Have you asked family for money? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I never have but we are in a position where we feel like we woud like to. I can give lots of details but I don't want to make it too long. Short story is that we want a family, and our families are VERY excited for us to parent, but all of our savings went to 2 years of TTC (we are same-sex so it's not "free" for us :)) and medical expenses from the 3 miscarriages that we had. We have no children and are getting older (I'm 35, DP is 42) and don't want to wait any more. I feel like our families might want to help but I have hinted at the $$ part (well, actually we've been very direct about asking for money, but on a blog that we sent to everyone and I don't even think anyone's read it) and we have not received any offers of help.

 

I know that NO ONE is under any obligation in any way to give or lend us money. If they want to though, I want to be sure that I am being clear enough about my need. I'm not even sure what I'm asking...maybe just other experiences from people that have asked for support from family or friends?

 

It's hard not to compare sitautions, but I think I'm feeling sad that our friends, who also come from families that are NOT rich, started a blog about their adoption journey at the same time we did and raised $18k in less than a week (whcih is 75% of the cost of the adoption). Maybe I just wish our families were the same :(


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#2 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 04:36 PM
 
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We asked MIL to help with the cost of IVF.  She's the only one we asked, because we were pretty sure she'd want to help, and we thought she could afford it.  We told her we absolutely did not expect any assistance, and we didn't want her to put herself in a hardship situation, in case were were wrong about her finances.  She wants a grandchild more than anything in the world, so she has promised us a certain amount of money, which will enable us to do IVF.  Also, and this was a big consideration--MIL is a wonderful, kind woman and we do not foresee her holding this money over our heads for the rest of our lives.  If she were the type to say "I did this, so you owe me that," we would not have asked.  Good luck!


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#3 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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It's hard to say without knowing more about the family dynamics. I personally wouldn't ask family to contribute to me having children, because all of my sibs are raising their own families. My parents and in-laws have already raised their families, and should keep their money in case they need it.

 

Then again, no one in our extended families has extra money they wouldn't miss.

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#4 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 05:56 PM
 
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I wouldn't ask for $$ for that specific purpose.  I mean I guess you have via the blog and the family has answered right?  Unless you plan on sitting down with 'Aunt Jane' or 'Grandpa Jim' and asking for $ I'm not sure what you have in mind.  The few times I've asked my parents for money its been very touchy and held over my head for years.  My concern is if you dont have the money for TTC, what happens when/if the baby gets here? (and years down the road).

 

When I did ask my parents for $$ it was in smaller amounts than what you will need and asking for $$ still made me squirmish and I promised myself I would NEVER ask again.

 

Now I could see if you needed a Loan for houserepairs, a Loan for a vehicle, something like that where your family would be willing to give you lower interest than a bank, maybe going that route but to ask for $$... nope.


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#5 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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Neither my husbands family nor mine has ever given us a dime for our adoption costs. ($30,000 Ethiopia ) Nobody has. Its been all us. We have told them how expensive it was, and that we didn' think we would be able to make it. They still didn't choose to give us any money. I think if they know about the situation and are not willing to willingly give money, you shouldn't directly ask for it. The adoption tax credit is currently refundable $13,000 ish, i believe through 2012.

 

That being said, foster care. My 2 year old came home at 17 months, adopted the day after her 2nd birthday. Her adoption was $1,700 which will be re-embursed.


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#6 of 24 Old 04-01-2011, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I am realizing that the bigger issue is feeling sad and disappointed that our families have not been more involved or supportive of the whole family building process (the 2 years of trying and the 3 m/c), and I think I was hoping that they would be excited that there is something concrete that they can do - they have been saying this whole time that they wish there was something they could do to help/support us.

 

We have money to raise a child. We had $20k saved and spent that plus another $12k over the course of our 2 years trying. We could save it up again and it would take us about 2 years, but we are not willing to wait that long to move forward. We do have some money in retirement accounts and about $5k in cash emergecny savings. We were hoping not to use that but we will if we have to.

 

The tax credit expires in 2011 and the adoption would need to be finalized by the end of 2011 for us to use it. There is a chance that will happen but we are not counting on it. I'm hoping it's extended, that would be really helpful! We have ruled out foster-adopt at this time for several reasons, but we want to have more than one child and we are definitely considering it for later!


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#7 of 24 Old 04-02-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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I'm queer as well and have fertility issues. It took us a year and $25,000+ for our DD (conceived finally via IVF and FET). So I really understand where you're coming from. I do think though that I would be really hesitant to ask for such a large sum of money as a gift from family. My family could likely afford to give us money but I know I would feel obligated to them (they wouldn't make me feel that way but I would feel it none the less) and like I should be able to provide it on my own.

 

Having said that, infertility treatment is one of the only things (next to house and education) that I would go into debt for. Not a popular thing to say I'm sure on a frugality board (!) but for me it's true for many reasons. We used our line of credit very minimally for the last cycle on which DD was finally conceived and it was paid off within a few months, well before she was born. Now that we are TTC#2, we are looking to likely draw on the line of credit again. I know it won't take us long to pay it off. Having said all this, would you feel comfortable asking your family for a loan? instead of a gift? You could propose some kind of interest-free loan and see what they say.

 

Also, I personally wouldn't worry too much about how much you need to raise a child. As long as you have good health insurance, in my experience 21 month old DD has not cost us very much money at all so far. We still co-sleep, we cloth diaper for the most part, we BF and did BLW, most of her clothes are hand-me-downs or thrift store. I'm sure as she gets older the costs will increase but so much of what people say you need money-wise to have a child is really to buy a lot of (IMO) unnecessary gear.

 

Good luck and hugs.

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#8 of 24 Old 04-02-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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We were gifted money from relatives (IIRC it was about $1500 total, from 2 different family members) when we were in the process of adopting DS2.  It was totally unexpected and not something that we asked for.  To be honest, it never would've dawned on me to ask family members for money to help us out.

 

I would be a little put off if a family member asked for money because that's the only way they could afford to have a child.  I would wonder how that person could afford to raise a child if they couldn't come up with the money for an adoption or infertility treatments.  And I say that as an adoptive parent myself.  I know that the up-front cost of adoption is huge, but raising kids isn't cheap either.  Sure, babies can be inexpensive.  But children become much more expensive as they get older, especially if you intend to live a middle-class lifestyle (museums, sports, music lessons, good quality clothing, each child having their own bedroom, etc.)  To be clear, I'm not saying that you can't afford a child, I'm telling you how I would feel if a family member, friend, or acquaintance asked me for money so that they could start or add to their family. Given the lack of response you received after your blog post, it's possible that at least some of your family members feel the same way. 

 

I know that you're wishing your family was more supportive, but in the end, it is you and your partner who will ultimately be responsible for the child.  It's pretty common to see threads on MDC about uninvolved extended family, so now might be a good time to think about how you would deal with family members who say they want to help out, but don't follow through in the way you expect them to.  What will happen if your idea of "occasional" babysitting is once a month for the whole evening, and the person who volunteered thinks that "occasional" babysitting = couple of hours once a year?  I think this is similar.  Your idea of support is family members giving you cash, whereas maybe their idea of support is bringing you a casserole, a rattle, and a package of onsies after the baby arrives. 


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#9 of 24 Old 04-02-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annethcz View Post

We were gifted money from relatives (IIRC it was about $1500 total, from 2 different family members) when we were in the process of adopting DS2.  It was totally unexpected and not something that we asked for.  To be honest, it never would've dawned on me to ask family members for money to help us out.

 

I would be a little put off if a family member asked for money because that's the only way they could afford to have a child.  I would wonder how that person could afford to raise a child if they couldn't come up with the money for an adoption or infertility treatments. 

 


I wanted to respond to this really quickly.  We asked for help--MIL is always giving us things, and trying to pay for things that we don't want her to pay for, and offering to take us on vacations, etc.  She is a very generous woman, and she has been asking for a grandchild since we got married.  We did not ask for a large sum of money, just a little bit of help.  We asked for a loan, and she said she preferred to give a gift, not a loan.  We will pay the majority of the costs, our insurance will contribute a small amount, and MIL will pay the amount she is comfortable with.  We *could* have saved up for another year and covered the cost on our own, or we *could* finance the IVF process, but wanted to avoid those options.  Or we could use most of our savings (which will happen if we have to go to round 2 of IVF, and we would have used that if we had had to).  Time is a factor, for us, and we are trying to not start any more debts than we have to.  We can afford to raise a child (or children), but the start-up costs in our case are going to be astronomical.  Now, if our first IVF doesn't work, we will not ask for any more financial help.  I would not have been comfortable bringing this up to MIL, but DH said she would want to help.  And she did, very much.

 

I don't know the OP's situation with her family members, but this was our thought process.

 


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#10 of 24 Old 04-02-2011, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all the replies. They are so different than the ones that I received when I posted a similar question on an infertility/adoption forum and I think it's safe to say that the questions you all are asking me are the same ones that my family (who are *not* involved in the IF or adoption worlds) have. I want to make 2 things clear if they were not from my original post: we CAN afford to raise a child without anyone's help and we do not NEED money to be able to make an adoption happen - we have some cash savings and some retirement savings, and access to plenty of low-interest credit that we could make temporary use of if needed. And also we do not expect or feel entitled to anyone's money, nor are we asking them to finance 100% of the costs, or even a significant part of them. I am not asking anyone to write us a check for $26,000!

 

It's very true that in the end it's the two of us on our own. This is no different than how it has been in the past, and it's OK, I've always felt (and been) very independent, emotionally as well as financially, when it comes to my family. I don't think that I ever really had thoughts/fantasies of receiving support from family once a baby's here, oddly enough (like, it hadn't even crossed my mind to ask family to babysit for free, and back when I assumed that I'd be giving birth I didn't think that my family would be around to help nor did I really want them around for the first few weeks!). I'm not sure why this was different, and I'll have to figure that out. Again, thanks to everyone, all the responses here have been really enlightening and helpful.

 


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#11 of 24 Old 04-02-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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We didn't take money from anyone for our two international adoptions.  We would never ask for it, nor would we have accepted it.  I don't think it is anyone's responsibility to fund this type of thing other than the people directly involved.  As far as other types of "support" go, it was nice when people obviously were in favor of the adoptions, but again, I don't really think it's up to anybody else to be excited about this. 

 

We did without, lived very frugally, took side jobs and saved the money.  Personally, I do think that if we couldn't have saved the money, we couldn't afford the kids. 

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#12 of 24 Old 04-02-2011, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think it's anyone else's responsibility either, as I stated.


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#13 of 24 Old 04-03-2011, 03:38 AM
 
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Milletpuff, I can absolutely see why you would ask for help in this situation. I think it's totally unfair to say that if you can't afford adoption/IVF, you can't afford to raise a child. People all around me are having kids in all kinds of financial situations, many much more precarious than the OP describes. Maybe these families aren't making the wisest choices, but they can still make them and have their kids. Dealing with infertility or just lack of easy access to a child you want to raise...well, I have a few friends in that situation and I would help them in a heartbeat financially if I could, or if they asked.

 

In my family, I have a sister who decided to have a second child when our then-78-year old, widowed mother was already sending money every month to help her with food, rent, etc. Her reasoning was that she shouldn't have to forego a second child just because she was having a hard time financially. Ten YEARS later, their demands for bailouts have only escalated and my mom is now near 90. Sister has done nothing to help or give back. THAT I am bitter about.

 

OP, I really hope you have a baby or a child in your arms ASAP.

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#14 of 24 Old 04-03-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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I think I am realizing that the bigger issue is feeling sad and disappointed that our families have not been more involved or supportive of the whole family building process (the 2 years of trying and the 3 m/c), and I think I was hoping that they would be excited that there is something concrete that they can do - they have been saying this whole time that they wish there was something they could do to help/support us.

 

We have money to raise a child. We had $20k saved and spent that plus another $12k over the course of our 2 years trying. We could save it up again and it would take us about 2 years, but we are not willing to wait that long to move forward. We do have some money in retirement accounts and about $5k in cash emergecny savings. We were hoping not to use that but we will if we have to.

 

The tax credit expires in 2011 and the adoption would need to be finalized by the end of 2011 for us to use it. There is a chance that will happen but we are not counting on it. I'm hoping it's extended, that would be really helpful! We have ruled out foster-adopt at this time for several reasons, but we want to have more than one child and we are definitely considering it for later!



I totally understand wanting them to be excited. All of our family has been very calm and casual about our adoption choices. However once our daughter came home everyone adored her. It took almost 2 years of being licensed foster parents before she was placed with us. Its a hard road, but SO worth it! :)

 


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#15 of 24 Old 04-03-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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We were gifted money from relatives (IIRC it was about $1500 total, from 2 different family members) when we were in the process of adopting DS2.  It was totally unexpected and not something that we asked for.  To be honest, it never would've dawned on me to ask family members for money to help us out.

 

I would be a little put off if a family member asked for money because that's the only way they could afford to have a child.  I would wonder how that person could afford to raise a child if they couldn't come up with the money for an adoption or infertility treatments.  And I say that as an adoptive parent myself.  I know that the up-front cost of adoption is huge, but raising kids isn't cheap either.  Sure, babies can be inexpensive.  But children become much more expensive as they get older, especially if you intend to live a middle-class lifestyle (museums, sports, music lessons, good quality clothing, each child having their own bedroom, etc.)  To be clear, I'm not saying that you can't afford a child, I'm telling you how I would feel if a family member, friend, or acquaintance asked me for money so that they could start or add to their family. Given the lack of response you received after your blog post, it's possible that at least some of your family members feel the same way. 

 

I know that you're wishing your family was more supportive, but in the end, it is you and your partner who will ultimately be responsible for the child.  It's pretty common to see threads on MDC about uninvolved extended family, so now might be a good time to think about how you would deal with family members who say they want to help out, but don't follow through in the way you expect them to.  What will happen if your idea of "occasional" babysitting is once a month for the whole evening, and the person who volunteered thinks that "occasional" babysitting = couple of hours once a year?  I think this is similar.  Your idea of support is family members giving you cash, whereas maybe their idea of support is bringing you a casserole, a rattle, and a package of onsies after the baby arrives. 


I wanted to address this. In many cases its not that a family can't come up with the money. Its that comming up with the money will take a long time, and we've already waited a long time. I dont need to have $30,000 cash in order to afford my 2 year old. Its such a frustrating phrase repeated over and over, how many people have that much cash before having a child?
 

 

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#16 of 24 Old 04-03-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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I have never asked family for money... and can't see myself doing it ever. I don't think it's a good idea for many, many reasons. That being said... I think to have a child, I'd do about anything.

 

I do think this is the one time I'd make an exeption! and I think it's redicuolus to say that somone need 30k in the  bank to have a baby.

 

OP, you are saying you think most people haven't read the blog-- one idea I have seen is to have a fundraiser-- a coworker of mine's son had a medical issue that cause them to travel 4-5 hrs away for treatment. A few months into it, they (or maybe someone held it for them) threw a 'get well' party and charged a 5 dollar enterance. They invited eveyrone they knew, it was held at a church; and they had chili, i think. Perhaps you could do something similar? No one felt obligated to come, but I thought it was a neat way to ask for a little help-- the invite said that all money would go to travel/lodging expenses during the upcoming big surgery.


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#17 of 24 Old 05-19-2011, 12:32 AM
 
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yes sadly. my husband just lost his job so we had to ask my dad to help us out.he helped us a bit but we are going to have to move in with mil. start july 15:(


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#18 of 24 Old 05-21-2011, 09:41 AM
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Can you ask for a loan?  Or take out a personal loan from a bank?

 

I have a pretty supportive family, but I can't imagine them donating money for me to have a kid.  I think I could get a loan from some of them, though.

 

It sucks to be racing against your biological clock.  I don't have fertility issues but I just had a baby at 38 so I do get it.  

 

Good luck

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#19 of 24 Old 05-21-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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I haven't read all responses but have you considered special needs adoption?  Not only is it free, but you frequently get an ongoing subsidy as well as an MA card for the child.  "Special Needs Adoption" is not necessarily what it sounds like.  Some of the kids are infants who are considered "at-risk" of having special needs.  For instance, they may have tested positive for drugs at birth, etc. and be doing perfectly fine.  

 

No matter how/what program you are to adopt from, at least in my state, a child has to be in your home for 6 months prior to finalization which would make it pretty much impossible for you to get a 2011 tax credit.  My guess is that it is going to be extended though. 

 

And about asking family...No.  I would never.  And friends...I would find that really presumptuous and it would probably affect my relationship with the person who made the request.   I mean this gently, but I would be much more likely to donate money to individuals hoping to adopt than those who wanted more money for fertility treatments that won't necessarily be successful.  I guess I am somewhat biased because I am very pro-adoption, have been a social worker in adoption, and have spent a great deal of time in other countries in orphanages seeing the hardship there.  I would happily donate to see a child laying in a crib alone 23 hours a day, sitting in a poopy diaper most of the time, rocking themselves back and forth, adopted into a loving home. 

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#20 of 24 Old 05-21-2011, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I never updated, but we did go ahead and ask and our families were incredibly supportive and delighted and have been unbelievably generous with their help, far beyond what I would have dreamed! So yay.

 

APMama I did say in a follow up post that we have ruled out adoptions from the state, and I'm not sure if you thought that I was asking about raising money for fertility treatments, we are not pursuing any fertility treatments, we are adopting domestically. Finalizations can happen faster than 6 months here, but I agree that the chances of it happening are extremely slim. Same, Ms Fortune, I am not racing against a clock since we are adopting, but thinking more of our ages while we parent. I guess that is a clock though too.


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#21 of 24 Old 05-21-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Sorry Milletpuff...Like I said, I was short on time and guilty of not reading all the threads.  I actually did read all of your posts though but thought you were considering further fertility treatments or adoption and hadn't decided.  As far as state adoptions, did you mean when you said you weren't going to pursue foster/adopt?  I had caught that.  Because in many states, there also exists a program that is straight adoption.  The child is a foster child for six months until finalization, but the permanency plan would be straight TPR/adoption with many times TPR being complete.  Just another idea.  You can wait a long time in domestic adoption for a placement.  Then again, you can also wait a long time in special needs adoption too. 

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#22 of 24 Old 05-21-2011, 06:46 PM
 
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i am glad your family was so supportive once you asked.

 

My partner and I were lucky to get pregnant quickly and easily with our son. We want another child, but I will be a lot closer to 40 than I was when I got pregnant. I am scared of my declining fertility in a year or so.

 

My parents have already offered us money for TTC a second child. As it turns out, my stepsister and my stepbrother's wife both have significant fertility challenges, and my parents have assisted both of them in getting pregnant (both are straight!). At this point in their lives, my parents feel that there is no greater joy or hobby than their grandchildren, so they will do anything in their power to make sure their children provide them with as many grandchildren as we want them to have.

 

I totally understand your feeling that they aren't involved/interested in/excited about your journey, and the feelings of rejections and heterosexism that are wrapped in that.

 

I hope your adoption journey is a short and joyous one, and your little one is in your arms soon.

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#23 of 24 Old 05-22-2011, 12:52 PM
 
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well, i was in the position of thinking about asking my parents for financial help, but my husband is way to proud for that. he sold a few of his watches (he collects them with great passion), and even though he did not get a lot of money for them (being pre-owned watches), he still preferred getting rid of these things (although he really likes them) than asking anyone in our families.

he just can´t admit that he needs help sometimes...

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#24 of 24 Old 05-25-2011, 06:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by steviemom78 View Post

well, i was in the position of thinking about asking my parents for financial help, but my husband is way to proud for that. he sold a few of his watches (he collects them with great passion), and even though he did not get a lot of money for them (being pre-owned watches), he still preferred getting rid of these things (although he really likes them) than asking anyone in our families.

he just can´t admit that he needs help sometimes...



Haha, now he allowed me to ask my parants!

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