Jessica Share, 42, says she never set out to track down the sperm donor who helped her welcome her 13-year-old daughter Alice Mikell. But a strange twist of events led her to the mystery man who has now become the love of her life.
“He’s a very open, soft-spoken person,” Share, of Seattle, tells PEOPLE of 52-year-old Aaron 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.”
Share and her daughter now live with Long and his 21-year-old daughter Madi, who he also had through sperm donation. They’ve also met two of Long’s other children through sperm donation, Bryce, 23, and 11-year-old Emily.
In 2016, Mikell asked her grandmother for a 23andMe kit to look into her genealogy. They got the results in February 2017, which listed Bryce as Mikell’s potential “half-brother” and Long as a 50 percent parental match.
Unbeknownst to Share and Mikell, Bryce had already connected with Long. Bryce reached out to Mikell and Share as a result of the kit and connected them with Long. With that, Share and Long began communicating over Facebook.
They met in the summer of 2017 at a “meet the kids party” for Long and his “donation” children, says Share.
“When we met him, it was wonderful. I felt like I knew him a little bit already,” she says. “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.”
Share admits that she was hesitant to meet Long at first, acknowledging the unique nature of the story. She says she was unable to find any resources to help her daughter make sense of the situation.
“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 tells PEOPLE.
“So I did have some hesitancy about what that was going to look like to let her meet everybody, and to let her meet Aaron. But in getting to know him is really when so many of those fears went away.”
Long also served as the sperm donor for Mikell’s sister, Soren, who Share welcomed with her ex-wife in 2007. The marriage ended shortly after, and Share says her ex-wife ultimately left with Soren. Although Mikell misses her sister, Share says, she has been enjoying life with her newfound half-siblings.
“A few people have called us some sort of new Brady Bunch,” Share tells PEOPLE. “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 Share, she says she and Long are in love, but haven’t begun discussing marriage. They’ve been dating for about a year and a half.
“The kids keep coming,” Share says, noting that they have learned of a total of 10 children of which Long was the sperm donor. “The question that everyone wants to know, are we gonna have more children?
“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!”