i love the idea of making a more artistic design that includes everyone in their family, rather than leaving half blank. leaving half blank implies there are someones who should be on there and aren't, which is guaranteed to make the child feel they're missing out on something.
as for the question of whether or not we tell our children that they have donors, my own personal choices have changed since my littlest has started asking questions. my position on it today isn't a popular one. i don't usually tell her she has a donor. she doesn't. that person isn't in her life, so she doesn't have him. he is no more a part of her life than a blood donor or a kidney transplant donor, and nobody includes those people in their list of family, when talking to their kids. i tell her that all families are different, and while many families have moms and dads, some have two dads, some have two moms, some have one mom, some have one dad, etc. i go on to tell her she has a mom in her family, as well as listing all the other people. then i say, "like caterina on daniel tiger's neighborhood." i like to make that reference, because i think it's nice that there is a character that she admires whose situation resembles hers. i will never withhold from her how she came to be, but she doesn't "have a donor," as far as i'm concerned.
also, i have changed my mind regarding how i will deal with the subject of her paternity publicly. when i decided to use a donor, and even long after she was born, i was very vocal about it. since then i have confronted situations where i realize that she is on her own and far too young to defend herself against the closed-minded at a time when her self-image is developing. she attends a christian preschool in a city in the american midwest. while i have always been very ballsy in defense of all my unconventional life choices, and there are many, i feel it's not up to me to force my child into the position of defending a choice she didn't make. there is nothing to be ashamed of, as far as i'm concerned, but this isn't about shame or pride. if the result of the 2016 u.s. election tells us anything, it's that we are a far less progressive country than we like to believe, and it's not up to me to make her a social experiment or statement in a country where she will no doubt be subjected to scorn and humiliation as a result. this is about me not doing that to her without consulting her first.
this position could change with more information or with more talks with her, but that's where i'm at right now. she will know how she got here, and it will be up to her how much she wants to share with others from there.
i believe there are safe and unsafe people to talk to about it. my family all know and so do my friends. that's enough.