin.

I promise all of you and our rabbi, our child will not think God is George Burns. They will, however, probably watch the movie Oh, God but not Oh, God You Devil.

The last email I received was one from someone who thought I was anti-adoption. I am not at all anti-adoption. I have so many friends with beautiful children from adoption and there is no difference in their eyes, and there would be no difference in ours.  But for me, today, it is not just about raising a baby, it’s about the experience of carrying a child. I want that experience, and right now, I am not willing to let that dream go. I am trying to honor where I am at right now and move through each phase of this journey as it comes. Adoption may come tomorrow.

My favorite message was from a young woman I used to babysit. After my cousins, who I loved like little brothers and sisters — Paige was my first baby love.  She pulled at my heart strings and turned on the biological clock that has continued to tick and tock for going on 17 years. So it was fitting that she wrote this:

… And as for children, I think YOU out of anyone I know, would be a loving, nurturing and brilliant mother. I still remember you babysitting Ryan and I like it was yesterday. Oh the fun and adventures we experienced with you; we couldn’t have possibly been more lucky. Its unfortunate how life works sometimes; things can seem unfair; it’s unfair in my eyes how such a natural-born care-giver would be deprived of having her own children without issues. But that means God is testing you, he’s throwing obstacles at you to make you stronger, because he knows you can overcome them; His goal is for you to learn from them and ultimately you will be a much wiser and stronger woman.  Don’t worry, I have faith that you will have your own little babies sooner or later; positive vibes!!!! Good luck I LOVE you!!

She is 17.  Sometimes we could all use a good attitude adjustment from a 17-year old.  After reading her note, I was in tears, but oh, so grateful.  It made me remember how absolutely blessed my life has been so far and how many wonderful people are in it.

With an enormous amount of gratitude on this Thanksgiving Day.



  1. Sharon says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. How beautiful that a young girl would affirm your desire and ability to be a mother. Suffering from infertility myself for 20 years, I have heard the most hurtful things. “Maybe you’re just not ready.” “You’re trying too hard.” Really? If I had a nickel for all of the insensitive things people have said over the years, we would not have had to take out a loan for our fertility treatments. I’m now pregnant with twins, through IVF with egg donation. I know these babies are mine. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Terrilox Terrilox says:

      Thank you, Sharon, for your comment. People can be intentionally and unintentionally hurtful. It can also be very isolating. I started this blog for my own sanity, I have kept it going in the hopes it might help even one person struggling with infertility. The longing for a child is very real as you well know! I am so over the moon happy for you and your twins. You’ll be sleepy … but oh, it is so worth it. Would love to see some pics when they get here. When are you due?

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