By Carly Stern For Dailymail.com
Published: 16:48 EST, 18 January 2022 | Updated: 17:45 EST, 18 January 2022
An Indianapolis woman has connected with the biological son she never knew existed, two and a half decades after she donated her eggs.
Kristin Schoonveld, 52, had been adopted as a baby and turned to DNA testing as an adult to track down her biological parents.
After submitting her DNA to 23andMe in the fall of 2019, she was shocked to find a match that the company named as her son.
Though she first assumed it was a mistake, having never been pregnant, she soon remembered that she had anonymously donated her eggs as a 25-year-old in 1994.
Parker Erickson, 26, was conceived via in vitro fertilization with one of those eggs and was on the site looking for his biological mother, whom he has since had the chance to meet
An Indianapolis woman has connected with the biological son she never knew existed, two and a half decades after she donated her eggs
Kristin Schoonveld, 52, and Parker Erickson, 26, found each other on 23andMe long after Kristin donated her eggs to a couple she didn’t know in 1994
Kristin told the Indianapolis Star that she came upon the idea of egg donation upon reading an article about it in 1994.
Having been adopted in 1969 in a closed adoption, she was intrigued and decided to apply to be a donor.
A couple soon selected her, and after months of hormone injections, she flew to California for the egg retrieval.
The grateful couple sent her a handwritten note, thanking her ‘from the bottom of our hearts for helping us try to have a baby.’
‘You sound to us like a wonderful, wonderful person,’ they wrote. ‘We hope this whole experience hasn’t been too tough on you…. Take good care of yourself and know that your gift to us means the world to us. Sincerely, hopeful parents.’
Kristin said that in the years since, she ‘occasionally marveled at the idea that I might have a biological child out there,’ but she rarely gave it much thought at all.
Fast-forward to June of 2012. Kristin was at the Special Olympics, where she ran into a young man named Nick Schoonveld whom she’d known decades before when he was a child.
Kristin was adopted as a child. When she donated her eggs all those years ago, the couple wrote her this grateful note and she moved on with her life
She worked with people with special needs, and in college met a little boy named with Down syndrome named Nick, whom she bonded with. However, they eventually lost touch
Years later, they reconnected – but Nick’s mom soon got cancer and passed away. Over time, Kristin fell in love with Nick’s dad, Brian, and they married
Kristin had still been in college when she took a semester off to work in a second grade special education classroom where Nick, who has Down syndrome, was a nine-year-old student.
They had been ‘drawn to each other from the start,’ and Kristin had even nannied for him for the summer.
But ‘life eventually took us in different directions and we lost touch with each other,’ Kristin said.
When they saw each other at the Special Olympics, the pair reconnected — and grew closer after Nick’s mother, Grace, was diagnosed with cancer.
Kristin would visit often, and continued to visit after Grace died at age 60 in January 2015.
She grew close with Nick’s father, Brian, as well, and the couple eventually fell in love. They married in January 2018, and Kristin legally adopted Nick months later.
The adoption process — which was completed in the same courthouse where Kristin had been adopted as a child — spurred her interest in learning more about her biological family.
That’s how she ended up on 23andMe in late 2019, looking for her biological father. (She’d already found her biological mother on MyHeritage.)
Kristin adopted Nick and got thinking about her own adoption. She decided to try to track down her biological parents through DNA tests
Kristin is pictured with her adopted son Nick. She, Nick, and Brian were a family of three when Kristin learned she had a biological son
While she was looking for her dad, Kristin instead found her son: A young man who grew up in Santa Cruz, California and was no looking into his own background.
At first, Kristin told People, ‘I was thinking it must be some sort of mistake.’
‘I was staring at the word “son” at the top of my results list,’ she said. ‘And I couldn’t even register what was going on.’
But Parker ‘looked like me,’ she said, and his profile said he was conceived via IVF using an egg donor — and Kristin remembered her egg donation all those years ago.
Parker had gone on the site not just to find his biological mother, but to discover whether he had any long-lost siblings.
‘There was always sort of that question up in the air of like, “Could there be someone else?”‘ he said. ‘Both my parents said no. But as hopeful as [my girlfriend] Kaylee and I were, as hopeful as I was, there might have been someone.’
Kristin and Parker began messaging, and in November of 2019, Kristin and Nick went to Indiana to meet Parker and his parents.
She and Parker (center) met and have kept in touch. Upon meeting Nick, Parker said he always wanted a brother
She described experiencing ‘instant love,’ gushing: ‘It’s as if I’ve known him his whole life.’
‘It was like hanging out with people that I already knew,’ Parker said. ‘It was instantly just easy to love each other.’
Kristin recalls the moment Parker met Nick and said he’d ‘always wanted a brother.’
They also discovered a coincidence: The mother who raised Parker is also named Kristin, and both she and Parker’s biological mother were named by the same book character, Kristin Lavransdatter, from the book of the same name by Sigrid Undset.
Kristin and Parker have continued to keep in touch, and he has since followed in her footsteps by applying to volunteer with the Special Olympics.
‘We’ve established a relationship that’s going to last the rest of our lives,’ Kristin said.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
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