In Ask Sherry, Life, Parenting

Ask Sherry: On Adoption and Traveling to different Countries and Cities

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Would you have adopted a child or considered egg donation if you hadn’t been able to have your child or if you had wanted more than one child and couldn’t have had any more with your own genetic material? Why or why not? Honesty is appreciated regardless of what people might think.

FYI — I am always brutally honest because I am Anonymous. Now if my name and face were attached to this, I would not be as frank nor as forthcoming as to what I really think; only very, very few friends know how I feel and what I think because they were allowed in to this blog.

So a bit of a background before we start, because this is a loaded question for me personally:

My father is adopted. My mother has been telling me my whole life that that is the reason why he is the way he is – selfish, lazy, insecure, cheap, jealous, etc.

My mother has whispered to me: Do not ever give up any child for adoption, they will not turn out well. Look at your father.

I grew up with that mindset. I half grew up thinking that my father being adopted was the reason why he was lazy but now that I am older, I call it a load of bullsh*t excuses because I can see famous role models like the late Steve Jobs, famously adopted, being fantastic, as well as other parents and colleagues who are adopted, thriving and being amazing.

I refuse to let anyone take that adoption story and use it as an excuse to be the way you are, to treat your family like crap, and to excuse yourself with a lifelong pity party.


That said, I truthfully do not know if I would have adopted. I have never thought about it because I had the privilege of not having to think about it.

I suppose I would have wanted to explore those options and see, but I can tell you that I know how difficult it is to first of all adopt, but secondly, to adopt a child at various ages.

Babies are the easiest – they grow up loving you as your parents, but it can become earth-shattering to realize your parents are not really yours (unless of course you truly don’t look like them and then it is obvious.)

Toddlers, not so easy but also not as difficult as a child who has been through various foster homes, and so on. Older children have grown up with a lot of baggage, fear, insecurity, etc. I can only imagine being 14 and not having been adopted my whole life, feeling like I wasn’t good enough and I am a failure, you know?

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I can tell you my partner’s stance is firm on this – he would not have adopted or considered a child not conceived by the both of us with our genetic material. He is of the philosophy that children are for perpetuating the best of who you think you are, and if they aren’t your child in genetic material, he feels as though it is not the same thing.

His world is very black and white (a lot of men seem to think this way), and women are less so, I feel like we live in a grey area.

Thinking about it some more – I personally would (if my partner agreed as well) adopt. I’d selfishly want a child who was a baby or younger, not an older one because of the baggage concerns and having to integrate them into a life without having been through their crucial cornerstones.

I feel guilty saying this because I know that is the reason why children are NOT adopted past the baby stage – because of people like me who do not want to adopt them for those reasons. I KNOW that is why they stay in foster homes, perhaps feeling unwanted and unloved their whole lives, but I almost feel like the stress of having to deal with whatever is coming – I am not sure I have the stuff or the patience to be such a mother. I’d have to have a stronger heart and truly WANT to have a child so badly that I would do anything it took.

Lots of people are like this, unless I was tested and put to the fire, I am not sure I would adopt, and if I was made of that same stuff to adopt a child who wasn’t a baby. That’s me being honest.

I honestly feel like I would have also been fine not being a mother. That’s the other honest truth.

I love love love Little Bun so much it hurts to look at him.

I sniff his head like a drug, and I am always thinking about it, being near him (even though I scream at him through a haze of sleep deprivation, etc), and he is truly a major star in my world. He is a part of me and who I am today, no doubt (but I am still a separate person, woman, partner, etc and I don’t make motherhood my center of my universe).

I cannot imagine life without him now that he is in mine, and it is the best feeling to be his mother.

BUT.

I think I would have been fine without a child. I don’t think it is selfish to not want children, and our instinct is to be: GASP! HOW SELFISH to want your own life ALONE with so much money, sleep and lack of stress!!! 

(Joking, but not really…)

I didn’t think about them for many years. I got pregnant by accident at 30 and had him because I stopped birth control pills for health reasons at the time – I thought I would die from blood clots but then realized from the years I have been taking it, my body is likely fine and not going to keel over and die from a freak medical issue.

We wouldn’t have been ready otherwise. We loosely talked about having children but we never said: NOW IS THE TIME TO PROCREATE!


Had I not gone off the pill and gotten knocked up 6 days later, I don’t know if we would have had a child. It just sort of happened. I didn’t feel a biological pull, nor did I make it a big significant difference that I would be pregnant or work towards it, but we certainly didn’t take other precautions to not get pregnant.

Looking back, maybe my partner read between the lines even though there was nothing to read and thought I was ready for children.

At any rate, we thought we’d have at least 2, and we ended up with only one. I wanted 4 initially. My how our mindsets change.

What countries and cities have you travelled to with Baby/Little Bun?

We have been only to France with him and only to Toronto with him. I don’t really like traveling with babies or children to be honest. We cloth diapered, so we were hardcore about continuing it, and doing cloth diapers while traveling is a real mess.

I also think that children and babies on planes are a sometimes bad mix. We got lucky with Baby Bun when we went to France because he was PRETTY GOOD the entire time and slept throughout the red-eye flight, but I was fully prepared for a goddamn meltdown in the cabin and what I would do to handle him.

As he gets older, I’d like to take him on more road trips to maybe Quebec City, Boston, NYC, etc. And just drive/travel with him in the comfort of our car with our things.

Once he is out of the car seat I’ll be happy. I think he is ready for the booster seat now and I will be pushing for that, but the last time we went to Toronto he hurled all over my hair, and brand new car. I wasn’t angry, but I was like — OH MY F&%ING GOD…….

I am also planning on a big trip to Japan once he is older than 10 years old (their memories apparently stick after 10 but not before) and I want him to travel a lot with us, but keeping in mind my partner is also lean FIRE retired, and not exactly excited about spending thousands of dollars on travel.

Plus, environment. I am into the environment and I know how much traveling takes out of the Earth and I feel guilty AF each time, to the point where I am considering the 12-hour train ride to NYC for my trip this year.

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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2 Comments

  1. M
    Megan

    I’m currently 30 and I really have no urge to have kids. People keep telling me that I’ll get that itch, but it hasn’t happened so far.. Maybe it’s because I had a less than stellar childhood emotionally and I don’t want to turn out like my mother. Maybe it’s the environmental ramifications, or maybe because it feels like the world is in the gutter with horrible people in charge and I don’t want my kid to experience the hardships (especially if they ended up being female). Or maybe it’s because I have infertility issues and this is just me trying to trick myself into believing I really don’t want them haha. I do know though, if I ever get that itch, I’ll adopt. Preferably 6+ y/o (no babies for me thanks). Having a friend who aged out of the foster system really solidified that promise to myself and I really can’t justify doing fert. treatments when there’s 1000’s of kids just in my province alone without a home (my own personal opinion, I know others who couldn’t imagine not having their own flesh and blood and that’s ok too). Anyways, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I completely concur with your choice for yourself. You do what’s best for you – having kids, not having kids, frankly you’re probably richer and less stressed.

      Reply

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