0:00:00 Introduction and setting the stage
0:07:46 Considering Having More Children
0:09:01 Planning for IVF with One Child at a Time
0:13:29 Strong Family Genetics and Longevity
0:14:14 Health Concerns and Aging Journey
0:15:30 Transition: From Baptist Upbringing to Personal Freedom
0:17:50 Maintaining minimal contact with family to keep them satisfied
0:20:12 Desire to change family circumstances if given the chance
0:23:17 Concerns about having more children and resource allocation
0:25:52 Sibling Interaction vs. Parental Time
0:28:18 Genetic Overlap and Emotional Connection with Egg Donor
0:33:40 Career path and decision not to meet children yet
0:41:24 The Miracle of Existence and Love
0:48:52 The Value of Chosen Family
0:51:19 Searching for a Church with Depth and Connection
0:53:38 Gratitude and Goodbye: Wishing Each Other the Best

Long Summary

In this episode, we had the opportunity to connect with a caller who is considering using an egg donor to expand their family. They express concerns about how this decision might impact their existing children, wondering if having more siblings will provide socialization and support in the long run.

We dive into the topic, highlighting the potential benefits that siblings can bring to a family dynamic, such as enhanced social skills, shared experiences, and a sense of camaraderie. We emphasize that having more siblings can ultimately provide additional love and support for everyone involved.

The caller also expresses worry about not being biologically related to the child, but we reassure them that biology is not the sole factor that determines the bond between a parent and a child. We emphasize that what truly matters is cultivating a loving and peaceful environment where a child can thrive, regardless of genetic similarities.

Furthermore, we delve into the significance of shared values, experiences, and effective parenting in fostering a strong bond with a child. We explore the idea that a child's sense of belonging comes from the love and care they receive, rather than solely from a biological connection.

Additionally, the caller seeks advice on finding a church that aligns with their values. We offer insights based on our own experiences and ongoing search for a deeper spiritual connection. We discuss the importance of finding a community that supports and nourishes one's personal growth and beliefs.

As the conversation comes to a close, we ensure the caller's privacy and offer well wishes for their journey ahead. We acknowledge the importance of their decision-making process and encourage them to trust their instincts in finding the path that feels right for their family.


[0:00] There we go. We're live, baby. Nice to chat with you. Nice to chat with you.

Introduction and setting the stage

[0:04] I'm glad that we're having a chance to have the conversation.
And I know you've got some kids in the house.
So, of course, whatever you need to do with them is totally fine with me.
Just whatever time you need to take is fine.
And if you want to get started, you can read me the email or you can just tell me how I can best help you.

[0:24] Well it starts in the 1980s high school sense not the religious sense you're my idol man i don't care i don't care how i how this goes dude you're awesome well.

[0:37] Thanks very much i really really appreciate.

[0:39] It yes sir okay so do you want me to start by reading the email i wrote you okay um i wrote so my question i wanted to ask you is about fertility and using an egg donor my husband would like more children we have four kids that we had naturally ages 10 to 3 or 48 years old and now to have more we need to turn to an egg donor I read online how it's a wonderful thing to do all the way to how could you use another woman's body like this the woman is volunteering to do this and will get paid seven thousand to nine thousand for her time and eggs but there have been no studies done to see the long-term effects to these women it may be fine for her and may not affect her long term but was wondering your your thoughts on this.
We've had friends who have had a lot of children and their families seem like they do well.
The kids seem happy, but I wanted to see from you if you think that there's enough to go around for many children.
We have homeschooled since my oldest started kindergarten and each subject takes about an hour. The oldest two take about four to five hours combined.
My next child, my third child will take about two to three hours and then I have a preschooler and my husband also helps with the preschooling and my husband's gone about two days on his job then he'll come back for two to three days and then gone two more.

[1:53] We now have our incomes about three to four times bigger than it used to be.
And my husband said, what do I want to do with my time and money now that I have this opportunity to make choices and not just pay bills with not much left over? His friends at work buy new trucks.
But he said, what makes me happy? And it's these children.
So that is why he wants more. He said he's not ready for this to be over.
And too much is given, much is required.
And he wants one day when he gets to heaven and God says, I gave you this amazing opportunity with time and money.
What'd you do with it? He feels like having more children is the right answer.
My husband said, what else could we do this year that's more important than having another baby?
In 100 years, no one cares about the new truck, the new house, but the kids and grandkids, that's what matters.
And you said last week that philosophy prevents problems better than fixing them. So before we move ahead with this, I want your opinion on this.
I want to do right by my children that I have now with time and money, but I understand the need for more good kids raised with peaceful parenting. Thank you.
And here we are.

[2:52] Well, good. So this is to your husband. Do you want to kick in something there from your side?

[2:58] Sure. No. So like she said, in the last two or three years, we've quadrupled our money, and I can explain that. It's all money.
It's all a sideline but and so we've quadrupled or tripled our money and it's like i got peers you know a little older than me they take like vacations that are thirty thousand dollars a month, one guy and his wife have like an eight bedroom house and it's all just it's not bad it's just, superficial and it's like wow for the first time in my life i can get what i want i can what do i I want.
I mean, in the real sense, not in the pie in the sky someday sense.
So I was brainstorming on that. And, you know, we've discussed this extensively.
I'd say we've done quite a bit of research. And, you know, we're always tossing back and forth what you've said on various programs.
So she's like, I want to call Stefan. I was like, well, go for it.
Here we are. We've talked to a lot of doctors, you know, when you when you go through fertility, you have to, they have a list of people that you have to talk to um psychologists um my regular doctor, advanced maternal age doctors there's all these people but you know my husband said let's look at everything and i said the last person that we need we need stephan because that you're the one person that we can talk to that will give us an opinion that we trust right you know we both feel that way i.

[4:28] Really i mean that's that's very kind and i i appreciate the honor i'll certainly try and do my best by the question and the conversation so uh you guys are in your late 40s is that right.

[4:39] Yeah we're both 48 both.

[4:41] 48 okay and how long have you been together.

[4:43] We've been married 30 years we were 19 18 19 got married when we were 18 nice congratulations that's.

[4:51] Wonderful when did did you first start listening to me.

[4:53] Okay so like um because of family background i graduated high school knowing that i had things to fix just from you know my friends my their parents all that, my parents are divorced and all that so i was in service started listening to rush that went on to dr laura and i've been listening to you 10 maybe 12 years, And I say that because we were trying to have our first daughter and, you know, that took a couple of years.
And of course, that's when I was like, wow, I want to get this right.
Saw you on the Internet, bumped into you.
So that'd be 10. So that'd be 12 years ago.

[5:35] Wow. Okay. Okay. Congratulations on all of this. It's wonderful and great.
And how are you guys enjoying the parenting journey so far?

[5:44] It's heaven. Love it. So, like I said, my parents are divorced.
They always, my parents, made it out like, you know, kids were across the bear.
I can't wait till you graduate.
Kids were a burden, you know, an obligation, a duty. duty.
Well, so that's part of the reason we delayed having kids so long.
Because we knew we had a, we needed a gap between our childhoods and our kids' childhoods.
Or I felt that way.
So that's part of the reason it took so long. And then we had kids and it's the best thing we've ever done. It's my favorite thing.
I mean, it's just, it's heaven. It's not what we expected. I mean, we had one because we realized we didn't want regrets. threats.
And so we started trying and we had trouble for a couple of years.
And then finally we had one naturally. And then it was just amazing.
It was like, this isn't what they told us it was going to be.

[6:33] Wait a minute. You guys had trouble conceiving and then you have like a whole truckload, a whole trainload.

[6:40] Once it got going, it didn't stop. And then it just stopped.

[6:43] Talk about a dam buster. Holy crap. Okay.

[6:46] It wasn't trouble like in vitro trouble. It was just like, you know, Miscarriages and things.
A couple of miscarriages. Yeah. And I'm not casual about that, but I'm just telling the story.
So we had a couple of miscarriages and then Abby came along, our oldest daughter.
And it's just happened. It's like the only thing I've ever done in my life.
And I feel like I've led an early accomplished life.
But it's the only thing I've ever done in my life that matters.

[7:11] Right.

[7:12] And everything else is just, you know, diplomas and t-shirts and, you know.

[7:16] As you point out, like everything else dribbles away into the rear view, but this widens into the future, right?

[7:23] Amen. Absolutely. And that's exactly how I feel. And we got four perfectly healthy kids.
And she and I have discussed this. If we hit a hard no from a doctor, okay, then that's just how it is.
It ain't, there's, there's no ego.
There's just, I'm digging it. She's digging it.

[7:41] So just remind me your kid's age range again. You said 12 and down to what?

Considering Having More Children

[7:46] 10, 10, 8, 6 and 3. Yeah, I said 12 is when I found you.

[7:51] Oh, OK. Got it. Got it. Got it. OK. And I guess with the older kids, have you talked to them about this decision process or would it just be like there's a kid who appears? appears.

[8:00] There's a kid who appears. Yeah, they want more siblings. We know families that have a lot of children, but they would like more siblings.
But no, we wouldn't discuss, we wouldn't tell them how that happened.
Our oldest daughter still wants to be a mermaid.
Yeah, she's not going to give ins and outs. She's 10, and we keep them ultra sheltered.

[8:22] No, no, that's right. That's right. No, absolutely right. No, it's a cold and wintry world out out there for the kids.

[8:28] So good for you and that's why we wanted to talk to you because you know like the psychologist we talked to she's like tell them all tell the baby as soon as it's born it needs to know everything and i'm like whoa whoa so we're like we think we need to make a call to stephan right this isn't this isn't how we raise our kids it's you know that.

[8:44] That would be a lot for for kids to sort of to process.

[8:47] Oh yeah okay so the.

[8:49] In vitro would be um so it would be would it be the other woman's egg and then your sperm?

[8:57] Yes, and then we'd carry.

Planning for IVF with One Child at a Time

[9:01] We'll just call her Sally, right? So the other woman would...

[9:03] Yeah, I'm sorry.

[9:04] Yeah, it's fine, it's fine. So the other woman would carry it, okay. I'm sorry. And that's fine.
And of course, you've checked all the laws and everything's copacetic in terms of all of that, right?

[9:14] It's completely legit, top clinic in the country.
Right, it's the one that people fly to. Yeah, people come from around the world to go to this clinic. And it's about four hours.

[9:23] Now, would you aim for twins? Because I know with in vitro, a lot of times you can just get a bunch of fertilizations and then see which one is the best or you can implant more than one. Do you have any sort of thoughts about that?

[9:38] So the clinic will only do one because they said that it's high risk to do two and probably because of my age too.
So it's not like I'm 30. And so because I'm 48, they only want to do one at a time. Okay.
And this has developed a lot. We've looked into it a fair amount.
I mean, I don't have a degree in it, but we've looked into it.
And like a lot of the stuff floating around from 30 years ago is no longer valid.
Like the idea that, you know, they implant a bunch and then, you know, abort the extra.
That's no longer anything like correct. Well, we did have a friend who her kids are probably, well, they're a couple years older than our daughter.
So they're probably 12 or 13 now. And they did implant several in her.
And they told her, we're going to implant like four in you.
And if you get pregnant with all of them, then we're going to choose to abort a couple of them, is what the doctor said that they would do.
And they were totally fine with that. We weren't friends with them.

[10:32] Oh, that's climbing out of a whole bunch of little graves at the beginning of your life. I don't know about that. I don't know about that.

[10:40] We didn't hang out with them much before. That is not the conversation that we were having. So it's just one at a time is all they will do.

[10:47] And are you aiming to do one more kid.

[10:50] We'll try they said that i could go to on 55, so if you know we would try um one this year and then if if i did get pregnant, then in two years we would do it again and we would go to i was 55 yeah okay.

[11:08] I got it so you You get the egg donor mixed with the sperm in the Petri dish, implants in your uterine lining or in your womb, and then that's how it goes. Is that right?

[11:19] Yeah. And they also do testing before. So they would test.
You can choose this. And they would test for genetic problems beforehand.
And then, of course, they have it graded from this is a level A, this is an A-, this is a B, and they just kind of go from there.

[11:36] Wow. Okay. Got it, got it. and how's your health and weight and you know because as you start to uh get up there i wish i wish i was uh you know when my daughter occasionally refers to oh that that person's they're like they're like 40 they're old i'm like oh really i get our health.

[11:58] Is fine you know i need to lose about 40 pounds extra credit but she's pretty close to right and our health overall is And I had to go get checked for all that.
So I had to go to Advanced Patrol Medicine. And of course, I did just have one three years ago. So they're not as worried about me.
But yeah, we did go get all that checked, blood work, all that.

[12:22] And when did you put on the extra 40?

[12:26] Just after I got out of the service. It's just been just overeating.

[12:32] And how long have you carried the extra weight for?

[12:35] Since, I don't know. 20 years, 25 years.

[12:40] And have you taken a stab at dropping the weight before?

[12:44] Yeah, and I'm managing it. It's not getting worse. It's just, I just got to. And he exercises every other day.
Yeah, I just got to eat less. Eat less. But it's normal.
It's not like, well, I mean, it's ordinary. Let me say it like that.

[13:00] Yeah, I find getting a slightly heavier dessert fork so that you get the cheese.
I call it the cheesecake burn.
There's lots of different ways you can describe it. But that can really, you know, you get the little vein as your heart is trying to get the blood down to your hand. Anyway, okay, yeah. So, I mean, obviously.

[13:17] You're nicer than my wife about it.

[13:18] Yeah, yeah. Well, it's because you don't lie on me, man. It's a different situation.
If you were. Yeah.

[13:27] I don't love you that much.

Strong Family Genetics and Longevity

[13:29] So, yeah, if your health is good, and do you have long-lasting family tree genetics history thing?

[13:37] Oh, yeah. Very. Yeah, my grandma, one of my grandmas, she passed away at 95.
She had her own place. My other grandma passed away a couple days ago, and she was 90 and stayed in her own place the whole time.
My parents are 75 and 70 and still working and doing their thing. And, yeah. Yeah.

[13:58] And my grandma. Yeah, I mean, as you know, that's that's one of the bigger challenges with being older parents is you don't want your kids to be launching out on their own lives while you're sort of tottering on the edge of medical and financial doom.

Health Concerns and Aging Journey

[14:14] No, no, that's I mean, as far as can be reasonably predicted, that's all everything is fine on that front, you know.
As far as we can reasonably predict.

[14:28] Yeah, I mean, hit by a bus or a meteor or whatever, but...

[14:31] You're right.

[14:32] Okay, yeah, so good health, and I'm sure, I mean, the 40 pounds, that's...
As you age, you know, I say this as a guy who's down the road a little bit of a ways, and I've just lost another 10, because, man, as you age that way, you know, when you're young, it's just like, I'm bouncy.
And when you're old, it's like, I'm destroying my knees.

[14:53] So.

[14:53] Yeah, the pear-shaped thing is pretty rough. And you don't see a lot of people in their 80s plus who are packing a lot of extra weight.
Something just seems to take you out from what I've seen. So that would be something to aim at. But yeah, you can do it, I'm sure.

[15:10] Yeah, I just got to have your dessert for it.

[15:14] Right, right. There you go. That's my diet. Okay. And tell me about where God, commandments, faith, and so on works into these decisions for you.

Transition: From Baptist Upbringing to Personal Freedom

[15:30] So we were both raised Baptist, evangelical.
There's no obligation for that now. Most of that's been dialed back just from life. Um, we're not nearly as, uh, devout as we used to be.
Um, so there's no like moral obligation, none of that. We just want to, or I just want to do this. We want to do this.
Um, yeah, most of that's been dialed back. I don't know, 60% from when we were, you know, just getting out of high school. Right.

[16:12] Okay, okay.

[16:13] So there's no religious obligation. This is just, man, I can do anything I want. What do I want to do?

[16:19] Make life like Frankenstein.

[16:21] Right.

[16:22] What about obligations that you may have?
I mean, you guys are too young, I think, to have sort of, I know, this kind of significant cryptkeeper bone decaying stuff that goes on from a health standpoint.
One of the big challenges, of course, with being older parents is that you're trying to raise kids at the same time as your own parents are getting old and frail uh is that.

[16:46] A collision.

[16:47] I mean i'm sure you guys have thought about where does.

[16:49] That collision.

[16:49] Sit in in your heads.

[16:50] So and this is one of the reasons we want to stay as anonymous as possible because of various, things coming up we've basically got our parents at arm's length for example bull they don't state we live in they don't even know we had kids yeah because them and their wives all four of them you know i got two and she's got two, They're toxic, each in their own separate way, but we didn't have kids right off. They assumed we weren't having them.
And they assume now we haven't. At all. And they've got...

[17:27] Wow. So when was the last time you were in any kind of regular contact?

[17:32] We talk on the phone. We text for birthdays and Christmas.

[17:36] You talk on the phone and they don't know you have kids?

[17:39] No, I don't talk on the phone.

[17:41] What, do they put them in a soundproof vault? Kids don't have to go into the quiet room. We had to talk to his grandparents.

Maintaining minimal contact with family to keep them satisfied

[17:50] When he goes out of town, that's when he makes his calls, and I text.
I don't call. And we do that because just the occasional call, that's enough to keep them okay.
They check the box. We talk to them every few months.
And they don't check on us. It's all good, and then that's that.
She's got a younger sister that was the favorite and is going to do all the Crypt Keeper stuff for her parents. They've already told us she's the one getting the inheritance, so she can take care of them.
And I've got a baby sister that's same deal.

[18:21] Man, I can't honestly think of a costlier inheritance.
Like, I don't care if they're multi-sillionaires. It's like there's no amount of money.
But all right. And listen, I just want to obviously pause and say, like, I'm really, really sorry that this is the situation with your parents.
I mean, I get that that's a tough decision. I get that that's a hard thing.
And sometimes other people in your community and in your neighborhood as a friend, it's a little bit of a shock or a little bit incomprehensible.
So I'm sorry about that as a general situation. It's really, really sad.

[18:56] We don't tell people that our family doesn't know. You and my doctor are the only people that know that. Right. I know anybody listening.

[19:05] But yeah.

[19:06] Nobody knows. I'm not on this conversation. Yeah.
But that isn't a recent thing that probably happened well for starts we were never close like buddy buddy because like my mother for example is the world's worst for playing favorites which now that I've got kids I could not imagine crashing them into one another to me that's like totally evil, but she was really bad for playing favorites so by the time i was 25 man okay y'all go on and do your thing yeah i'll keep you know y'all gonna do you and you know i'll see you at thanksgiving and christmas and now eventually that drifted away and now it's just like oh i'll call it thanksgiving and christmas and your birthday you know and that's we don't like it we tried for years to to debate and argue and persuade.
Had talks with them. And it just, nowhere.
So, and that was probably, we were probably 30 when the current situation gelled.
And we're not happy with it, but if God called me up and gave me a redo, I'd change it all.

Desire to change family circumstances if given the chance

[20:12] But the situation is what it is. And it gelled like this when we were 30, which was, you know, eight, nine years before we had kids.

[20:19] Sorry, what do you mean if God called you up and had a redo, Do you change at all? You mean you change their behavior?

[20:25] Yeah, I change my parents.

[20:26] Okay. Yeah.

[20:28] I was a little kid. I'm not responsible for how my parents behaved. Right.

[20:33] No, no. I just wasn't sure if you meant you change everything about the circumstances or you change something about what you did over the past couple decades.

[20:41] No, no, no. I would change things about the circumstances in my family of origin, you know, where I was a kid and grew up.
But that's not what happened. That's water under the bridge.

[20:52] Well, and, you know, God himself wouldn't interfere with their free will, right?

[20:57] Sure. Sure.
Oh, this is an aside, but you've mentioned an interest in religion and stuff.
On some of your programs and we were both raised religious and because you know of the of our backgrounds i bought into it hook line and sinker well it kept me out of a world of trouble and i just contrast my life to like some of my cousins and just you know being religious enough to, be moral has been a total game changer i mean letter grades better life than my cousins who who grew up in the same town, same county, same schools, just if there's nothing past this life, the morals of religion are worth it for here and now because none of them have 30-year marriages.

[21:46] Well, I certainly agree with you all on that. And, of course, the amazing thing about it is it gives you something to subsume your greedy ego to, right?
Some rule, some structure to restrain, you know, the otherwise infinite animal lusts and pleasures and hedonism.
So, yeah, I'm with you there, 100%. For me, it's philosophy, but I also get that religion is a very, very powerful way of restraining the mere mammal, you know, that you can have some focus and some restraint on what you do.
Your kids as a whole, everything's going well. You said that they're delightful and you're homeschooling, which sounds great, and all of that's going well.

[22:24] Perfect, yes. Yeah, people in the town really, where we move, they really like them.
We're very social, me and the kids are. So we'd love to go join any club that there is.
So people have even stopped my husband at his work and said, you know, my wife met your kids the other day and they are amazing. She loves seeing them.
So, yeah, it's going well. Yeah. And they're all perfectly healthy. Everything's perfect.

[22:51] That's great. I mean, actually, I do get a number of parents who talk to me about my daughter and just say, can she give them their wallet back or something?
I can't remember exactly what, but something like that. Just kidding.
All right. So sort of questions about...
The in vitro stuff questions about this what are sort of the top two or three issues or questions that you have about this.

Concerns about having more children and resource allocation

[23:17] Um well i'm the one mostly with the questions um, so i just want to make sure that there's enough there's several questions i just want to make sure that there's enough for all of them um you know for i know people who have eight i know people who have 12 but i just want to make sure because one of my doctors has said you know when When I got, when I wanted to get pregnant with my third, she said, do you want a good psychologist?
And started laughing because she says two is enough. So now she really thinks I'm crazy.
But I just, I want to make sure that there's enough for number five, for number six, especially going through fertility.
Because the place is four hours from here. So I'd have to drive there, get whatever done, come back.
That would be on day one, day five, day 10, day 15.
I'd have to do that two months in a row.
And then of course the money, I mean, we make it now, so that's probably not really a problem.
I just want to make sure that there's enough for all the children.
Resources-wise. Yeah. Yeah.

[24:21] And I was going to ask about the enough dot, dot, dot. So, enough.

[24:24] Time. Sorry, time. You know, homeschooling. You know, making sure that they all get the education they need. They all get the amount of attention they need.

[24:32] But that's a sibling thing, too, right?

[24:35] Right.

[24:35] I mean, so, with larger families, and I mean, I do know some pretty big families.
We're pretty close to some pretty big families. families. Of course, you have less individual parental time, no question, of course.
I mean, that's just a matter of mathematics and only certainly a number of hours in the day.
But of course, you've got the older kids and there's, as far as the education goes, the older kids, you don't want to turn them into surrogate parents, obviously, or substitute teachers, but you know, if they all love each other, they'll all enjoy sharing information and adventures and understanding and and so on so what is subtracted from the parents with the additional kids, think of the course of their whole life they're going to get i won't say infinitely more but a lot more out of siblings over the course of 70 or 80 years than they would in the relatively brief part of their time where parental attention is super important so what what is subtracted from the parent time is added to in the sibling time and particularly over the course of their life from what i've seen that is very important and a huge plus right.

[25:42] Okay and like 25 minutes of this conversation our our 10 and our eight-year-olds up there watching a six and a three-year-old.

[25:50] Right right and i mean.

Sibling Interaction vs. Parental Time

[25:52] Then that's just an example of what you're saying and the oldest two girls They, you know, they're like, they call each other, you know, I'm your other mother to our baby girl.

[26:04] And.

[26:04] You know.

[26:05] Well, over the course of their lives, it's tens of thousands of hours of sibling interaction.
And maybe there's a hundred or two hundred or three hundred or maybe five hundred fewer parental hours.
But over the course of their lives, the amount of time that they have with additional siblings is massive.
And, I mean, it's easy to sometimes forget that, but a sibling is much more family for them over time.

[26:34] Yeah, because I always think of, like, now when they're all so young and how much time they take, right?

[26:39] Well, and the other thing, too, is that I'm sure that, you know, as peaceful parents, the siblings are all going to get along really well, which means they're probably going to try and live close together when they themselves grow up and have families, which means that because they have cross-pollination of sibling co-parenting or helping out with other kids, that that's going to free up a lot of time for one-on-one time with their own kids.
So it does help a lot in that sense.
In other words, stuff that's subtracted from you because you have new kids gets added to the next set of kids It's because you guys, I think, obviously, with the family issues, are more isolated, but, you know, they're all going to love each other, and they're probably going to live close together, at least a bunch of them will.
And so when they have their kids, the amount of parental time that will be available because they're living close together will be huge.

[27:32] Okay. Aunts and uncles and so forth. Right. Yeah.

[27:34] Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, I mean, I certainly remember with family members that I had that I helped them a lot when they were, their kids were young and so on, and that really did free up a lot of time for them.
Uh to spend more time with their kids sometimes sometimes i just help them with running errands or cleaning the house you know and so that kind of stuff i think there'll be a lot of cross pollination from the siblings aunts and uncles living close together and then the kids all playing together so you are if you look at the big math over the next generation or two you're adding a huge amount of socialization to all of these kids and the more siblings that they have the more socialization the more aunts and uncles the more nephews and nieces and so on is going on I think that's a pretty rich soup to be brewing.

Genetic Overlap and Emotional Connection with Egg Donor

[28:18] Yeah. Okay. Yeah. And my other question was, which probably isn't really a question anymore, because I've listened to a couple of your shows the last couple of days, but, um, so like using an egg donor, obviously it's biologically not going to be mine.
Um, but I would still be its mother.
So I guess I'm just kind of like, I, I mean, I know I'll love the baby, but just knowing it's not biologically mine um is a little tough but i probably shouldn't feel that way.

[28:51] You're not going to try and give me a should or shouldn't feel argument here right i mean you feel what you feel and i think it's worth accepting what you feel i mean i've never found i've never found it to be any good to finger wag at my emotions and say bad feeling wrong feeling feeling, shouldn't feeling.
I mean, you feel what you feel.

[29:11] Right.

[29:12] And...
I assume that the egg donor is someone you share some personality traits, some values with, similar levels of intelligence.
And is that, like, there's some overlap, some significant overlap there in terms of values and personality?

[29:36] Yes, sir. Yeah. That's why we picked her and we're spending extra to get that person. Yes, a lot more to get her woman.

[29:42] So so listen uh genetically i get this is this is my complete idiot amateur opinion so you know i'm certainly no geneticist but my understanding is that just about every single personality trait is genetic in origin so if you choose someone who's like you then there's going to be genetic overlap it's not a stranger's kid right somewhere in history somewhere there's a there's a connection connection uh for these uh personality and intelligence genes and so on to overlap as much with with you guys so it's not a stranger's kid because you share a lot of the traits that are genetic if that makes sense right.

[30:23] I mean if i met like if i could meet her which we can't well we could but if i if i would meet her i mean we would probably be best friends i mean she's just she's amazing.

[30:33] Yeah i mean that that thing where it's like my brother from another mother you know like i don't know sister from another mystery i don't know i ran out of i ran out of any utility there but no like i'm sure you've met this maybe you had this with each other where there's this sort of click and and it's like yeah we fit together and and we're copacetic and there's a compatibility and so on so she's not i mean obviously she's if she's half your genetics directly that that is something and you have already that with a with your with your children but strangers are not all equal in their distance from us so it's not like everybody in a crowd is equally genetically distant from us so if she's close in and you feel like you know brother from another mother stuff on the female side then it is that then i think i think there's going to be some genes that you share, That would have been transmitted to your kid if it was yours anyway.

[31:33] Right, I see, yeah.

[31:35] So it's not just some random person. I mean, yeah, if it's some random person in Botswana or something, okay, it's not a lot of overlap probably.
But if she's someone that you know and you get along with and there's a lot of overlap, then I assume that that happens to some degree at a genetic level too.
So she's not a stranger's kid. There is overlap, which you've got because you've chosen similar levels of intelligence and values and maybe, you know, emotional calm or reason or something like that.
So all of these things have some flow back to genetics as far as I understand it.
So she's not, because you've chosen the person, it's not like a stranger's kid.

[32:13] Right. And this donor could be my wife's younger sister, which is why we're going for it.

[32:21] Oh, okay. Okay, got it. so there's physical similarities.

[32:24] No no it isn't just from pictures the day is anonymous it's just from pictures it could be my wife's little sister yeah there's pictures there's um a video of her talking to us um and everything from the book she likes which i've started reading those and we like the same movies we like the same books we have the same ambition because my husband and i I are very, we've always been very ambitious.
We've our kids are all very ambitious.
They all get really good grades. And so I wanted someone similar because I wanted the next kid to come out saying I'm taking the world, you know, I mean, I needed someone popping out who is very similar to the other four, you know, where I'm like, I get you, I get why you want to start a business in your five.
You know, my 10 year old today said, you know, I'm 10, I'm starting a business.
I'm helping out this country. People are just going to have to deal with it that I'm only 10, you know? And I'm like, I get it girl, you know?
So I found someone who is similar to that and yeah.
So yeah what's.

[33:26] What's her thoughts about going forward is she going to be godmother a special aunt i mean honorary aunt or something have you guys talked about how she uh is going to relate to the child or children going forward.

Career path and decision not to meet children yet

[33:40] Yeah so um she is in college right now and she is fine meeting with the potential parents but she's totally fine not which we don't really want to to meet um and she does not want to meet the children so she said her career path she's um in college to be um she's getting her master's so um everybody in her family has their master's or their doctorate and she's you know she said she's going to be so busy with her life and she's engaged and then eventually with her children that um she doesn't want she feels like if she She also tries to spend time with this other family.
It would take away from the children that she will have one day.
And she doesn't want to do that to her family.
She is totally willing and wants to help people build a family because she's not ready yet.

[34:30] Got it. Okay. Okay.

[34:32] But she wants, she wants to help people now, but she's, which is what we, one of the things we liked about her was that she doesn't want to be involved later.

[34:39] Right. Okay.

[34:41] It'll be completely. Yeah.

[34:43] Okay. But you would get a medical history because.

[34:45] Oh yeah. Yeah.

[34:46] We already got that. Okay.

[34:47] That's being done right now. So my husband's already been checked genetically.
She's been a donor before. So they're just matching them up right now to make sure that they're a match.
We keep moving forward.

[35:00] Got it.

[35:00] Okay.

[35:01] Okay. All right. So, sorry, go ahead.

[35:06] Oh, there'll be no relationship.

[35:08] Yeah, I know. I got that. I got that one. It certainly sounds like, I mean, it's a bunch of, I mean, master's degrees all around.
So it's a smart gene pool. And I think that that's going to help help a lot. OK.

[35:20] Yes. Everyone in her family is. Very educated.

[35:25] Right. OK.
Okay, so, sorry, that was the first major issue was, is it going to subtract from the other kids?
And, you know, I mean, I think obviously practically it will, but they will gain.
I mean, it's funny, right? So, yeah, as you have four kids, sorry, did I, I'm sorry if I got that wrong.

[35:45] Yeah, that's correct.

[35:46] So you have four kids. Okay, so what's interesting is each additional kid you have multiplies the relationships, right?
You have two kids. They can only relate to each other. It's one to one, right?
You've got three kids, then you've got three to one, because each person then gets not one other sibling, but two other siblings. So it really multiplies.
So going from four to five or from five to six multiplies.
You know, you think of those lines like cat's cradle with the fingers and the yarn.
Like all of the lines that go between people multiplies enormously with additional siblings so yeah there's a minus i mean obviously mathematically that's the case but the plus from the sibling relationships in which again you know siblings last your whole life pretty much right most most of it like hopefully 90 98 of everyone's life is is matched with siblings and uh from what i've seen from you know peacefully parented siblings man they just get along so well i mean it's the conflicts here and there and all of that but i'm sure you've seen that that there really is some great stuff that goes on between siblings who are raised.

[36:48] With sort of the peaceful parenting idea which means that more siblings is a multiple of relationships that goes beyond just the parents so you're creating more lines between people in a sense and the lines go greater and greater like like they go up exponentially the more the the more kids you have.
So I think that the backfill of the lifelong sibling relationships will more than make up for whatever is subtracted from the parental time.

[37:24] Okay. Yeah. And then what about later on when, if the child finds out when it's grown, like, okay, you weren't my biological mom, you know, you'd see people who are like, I can't, I can't believe you lied.
You know, there's just a lot of, um, drama where there probably shouldn't be.
Um but do you think with like peaceful parenting and that the child will be raised to where they are okay with it is that is that not going to be a big deal for a child i.

[37:55] Mean that's uh that's a little bit of a time travel thing so i i obviously can't answer that with any authority but i could say something along along these lines that to be raised by you know loving happy peaceful parents is about the best thing that can happen to kids. Now.

[38:12] Obviously.

[38:13] There's going to be a bit of a shock. I mean, there's no question, right?
I mean, biology is something that does connect a lot of people.
And, of course, all of this kind of technology is pretty new, right?
I mean, I sort of had this sort of thought run through my head when you're saying, I've got to have all this driving, and we're basically going to end up coming back with a baby.
It's like, oh, no, just say mom's off having an affair, and then she'll come back with a baby.
I just had this thought in my head, which, of course, is nothing you'd ever say.
So I think for the children that you went through even more effort, I mean, the way I would explain it, which may or may not work for you, but I'd be like, well, the other kids, they were easy.
That kind of happened. We wanted you so much that we did all of this to meet you.

[39:00] That's what my husband said. Yeah.

[39:01] I mean, what an honor in a way that you don't just marry the girl next door.
Oh, you go across the whole country, you know, to meet the girl of your dreams kind of thing, right?
That's, in a sense, more of a compliment and so on.
And so, you know, we wanted more kids, we wanted to meet you, and why not add one other happily raised, peacefully parented kid with great siblings to the world?
So, yeah, of course, there'll be a little bit of a, oh, not biological to call the mom and all of that.
And look, that's not something you can't just sort of step over that like it's no thing.
But of course, the counter argument is, this is how much we wanted more children, that we were willing to go to these lengths to make sure that we met you.
And the unity and the.

[39:52] Closeness that these this new child or new children will have with their siblings and with you a closeness more than makes up for biology and and i can just give you the example of, my mom my dad your parents are all four of them right oh look you're all genetically related we're all genetically related how's that working out right so so genetics is like oh yeah i get it's important and i'm not trying to say it's not but as far as the value transfer is is what really counts and you know you guys sound like great people you're great parents and.

[40:32] That love that connection and the value transfer of sort of peace and and reason and and virtue to the kids my gosh i mean as far that egg won the lottery like that that would sort of be my you know if you were some i don't know crap craptastic parents who didn't do anything anything particularly good and just wanted, I don't know, government money for raising some kid, well, that would be bad.
But, you know, we rescued this egg that basically was going to vanish into the ether, right?
Because just another period, just another tampon, another blood, another flush, right?
So you rescued the egg, and you basically brought it to paradise, and you got to raise that egg half, you know, half genetically within the family, but you rescued that egg.
So, So, I mean, basically, my case would be, look, it's us or nothing.
Like, there's no other choice.

The Miracle of Existence and Love

[41:24] Like.

[41:25] It's us or you don't get to exist at all, and we really wanted you to exist.
And I hope that we've raised you in such a way that you love existence.
And it's not a question of, well, it would be better for us all to be biologically related. Okay, we could make that case for sure.
But there's no you, because you were in an egg that was going to go nowhere.
And so we rescued that and brought you to life, brought you into a great family, gave you great siblings, love you absolutely, completely, and totally.
And that's what binds. It's not just apology.
Because there is life where there would have been nothing. And that's such a plus.
And you're special for us because of that. Because you were the one that took the most effort.

[42:13] Right. Okay. That makes sense.
And just to clarify a point she and i were not planning on telling number five, but if it ever comes up and they walk in hey i took this 23andme test and why is things different between me and my sister well at that point we would have the conversation well i don't.

[42:38] Know honestly i mean maybe i'm wrong about this, But I remember, I want to start talking about myself again, but aren't they going to sort of figure out at some point how old you are?

[42:52] Well, I don't know. People think it's strange that I've had four in my 40s.
Yeah. I think most people think I've used an egg and I haven't.
So, and they might. And I mean. I don't know. My grandma was in her 40s having my mom.
I don't know. I mean, when I'm 52, I don't know.
They might. But it's not unheard of. And if it comes up, it comes up.
23andMe or they do the math.
You know, if it ever comes. What I'm saying is we don't intend to disclose it just willy nilly.
But if it comes up, then that's what I wanted to say about what you just told us. Yeah, that's what he said the other day was exactly what you just said.
Because if in vitro didn't exist, this girl would woman donor.
She would live another 10 years. and that's 120 periods, 120 eggs that would just be gone.

[43:42] Yeah.

[43:44] But we're acquiring a couple of them and we want them.
And, you know, everything else is frivolous compared to that, at least in my mind.

[43:57] No, I mean, you guys are like the big poofy trampolines they have outside of the buildings where things are on fire.
It's like you're catching an egg here and bringing it to life.
I mean, that's a beautiful thing.
It's a beautiful, maybe not use that analogy, because then the other ones are all going splat on the sidewalk. But, you know, this one is poof. We saved marshmallow.
Our marshmallow mattress saved you. No.

[44:18] I want to get her T-shirts, because I want big poofs, too.

[44:20] There you go. There you go. There you go. There you go. I know. You catch her in the rye.

[44:28] It's, yeah. And anything else? You really helped.
Me figure this out because you know he he's all for it but you know sometimes i'm like well yeah because it's going to be yours but um you know so there's there's a lot less i think a lot less um, questions or for him but for me it was um you've helped a lot a lot with this, and i've been married to her for 30 years she if somebody walked up and gave us a baby to a dog by the time she turned around and carried it in the house she'd be in love with it a baby, a puppy, or whatever.
She's just thinking a little bit about it and taking it seriously, as she should.
I have no concerns because if my niece or nephew needed a place to be adopted 20 years ago, my wife would have done it in a blink.

[45:27] I think she's thinking about it like she should, but I'm not concerned about that in the least because I'm like okay my oldest is 10 and I'm pregnant let's say three times in the next eight years by the time she's 18 she's going to know me as being either sick or exhausted but you know because I'm I get pretty sick when I'm pregnant um but you know like my husband said he's like the older two can help I mean they're, you know especially with their ages they know how to cook you know um so it's not it's not like Like it was in the beginning when it was just him and I with no other help. We've got them two.
We've got some close friends here that we've made.
So I just wanted to make sure there was enough, you know.

[46:14] Well, and I, you know, I mean, I don't like in general, just sort of personally, I don't like in general the idea that you just enlist all the siblings to be the co-parents.
And I get that that's a little bit unfair. fair but kids also got to work around the house and and younger siblings are part of that work and you know my daughter has her chores and and of course i mean you don't just want to toss them into adulthood where they've never have to lift a finger like some sultan from the middle ages or something so i think and of course you know given that kids are a blast and the babies and toddlers are a lot of fun you don't want to obviously that they can't have any friends or go of course that wouldn't be the case but you you want to have them exposed to that fun and also it gives them invaluable parenting skills for when they become parents and there is a certain amount like especially with a big family man everyone just has to kind of pitch in and there's lots of ways to make that fun and so i think relying on the older kids to help you as a whole is is is good for everyone involved and then there's just you know there's that that unity of i mean the kid of course is is half yours right so i mean i'm very big on the sort of men and men and wife of one one flesh.
So it's not like the baby is not.

[47:29] Half his and not yours because the husband and the wife are one flesh especially if you guys been married for for so long and you have such experience raising kids that you you wind into each other through the value sharing through the shared experiences and through the general philosophical approach that you're taking to parenting so you there is not it's like saying well the money he makes the money and so it's mostly his and it's not much mine it's like no No, the money is both of yours, right? Because you are one flesh.
And so the child is not, I mean, you can look at the pure biology and all of that.
But again, pure biology doesn't add up to love or connection, as we know from our own families.
But given that you guys are, especially after this amount of time and with this many kids, you are one flesh.
The kid is yours. It's both of yours. and the genetics and the experience and the parenting and the values that is what the connection is going to be and that's where the connection is going to have its greatest root i mean we we all know i mean everybody knows uh biological kids where they fight with their parents a conflict with the parents and and just have no respect for their parents the parents are aggressive towards them and but i mean i i consider personally i consider obviously my the friends that I've made through the pursuit of philosophy are my family.

The Value of Chosen Family

[48:52] And my actual biological family, I mean, gosh, I barely think about them unless I'm talking about them over the course of the show.
But the people I've grown with, I mean, I have people in my life who've been with this show almost from the beginning.
And those people are my family. There's almost nothing we wouldn't do for each other.
And that's just shared values. And it's mostly shared values.
There's some shared experiences for sure, but it's mostly shared values.
And that is the real uniting factor.
I mean, we're not related at all, but we have wound together like two trees growing together, like us, philosophy, reason, and experience.
And I think that's where the real connection is going to be maintained.
And you have that with your kids, of course, but that is completely reproducible with a child, especially because you're choosing someone who's got similar values and intelligence and virtues and all of that.
So I think that it will be a winding together through reason and philosophy and shared experiences.
I think that's really what makes the foundation of these things the most valuable.

[50:00] Okay. Well, thank you. That was amazing. amazing. That answered every question that I've had that was my concern or, Yeah. Yeah. We'll name him Stephan.

[50:13] That might be a bit of a giveaway. And don't give him a name.
I was just railing to my family the other day about my completely ridiculous name, which is, you know, Eastern European at the beginning, a basil in the middle, it's totally British.
And then Molyneux French, I'm like this, I don't know, schizoid scattershot of European syllables. It's completely ridiculous.
But yeah, and don't, Stephan with an F is like, no, no, not Stephen.
And it's no, No, there's not a pH, like literally my half of my life is trying to get people to understand what the heck. Maybe if I was in Poland, it'd be easier.
But yeah, so that would be, those would be my major thoughts.
In general, more life is better.
In general, more life is better. And if you guys are happy being parents, it sounds like you are.
And you have the chance for more life and your health is good.
And, you know, there's just more people then to love each other, more people to love, more happy, rational people in the world.
And I mean just more life is more life is better.

[51:12] Okay well thank you thank you for that alright is my.

[51:17] Work here done.

Searching for a Church with Depth and Connection

[51:19] I mean if you guys want to chat more.

[51:22] I'm happy to chat but you.

[51:23] Know I'm.

[51:24] Sounding like it sounds like our job is done.

[51:27] I have one kind of question that doesn't have to do with fertility but so I saw that you had wrote that you have started that you went to a church.
And so I was wanting to know, did you go back?
How do you find a church that aligns with your values, especially today with the way churches are going?

[51:50] Yeah, I'm still questing. I haven't gone back.
It was, I don't know, it lacked the sort of depth depth and power of experience that I recall from some of my early childhood experiences with the church.
So, I've still got a couple. We're going to give it a shot.
I'm just looking for that really, really deep connection with, you know, the essence and the tides of life and the really big view stuff that religion can provide.
And it seems at the moment that really only religion and only Christianity, in my mind, can provide.
So, I haven't been back to that church, church, but I've got some more on the list.

[52:35] Sure. Well, we've always been involved with it.
As church has tried to broaden its appeal, just Christianity in general, it's lost a lot of its depth.
And I don't think that's a trade-off it should have made.
Anything, anything that you commercialize, You know, you put money with it and all of a sudden it's all different.
For example, if you wanted to make the world's greatest cupcake, that would be a very different cupcake than if you wanted to make the world's greatest commercially viable cupcake.

[53:11] Right, right.

[53:12] And in church, do what?

[53:13] Oh, no. As far as foregoing commercial value for depth, you may be preaching to the choir a little bit here.
That's sort of been my whole business plan, for better or for worse, for many years.
And so, yeah, I mean, if I find a church that recognizes and emulates that, it'll be tough to keep me out of the doorway. way but but as yet not quite okay.

[53:35] Well good luck well thank you thank you so much for this i appreciate it.

Gratitude and Goodbye: Wishing Each Other the Best

[53:38] You're very welcome listen if there's anything else that i could do i'm certainly happy to help and i just really i can't tell you just how like honestly and deeply and humbly honored i am that you would come to me with any kind of question like this and um i certainly wish you the very best and and thank you so much for just a fantastic conversation sure.

[53:55] Sure and uh yeah and And if you could, or have one of your people just, like, whenever this is going to be posted, just text or email us or what have you. Yeah.

[54:07] Yeah, I'll make sure I go through, take out any names. And if you like, I can run your voice through a little bit of processing so that it sounds a little different and all of that, because I know you have some sensitivity to all of that.
And I can just put it out to donors so it'll be behind a paywall.
So we'll make sure it doesn't get out to the general population and that you can't be identified. So I'll make sure that goes through the process.

[54:28] Sure, sure. Yeah, we totally trusted you to do that when we started.
It's like, wow, we can't have things fall apart on us now.

[54:37] No, no, we'll do our best. Yeah, we'll do our best. And that hasn't really been a thing for listeners so far.
Well, listen, keep me posted about how it's going. And what a great delight it was to chat with you guys. And I really look forward to hearing the next chapter.

[54:51] Thank you so much. Thank you, sir.

[54:52] Take care, guys. Good night.

[54:54] Good night.

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