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New Paths!

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Totally Married Podcast

Episode 76

Andy and Elizabeth check in after a whirlwind three days that have resulted in some of Andy’s professional endeavors coming into new focus. Then they answer listener questions about making adult friends, adoption versus making human babies, the music biznass, and how to find a compatible partner. Lastly, Elizabeth gets all self conscious about this episode for some reason! Enjoy!


Michael says:

It’s difficult to equate “adopt vs buy” on pets to “adopt vs breed” on kids. With pets, it’s essentially the same transaction for you either way. With kids, it’s two wildly divergent paths to reach the same result.

We had planned to adopt through our county’s foster program, but after two years of heartbreak, stress, concerns about violence from the birth parents, and lack of support (mostly brought on by budget cuts) from social services, we’ve put that on the back burner for now. I know a lot of people who’ve had much better experiences as foster parents, and I hope to try it again someday, but it consumed our life in a bad way and we just didn’t have the support system (either from the foster program or from our families) to sustain it.

We’ve now found time to foster rescue animals, and again I can say that it’s hard to compare kids to pets in this regard. The animals are generally going to a better place and you get to spend less of your life dealing with the problems that put them in your care in the first place.

A says:

On introversion- I scored 100% introversion on a Meyer’s-Briggs test a few months back. I am very socially competent and can turn “on” and present myself very well when need be, but it’s emotionally and physically very draining. Even just sitting quietly in a party environment wears me out very quickly. And while I do enjoy talking with my friends, after a few hours, I am always happy to part ways and have some alone time.

On a different note, adopting a child and adopting a dog are two very different things. I think that Elizabeth did a good job of explaining the difference. However, I do think that the writer-inner had a point about IVF and the like. I am a lesbian, and I have decided that I will go the adoption route as opposed to the sperm donor route. While I would love to be pregnant, I just can’t justify that when there are children in Eastern Europe sitting in asylums (which is where children with developmental delays and other special needs often go after they age out of “baby houses” at around age 4 or 5.) However, if I were in a relationship where my partner and I could relatively easily conceive a child that shared both of our DNA, I would want that (likely along with adoption.) But again- CHILDREN ARE NOT DOGS. I love animals very, very much, but pets are different than children. Having kids is a much more personal and emotional journey that should not be judged.

And a small “token” for you guys- You are both SO loved by SO many listeners. What you do is not only “fun time” for you guys, it’s a fun hour for all of us too. It is clear that so much talent and passion go into all of this, and I know that I’m one of the lucky ones who will be able to say that I listened “way back when.”

DT says:

Absolutely have your back in rejecting the equivalence between buying a dog from a breeder and having a child biologically. There is ZERO equivalence. First, having a child and having a pet are not the same thing. This isn’t to say have kids is necessarily better, more meaningful, more important. I know people’s pets are important to them and that should be recognized. However, having kids is very, very different other than you have to provide care to both. With that equivalence rejected, the idea that buying from a breeder is just the same as biological child birth is, frankly, idiotic. I think you did a good job gently putting the kibosh on the idea. I would’ve been much harsher.

Also, it’s not as easy as just calling up a poor country and having them ship over one of their neglected babies. Adoption is bureaucratically fraught, especially when it’s international. Further, even when adoption does happen, it remains very tricky business. There is evidence that cross-cultural adoption brings a whole lot of baggage many parents are not able to handle in addition to the basic issues of caring for a child. Adoption is not an easy panacea for those who are unable to have children biologically.

MM says:

Hey guys! Glad to hear you enjoy doing the podcast because I love listening. I have an addition to meeting friends as an adult. I moved around for a few years for internships and grad school before “settling” where I am now with my full-time job about two and a half years ago. I had built-in friends with roommates and I never tried that hard to meet people during those nomadic years since they were short, temporary stays. When I moved to my new city that all changed.

I work in a regional office with one other person and all my other co-workers are spread across the state. They were my first friends here and they’re great people but I don’t see them that often and when I do it’s work related and not as much socialization as I need. I also adopted/ a 10 year old Golden Retriever a few months after moving here who ended up being my excuse to stay home all the time and not make an effort to break free of my self-induced reclusion and introverted tendencies.

Side note: I’m not liberal or a Democrat. I come from a family of mostly Republicans who have always adopted dogs from shelters and I am a Libertarian.

Sorry about that detour, back to meeting friends. I don’t remember how I found it or if it’s been mentioned here already but I checked out I live in a small city (if you can call it that) in the middle of nowhere–I’m about 90 miles from a real city. Meetup is a really great site whether you’re a transplant or townie looking for new activities. There are groups for socializing, adventures, hiking, biking, religion, politics, gaming, parents, families, fitness, swing dancing, dog owners (some even get as specific as pugs, boxers, etc.), LGBT, wine tasters, vegetarians/vegans, etc… Anyone can start a group for a fee but it’s free to sign up and join groups and attend events (although some may have dues). I highly recommend at least checking out the site. I can be incredibly shy and quiet especially when I first meet people but I sucked it up and forced myself to do it. There were only a handful of groups in my area but I joined one and some of the people I’ve met have become really good friends of mine. Also it’s helped tremendously with digging out the little bit of extroversion I have buried deep down although alcohol definitely helps.

Well, that’s my two cents. I hope it’s helpful to some listeners.

Thanks for sharing your podcast!

Leigh says:

Hi Elizabeth & Andy,

As an adopted person, and someone who has adopted a dog, you didn’t say anything out of line or offensive. You guys are honest and lovely! <3

Still here,
Leigh 🙂

Frances says:

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one just catching up on previous episodes and wanting to comment. 🙂

On the topic of adoption of kids vs. dogs, one very very important difference is that owning a pet is completely optional for individuals and society as a whole, while having kids is necessary to the continuation of our species. Obviously it is optional for any individual, but because it is necessary for our survival we have evolved with certain biological imperatives to reproduce. Many people feel a very strong pressure not only to raise children but to reproduce their own offspring. I agree that if it is too difficult to conceive naturally one should consider adoption. However, it is not as easy to adopt a human baby or child as it is to go on Petfinder and then pop on down to the local shelter and take your baby home. (For context, my husband and I have two children that we were fortunate enough to conceive naturally; and we just recently adopted an adorable dog from a rescue group.)

So no one should feel bad or guilty about wanting to have their own babies! We are biologically programmed to want that.

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