My dad is in town for a month. This is after 2.5 years of not coming home. Long story short, due to some traumatic experiences going through immigration every time he comes into the States as a resident, it took him this long to decide to come. To see him, we all had to travel out of the country.
I am thrilled that he is here. My dad is one of the most awesome people I have ever known. Born into a very poor family in China, he never had the chance for a formal education. He started working at age six to help feed his family of many kids (my grandparents eventually had ten children). He learned English, accounting, and other useful things on his own. He is unlike many other traditional Chinese parents that I have encountered in my life time. This is a dad that told me to major in whatever I was interested in college because the purpose of a college education is to train your mind for thinking. Instead of requiring us to pursue a certain profession, my dad urged me to let my interest guide my career path. My father is a very open-minded and generous person.
We don’t always talk on the phone. But when we do, we can talk for a long time. I can share more about my life with him than I can with my mom. It is just a different kind of relationship.
Yesterday we went for a two-hour morning walk at Golden Gate Park. This is his ritual: taking a walk there daily when he is in town. Since we don’t talk on the phone a whole lot, I hadn’t updated him on the next steps of our fertility treatment. I wasn’t in a rush to tell him. I just let the conversation flow. Somehow I started talking about finances and money. And then about friends that have pursued egg donation. I am quite sure this is a brand new concept for my father. If it is not for me, he probably doesn’t really know a whole lot about IVF, IUI, and other fertility treatment. After listening to me talking about my friends, my father asked, “Is this something that you guys are going to do next?”
Wow. It blew my mind that he made that connection on his own that this would be our next logical step. So the next 1.5 hours, he learned all about fresh vs. frozen eggs, in-house vs. agency donors, the difficulty finding an asian donor, the possibility of egg donation overseas, first time vs. proven donors, local vs. out-of-town donors, cost of egg donation, embryo adoption, and traditional domestic vs. international adoption. It was truly a mouthful. And it would have been too much for any 70-year-old parent to digest. But my dad, in his usual open-minded manner, was unfazed by any of the things that I talked about. He listened. He commented. He agreed with my personal choice. And he also understood my desire to carry the baby. He did not say, as some parents would, that I am too old for a child. He did not say that it is too much money to pay for egg donation. He did not say that he does not welcome a child that does not have my genetic makeup. He also said that donor’s height doesn’t really matter because of Bob’s height.
He is awesome.
I am truly grateful that he is my dad and I am his daughter. His and my mom’s support is so unwavering and their love is so unconditional. I never have to worry about being judged by them.
This is so important especially in this world of easy judgment.