Jesse Tyler Ferguson reads a story about a brother's unique need and sister's selfless gift.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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also offering domains hosting and twenty four seven support, get your free trial at Squarespace, dot, com, slash modern love. You should square, face o from the New York Times and WB. You are Boston. This is modern love, the stories of love, loss and redemption. I'm your host Magna Chakrabarti, the for some couples, making a baby the old fashioned way just isn't in the cards, but There are other options: You sperm banks, egg donors and those options can make things even more complicated,
as you will hear, when actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, yes of modern family Jerry Mahoney's, modern love, essay mom, not mom aunt. After five loving fulfilling years of my life, Andrew. I suddenly found myself online looking to meet a woman, the I spent hours. poring over profiles, buyers and stats. Looking at poorly lighted, digital pictures and videos of awkward faces uttering tightly, rehearsed self promotional pitches. I narrow the Flash Ma of candidates to six, then I summoned drew for his approval. Together, we had a decision to make
one of the strangers on this website could end up contributing half of our child dna. Big knows bad hair gross skin off those eyebrows through sped down the list and blackball them all. I fought for a few but she has a four point: oh Veterinary school, and this one teaches autistic kids to tap dance drew was unmoved. I shouldn't have been surprised. as a writer I'm drawn to characters with intriguing quirks and heart tugging backstories, but for drew who spent twelve years, never seen reality programming for MTV. This was proved just to be another casting decision, albeit for the significant supporting role of egg donor, instructed by our surrogacy agency, not to you. The M word. This child will have to fathers, the staff member scolded he or she we'll have an egg donor and a surrogate
but no mother, whatever you call these young women, there's no shortage of them for all those who are deaf What's to stop gay couples from adopting. There are others were eager to help us down a more complex path to parenthood and for the most part, They are merely girls, some as young, as nineteen still in their awkward phases. You click on a face and a pop video in which an acne cheats, college sophomore talks about her poly Sci major. Her love Walker in one tree hill and eyes wide with optimism about the corporations will be running in five years. Drew and I found each other via our means an online dating site to use it. kind of system vetting that these days takes the place of destiny. Drew screen the guys who liked house music or who mixed up your and you fewer.
I vetoed anyone who, in place of a headshot uploaded a crotch, shot, Choosing a biological relative for our unborn fetus wasn't going to be a simple. There were some. more variables and bigger questions to ponder most candidates requested the standard. Eight thousand dollar, four but some negotiated their own rates if she was blonde athletic and Harvard educated, she thought she was worth thirty grand everybody wants to children to have the best, but this process threatened to bankrupt us, even without all the premium options, besides you who know what that money would really buy. If we pick someone with an astronomical price tag, Couldn't we be saddling our child with the greed gene and how explain it to him. Your egg donor was top of the line son we got you and she got a Porsche or You wanted to be taller, but anything for five foot. Nine was out of our price range for us
and who struggle over, which Netflix movie to watch decision could stretch on long after our biological clocks had run out. That's when Susie called you know, you can have my eggs if you want them right. She said it was that swift that as well as if we were talking about borrowing her hair drier onto Franco cities rather than part of her womanhood. But with that simple statement it got even more complicated. Susie was everything and aid donors should be kind, beautiful, smart, a gifted artist and twenty eight practically the peak of her fertility. She was also through his little sister, despite being yours apart and age, and on opposite sides of the country, Susie and drew couldn't be sir or more like they talk on the phone The everyday make the same. Facial expressions laugh at the same dirty jokes. Have the same mercurial temper with
Susie's offer. I knew generosity was yet another trade they shared. You and I had wondered: who sperm would we use with Susie? The matter was settled. I would be the biological father yet for the first time you and I were also able to imagine what it would be like to have a child who had genetic and both family trees. What would she look like? How would he act? How would our respective cheers merged into one warbling little miracle we've grown up when coming out meant putting an end. Dreams of fatherhood. Now we were getting with the possibilities of reproduction that most straight couples take for granted. But what exactly would Suzy be pricing. She was young and unattached. She wanted her own children, but wasn't ready so so she prepared for someone else to have her child and how would much explain this particular brand of baggage to a potential husband someday,
Most of all, would she be satisfied always being aunt Susie to the child and never you know the M word drew and I had doubts, but Susie considered it a done deal. This was her brother and if he needed eggs dammit, he was going to take hers. She was a stubborn, as drew would have been if he were offering and she were the one in need. She didn't flinch from the doctor explained the pain and inconvenience she would endure before her eggs were extracted, mom some genetic tests weeks of hormone, actions and the resultant mood swings most troubling of all I need so much time off. She could risk losing her job to all of this. She shrugged and asked only one question: when do we start when the day of the extraction? Finally came, the hard part was supposed to be over with the right dose of medication. Most women Susie's age produce dozens of healthy eggs, but for reasons the doctor couldn't explain, Suzie produced
me five of those two failed to fertilize Bialik was bad for us devastating for Susie Physicians spoke about her fertility. The way Gore describes polar ice caps. Time is running out and it may already be too late. He that if our surrogate couldn't become pregnant with Susie's eggs, it was unlikely Susan ever what either we all Wade. The only option was to implant the three embryos and begin an excruciating wait. If this didn't work drew- and I would return to the websites full of strangers- if we even had the strength to try again- and we didn't want to think about what that would mean for Susie Ten days later we were visiting Drew's, family and Upstate New York. It was two days before Christmas and we were all trying our best to talk about anything but babies. My cell phone rang and a hush fell over the room.
The nurse on the other end install, Jerry. She squealed I have some exciting news: a cascade of here is drowned out the rest, the call and see he drew, and I shared a tight hug that seem to last for hours weeks later we joined our surrogate for her first ultrasound, weren't, even bigger prize awaited. The grainy soup on the sonogram monitor two peanut shapes emerged drew and I were going to be the fathers twins. Our son and daughter are now ten months old and when I look at them, I see traces of each of us, my nose, Suzy's eyes, Druse Chin. they're, just starting to invent a secret language to communicate with each other. If we hear baby cry, it's a safe bet that the other just stole her past
fire hit him with a stuffed monkey, but then when no one's looking, sometimes I'll reach out and hold each others hands. Susie gets to witness at all because our frequent phone calls would through have become video chats, but their whole family and, as I watched, drew proudly showing off our children for her. I realized the Susie has given us, is much more valuable than just a genetically to our offspring. It's a brother and a sister, tiny, perfect and gradually building a special bond all their own Jesse title: Ferguson reading Jerry Mahoney's SA mom, not mom, on why I
So here's a little peek behind the scenes, actors who read for us they get to you is the modern love essay. They want to work with and here's why? Just Tyler Ferguson says this one spoke. so strongly to him for many reasons. Very resonant to me- and I have many friends who have been through similar processes and both gay and straight who have had to look for alternate means to have kids, and it's certainly something my husband and I are thinking about as we're looking to expand our fans, and I love it because it's it's not an issue that is a gay or straight issue. It's a human issue and said something that I think a lot of families can relate to and I teared up when I read it so I was like this is the one I want to do You thank you so much for reading this week's essay. You can see. Jesse Tyler Ferguson on a car max gives you the freedom to shop. However, you, like you, can shop a car online and on the lot, once you find the right car you can I, however, you want buy online.
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I love spelling bee my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed sorry that may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my dad. We like the first time together and I wish her out. I think I got it- see it J, a c k, p o t jack, but we hit the jackpot panicked, yeah, Elrond, nice, I'm same as earth sky. The digital pulses editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee in all our games at n, one times dot com, slash games. He sees this podcast his support
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I love spelling bee my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed sorry that may have happened again today. I have one friend who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that when my dad was like the first time together and I was out- I think I got it- see it J, a c k, P, o t jack. We hit the jackpot, panicked, yeah, Elrond, nice, I'm same as the sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee in all our games at n, one times: dot, com, slash games, modern family of course, and he'll also play
ready characters in fully committed a one. Man show that opens on Broadway this April. Now don't hit pause or fast or word or skip track, because you're gonna want to hear what writer Jerry Mahoney has to say about his real life now as a gay dad, that's after the break, stay with As EU I'm Katie at living proof- and we get love letters all the time like this one dear living proof. My hair feels great just like it used to feel before all the coloring and not just pathetic, wisps blowing in the wind, but a real head of hair. To let fly with pride, I could woo Eric Clapton from the tenth.
With this air love Sally, you can use the code, love for a free travel size, dry shampoo, with your twenty dollar order, living proof, dot, com, we're back its modern loved. The pod asked a magnetic Chakrabarti, and now a postscript from the author of this week's essay Jerry Mahoney. I really was worried that my kids would have a hard time not having a mom and having two dads and the thing that's amazed me and part of it is just because my kids are such amazing kids in such fascinating little people is that they love it. They feel like our family, is special and they feel like they hit the jackpot, and I know that there will be times in their life that they might wish they had a mom or be no feel that absence in their life. But overall, I think it's been such a positive thing for them and I think I don't think they would trade our family for anything.
I know I wouldn't be a gay dad. We get a lot of the same reactions over and over again and I'm happy to say most of them are very positive. I sometimes people are just confused by our family before our kids. when my husband and I went to buy a minivan and then we were dealing with a car salesman and he was trying to figure out story and we were trying to explain it to him and it just wasn't coming across, he said so Is this ban fer you or you, and we said well, it's for both of us and he said: okay well your wives are really going to love this, and we should.
We don't have lives its fur us with each other, and he was just like ok great well. You know your kids in your kids are both gonna love this, but he just did not get it, no matter how much we try to explain it, but he really wanted to sell us too many of them being a dad is changed my life in ways I never would have imagined I love it more than anything else. I've done in my life. I knew when we had the kids that I would eventually be going back to work and we would have to hire a nanny or put them in daycare, and when, I came to do that. I just couldn't do it I didn't want to. Hand them over to somebody else to raise. After all that we had been through to have them- and I also didn't want to not be there for them-
I really like being around them. I like changing, diapers and doing all that stuff, and you know eventually teaching them to talk and walk and their a b c's, and I talked to my husband about it, and we decided that I would stay home and be a stay home dad and that's what I've been doing for the last six and a half years. It's been the most rewarding and wonderful thing. I've ever done, and I've been thinking a lot lately about. transitioning back into the job world. I've decided to pursue my education degree, because I really
if the idea of being around kids- and I just I want to teach elementary school and be around kids all the time- and I also love the idea that I would be on the same schedule as my kids- I would still see them in the afternoons and the summers and it wouldn't be going back to the kind of job I had before, where I was working crazy hours and I was never home and I was stressed out- I'm sure I'll still be stressed out as a teacher, but other than that. I I think it's a a job for me to have- and I'm very excited for that. So life is good, but I still have one nagging question. His kids know who aunt Susie is Do they really know who answers he is we're very open with our kids about Susie and about her role in in our family. She is more than just an aunt she's, a very special aunt, and we use the term egg donor with our kids all the time and to the extent that
I can understand that at six years old they understand it and which is to say not completely, but they can appreciate that she did something very special and that they wouldn't be here without her help. So they have a very close bond with Aunt Susie and, as all things go with modern love, there are twist of fate and family in this story. To your. How the idea of time running out and melting polar ice caps came to mind when the doktor described Susie's waning fertility. Well, after meeting her eggs to Jerry Andrew soon unexpectedly got pregnant on her own and has a little girl named grace and that's there is actually more Susie and drew have two brothers, one of whom is also gay. He and his husband wanted to start a fan. and Susie stepped in again this time, serving as they are surrogate and when people
ask her. Why she's done all this Susie answer is why not the whole idea of of donating my eggs to them, didn't it wasn't about the maternal thing I guess at twenty nine not having kids term, my head, it just seemed like the right thing to do. They were wonderful people to be around and I knew that them reason. Whether they were my eggs or not, was going to be amazing, the situation in general is a joke in recalling selfish, because I have a meeting here, come the lot of bricks, meeting amazing support group, an amazing family. I have three wonderful brothers who I can't imagine not being around The thought that my daughter would be an only child just kills me, so the idea-
we're having cousins that are close enough. Just in a relationship I want her to have family Susie Tappin is Jerry. Honeys sister in law, Jerry decided to write a book about this experience. It's called Mommy man, I went from mild mannered geek to gay super dad Jerry also sent us of pictures of the you can find it all at our website, W B, Wbur dot, Org, slash, modern love, Nick, we on modern love, America, Ferrera STAR of a ugly Betty and the NBC Comedy superstore. She brings the story of an african aid worker and the heartache that comes with thinking. You can save the world. I told myself this was my adventure, the kind
If story, I could someday tell my children to prove. I once was brave and interesting. Modern love is a production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston, NPR station, its produced directed and edited by Jessica put John Parodi and am receive the aid? for the modern love podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin Sadler's our executive producer, Daniel Jones is editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music for the podcast, courtesy of a p dot M I'm making a chopper body and don't forget to subscribe to modern love on Itunes. And while you there. Let us know what you think of the past leave us a review. That's it for this time will see the next week.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-17.