There is nothing conventional about the way Jessica Share does things. After having her daughter via sperm donation, she met and fell in love with the donor 13 years later.
When Jessica Share, now 42, decided to have a baby 13 years ago using sperm from a donor, she never thought that he would one day be the love of her life. The two never would have met if it weren't for their teenage daughter Alice Mikell. It all began when 13-year-old Mikell asked her grandmother for a 23andMe kit in 2016. The child was probably curious to find out her roots given her unconventional method of conception. It was a while before her grandmother's gift brought Aaron Long into their lives. After following all the steps indicated in the kit, Mikell had to wait till February 2017 for the results. But, the wait was certainly worth it. Share and Mikell both got far more than they bargained for, in the best way possible. Turns out, Long's generous donations resulted in Mikell having an ever-growing family of half-brothers and half-sisters.
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Have you heard the story about the guy and girl who fell in love thanks to @23andme?... @carlamarieandanthony talked [email protected] on air this morning! We’re officially obsessed with this family. . Jessica gave birth via sperm donor to Alice (next to Carla Marie) 13 years ago. Alice did 23 and Me a few years ago and Aaron showed up as her dad! They all met! Then Jessica and Alice ended up moving to Seattle to live with Aaron! Madi (next to Anthony) is also Aaron’s daughter who he met later in life through a donor sibling registry! Aaron thinks he could have 60 kids! We love this story! Follow them @bravenewfamily! . . . #bravenewfamily #23andme #jessicashare #aaronlong #aliceshare
Mikell was especially thrilled because it helps partially make up for her sister Soren's absence. Share and her ex-wife used Long as a donor to conceive Soren too whom they welcomed into their lives in 2007. However, when Share and her ex-wife split, Soren went along with her much to Mikell's disappointment. Share and Mikell now live with Long and his 21-year-old daughter Madi whom he had through sperm donation. Share and Mikell have also met Long's two other children who were conceived the same way — 23-year-old Bryce and 11-year-old Emily. It is thanks to Bryce that they all are now a family of sorts.
The results of her 23andMe kit listed him as Mikell's potential half-brother and Long as a 50 percent parental match. Bryce who had already connected with Long promptly reached out to Share and Mikell offering to connect them to him as a result of the kit. One thing led to another and before she knew it, Share found herself chatting away with Long over Facebook. It wasn't until the summer of 2017 that the two finally met. They decided to throw a "meet the kids party" for Long and his "donation" children.
As soon as she met 52-year-old Long in person, all the anxiety Share had about introducing Mikell to him left her body. She told People, "When we met him, it was wonderful. I felt like I knew him a little bit already." She continued. "So when we saw him in person it was just great. There was this familiarity. All of us and the kids got along like we’ve known each other forever." She admitted to being hesitant to meet Long worrying as any parent would about how it would affect Mikell. She tried to find resources that she felt would help her daughter make sense of all of it but came up empty.
Apparently, it was Mikell's confidence about the meet up that bolstered Share's own. "I made that decision based on my own kid. She had all the confidence of childhood still. She’s like, 'I know who I am. This isn’t going to affect that,'" Share revealed. "He’s a very open, soft-spoken person," Share gushed about Long. "It’s been a very natural process of getting to know him. He’s just so happy. It’s very cool. I’m so grateful that we found him." What an incredible way to meet the love of your life. If it weren't for all the advancements made in both science and technology, they may never have met.
For the couple, who seem to be doing things backward, considering they had the baby first, met later and fell in love last, marriage has not come up yet. It has been a whole year and a half since Share and Long have begun dating. The two have been just enjoying their time together and adjusting to the new and unique family dynamics that accompany their relationship. Share jokes, "A few people have called us some sort of new Brady Bunch," adding, "I think [Mikell] thinks it’s kind of funny that everybody thinks it’s a big deal. She likes everyone in the family. She’s so much like everyone in the genetic family. She’s like, 'Why is everyone making a big deal out of this?'"
As for whether the two plan on having more kids, it seems unlikely at the moment. That is something that Share and Long have both talked about. "He’s like, 'I’m too old!' And the truth for me too is I don’t know that I want to do that again. But we keep, sort of, getting a new genetic kid! So it’s really fun!" she explained. As of now, they have come to know of a total of ten children that have been fathered by Long's donations. "The kids keep coming," says Share. Long probably never thought that his donations would one day reunite him with his many children and also lead him to the woman of his dreams.