Kickstarter Updates

April 14, 2014

Thanks again to all for their generous support of our Kickstarter campaign for An Extended Family.  
Our final Kickstarter contributors are:

139. Kellen Michael Ward,

140. Linus Lau, 

141. Stacey Lucas, and

142. Jenny Cortez. 

We made it!  Thank you!

April 12, 2014

Tonight's update comes just about 30 minutes before our extraordinary Kickstarter campaign comes to a close.  Even after this wraps up,however, I will still post periodic updates.  We still have many participants for you to meet, plus I will try to keep you apprised of our progress on the film.  Thank you again to everyone for your support! 

Tonight's update features Sophie, Susan's and my daughter.  Sophie is 16.  She has a twin brother, Jack (featured in Update #13).  Until the arrival of Anna (Update #2) to the group a few months ago, Sophie was the lone girl sibling.  She discusses that issue a bit in the video as well as some of her interests.  She also offers some comments about when she learned she was donor-conceived.

April 11, 2014

Good evening, all.  It has been a busy 24 hours. A minutes-old baby apparently pledged to put us at the 150%-of-target mark. We also completed an afternoon of filming at NASA-Ames where we captured some robotics activities of one of the teens. Finally, I completed this latest update.


Update #18 presents Shannan, one of Liam's moms. When Christa (Update #8) and Shannan entered into their relationship, Christa already had a son, Jake, from her previous relationship. When Shannan and Christa decided to have another child they decided to use a sperm donor, just as Christa had done to conceive Jake.  

After many difficult challenges Shannan and Christa were able to bring Liam into their family with the help of the same donor the other families in the film used.

In this clip, Shannan discusses her background, the commonsensical decision to use a donor, and her family's reaction to her pregnancy.

April 10, 2014


April 10, 2014

Two days until we conclude this most amazing Kickstarter campaign. Yesterday was a another day of amazing growth. 

Our thanks go out to our most recent contributors:

135. Diane George,

136. Whitney Ward, 

137. Connie Rice, and

138. Reid Modena-Kurpinsky. 

We moved to 99.525% of that $12K stretch target. Thank you!

Please continue to share our link, and join us if you can.

April 9, 2014

This morning's update (#17) features another of the teens participating in An Extended Family.  This one showcases Liam.


Liam is the son of Christa and Shannan. (Christa was featured in Update #8; Shannan will be featured in an upcoming update.)

Liam is the oldest of the children participating in the film, and we believe, the oldest child conceived using the donor. (We can't say this with certainty since the Sperm Bank of California rightly protects the privacy of the families who used the donor.) 

Liam turns 18 in November 2014. He indicates that he will be seeking the contact information for the donor very soon after he turns 18. This will pose an important ethical challenge to Liam and the other donor-conceived kids. Liam will learn information that the other children can also acquire when each turns 18--should they choose to get the information. (This also will pose an ethical challenge for the parents in terms of their own information exchange.) Liam has indicated that he plans to keep the donor.

April 9, 2014

Only three days until we conclude our Kickstarter campaign in support of AN EXTENDED FAMILY. 

Several new folks have joined our effort, too. Today we thank:

132. Trimmy Stamell,

133. Wayne Thompson and

134. Anne Truesdale

Please continue to share our link:


April 8, 2014

500 shares. 97.775% of the $12K target. Wow.

April 8, 2014

We are an update factory today, a veritable machine.  Actually, I am pleased to be able to have a few moments to get these important updates posted so you better understand the fascinating people that populate An Extended Family.


Update #2 introduced you to Anna.  Update #16 features Anna's mom, Lori.  

This clip is a small segment of an interview that Lori provided immediately prior to Anna and she boarding an airplane home after spending three whirlwind days with all of the families in the film.  Less than a month earlier Lori and Anna didn't know about the family contact list or that the families had met numerous times.  

In this clip Lori discusses her decision to have a child using a donor and how her parents reacted to her decision.

April 8, 2014

SInce my life has been complicated by jury duty this week I decided to get another update up this morning. This one features Alison (one of the single parents participating in the film and the mother of Matthew (update #6)). Enjoy!


In Update #6 you met Matthew, one of the children participating in AN EXTENDED FAMILY. This current update (#15) features Alison, Matthew's mom. As with the other clips, this one is just a small portion of our interview with Alison. This is not a segment of the final film.


Alison and Matthew were the first family to agree to sit for interviews for the film. We filmed this segment during their trip to the west coast last summer. At that time several of the families involved in the family contact list got together for a few days outside of Yosemite. Upon our return from Yosemite Alison decided she would be interviewed. We shot this interview in the Santa Clara University television studio, with Susan asking the questions.

Alison is one of the three single mothers by choice to be featured in the film. Since she lives on the east coast all of her interactions with the Berkeley-based sperm bank were either by phone or letter. The sperm bank's open identity donor program is what convinced her to use a donor to help her conceive Matthew.

Her journey to build a family was not without its challenges.  It involves personal perseverance, cheery FedEx drivers and even French nuns!

April 7, 2014

It's day 26 of our Kickstarter campaign. Last night we posted Update #14, which features two of the moms, Michele and Kelly. 


Tonight's update spotlights Kelly and Michele, two of the moms participating in the film. As with the other updates, the clip below presents a small segment of our interviews with Kelly and Michele. This is not an excerpt from the film.


Kelly and Michele are Cian's moms. (You met Cian in Update #7.) As with all of our families, Michele and Kelly's tale is a fascinating story. Prior to getting together with Kelly, Michele was in a marriage in which she had three kids. Kelly also had been in a relationship in which her partner had three kids.

Once they had settled into their relationship, Michele and Kelly used a donor (the same donor who links together the film's seven families) to have Cian.  

Kelly and Michele have worked to blend the children from Michele's previous relationship with Cian, creating yet another form of the extended family

April 7, 2014

Day 25 of the Kickstarter campaign brought us to just a shade under 94% of our $12K goal. Our campaign was boosted by pledges from

127. Belinda, 

128. Joe Cavaretta

129. Sean Lee

130. Emi Tamura and 

131. Cheryl Rizzi


Thank you!

Please continue to share the link! Thanks!

April 6, 2014

24 days into the 30-day Kickstarter has moved us over the $11K mark with the goal of making it to $12K a real possibility. Today we thank:

126. Eric Schwartzman

We are still moving forward; other more recent contributors will be part of tomorrow's update. 

Thank you for your ongoing support. Our campaign has been shared 464 times on Facebook. Please continue to share the link and encourage others to support AN EXTENDED FAMILY. Thanks!

April 5, 2014

My eldest sister, Jeannot Carlson has kept the Kickstarter love going with her contribution (albeit outside of Kickstarter) to support An Extended Family. We are in the home stretch of the campaign. 

Please share the link, support the campaign if you can, and keep spreading the word. Thanks!

April 4, 2014

Update #13 for An Extended Family's Kickstarter campaign went up recently.


The update features another of the eight children participating in An Extended Family.  This update puts the spotlight on Jack. As with the other video updates this one is simply sections of our interview. It is not in any sort of "film form."

Jack is Susan's and my son, and Sophie's twin. Jack presented to this world a whopping three minutes before Sophie, an important fact in many critical life situations such as where he falls in the Christmas-present-opening order.

Quiet on first contact, Jack warms up quickly into a chatterbox. He dislikes most movies and television programs (this is slowly changing) but loves to read (primarily fat fantasy novels that he consumes at the speed of light).
Jack just told this writer (his dad) that his three favorite bands are Carolina Liar, Five for Fighting and Plain White T's. This writer refuses to acknowledge Jack's declaration since this writer has never heard of any of these groups. (Jack also consumes Pandora and Spotify voraciously.)
In this segment Jack comments on his relationship with the other donor siblings.

April 3, 2014

Eric Schwartzman just joined the campaign to support An Extended Family. His pledge just pushed us over the $11K mark, to 138% of our target!


Thank you!

April 3, 2014

We posted update #12 to the Kickstarter late last night. This one features another of eight children participating in the film, AJ.

Please share!

April 3, 2014

We are in day 21 of the Kickstarter campaign. New people continue to support the campaign and to share the link (454 shares according to Kickstarter). 

Today we thank:

125. Nancy 

Please continue to share the link, as I will tomorrow at the Fertility PlanIt conference at UCLA. 

April 2, 2014

With 10 days to go in our campaign we continue to grow! Yesterday's support pushed us to within $62 of the $11K mark! This is amazing!

Today we thank:

124. Peter Lee

Please continue to share the link with others.


April 1, 2014

Day 19 of the Kickstarter brought a close friend from long ago into the long list of supporters. Thank you:

123. Jeannie Dukes Farlow 

Please continue to share the link with your social networks. Susan and I really appreciate the help.

March 31, 2014

We are in day 18 of our Kickstarter campaign. Thank you for your ongoing support and the many kind comments about the updates.

Today we thank our latest supporters:

121. Christopher Denise 

122. Bruce


Please continue to share the link. Thanks!

March 30, 2014

In this update I want to talk about language.  Over the past few days an important truth has been driven home to me:  words and language matter.

While people have offered lots of kind comments about many of the updates I have posted to this Kickstarter campaign, I also have received some rightly critical feedback. Some people have pointed out text they found troublesome or chafed at how a particular question I posed in an interview got compressed for the screen. 

The issue of the language used to identify or name someone came up again a few days ago when I posted the eighth update.  That update featured Christa (one of Liam’s moms). In that update I used the term "non-biological mom" to describe Christa. (This was after debating whether I should use “non-biological” or “social”, the other term commonly used in the research to identify the parent (dad or mom) in a two-parent family who is not related genetically to her or his offspring.)

While such terms are technically correct, they are, in the lived experiences of the people being described, loaded and politically divisive terms. I heard from some of the moms in this group that they disliked (nominally or intensely) one or both of these terms. In notes Christa sent me after watching the segment she observed:

I do dislike the "non-biological label"; I think of Shannan or Kelly as birth mothers because it's an affirmative term; "non" anything feels negative. I'll work on coming up with another term. Our language needs to expand to capture our unique experience...

I do not hold you, or any of us, responsible for the dearth of words to describe an experience so far out of the "norm". We just have to make it up as we go; the price of being ahead of the curve. I'm comfortable with that yet it takes more work than most of us have time for… 

My message to you was not to take it on as your faux pax if there aren't appropriate terms for what any of us are; we're a work in progress…We have to be the ones to expand the cultural norms and language to go with it.

Shannan, Liam’s other mom, also weighed in with these helpful thoughts:

I take it from your posts yesterday that you heard from others about the use of the term "nonbiological mother." I wanted to weigh in on that topic as well. I understand why you used the term (to explain all the relationships), and it is certainly accurate. But language has so many uses and connotations, not all of which are helpful.

Especially at the time we created our families, and even now to some extent, we have to resist external messages and forces that marginalize and refuse to acknowledge nonbio parents as "real" parents. This is particularly true in lesbian or gay families, who have to overcome people's deeply held ideas that you can only have one "real" mother or father. As a family, we tried to push back on those messages by referring to both Christa and me as Liam's mothers. Period. We also gave Liam the same last name as Christa and Jake to reinforce that we were one family, and that Liam was Christa's "real" son and Jake's "real" brother. Of course, these choices reinforced our relationships to one another within our family, as well as to the outside world.

For these reasons, I would prefer that the film simply refer to Christa as Liam's mother. The narrative can explain who birthed whom when that is essential to the story line. 

As we started to conceptualize this film Susan and I realized that issues of language were central to the story.  The language we use to describe ourselves, or that others use to describe us, came up in virtually every interview. 

The language issue came up at Hidden Villa when I mentioned to Michele I wanted to do a group interview with all the “social parents” who were there. That term got me Michele’s cocked eyebrow of disbelief—"What kind of parents?”

These terms--social versus birth, biological versus non-biological—are commonly used in the research literature. But what I have heard from many of the moms is the use of those words does not reflect the lived experiences of having and raising our kids. More importantly, those terms don’t reflect our individual family narratives of how we tell our stories. For example, I have yet to be introduced as Jack and Sophie’s “social dad.” 

In addition, getting involved with this group and making this film have really driven home something I knew in theory: I benefit every day from heterosexual male privilege. Because I’m male, because I’m straight, because my family looks like a "standard model” I am afforded the courtesy of social privacy unless I choose to purposefully reject it. Single-parent, two-mom and two-dad families have this fundamental privacy violated all the time.

Unlike the moms with whom I communicated, I am unfazed by terms like "non-biological dad" or "social dad." When I reflected on why my experience is different from the moms' experiences I realized it's that damn social privilege again. To the outside observer I am just "dad" to my kids. Introducing my family to strangers does not oblige me to identify myself as anything other than "dad" unless I choose to. And that is an inherently more privileged position our society affords me than it does the families formed by two moms, or by single parents, or by two dads.  The literature describes me abstractly, but no one uses that term to judge me against his or her view of the "societal norm" unless I let them by naming myself as something other than "dad."

This issue of language, therefore, is critical to this journey we are on, and to the film. I am trying to tread carefully because in the case of most of the adults in this group I have not lived their experiences. Every day I am appreciative of the gentle mentoring I receive from all of them about how to deal with issues of their families and their experiences.

I think Christa put it well when she told me that Diane Ehrensaft “is right that people whose experience is not well reflected by the dominant culture should be respected in their own definition.”  Susan and I are committed to honoring all of our families, and that honor must begin by honoring a family’s personal language.   We will work to get this right, and, no doubt, will need your help along the way.

March 29, 2014

Day 16 of the Kickstarter campaign! New people are joining the project, which pleases me no end. Thank you to our most recent contributors:
118. Maria George
119. Keith Uriarte and 

March 28, 2014

We are 15 days into our 30-day Kickstarter campaign to support An Extended Family.  Thank you for your onging support, especially to our most recent supporters: 
115. Marilyn Crawshaw
116. Maurice Belote
117. Sallie Lang
Thank you everyone, new contributors and past supporters, for all your help! Keep sharing the link, please! 

March 27, 2014

Update #10 for the Kickstarter campaign for An Extended Family went up as the midnight hour approached. This one features a bit of our interview with Evan, one of our eight children in the film.


Tonight's update focuses on another of the eight children involved in An Extended Family. Evan is the son of Diane and Stacey, the moms we presented in Update #4.  

As with the other video updates, what is presented here is a small segment of our interview with Evan. This is not a section of the film or representative of the editing style since we are only now entering the editing stage of the project.

Evan is 16 years old. He's a quiet and likable teen with a shy smile. He likes to spend his free time playing video games (first-person shooters especially). He also has starting learning how to surf--no small feat in the chilly ocean waters near his home.  

Since Diane and Stacey separated, Evan has alternated between their homes every other week. 

Like Anna (update #2), Evan met almost all of the donor siblings (and their parents) over a period of a few weeks. Indeed, most of us met Evan at a dinner gathering Stacey hosted at her home last summer. After some initial introductions the kids moved as pack from the porch to the living room and finally to the trampoline in the back yard. It was fun to watch. The next morning the entire group departed to spend several days at a wilderness camp near Yosemite National Park.

March 27, 2014

Day 14 of our 30-day Kickstarter campaign to support An Extended Family was exceptional. We passed the $10K mark thanks to the help of our most recent supporters:
110. Harvey M. Tarver
111. Debra L. Reuben
112. Timothy Martin
113. Colleen Goode and
114. Ed Cardinal & Marguerite Faraco Cardinal. Thank you everyone, new contributors and past supporters, for all your help! Keep sharing the link, please!

March 26, 2014

Update #9 for the Kickstarter campaign for An Extended Family just went up. This one features a tiny portion of our interview with Diane Ehrensaft, a well-respected developmental and clinical psychologist.

You will see psychologist Dr. Madeline Feingold with Dr. Ehrensaft for a moment at the beginning of the video (we interviewed them together). Dr. Feingold will be featured in her own update in the next days.


Welcome to Update #9 of our Kickstarter campaign. This has been a wonderful day in which we passed big milestones in the campaign, reconnected with old friends, and continued a helpful, meaningful discussion with one of the moms about the intersections of language, gender, sexual orientation, social position and cultural power.

Especially linked to those last issues is this small portion of our interview with Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D.  Dr. Ehrensaft is a developmental and clinical psychologist who practices in Oakland. She also is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.  

Dr. Ehrensaft has written extensively about issues of assisted reproductive technology and family formation, and, more recently, issues surrounding gender identity. Her books include the influential Mommies, Daddies, Donors and Surrogates: Answering Tough Questions and Building Strong Families (2005) and the groundbreaking Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children (2011).  

Dr. Ehrensaft sat for an interview in February, 2014 along with psychologist Madeline Feingold, Ph.D. We will present portions of Dr. Feingold's interview in an upcoming update.  

March 26, 2014

Today's Kickstarter Hall of Fame members:
108. Orla Okeeffe & Julie Ansell and
Thank you for your support of An Extended Family

Please share the link -- Kickstarter reports that it has been shared 399 times!

March 26, 2014

We just posted update #8 to our Kickstarter campaign. You can see the update at

Thanks to all for your continued support. Please share the link!

March 25, 2014

Our latest update about one of the film participants was just posted to Kickstarter. This update features Christa, one of Liam's moms.  
This update continues our pattern of the last few days and offers an update of another participant in the film. This update features Christa, Liam's nonbiological mom. As with the other film clips the clip included here represents just a small portion of our interview with Christa. Is is not a section of the film (at least not in its current form) as we have just begun editing.

Christa is one of Liam's moms. Prior to her relationship with Shannan, Liam's biological mom, Christa and another partner used an open identity donor through the Sperm Bank of California to conceive Christa's first child, Jake.

A few years after Jake was born, Christa and her partner separated. Christa built a new relationship with Shannan several years later. They decided to have another child (this time with Shannan as the biological mother). Shannan and Christa used another open identity donor (the same donor that all the families in the film used to conceive their children). Shannan gave birth to Liam in 1996.

Christa and Shannan separated when Liam was 11.


March 25, 2014

We continue to grow our Kickstarter appeal! Thank you for your ongoing support. Day 12 brought several new backers to the campaign. Today we thank:
105. Colin Kershaw (thank you, cousin Colin),
106. Jim Robinson and
107. James Linehan

Please continue to share our link, and check out our updates. Thanks!

March 24, 2014

Our latest update about one of the film participants was just posted to Kickstarter.
This update features Cian, Kelly and Michele's son.
Today's update continues to introduce the participants in the film. As with the other updates, the video segment below presents sections of our interviews. These are not pieces of the final film and we have just begun editing.

This update features Cian, the son of Kelly and Michele. Cian is 15 but will turn 16 soon. He has a variety of interests from computer games to ballroom dancing.  

Cian and Liam (Shannan and Christa's son) were the first donor siblings to meet in person. They have developed a very close bond and see each other frequently. They share many interests including art. Cian also mentioned that Liam and he have similar senses of humor.  The boys describe themselves as brothers.

March 24, 2014

We have either begun or completed Day 11 of our Kickstarter campaign to support An Extended Family. The train keeps on moving forward! Thank you! 

Thank you to our most recent supporters:
100. Linda Cabot,
101. Anne Melissa Dowling,
102. Julia Moll,
103. Patricia Shaw Sprague and

March 23, 2014

Day 10 of our Kickstarter campaign to support An Extended Family. Our supporters continue to help us grow this appeal. 

Thank you to our most recent supporters: 
96. Katinka & Jeff Hurley,
97. Pat Mueller,
98. Teresa & Bernard Villegas and
99. Percy Chang.

Please continue to share the link:

I hope to post some stretch goals early this week. Thanks!

March 22, 2014

Day 9 of our Kickstarter campaign to support An Extended Family was a wild, and wildly successful day. 

Thank you to our most recent supporters: 

80. Phillip Stumpo,

81. Kathrym Gardner,

82. Robin Taylor Davis,

83. Pamela Goode,

84. Fran Matera,

85. Rafael Ulate, 

86. Beate Antonich, 

87. Siobhan Lynch,

88. Janet Christensen,

89. Phyllis D. Havens,

90. J.C. Turner,

91. Mike & Kelli Rantz,

92. Tasha,

93. Laurel Stewart, and 

94.  Barry Eisenberg


Barry pushed us over the $8,000 goal we had set for the campaign, thereby insuring the Kickstarter will fund.

Please continue to share our link


March 21, 2014

We just posted another update to the Kickstarter page. This one features Matthew, the son of Alison.


In this update we continue introducing participants in the film. Again, the videos associated with these updates are simply sections of our interviews to give you a little bit of information about the participants. These are not segments from the actual film as we have only just begun editing.

Today we feature another of the donor siblings.  Matthew is 17 years old and lives on the east coast with his mom, Alison.  He's interested in theatre and improv and has quite the singing voice.   We would advise you to never get into a game of limbo with Matthew.  You will lose.

The first donor sibling Matthew met was Sophie back in 2012.  The interview featured here was filmed in 2013, soon after Matthew and Alison had met all the other families we knew would be participating in the film.

March 21, 2014

Day 8 in this fascinating Kickstarter universe brought seven more contributors who brought us to 78% of our goal. Thank you so much for all the support! 

Our most recent contributors are:

73. Shannon Simonson, 

74. Matt Stoner,

75. David and Jackie Lee, 

76. Maggi Oberson,

77. Jeff Castle, 

78. John Scoleri, and

79. Tracy Byars

Please share the link:


March 20, 2014

I just posted a new update to the Kickstarter campaign for An Extended Family. This update features Dr. Joanna Scheib, the Research Director for The Sperm Bank of California.


In this update we continue introducing participants in the film. Again, the videos associated with these updates are simply sections of our interviews to give you a little bit of information about the participants. These are not segments from the actual film as we have only just begun editing.

Our focus today is Joanna Scheib, the Research Director of the Sperm Bank of California.  Dr. Scheib also serves on the faculty of the University of California, Davis.  

Dr. Scheib has spent much of her professional career researching issues related to sperm donation, including sperm donors, donor-conceived persons, and interactions between families who use the same donor to conceive their children.

March 20, 2014

Day 7 of the Kickstarter campaign brought us to 74% of our goal. That is amazing! Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support. 

I want to especially thank our most recent contributors:

63. Betsy Hunter,

64. Jamie Johnson,

65. Denise DeRose,

66. Leslie Hough,

67. Mary Currier, 

68. Elisheva Basseri

69. Tony Raymond

70. Christopher Lee

71. Kristy Powell and

72. Denise Karas 

Please keep sharing the link:


March 19, 2014

We just posted our latest update about one of the families in our film An Extended Family.  This update features Evan's moms, Diane and Stacey.


In this update we continue introducing to you to the participants in the film. Again, the videos associated with these are simply sections of our interviews to give you a little bit of information about the participants. These are not segments from the actual film as we have only just begun editing.


Our focus today is on one of our two-mom families: Stacey and Diane.


While Stacey and Diane met back east in their late teens, they didn't become a couple for 10 more years.  They were together for nine more years before deciding to use a donor to help them conceive their son, Evan.  

Diane, Evan and Stacey
Diane, Evan and Stacey
They split up when Evan was 9. Both Stacey and Diane have new partners and stepchildren but they continue to cooperatively co-parent Evan.
How they found the other families who used the donor is a hilarious story in serendipity (which we will save for the final film!).

March 19, 2014

Day 6 of the Kickstarter campaign brings us to just shy of the 68% mark of the Kickstarter goal! Thanks to all for your ongoing support, and especially to those who pledged yesterday: 

55. Nicole Bugna-Doyle

56. Peter Czark,

57. Stephanie Swengel,

58.Birth Story, 

59. Jeffrey Harte(happy birthday, btw)

60. Josh Leik

61.Camille Valdes Moroz and 

62. Elizabeth Madariaga


Please share the link: . Thanks!

March 18, 2014

Day 5 of the Kickstarter campaign brings us to just shy of the 60% mark! Thank you to all who have supported us, especially:

47. Alana Mallen, 

48. Fern Silva,

49. Gina Blancarte-Millard,

50. Kelly Noftz,

51. Charlene Modena,

52. Caroline Seckinger,

53. Suzanne Odette Lee and 

54. Landon Wheeler

Thank you for continuing to share the link. We appreciate the support!

March 17, 2014

We posted our second update to our Kickstarter campaign today.  This update features Anna, the daughter of Lori.


We would like to use this and many of the subsequent updates to begin introducing you to the participants in the film. The videos associated with these are simply sections of our interviews to give you a little bit of information about the participants. These are not segments from the actual film as we have only just begun editing.  


We begin with the newest sibling member of the family contact group: Anna.


Anna is 16. She lives with her her single mom, Lori, on the east coast. She is the second girl in the group we have met (the first girl, Sophie, is Susan's and my daughter).  


Anna and Lori joined the family contact group less than a month before they ventured west to meet all the other members of the family contact group who are participating in the film. Their experience has been fascinating because it has happened at breakneck speed and because it has been fueled by social media.  


Anna and Sophie's selfie soon after meeting.Anna and Sophie's selfie soon after meeting
Anna's addition to the group brought with it an extraordinary new energy. Sophie finally had a girl in the group with whom she could interact. Anna has been very open and welcoming to her new half-siblings, and that openness was evident in the immediate, strong bond between her and several of the half-siblings.

March 17, 2014

We are in Day 4 of our Kickstarter campaign and have crossed the 54%-of-target mark! We want to thank the generosity of our most recent contributors: 

38. Katie Carlson Vijungco,

39. Michael Dickstein,

40. Michele Modena,

41. Joanna Scheib,

42. Tom Rumpf,

43. Dianna S.,

44. Anonymous,

45. Monika Lee, and

46. Elizabeth Julian Potter


Thank you!


Please continue to share the link with others.

March 16, 2014

We are 2 1/2 days in and we have passed the 40% mark on the Kickstarter campaign. Thank you to everyone for their support! I want to especially thank our newest contributors: 

22. Daniel Lee

23. Charlotta Kratz

24. David Lee,

25. Christine Nguyen

26. Kelly Mcpherson

27. Tracy Lee,

28. Olivia Montuschi,

29. Dorothee Dessaux,

30. Stuart Worthington, 

31. Matt Denne,

32. Beth Collins, 

33. Joshua Denne,

34. Marion Mayer,

35. Barney Lynch,

36. John Lee, and 

37. Pedro Hernández-Ramos.


Please continue to share the link with others.

March 14, 2014

We posted the following update to the Kickstarter campaign today and thought it wise to share it here, too.


Update #1 It's a Wonderful Life

As Susan, Jack, Sophie and I finished dinner last night we gathered at the computer to collectively launch this Kickstarter appeal. My finger hovered over the LAUNCH button as we said our last words of encouragement.


It was interesting how hard it was to click that button. I sat there for a moment and realized that yet again we were, as a family, taking a plunge at being open with larger and larger communities about our lives. Even though we had been through similar exercises many, many times it didn't change that disconcerting moment of hesitation. Do people really need to know this about us? Do they care? Will this new information affect how people see or treat us?


The same old concern about being different. The same old concern about saying something that might hurt my children.


My finger hovered. I clicked the LAUNCH button.


And then, once again, those concerns were utterly disintegrated by the kindness, support and humanity of the people around me. People pledged. Old friends wrote their support and reaffirmed why we called them friends. Our immediate families reached out. Our extended family of the donor sibs group worked absolute magic. Strangers offered to help.


I told Jason Caskey, my former student at Santa Clara University and the first person to donate to this Kickstarter, it felt like the final scene in It's a Wonderful Life.


Well if that is the case, then bells must be ringing all over the place. A bunch of angels are getting their wings. Thank you all once again.


The future updates Susan and I will offer here will spotlight elements of the film and highlight the participants. But for now, this first entry, is really much more about saying thank you for your support and ongoing trust. It means the world to us.

March 14, 2014

About 23 hours ago we launched the Kickstarter campaign to support An Extended Family. In those 23 hours 21 people donated and brought us almost 25% of the way. What a wonderful start!


Thank you so much to:

1. JasoCaskey,

2. Sonny Abesamis,

3. Molly S. Stump,

4. Lucy Hoblitzelle,

5. Rick Ruvio,

6. Kathryn Lee Wheat, 

7. Shannan Wilber

8. Gordon Young

9. Christine Czark-Atkins, 

10. Christina Blake,

11. Elisa Clowes, 

12. Mark Fenster,

13. Kathy Walling,

14. Kathleen Wilson,

15. Fredi Juni,

16. Douglas Truesdale,

17. Donna Hayden, 

18. Tracy Graham Wiffler, 

19. Lynne Czark Martin,

20. Joan Mueller and 

21. Susan Fergerson


I also want to offer a special shout out to Michele Modena, Kelly Hayden, Shannan Wilber and Perry Atkins for their amazing networking help.


Please support us if you can, and share this link with your friends!

March 13, 2014

Our Kickstarter campaign is live!  Please support us if you can, and share this link with your friends!

March 13, 2014

Well, it's official! Kickstarter has approved our campaign.  We will launch later today.  Please support us if you can.

March 11, 2014

We submitted our Kickstarter appeal to Kickstarter today for their review.  Once it clears that review (typically 2-3 days) we will bring the campaign on line!

March 10, 2014

Barring some last minute catastrophe we will submit our campaign to Kickstarter tomorrow! Once approved we will launch! More soon!

©2014 Kickstarter
©2014 Kickstarter

January 30, 2014

Last night we sent out a preview of the Kickstarter campaign to several people whose opinions we value for feedback. Some great comments and helpful suggestions have come in today to help us improve the campaign message.  


We hope to film the video to accompany the campaign this weekend.

©2014 Kickstarter
©2014 Kickstarter

January 16, 2014

Susan and I decided today to launch a Kickstarter® campaign to help support the film.  As our filming has become more complex we are realizing that our initial budget will not suffice for finalizing the film and promoting it to various film festivals.  


We hope to launch the campaign by the end of January.  Stay tuned for updates.