The Suffering Podcast

Episode 124: The Suffering of Miscarriages for Men With Roman Prokopchuk

April 30, 2023 Season 3 Episode 124
Episode 124: The Suffering of Miscarriages for Men With Roman Prokopchuk
The Suffering Podcast
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The Suffering Podcast
Episode 124: The Suffering of Miscarriages for Men With Roman Prokopchuk
Apr 30, 2023 Season 3 Episode 124

Roman is a 1st generation immigrant from Ukraine. He arrived in US with 6 other family members to a 2 bedroom apartment. Roman interned with the Secret Service and held a top secret government clearance. He was forced to become a self taught digital marketer as a result of the 2008 recession, and fell in love with it. Roman has 13 years of experience leading digital teams in senior leadership roles on over 600 campaigns across many industries. He founded Nova Zora Digital in 2012. Roman is the host of the Digital Savage Experience Podcast, a Top 100 Podcast on Apple Podcasts for How To. He is a foster parent, and has had 29 kids in his home since June 2018. He became a foster parent by going through 6 miscarriages with his wife in 3 years, 2 of which happened on Christmas Days. With death, loss, and hardships Roman pushes through no matter what.


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Show Notes Transcript

Roman is a 1st generation immigrant from Ukraine. He arrived in US with 6 other family members to a 2 bedroom apartment. Roman interned with the Secret Service and held a top secret government clearance. He was forced to become a self taught digital marketer as a result of the 2008 recession, and fell in love with it. Roman has 13 years of experience leading digital teams in senior leadership roles on over 600 campaigns across many industries. He founded Nova Zora Digital in 2012. Roman is the host of the Digital Savage Experience Podcast, a Top 100 Podcast on Apple Podcasts for How To. He is a foster parent, and has had 29 kids in his home since June 2018. He became a foster parent by going through 6 miscarriages with his wife in 3 years, 2 of which happened on Christmas Days. With death, loss, and hardships Roman pushes through no matter what.


Find Roman


Instagram 

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

TikTok 

Digital Savage Podcast

Find The Suffering Podcast

The Suffering Podcast Instagram
Kevin Donaldson Instagram
Mike Failace Instagram
Buzzsprout
Apple Podcast
Google Podcast
Spotify
Amazon Music
Listen Notes
Facebook
TikTok
YouTube

The Suffering Podcast Family
Dented Development Project
Toyota of Hackensack
The Grande Saloon
Cafeina
Bella Dama Cigars
Hackensack Brewing Company - Peace, Love, Beer





Support the Show.

The Suffering Podcast Instagram Kevin Donaldson Instagram
TikTok YouTube



Kevin Donaldson:

This is gone ever. It's time for the sufferings podcast podcast. We grow up with an idea of what adult life is supposed to look like, the great job, the big house, the nice car, and the perfect family, surrounding ourselves with what is commonly referred to as being grown up. We set these expectations before us, never known if they're realistic. Life throws us curveballs and we're forced to change our perceptions, adjusting to a vision of life that we didn't see coming. What we want is not always what we can have. What we're given is always what we need, the equilibrium of life will always fall back into balance. I'm Kevin Donaldson here with Mike Felice. And on this episode of the suffering podcast, we sit down with a gentleman's name who is extraordinarily hard for me to pronounce. And that's Roman Procope, Chuck,

Mike Failace:

you want me to do it? Ramon perkupp. Jack, that's good.

Kevin Donaldson:

That's really really good. And we are here to discuss the suffering of miscarriages for men. We may not know as men we may not know what the physical pains like, but we certainly know the emotional pain. Thank you so much for coming in today.

Unknown:

Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for having me on.

Kevin Donaldson:

Before we get started, let's give a big shout out to our marquee sponsor, that's Toyota of Hackensack. We don't trust anybody, but we do trust Toyota of Hackensack. So if you're looking for a car, let them find you, one go to Toyota of hackensack.com. And they'll find you a car. So the digital savage experience podcaster is in the house. We got a pro? Yeah, no, it's it's actually really nice to sit down with another podcaster because you get it. And it's

Unknown:

kind of a different flow, a different kind of, I guess, vibe. And when you

Kevin Donaldson:

when you get it when we had

Mike Failace:

this conversation before, sometimes it's like pulling, pulling answers out of people.

Kevin Donaldson:

You know, when you have in Listen, we are grateful for all our guests. Don't get me wrong, but when you have somebody who's never done a show, it's not their fault. They just they got inexperience, you know when to talk, you know when not to talk, you know when to break, and things like that. So it's really nice. Thank you so much for coming on

Unknown:

this way. Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for having me on. Like I said, So

Kevin Donaldson:

Roman. Each week, we take a question from our audience. This week's question comes from Salinas says, What do you feel no one understands about you. You could tell your whole life story to somebody, but there's something about you that you feel like yeah, you just don't get it. What do you think?

Unknown:

I think meeting me in general, like in a public setting, or if it's like networking, or for the first time, I think being brought up or being born in Eastern Europe and being brought up in kind of that culture. I'm more kind of reserved and stoic. So if I'm in a scenario, they're like, you know, you know, what happened? Are you okay? Like, who are you about to beat up? And I'm like, I'm fine. I'm happy.

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, let's see. So you're from Ukraine? Yes. I think there's, there's a thing about Eastern Bloc. The I don't know if it's a people, I don't know what the right term of the Eastern Bloc people. It's just there's a block mentality. They're hard people. They're hard people. Like they've seen a lot of crap. They haven't had easy lives. So maybe that's got something to do with it. Or maybe it's the bone structure or the skin tone. Oh,

Unknown:

yeah, they're I mean, if you look at a lot of founders and unicorn companies, a lot of the people or from Eastern Europe are like first generation immigrants or, or their parents were immigrants. So I feel like they have kind of like an extra grit, if they did grew up in that, or obviously they heard it from their parents or grandparents.

Kevin Donaldson:

You know, what I love about people from the Eastern Bloc who immigrate to United States, they are so overly grateful to be here to be in America, more so than people who were born here. Would you agree with that?

Unknown:

I would agree. And most people, I think seize opportunities more at a more rapid pace. We actually did Aaron b&b for like a year and we had two people from below rose below, or like Russia, stagings.

Kevin Donaldson:

I know him from the Olympics. I can't say I know where it is on him. It's

Unknown:

north of Ukraine and borders, Russia, but literally, they both found jobs. They both got cell phones, they both got rent, and like four days, and I like there's people just complaining and nitpicking. I don't want to do this. I don't want to do that. But you know, they came here, they're grateful or appreciative. And whatever you get, you know, everything in life is a lesson or a blessing. So it's kind of a, you know, a building block or a cornerstone for whatever you have next.

Mike Failace:

There aren't too many people, like from Ukraine and from Russia that emigrated here. They're all homeless.

Kevin Donaldson:

This is true. You know what? No, I never thought about that. But you're 100% Correct. Yeah. Mike, what do you think? What's one thing that people don't understand about? You

Mike Failace:

know, people tell me all the time before they meet me and get to know me that I look intense. You know, and like, my kids growing up all their friends were afraid of me. I'm five foot nine 180 pounds. You know, maybe I have an intense look about me. But I just went out I met a couple weeks ago met up with a guy from high school and his wife. She came up I never met her before she goes, Are you always this intense around The most fun loving, we're sitting in a bar drink and she's telling me I'm in town, one of the most fun loving guy you'd ever want to meet. But you do have

Kevin Donaldson:

to break I'm going to I'm going to give you an outsider's perspective on this, you do have to break through your shell a little bit. And when people get to know you, you're different. You're different than what you appear. It's really

Mike Failace:

not a shell. It's a you know, it's like you said, it's, it's kind of like, stoic, you know, you just have that look about you. And I guess I have, because I always have a post on my face, whether I'm happy or sad. It's called resting bitchface. Exactly. It's resting Mike face. Yeah, I always have that look. And I can be having the best time in the world. But I just have that look about me. And people think that I'm a miserable prick. Sometimes I am. But for the most part.

Kevin Donaldson:

For me, I think one of the things you've seen this a little bit is, like you I present myself a certain way. But what people don't realize, and they'll throw jabs thinking that I'm a lot tougher than I am. Because I am extraordinarily sensitive, extraordinarily sensitive, he'll cry before the episodes over probably probably in, that's one of the things that people don't get about me. But if you make fun of me, while I'm crying, I may punch you, you know, that's that's the duality of me. So just because you see somebody like Mike, you know, you put that don't think that you know them from the way they look. Because that's just, it's judging a book by its cover. And it's really bad lesson.

Mike Failace:

Do you think it's got mentality, I said it all the time. You know, as a cop, you got to put this, this shield around you, you know, because you don't want anybody to really get to know you until you let them get to know you.

Kevin Donaldson:

Because it's a vulnerability. And when people pick out your vulnerabilities, there are some people in this world who will capitalize on your vulnerabilities and you don't want that ever. But it's also qualifying people before you get to know them. Like if I if I found out, you know, you look a certain way. But you probably got a real soft heart, you know? And that, which we'll find out today. Yeah, we'll find out. Where's the jury's still out on our silliness. Thank you so much for sending that in. Keep sending in your questions, we will try to get them on you on the air. So you traveled all this way from our near nation's capitol, or near or state capitol state capitol. The episode that's airing this week of this recording, she's she spent some time in Trenton, but I'm sure not, not the accommodations that you're in. Thank you so much for coming. Roman. I've been reading a lot about you. But I really want you to tell our audience a little bit about yourself. Yeah, sure.

Unknown:

So first generation immigrant from Ukraine came over when I was five with six other family members. Ukraine was still under the Soviet Union. So you know, as we spoke a fair, my parents family, you know, practice, you know, believed in God and went to church. That's obviously against what you are in, obviously, a communist state like China, or was the Soviet Union at the time, what religion is it? Well, I consider myself nondenominational. But it was Pentecostal to basically Christian. Wait,

Kevin Donaldson:

Pentecostal was Wow. So Pentecostal in the United States, I'm sure you're aware is a highly highly latin community based especially in this area. And you know, their, their get up and dance people is

Unknown:

very charismatic. Yeah, I actually have went for a while to a Spanish slash Ukrainian Church, which is interesting. So but yeah, it's similar. Like I said, off air, there would be KGB outside of your house, they would take privileges away. My mom was like, top of her class, they took that away from her, they took different other kinds of like, I guess, social things away, they would tap your phone, they would come to your house if you were like meeting at somebody's house and secret. So when immigration opened up, basically, we had the opportunity we had a family member, that distant family member that basically got a sponsor someone to come over, basically, it takes liability. So if anything happens financially or otherwise, that person basically says that, you know, I will, you know, be the one that steps up and, and takes care of it. So we came over to a two bedroom apartment, six family members, my grandparents on my mother's side, my mom, my aunt, my little brother, that was 11 months at the time, so he went through a journey. So we started at Ukraine, and we went through Vienna, Austria, and then Rome, Italy. That was kind of like the path to the US at the time. I was supposed to end up in California so I like often think about that West Coast, East Coast dynamic.

Kevin Donaldson:

Your skin tone will not do well in California. I hate to tell you no, I'm

Unknown:

well I'm actually I was born. I look like like I was from Saudi Arabia. They thought I was switched up birth. I get really dark actually. So that's

Kevin Donaldson:

something weird. So when your parents came here, I don't know if they're still alive or not. When they came here and they had the religious people take religious freedom for granted. They really do but when they got here and they were able to worship the way because who are they hurting like seriously who You hurt. And as long as you're not radicalized by religion, when they got here and they experienced firsthand the freedom of religion, what what was that experience like for them?

Unknown:

I mean gratitude and just thankfulness for for really being being here. I mean, like you said, there's countries where like, if you have, you're fine with the Bible, you're executed in the world. So it's like, I don't know if we're just like, even softened to religion, but there's like grittier, um, Christian, grittier Christians that appreciate it and live it like live in fear day to day. It's kind of like a, like a different mindset here. It's very comfortable. And a lot of people in the US don't necessarily know how life is like in other countries, because they're someone in you know, Western bubble.

Kevin Donaldson:

Yeah, Western bubble. That's a good way to put it. Yeah, there's too many people in a western bubble,

Mike Failace:

like imposing your ideology on someone. You know, that's why we

Kevin Donaldson:

that's, that's the basis of why this country was was founded. Really, it's religious freedom, no one throw, so we got to keep that moving. Because when, you know, a lot of it is if they take away religion in those countries, because communism is very controlling. Is that the right word for it?

Unknown:

Yeah. Like the state is your God and the way you like, kind of bound down or in a way, not worst it but kind of like, they don't want anything between you that connection between you and the state. And what you know,

Kevin Donaldson:

because most people's lives, especially very religious people, it's, you know, even the military, it's God country, you know, God comes first. And I guess, and I get it, when it comes to that. I mean, if you do if you're for your student history, like Hitler would never marry Eva Braun, while he was in the height of his power, because he wanted to be the people's man, you know, and he didn't want anybody getting between them. And him. You know, it was that connection type of thing. So I'm assuming it's a lot like that. It's a control thing. And I don't think it's the right way to live. But I don't have to live in Russia or Ukraine. So is it like that still in Ukraine?

Unknown:

No. I mean, it's, it's open to practice. There was a situation recently that kind of got twisted, because there were, there's Orthodox, like Orthodoxy is the state religion. So there's the Russian Orthodox Church, that Ukrainian Orthodox Church and because there was the Russian Orthodox Church, they had, like, I guess it's FSB, like KGB Ekena de agents that would, like, you know, monitor and do whatever, you know, Spy like people do. And I think that the head patriarch of the Russian church is a billionaire. So that kind of goes against the whole kind of being there for the people and not being of this world in a way.

Mike Failace:

So you know, I mean, there's a bunch of Russian Orthodox churches around, I don't want to say around the area, but you see them pop up all times that people that just immigrated here from Russia and started up their own church because they couldn't.

Kevin Donaldson:

Churches, churches are ultra profitable. Yeah.

Unknown:

I mean, a lot of them have been around here, just like obviously, the Catholic churches, a lot of like Italian, you know, focused Catholic churches, and they have bigger kind of like, I would say, overlords, in a way. I mean, I'm not about like, the structure of religion, I'm more about the personal relationship, you know, you get through spirituality and having a personal relationship with God. Because when you throw all this earthly stuff at it, and you know, you have to give me the other Yeah, it's, I'm not I'm not about that. So

Kevin Donaldson:

here's, here's, let me just sum that up for for everybody. So when you go in this is this goes, you go and worship, whatever you worship. Okay, whatever you worship, how do you feel?

Unknown:

rejuvenated, kind of like that I can take on anything.

Kevin Donaldson:

How did your parents feel when they went and worshipped their god in Ukraine or Russia at the time,

Unknown:

in fear of their life of their freedom?

Kevin Donaldson:

There you go, there you go. And that that is the beauty of America. Now, when you came here, was America what you thought it was?

Unknown:

I mean, to a certain extent, I mean, you get kind of a, I guess, a view outside like Not, not everything is kept from you how the US is, although the Soviet and Soviet Union and the US were different at the time, us obviously had more privileges, even though you're talking about Russia saying they're a superpower so on and so forth, based on you know, their nuclear arsenal really, in a way Yeah, but like some some things like people took us to a mall and my mom's like, Alright, cool. I'm not really impressed. Like it's a mall, because they're like, you know, you're coming from Ukraine, kind of like mentality, you're in the middle of nowhere, like, Well, look, we

Kevin Donaldson:

have mailboxes here. I

Unknown:

came from a city that's a 750 year old city, it's on a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So Vikings basically founded it it's all cobblestone streets and stuff like that. Architecture. So it was like a concrete mall like cool.

Kevin Donaldson:

Your your people got Viking blood in him.

Unknown:

Yeah, it was a Kivy it's technically as a Kivy and ruith So like the Vikings went down all the rivers and you know, river way He's in Europe and plundered and whatever but eventually they set up so as settlements started farming kind of, you know, toned down the aggression a little bit. So in Ukraine, they found it basically, cave so as Kivy and ruse they existed. Cave existed hundreds of years before Moscow was even a city was still like, you know, farmland and forests.

Kevin Donaldson:

You must have loved it when the Klitschko brothers were fighting. Yeah, I

Unknown:

mean, Ukraine produces a lot of great fighters right now. It's it was sick, trying to challenge fury. And then there's a lot of other like lomachenko I mean, they're, they're known for boxing. So

Kevin Donaldson:

that's when you see the size of

Mike Failace:

these gentlemen in place goes like six, seven, you're like, Alright, you got some Viking

Kevin Donaldson:

blood in

Mike Failace:

till Valhalla.

Kevin Donaldson:

But so you become at six years old. I imagine you assimilated into American culture pretty pretty easily. It wasn't that difficult for you.

Unknown:

Yeah, five into six. So in right into kindergarten, I didn't speak the language. But if you learn English, before a certain age, obviously, you don't retain the accent. And being amongst people that speak English for a majority of your week, you know, Monday to Friday, when you're at school, you start picking stuff up picking up language really quickly, although I had an accent. So first and second grade, I was an ESL, which is English second language, and then I just tested out of it. So it took me really two and a half years to learn English to a point where I can take a test or have some kind of, you know, oral resuscitation where you know, they were comfortable with me knowing the language.

Kevin Donaldson:

What was the language you were speaking there was a crane and you were speaking Ukrainian? Not right. Yeah, I'm

Unknown:

from like, straight. But that's

Mike Failace:

not made up Ukrainian.

Kevin Donaldson:

That's not our alphabet. That's the Cyrillic Cyrillic alphabet. Yeah. And so you had to not only learn the language, which English is the most difficult language in the world to learn because there's just so many different rules and exceptions to rules. But you also had to learn a new alphabet don't like somebody coming from a Latin country, which uses the Greek you know, the art a Latin based language. So was finding

Mike Failace:

English have so many words crazy that they're spelled the same and mean different things?

Kevin Donaldson:

You might imagine? You mean somebody from Ukrainian say? WTF? Yeah. Oh, mg. They'll be like, What the fuck? What the fuck? Yeah, what the fuck? Right? Exactly. It's like a who's on first. If you never watch who's on first, that's, that's the first thing I teach you immigrating into this country about English. But, you know, what were you looked at? Were you assimilated into the group, or were you picked on because you were from another country?

Unknown:

I mean, I learned like you said, I learned both languages at the same time, kind of. So I learned both alphabets. So it's just like, I mean, right now I can when I speak to my mom, it's like half English. I've Ukrainian, like a hybrid. In a way.

Kevin Donaldson:

Ukraine ish. Yeah.

Mike Failace:

We call it Spanglish. Yeah, but

Unknown:

it was like people in a way took advantage because they're like, you know, go say this, like, raise your hand and go call the teacher bitch and kindergarten, and I would do it. And I have no knowledge of what I'm saying. And then my mom comes to pick me up as soon as the girl translated what I said she'd even finished translating upside my head, and like, grabbed my hair. Drag me home,

Kevin Donaldson:

think about how powerful weapon that could have been, as you learned English. You know, you could you could just go bitch. I'm sorry. I don't speak the language. Say something in Ukrainian. They're like, I'm sorry. I don't I don't understand what you're saying. So there are some times when you can use that stuff to your advantage. But you normal high school normal childhood, you know, you benefited from this country?

Unknown:

Yeah, for the most part. I mean, I haven't spoken to my dad since 2008. So there was domestic abuse when I was growing up. You know, I wouldn't he was, oh, they

Kevin Donaldson:

didn't come over with you know, they

Unknown:

did. They did. Oh, there was six of us. My parents, my, like I said, my grandparents, my aunt, my mom's sister and my brother. So it was basically when we were growing up when I was young. I carried over because he did it in Ukraine, and there's different Montra I don't know how it is now before, like, a woman couldn't call the police for domestic violence. They were just kind of like, okay, like, deal with it. It wasn't like, a crime is just one of those things like, Oh, this guy is keeping his wife or, you know, women in line or whatever. So here, you know, you know, even in Ukraine, when my mom was pregnant with my brother, she, you know, she got thrown down the stairs and my brother was supposed to be stillborn. Luckily, you know, that didn't happen. But you know, he was abusive physically to my grandparents, my and everybody like, you know, in between. And right now I consider myself out of shape. But like when I started turning 18 I turned 18 I would be in the gym seven days a week I get to a point where people were asking me if I was I went to Rutgers, like on the football team, because I carried so much muscle and was consuming so many calories, but subconsciously I was I was thinking like if that situation ever, you know, caught up to me again. I wouldn't be like this little you know, scared Kid or whatever, not being able to do anything, I would be able to actually like, kind of stand up and defend my mom, which directly happened in 2007 2008. And, you know, I kicked them out of the house. And I was like, you know, you were able to do this when I'm little, like, hit her, hit her now or hit me and see what happens. And it was just like, a lot of like rage and pent up aggression coming out.

Mike Failace:

It's 13 years of rage.

Kevin Donaldson:

That Do you think your your father experienced that growing up? And it was a normal thing for him?

Unknown:

He definitely did. But I mean, I think it's mindset too. So you can't be one of those things. Like, you know, everybody did it. So that's my excuse. You know, it's like kind of growing up, like, I often say, like two siblings, one turned out, like their parents may be you know, drugs or alcohol or abusive and one isn't successful, you know, person, upstanding person, philanthropic person, what's that thing that made them tick? Like you have that ability? It's not easy to change that. But you have the opportunity to do it.

Kevin Donaldson:

What did Stacy Ellis call it generational curses? Yeah, like,

Unknown:

yeah, I see it a lot. And you know, we haven't talked about it yet. But as a foster parent, the children's parents were in foster care, so on and so forth. And the same kind of, you know, issues travel throughout

Mike Failace:

the belt, like welfare, too. You know, a lot of these kids are brought up on welfare, and they look up and they say, well, mommy and daddy don't have to work naked. They get money. Yeah, we're on

Unknown:

welfare for three months. And he took us off welfare six people. So my grandparents were 55 both retired here. My grandmother had to clean houses. My grandfather did roofing for 20 years hear from 55 to 75. Were dudes were coming here, like 2025 years old to make money on a work visa from Ukraine. And they're like, I'm not doing this for more than like two weeks, I gotta find something else. It would be in like 100 degree heat.

Kevin Donaldson:

If you ever did Roofing roofing is one of the most brutal jobs ever.

Unknown:

55 to 75. He did that without complaining Monday to Saturday, and then he would go to church, Sunday morning, and Sunday night. And then same kind of routine, you're

Kevin Donaldson:

going to talk about the world's deadliest job, try doing roofing as an Irish person. Those guys in Alaska have nothing on me that I've done it less than I did it for a short time, but you need everything gets beat up on you. Yeah. But that's the mentality of specially first generation immigrants. first generation immigrants, they know what it's like, back in their country, and they don't

Mike Failace:

want to go back. So they want to prove themselves here.

Kevin Donaldson:

And they'll work hard. And now were they the type of immigrants to keep every nickel?

Unknown:

Um, I mean, to a certain extent, I mean, we weren't like frugal, frugal, but, yeah, I mean, I guess they save. I mean, my grandparents really didn't have a lot of expenses other than rent. So they didn't really take that many vacations other than when we started kind of like, you know, being more stable, taking them places. But other than that, they went back a few times to take care of elderly family members in Ukraine, they got sick or developed like dementia, that kind of stuff. So they were in Ukraine, and then they went back for like a year or two took care of whoever, and then, you know, kind of came back as well.

Kevin Donaldson:

Now, when you, you finally, become of adult age, you have this vision of what a grown up is supposed to be like all children have, you know, a lesson I remember when I was younger, I'm like, Yeah, I'm gonna grow a mustache when I because that was the big thing. Like, I'm gonna grow mustache. And, you know, when you become older, it's like, shaving was cool when you were younger. But shaving is not so cool. Now, what was your visions of what an adult is supposed to be?

Unknown:

I guess a provider. And I mean, at that point,

Kevin Donaldson:

was our Father, Son, it's kids. And but yeah,

Unknown:

like, but it was telling myself, I would be different than my father. So like, at a young age, I would like, reinforce that. I guess. I don't know if I would call it a positive affirmation, but I didn't want people or kids, regardless of the kids in my life, either me being an uncle, or kids have, you know, friends, anyone else? My own children to kind of be brought up in that situation, knowing you know how it impacted me when I was young.

Kevin Donaldson:

So you learn that lesson and then you meet your lovely wife. Alright, first wife out of the gate is this is? Was it the love of your life? Tell me you were starstruck in the beginning.

Unknown:

Yeah, so it was Yeah, I had been just this is my only marriage.

Kevin Donaldson:

It's disgusting. You call yourself an American? You gotta get at least divorced once.

Unknown:

Well, I mean, I can go to maybe Dubai and have four but yeah, sure.

Kevin Donaldson:

What Listen, it's good for the men in there. Listen, that's so good for women

Mike Failace:

stick with one you you can't afford four wives Believe me,

Kevin Donaldson:

Frank Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond. When you have a problem with a woman, you don't go out and get another problem. Yeah, but so but that's good, though. I mean, it's it's a nice thing to find somebody who you can connect with. What was it like when you met your wife?

Unknown:

I mean, we dated for like a year, year and a half before we got married. So it's fairly kind of, I guess quick, at one point before Then I mean, I went to college, I interned with the Secret Service. At one point I was training to be a Marine Corps officer. So go from a college to Officer Candidate School. That's kind of like the the path in terms of the marine. So if you're in university to get a bachelor's degree, you can go to Officer Candidate School. And then if you finished that, you get a commission as a Second Lieutenant officer, but I got sick, I had a I didn't know I had a bacteria called H. Pylori. In my stomach, I had that for years. So like doing the pre ship PFT, which is the physical exam, I couldn't do the three miles, I would stop halfway and start spinning out blood. So in retrospect, if I went to Quantico, I probably would have died. So, you know, it's like, you know, blessing in disguise, thinking back and that's the way I kind of discovered it in a way. And, you know, after college, I, you know, stumbled in terms of my career, what I do now, and then I, you know, I met my wife, we were engaged. And then she actually took a job. She was in Atlanta, for 10 months, I was kind of back and forth, visiting her and then she came back up here. And then to save money, we just did a court ceremony. And then our five year anniversary, we had a vow renewal, which was kind of our ceremony.

Kevin Donaldson:

You were one of those few people how many people you know, got married, and said, Oh, yeah, we're gonna do the court ceremony, but we'll have a party later, we'll party never because life gets in the way party never happens. But that's good. That's really good that you end up doing it. Yeah,

Unknown:

we did it. We kind of wanted to save money to begin with. So we actually, you know, bought a house instead of having a ceremony have a good wedding. Well, I mean, there's there's situations where, you know, your

Kevin Donaldson:

immigrant status is starting to come out. You know, that's, that's the immigrant by house. Like, they just, they're good at that stuff. Like immigrant immigrants are good at that stuff. They really are. They're good at, like planning themselves.

Unknown:

Well, it's accountability, too. I mean, you know, the US is, I don't even know how we're gonna get out of the debt we're in. As a country. I think every country is in debt. But I mean, being responsible for yourself, you know, fiscal responsibility, financial responsibility. It's kind of like one of those things and I never want to owe anything to anyone. I want those kinds of people. Even back in the day in like high school and middle school, I borrowed $5 for lunch. I gotta find the person the next day because it just like, it's like a burden on me. I can't like That's why

Mike Failace:

I don't own a credit card. I don't even own one. I don't want one. I don't want to borrow money from anybody. I don't want anybody

Kevin Donaldson:

that eats away at me. Now. I know people on the opposite spectrum who I have. Listen, people have loaned me money when I was in really bad times financially. And I've always I was afraid to buy any luxury before until that was all paid back. And that's that's just that's the way that I am. But I know people on the opposite side of that will go out I gave a guy needed $500 to keep his storage unit. Next thing I know on Facebook, he's buying a motorcycle. What the fuck, man? I'm just like a chump. Like, that's what that's how I felt. And I don't understand that

Mike Failace:

funny story, someone that we both know Nikki Burke. Guy graduated Police Academy with? Oh, yeah, when I'm getting married, and his apartment caught on fire. He lost like everything. So I reached out to all the academy classmates and said, Why don't we all pitch in money, you know, we'll go down. Give it to Nikki, I got in touch with his supervisors. And we were down we present him with a wad of money because come on, let's go out drink and he took us all out drink.

Kevin Donaldson:

But that says it's all about good for you. Now when you were together with your wife was you always wanted to be a father, you saw the the holes in your parents relationship. And you could do better. Yeah, I

Unknown:

mean, plus its legacy. I think that's one of those things. I think life is meant to reproduce that simple as you want to think about it. And that's kind of like, the way you, you you, you stay on this earth. So you have obviously children, you kind of raised them the way you, you want to raise them and still the values you want to instill. So technically, they're a mirror view. So you have little clones in a world. So when you pass away, they're carrying that kind of knowledge, you know, the stories, you've told them the way you've raised them, and then keep going. So a lot of people are like, I don't want kids but that's like, Okay, what is the point of, I guess life if not to, you know, I guess procreate and reproduce in a way. Like that's the

Mike Failace:

keep the CAPTCHA name going. Yes, you

Kevin Donaldson:

have to read that lineage.

Unknown:

Yeah, and it's one of those things I had an interesting interview. It's about like, like our primordial self and all the human systems. So taking all the systems out, like all the financial and the government structures, if you go to like the animal kingdom, they only they only kill what they need. They don't overfish over hunts on and so forth. And they continue to, you know, carry their lineage on. So it's kind of like diving down to that kind of level. I guess.

Kevin Donaldson:

You know, there is one caveat to that. There is one caveat that because I'm a history guy. So you know, American slaughtered the American Buffalo just slaughtered them. We didn't come up with that idea. Do you know who came up with that idea? Now, the American Indians, here's how they used to hunt buffalo because there were so many of them, that you used to pick an area. And he used to have one young brave dress up in a buffalo skin and start a stampede towards a cliff. Okay. And then all the buffalo would go over the cliff, and they would just go down there. And it was just easy hunting for him. They there was there wasn't enough Indians, American Indians to have as many buffalo there was, but you know, we didn't help at all. Europeans didn't help at all. So you want to have kids, you want to continue that legacy? Your wife gets pregnant. Tell me about the joy inside you're about to carry on the name.

Unknown:

Well, the thing we were naturally trying and you know, it, we she, she wasn't getting obviously pregnant. So we went to infertility specialists. So she has found out she has endometriosis when make makes it tougher to get pregnant, and basically went that route. So in like three or four years spending, probably in excess of$100,000 out of pocket, on different treatments, a lot of stuff isn't covered by insurance, so like egg retrieval. So at one point, like they pumped her up, in terms of hormones, so they did an egg retrieval. So they retrieved like 30 eggs she produced so she was like, in so much pain, and then basically, you know, created embryos out of that grade of the embryos and knew which ones Boys Girls and then we did basically IVF which is kind of the transfer of them. IUI and IVF.

Kevin Donaldson:

That's a that's how you have like octuplets though you gotta be careful. Yeah, well, I

Unknown:

mean, if we put each if they put too often if you have one or split, but a lot of the time when they say, Hey, put multiple because sometimes you'll have one survive, and one maybe not make it to term or just not be feasible at all. But like if you have that lady, Octomom or whatever, they put a lot of embryos in her,

Kevin Donaldson:

not me, Solomon, they, they,

Unknown:

yeah, they split, they keep splitting, they have a kind of like, a keen sense of doing that. That was

Kevin Donaldson:

the amazing mitosis of her have her eggs. But what kind of pride did that, you know, when you're when you finally you insert the egg, you're ready to go? I'm going to be a dad, that had to be a joyful experience for you.

Unknown:

Yeah, you see, like, you're there you see it happening. And you know, you kind of monitor it.

Kevin Donaldson:

I think I was there during the conception of my kids. I'm not sure though. I'm really not sure 100%

Mike Failace:

I'm gonna stay away from that. But when you see the sonograms and all that stuff,

Unknown:

yeah, and you go like every few days and monitor like all the levels and whatnot, because more more high risk. And even before that, you kind of have to trick the body that you're pregnant. So for like two or three weeks prior, I had to give my wife these shots with like nasty gauge needles and her lower back to progesterone and all kinds of other stuff. That at this point, like her body's like, messed up, like the nerve endings and everything. I mean, I hate needles. So that's that's one thing for myself. But like she had the brunt of that. It's basically like getting your body, hormonally, to a point where you kind of trick yourself like your body's pregnant, because anything you kind of put in your body in a way it tries to, like safeguard it injected or body's gonna reject. Yeah, exactly.

Kevin Donaldson:

But then eventually disaster strikes. So how far along did the baby get carried till

Unknown:

all of well, we experienced in about three and a half years, six miscarriages, so all of them were in the first trimester, the longest one was towards the end of the first.

Kevin Donaldson:

So the first one in particular, the first one in particular, when your wife loses the baby, we all know the pains that the women go through. And we're not discounting anything with the way the women feel. But very few people this is a conversation that is never had. What What was it like for you,

Unknown:

kind of you don't know how to act, you don't want to like upset your partner in a way because I'm trying to stay busy, stay strong. And to fold. It's like, you know, she's dealing with it emotionally. And the whole body aspect of it. So like her body is, you know, rejecting it, you have all the hormonal components, all kind of like the the scarring and the tissue damage and like lower back from all the needles and stuff. So it's kind of figuring out how to, I guess, in a way, grieving but kind of stepping on eggshells, because you don't want to like say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing. And back then, like looking for any kind of resource of somebody else dealing with it, like like a lot of men don't talk about it. So that's one reason I decided to kind of start sharing that because I didn't find a resource or anything, you know, to relate to it. So I feel like very experienced something out there and there's no one to be the voice kind of I'm sure there's

Mike Failace:

a lot of resources for women that go to a right but nothing for men.

Kevin Donaldson:

Isn't that the way the world is? It's a neglected section of that whole process. And that, like there needs to be more men talking about how you feel because we're going to keep it inside we're going to try to remain strong for our for our wife. But But inside I imagine you're a mess.

Unknown:

Well, yeah, like I said, coupled with other things like childhood trauma and just like, not being trusting throughout life based on like business relationships, or like giving people the benefit of the doubt, and having things like that kind of bubble up. So, yeah, I mean, we, you know, talk to, you know, therapists about it, how we kind of feel about it, how we're coping with it. I mean, it's one of those things that, you know, people experience a miscarriage a lot of the time that that's a big factor in terms of why couples spill is gonna show that can't handle it as well. So

Kevin Donaldson:

right, you blame it on a woman and you leave it? Oh, no, no, no, no, that's the wrong way to do it.

Mike Failace:

I was gonna ask that. Did it cause any tension in the marriage or?

Unknown:

Yeah, I mean, like communication. I mean, I think like being from Eastern Europe and going through like childhood stuff, it's hard for me to open up to begin with. So it's like, it was like pulling teeth for me to kind of even share. So I think she wanted me to have more emotion and share. But I was kind of like, numb, just emotionally numb and had to kind of get through it. I don't think I got to a point where it was satisfactory, like what she wanted as a reaction. But I did the best I could, I guess,

Mike Failace:

but that almost that almost gives off like an error of you really don't care. Yeah, you know, I'm saying so, I mean, you're trying to be the nice guy and do the nice thing and not say the wrong thing. But like, the fact that looks like you don't care.

Kevin Donaldson:

Like he said, There is no roadmap for this. He you couldn't find any resources about it. After your wife lost that first child? What is the first can you remember what the first thing you said to her was?

Unknown:

I probably I'm sorry. Or just like, just, I don't think I said anything for a little bit, then we kind of just sat there and absorbed it in the way. Like I didn't, I didn't even know how to react like, I mean, how do you really, as a human react to this.

Kevin Donaldson:

If you're a human being, you know, if you're a human being, you have emotions, but like I said, you're walking that fine line, you're trying to be conscious of the pain she's in and the hormones that are going on in her body and the rejection of this. But you're also trying to be her husband or protector, fill that traditional role.

Unknown:

Yeah, plus, it's like a trot. Like when trauma happens, if it's a loss, like of a loved one, or whatever, it's like, you're kind of in shock, I guess you're going through, like, everybody goes through a grieving process differently. And the grieving process, you know, may last longer and may be shorter. But like, for me, I think I was more in like shock. So like, numb, and that kind of wear off. thing. It was similar. My grandparents passed away, they were like, the closest people in my life. My grandfather, more sudden my grandmother this past summer. And it was one of those things where it's like shock at first. And then it's like, shutting down. And then it's like thinking back, it's not fair to the people around me, or like the people that brought me to the United States for me to just like, abandon and like put a pause on like, all my goals and aspirations, and just, you know, communication with people.

Kevin Donaldson:

How much courage did it take for both you and your wife to get back up on the horse? And try again? Because

Mike Failace:

I know, I mean, that had to be a discussion in itself, the pain

Kevin Donaldson:

of the loss alone. It's a fear that Pete Very few people can ever fathom.

Unknown:

Yeah, I mean, and, well, obviously, we did it because we did it, you know, six times, six, six miscarriages, like at this point. You know, I think, you know, we talked about it and I think she's going that, you know, infertility around I think we're, we're done if like God willing, you know, we get naturally pregnant then, you know, you know, thank God but other than that, putting her bra body and everything else through that process. I don't think so. And it was just one of those things where I didn't necessarily push it I think when when she was ready for the conversation I was you know, on board for it. And and like I mentioned off air two of those miscarriages happen on Christmas Day. So Christmas now has a you know, behind your, you know, mine a negative connotation to it. Yeah. So did you

Kevin Donaldson:

how did you specifically mourn the child that was that was lost whether you believe a child is at conception, or you know, when it's time it doesn't matter. You mourn for the loss of something that's a piece of you, that's no longer here. How did you mourn you and your wife mourn for that?

Unknown:

I mean, I took some time myself. I tried to pray, kind of like meditate about it. She actually got a tattoo of like doves, little doves in the middle of the doves like a little heart to let that's kind of her kind of like, I guess remembrance of it. Absolutely. And having that with her. I mean, I I just tried to be there as much as I tried to put her and her kind of well being before myself, even though it may have not seemed like it to her, because I think a lot of stuff in the US or in general, that men do aren't necessarily like, you know, being providers or protectors or anything like that. Just one of those things where like, you have to step up. I don't think it's viewed like, you know, you made the sacrifice, so on and so forth. Because it's something like it's kind of ingrained in the way. So just kind of like stepping up and being strong in a way. But I mean, I don't know if she would agree with me, I think maybe she would just say that I was more like, reserved and closed in emotionally. But like I like you said, I think emotional vulnerability for me is not a weakness, but I'm guarded about it, you know, because I mean, I've had that, I guess, kind of like, used against me in a way, or being emotionally vulnerable in situations or opening up, where people use that against me, either in business where it's trying to, like, go down to like a human level, or just other relationships as well.

Kevin Donaldson:

I have noticed that when people have dual trauma, when they go through trauma together, and you can, you can go on down the line, your people who serve in the military, in boot camp, they're going through all that hardship, they have a bond, you and your wife have gone through dual trauma together. It did it. Did it bind you closer in any way?

Unknown:

I mean, I think so. I mean, like the other things, we've experienced a lot of like losses of family members, fostering 29 kids now just recently adopting our son, I think it did, because we have that connection, and most people don't. And I think

Kevin Donaldson:

it's kind of like, if you if we can get through this. We can get through anything. The rest of this does background noise.

Unknown:

Yeah, it's most people break in situations like that. So like high, high pressure, high trauma, I mean, different things, different careers, stuff like that, it, it plays a toll. So each of those, I don't think hurt less. But it was just one of those things where you weren't as positive each time, it was kind of like, you know, there's a high probability of this happening again, do we really want to put ourselves through it, and going through it together? I, you know, some things like like, that I don't think I can handle alone, obviously, the miscarriage is different, but going through like, you know, having a child be reunified in a bad situation as a foster parent. Like if I was a single dad, as a foster parent, it's just like, I call it like emotional maket masochism, because you know, you're gonna go through it and you put yourself through that pain anyway.

Kevin Donaldson:

motional mass. I like that one a lot.

Mike Failace:

You you self, self, self, national masochism, you know,

Unknown:

putting yourself out there, you know, what's gonna happen, you know, the pain is going to happen, but you do it anyway. Hoping the positive the net positive result happens

Mike Failace:

resisting success. That's it. That's it. Same same theory.

Kevin Donaldson:

How did you get into foster fostering children?

Unknown:

So basically, after the few miscarriages, we thought about it, you know, what, what can possibly we do to potentially start a family? You know, if it's not going to be, you know, conceiving naturally or through IVF? Could we potentially, you know, help kids in the process and potentially start a family? So one, we looked at outright, like adoption, and sometimes those are 40 $50,000 especially overseas overseas. Yeah. So you know, we've spent 100k Plus out of pocket on different infertility treatments and stuff like that. So we went to an orientation about foster care and knowing that there's a lot of not good foster homes and there's not enough people that genuinely want to, you know,

Kevin Donaldson:

will they work the system because you do you do get funds to take care of that kid take

Unknown:

care of the kid it's not it's a stipend in New Jersey, it's not like hey, you get paid it's not for profit effort. But even in the orientation guy raised his hands, like how many beds can I have in a room? It's like and teenagers because the older you get and and the kids with, like different developmental delays or some medical conditions you get paid more for their, you know, taking care of them as soon as a business Yeah. Yeah, sounds like this is a little ridiculous. And you know, the Division of Child Services knows about it, but they sometimes don't have enough homes to begin with, you know, so they kind of look the other way in a way like not necessarily like outright This is abuser right off the bat or this is gonna be like a neglectful situation. But you know, I can take seven kids or 10 kids it's a little I wouldn't say sketchy because to begin with, you have like a home study. So they kind of interview and see why you're doing it. What like what are your goals, living conditions? Yeah, living you have to basically get the house home licensed as well as you have a personal license as well, where they kind of like paint your story as a family what you want to do as a family, they'll interview like, let's say you go to a house of worship, they'll interview a pastor. What is this person's intentions? Like? What is this person in terms of morals? Look at your obviously finances, look at different history in terms of crime committed, like if you've committed something like fraud or something or defrauding somebody, maybe that's not the best person either.

Mike Failace:

Well, they check into, like, sex crimes and all that. Yeah,

Unknown:

they look into that. But I mean, those that haven't been reported, there's plenty of people out there that have done things to people that haven't been prosecuted, and it's kind of like, haven't been

Mike Failace:

caught yet.

Kevin Donaldson:

You get, but it sounds like you have Well, it's an easy sell

Mike Failace:

it sounds sounds like the ideal family to foster child. So

Kevin Donaldson:

it's an ideal situation for diapers, because oh, why do you want to Why do you want to foster kids, my wife had six miscarriages, and I have this love to give to be a parent. Maybe that might be have something to do with it. But you get that first kid in there, too. You got first you got to at once

Unknown:

brothers dropped off, basically we. So we were foster to adopt. So basically, meaning if we have a child in our home, parental rights are terminated, they would come to us first and ask, Hey, is this a good fit? Then if the child is old enough? Or like look at bonding and valuation? You know, do they connect does it seem like they have a connection, that kind of stuff. But basically, we were licensed may 31, of 2018, June 1, two kids dropped off, two brothers figure it out. So wow, they were just waiting. Well, they were transferred because they were in another home. And that person I believe, took their initial checks and said, Hey, I can't deal with them. So they came in no clothes, because when a child goes in the system, they get an initial like, check cut, like a clothing allowance, because oftentimes, they'll come with a trash bag, or nothing at all, like a dirty teddy bear. And you have to like run out and get them either a crib, you know, a wardrobe of clothes, so on and so forth. So basically, they came and it was just kind of like, hey, figure it out. And it was like a scare trade situation. Because you know, and you do something called pride training. So it's about 10, set class sessions of three hours, like night classes to get like the formal aspect of it. And there, it's like sunshine and rainbows. Like, everybody's great, the situation is great. But biological families are great, you really get to connect, the Division of Child Services will always be there for you. And it's like not like figure it out yourself. Oftentimes, it's like situations where like we're advocating for the children and the caseworkers like, you know, doesn't matter what you say, you're never gonna get me fired. So with that kind of mindset, you're not necessarily there to help the children. A lot of the time good, caseworkers get burnt out. And it's like, I can't deal with this anymore. And the bad ones, you know, unfortunately, stay. So it's situation like that. But they were dropped off. And it's like, hey, let's figure it out. And I remember the first thing we did, we had to take him to Walmart with both of them. They don't know us, we're looking for clothing, different snacks. And like one of the children likes just like spits out at my wife, the older one. One was about 18 months at the time, and one was about to turn three and yelling, you're not my mom, which is sketching in a store because it's your store.

Kevin Donaldson:

It's Walmart, it's perfectly acceptable.

Unknown:

Yeah, you're not my mom. And basically, they were Spanish. So he basically said, I'm gonna beat you with a chunk Clutha, which is like a slipper. It's kind of like, you know, something you say in like a Spanish household. So there was that. And, you know, we foster 29 Kids in four years. The most we had was five kids under the age of four, which was interesting. In terms of it a preschool there, right? Yeah, it's I mean, a teacher's ball team. Well, I mean, the starting five for basketball, but I mean, it teaches you a lot about yourself about like what you're capable of, because if you asked me a few years before, like, do you see yourself being a foster parent? Like no, I can never, like undertake that. Or like you let alone four years later, 29 kids, like I said, five kids, with the age under for all of them. And then you know, adopting from the system, and then dealing with everything in between, because I've tried to do a lot of, you know, media appearances and different like articles about like foster care reform and foster care advocacy, both on improving the process, because I feel like there's a lot of lacking therapy, especially when kids get we're unified. There's no reunification therapy.

Kevin Donaldson:

So the child goes back right away mothers, okay, fathers. Okay, go back. Yeah. And

Unknown:

like we do one check in 90 days, and the case is closed. We I mean, we've had kids come back after, you know, five, six weeks being reunified. But it's one of those things where you send a child back to the situation that trauma happened. There's gonna be different thoughts, different situations, different behavior, and we've had that and it's never been one of those things. We're like, Oh, this is a good idea. It was one it cost the state more money and too, it's like in terms of a foster parents, unfortunately, voice were like bottom of the totem pole, even though we have the kids for the longest duration and the time in the process.

Kevin Donaldson:

When you let that kid go for whatever reason If they go to another foster home or they get reunified with their parents, I don't think it's possible for you to house a child. I mean, think about a lower form of that you foster a pet, you foster a dog. Alright, you will become emotionally attached to that dog. You will you will become emotionally attached to the child. And then it's time to let them go. It's like miscarriages all over again.

Unknown:

Yeah, it's that emotional maket masochism, you know, that's going to happen. Because if you're not adopting a child, that's not like

Mike Failace:

a happily ever after. So you're, you're almost setting yourself up for it. Like you said, I

Unknown:

know what's gonna happen, you know exactly what's gonna happen, they're gonna come and take them. And most likely than not, the biological parents or family are gonna feel a certain way. They'll want to erase the whole foster care experience from the child's life. And regardless how good you were, they'll try to take you out of it. And it's funny because we've been an offer to be a resource outside of that. And the parents that are vocal about I don't want anything like they've asked us for things. We've had them over for, you know, Sunday dinners where you know, they were struggling with substance abuse, we've encouraged them that we're proud of you things like that. My wife actually took a flight out to Chicago to drive a mom and her kids back because she got put in a bad situation, like 24 hours notice, flew back, drove them back here, bought them a month or two of groceries to get them back on their feet. And that stuff all out of pocket. We've taken majority of the kids to Disney World Lego Land aquariums, we have like, Season Passes everywhere. So when you're doing it for the right reasons, like you know, you're, you're not profiting anything, you're getting those experiences, and hopefully, imprinting some kind of like sense of normalcy. So if they go back to a broken family, or like, for me, personally, majority of the kids didn't have a father figure, or at times didn't even know who their father was.

Kevin Donaldson:

70% of the incarcerated individuals come from a fatherless home. Yep. And majority

Unknown:

of them have been in the foster care system at one point in their lives. So like you put those two things together, you're not doing anything to improve, either in the upbringing of the child, how do you expect, you know, a person that's not reacting on rage and impulses, and because I feel like everybody in prison has no impulse control. Because a lot of the time, you know, you want to strangle somebody, you have like premeditated thoughts of doing something, but you know, better, you know, your raise better, you know, there's consequences. And when you have like such rage, or situations where you feel like you're worthless, you feel like you have nothing to live for. And you just, you know, get in bad situations.

Mike Failace:

So how long did the first Tuesday with you for all

Unknown:

from June 1 of 2018, to end of May of 2019,

Mike Failace:

so about a year,

Kevin Donaldson:

and you became attached to them? And then they go, did they get reunified? Or was it? Well, it was

Unknown:

worse, because they needed somewhere to place them and they knew were foster to adopt. And basically the position that like, you know, that we have these two kids that are moving into adoption, their moms definitely going to lose parental rights. And that's not what ended up happening. So it was one of those things, you know, she started doing she did everything she needed to do. You know, there were with us for that duration of time.

Kevin Donaldson:

And did they calm down? When they were with you? Yeah, there were the, you

Unknown:

know, usually kids get placed with us a lot of the time, there's a significant change in terms of behavior, or them being, I wouldn't say as normal because they've experienced things that adults may not experience. But as close to happy kids as possible, at least, you know, or at least some kids have came nonverbal. From situations where there was a situation we had a child, he came in the middle of the night, you know, bloody nose, bruised, eyes, basically nonverbal. He was like almost three. And the situation was his mom was prostituting, so she would just beat the crap out of them and lock him in the closet while she was doing her business and apartment. So that situation sucked too because he was with us for a month, and they found an aunt, and they literally gave us no time to say goodbye, like, Oh, we're picking them up and a half hour. My wife was at work, she came like left work early, packed a few things up and it just like, you know, we haven't attached like you said, we have an attachment with each child to a certain extent, even if they're with us for a few days or, you know, a few years and like I feel like you're not even given time to even say goodbye at times because it's so impersonal sometimes it's just like, it was so like grimy in a way because it was like an exchange like we didn't even drop the kids off it's like we dropped them off in a parking lot to a van see where we transact Yeah, it was just like a drug deal. Yeah. How can you be this informal when it's like humans, you know, implement a motion and yeah, and it's unfortunately it's it's just the case number. And the more cases you close the better you look. Good. New Jersey was under the supervision of the federal government because I don't know how many years ago, 1015 years ago, there was like a story. I don't know if you heard it, there was kids and like cages being kept in cages and a lot of them passed away. And just like the caseload was so crazy for, you know, the caseworkers that things, you know, slipped through the cracks. So I think this year, they came out of that, and they were like, under government federal government oversight. So they were kind of like, doing all the right things, per se. And I don't know if you ever heard of a book, it's called How to Lie with Statistics, you can get numbers to tell a story, whatever story you want to tell come in and be numbers. Yeah, there's such a way. Yeah, there's situations like when a case is closed, and they get, they get back in the system. It's the same case, and it doesn't count as a new case. So a child can be in the system 10 times, but it only counts as one.

Kevin Donaldson:

I used to do accident studies and accident investigation. I know how statistics can be manipulated on anything. And I guess it's no different with human beings. So you have these this multitude of kids coming through your house, and then you adopt one that's finally not going to go anywhere. That had to be something real like that, that a kid was either real special, or something or the connection was just there.

Unknown:

Yeah, it was. We, I mean, as this recording happened, it was last Tuesday, that you got the final we went to court in, in Trenton, we the judge took pictures with the judge, we did the whole little board saying I was you know, in foster care for 900. And something days, you know, I'm finally PEACE OUT foster care if we can

Mike Failace:

get a picture of that we could, ya know,

Kevin Donaldson:

if you want I don't know.

Mike Failace:

But I mean, I don't want to exploit or any No,

Unknown:

I probably I posted on social just because

Kevin Donaldson:

No, he was in foster care for 900. And some days from birth,

Unknown:

basically, basically his No, he's your kid. I mean, yeah, we basically it wasn't a situation where it's like, he knows nothing. Somebody, you know, instilled some, you know, bad behavior, and you're trying to correct it. Or, you know, they're saying, you know, I miss my mom or my dad, basically, his mom walked in the hospital thought she had a stomachache, and she was basically hanging out of her. He was born at four pounds. They didn't think he was gonna make it through the first week, because he couldn't breathe on himself by himself. And then the second week, he was able to kind of like, you know, get stable, and my wife was able to get them straight from the hospital. So straight from the hospital. His mom probably saw in two and a half years, she probably saw him like three times. He has five other siblings out there that were all the parental rights were terminated. And they were adopted by other family members, because it was different fathers. And if she doesn't know who the father is, unfortunately, it's a sad situation. She's 28. She's had five kids, and she's been in, you know, drugs for her whole life,

Kevin Donaldson:

does that ever stick in you a little bit, because here you have a person that obviously does not want to get pregnant, doesn't want the kid. And here, you and your wife are two saints. And I gotta tell you, your sainthood is really disgusting. Because you're really making me starting to feel like a really bad person. I'm like, I gotta do some, I gotta do better. But here's somebody that never really deserved to be a parent. And you and your wife seem to be the most deserving people to be a parent. Does that ever get you a little bit

Unknown:

to a certain extent, but I think, I guess in life at this point, I mean, I'm only 38. But whatever you're dealt, you're dealt, you know, and I mean, everybody starts, some people are given a trust fund, and some people are, you know, tossed in the trash, it doesn't matter. Like where you're going to end up, or how you behave like you, you dictate that if you wake up tomorrow, you can change the trajectory of your life. So although yes, because I'm human, it's like, you know, what, she just keeps getting, you know, pregnant or, you know, unfortunately raped or whatever the situation is, but I'm just knowing that, you know, a situation is a situation and things happen for a reason, like you go through things, you learn things, you help other people that, you know, may experience the same things as you are. And, you know, we have a blessing now, regardless of how it happened, we, you know, we have him and he's our son. Tyler, Tyler, okay,

Mike Failace:

getting getting back to that story. We were talking off air, and I said, I know a girl who had a baby that was stillborn. Her and her husband are the nicest people you could ever meet, y'all and they wanted to raise kids. And she was almost resentful of all these like, crackhead women just popping out kids left and right. And, you know, I mean, that's amazing. You know, the there's two people like you and your wife that are deserving to have kids and can have them but these people are undeserving. I mean, it's got it's got almost trust your faith in God at some point, doesn't it?

Unknown:

Yeah. I mean, it's one of those things where it's where the good things happen bad bullets like, you know, this person did everything right and you know he has terminal cancer or something.

Kevin Donaldson:

You and your wife are strong enough to take it my friend. That's probably the reason why. Because if you are God fearing man doesn't give you anything that you're not prepared to do it gives its hardest battles to

Mike Failace:

the strongest word who's just gonna say that to the stuff? Toughest soldiers? Yes, it does. Yes,

Kevin Donaldson:

it does. So how did you morph this? And do you talk about this on digital savage experience?

Unknown:

This these topics when it, you know, fits the story? You know what I mean? Well, that's

Kevin Donaldson:

so tell us a little bit about your podcast.

Unknown:

Yeah, I mean, it started as a solo show. It's been going five years. And then I feel like if it stayed as a solo to quit, because, you know, it's just me talking to microphone, there's no kind of like, reflection. And then I started interviewing people of all walks of life. And then it kind of morphed into, like stuff that I'm actually interested in, like, perseverance. You do

Kevin Donaldson:

a hell of a lot it tick tock, and Instagram clips. Yeah. Oh, my Lord, do you do a lot?

Unknown:

Yeah, but it's basically me trying to learn from my guests as well. Or trying to think about things differently, or like getting a different perspective, different perspective. Yeah, you want to take yourself out of a bubble, if you're surrounded by the same people over and over again, you can get an outside perspective or think a little differently. So just having people all walks of life, former criminals that changed their lives or found God, you know, people that you know, I had a guy, he wrote a book called The lucky sperm club. Basically, his mom was, like, 15 years old, she was raped by a local sheriff's deputy, her, his grandfather found out, walked into the sheriff's department shut the the sheriff's deputy dead on the spot, killed another deputy. And basically, he was, you know, out of grandfather. And now this situation. So he was born into poverty and how we overcome that. Now he's a successful business person, motivational speaker. So just kind of like learning, you know, what makes people tick? And why? Why they became who they are, why didn't they? You know, why aren't they on death row? Why are they doing something else with their lives?

Kevin Donaldson:

Sounds a lot like a podcast I don't like. It's very simple. So our podcasts have had very similar concepts. We bring guests in here. And you're sitting here telling your story, I have learned so much every guest that comes in, I learned something from every single one, some of the stuff I wish I'd never learned. But nevertheless, I do learn something from them. And it's a freeing experience as a given you like, what how has it changed your life is made to give you a little bit more perspective on your own life,

Unknown:

its perspective, and it's in a way therapy. Because even if you go to therapy, I don't know if either of you went to therapy, like, I always thought they don't give you the answers, they're a guide. So technically a conversation could be guiding you to what you're looking for, or a different way of thinking, or helping you get through something either like a mental roadblock, or something you have going on. So I feel like you know, any conversation and a podcast interview, it's like, you jump right into it. It's like an intimate setting you're discussing? Well, depending on the show, you know, kind of like life topics. It's not like you meet somebody may be at a networking thing, or like at a get together. And it's just like superficial top, you know, who you are, what you do, so on and so forth. It's not like, you know, I've been through XYZ. And oftentimes, like, I'll give my intro, and it's like, oh, this is heavy. Like, let's dive into it. And so

Mike Failace:

when you know, it's funny, you say therapy, therapy gives you the map, but you have to drive the car, right? They give you the groundwork for what you have to do, it's you that has to put your head to it and get through that.

Kevin Donaldson:

Now, if you came across somebody in your similar experience, now that you have a little bit of time under your belt with this trauma that you dealt with the miscarriages, what do you think your best piece of advice is that you would give them

Unknown:

I think, being open about it, and not necessarily there's like, I don't know if it's like shame or just like a situation where it's like, you don't feel adequate because of what happened even though it's not your fault. So I feel like sharing it as soon as possible. And it's obviously something that's put you in a vulnerable state. But sharing it with somebody you trust is oftentimes like you know, just like crying in front of somebody you don't trust because you know, that's not cohesive, but it's that one person like that friend or that family member that you can share it, not saying share it with the whole world or put a status update on Facebook. Like if you're comfortable doing that, and that's your way that maybe get people reaching out because like that's you That's cool, but I mean, I feel like at least telling it to one person when you're ready, or doing averting it's lifting Yeah, or not carrying that kind of around.

Mike Failace:

One question I have do plan on taking in more foster children with the intent to adopt or are you done shopping?

Unknown:

Well, technically there should be a six month old for like bonding when you had Even though he's been with us, since birth, it's more so where you like have children that are legally free, and you just happen to adopt them. And it's like a honeymoon period where you're kind of learning about each other. Usually when they're older, we actually got a call to take three kids like last night. So it's one of those things where they know, you know, we've had situations, like I said, it's like caseworker drops them off. Next month they come, the kid is now verbal, they dropped them off, they're like, this kid hasn't smiled, and like two months, they're running around laughing, playing, so on and so forth. So it's one of those things where we have a reputation, I think, in the state of being a good home, and help. It's rare. Yeah, helping kids turn around. And you know, it's helpful. It's also helpful kind of having a community, we've we found a few groups where it's like foster care families, where it's like, one thing to share with somebody from an outside perspective, but when somebody's struggling in the same way, it's like, yeah, we understand it's like, you know, it's it's therapeutic in the sense where you're talking to somebody that understands as well. So we, we had that. And, you know, my wife's had some foster moms that, you know, we were friends as well. So like, we meet up my wife, myself and to other families, and it's like, 19 kids between all of us. It's like a whole I don't know what team but like, we just go

Mike Failace:

to a restaurant. Yeah.

Kevin Donaldson:

So if you want to drop your kid off, Oh, see, Roman it. 123 happy? No,

Mike Failace:

but that that's just, that's the whole theory behind group therapy.

Kevin Donaldson:

Yes. Yes. It just, it's unreleased in that burden to people

Mike Failace:

who knows. You could talk you could talk to someone that has no concept of what you're going through. And it's really just talking until you talk to someone who knows what you're going through and is going through the same thing that you that, that's when you really start to get get better.

Kevin Donaldson:

So why don't you give out your you want to give out your social media. You want to give out your website? Please feel free?

Unknown:

Yeah, sure. Like you mentioned, the digital savage experience. It's the same thing in terms of the website, and then just just my name everywhere, like every platform, I believe at this point. So Roman Procope, Chuck, it's tough. But if you like, whatever, write it out, it'll autocorrect into IT Pro cope. Yeah, it's not that hard. It's a hockey, last name, hockey, signing last name, three syllables, three

Kevin Donaldson:

syllables. And we'll put all the links in our in our show notes. So we're coming to the end of this thing here. And I asked the same question to all the guests. You've gone through the suffering of being an immigrant, you're going through the suffering of miscarriages of having abusive background, and loot, you know, going through the foster care system, what do you think that it's taught you?

Unknown:

I feel like you don't have an option to kind of quit. I think when you get to a certain age, especially when you have children biological, or otherwise, you just kind of, I guess, sacrifice, sacrifice yourself for the good of everybody around you. And I feel like I've done that in a lot of situations, just putting yourself I guess, in what you have to do. behind everything that's that's going on. And like I think when you see the kids in the foster care system, what they're going through, that they've experienced more things than most people that it's like comical, and certain things like I get a you know, business email and somebody's complaining, I just want to like rattle off well, so and so child experience, so and so's like, stop stop whining. Or like, it's I feel like it's first world words versus third world problems. somebody's yelling about not getting whipped cream in their cappuccino and somebody's dying of, you know, lack of water. It's I think it's perspective. So when you experience these things, it changes your perspective. It kind of humbles you. And if I guess if you're strong enough, it, it creates you, I guess, a tool for doing good, you know, so

Kevin Donaldson:

Well, I certainly appreciate you coming in.

Mike Failace:

We've had a lot of people on your I don't think we've ever had anybody with as big a heart as Roman in his wife. It's

Kevin Donaldson:

disgusting. I know. It's absolutely we want to drive off a cliff and I'm so self hating right now.

Mike Failace:

I'm dead serious when I say that. I've never I don't think I've ever met someone as big a heart as you and your wife is fantastic. You're

Kevin Donaldson:

a rare individual. You are a rare individual in this world. I'm very thankful that I know you. I'm very thankful that you came in here.

Mike Failace:

I appreciate it. And you're part of our family now. So don't be a stranger.

Kevin Donaldson:

Thank you appreciate it. And that's gonna do it for this episode of the suffering podcast. As always, let's think about all the stuff that we learned today. You don't see too many homeless Ukrainians. Don't sit in the western bubble. Legacy is our purpose. Emotional masochism is sometimes unavoidable. But most importantly, and I mean most importantly, Tyler has the parents he deserves and you have the childhood deserve. That's going to go for this episode of the suffering podcast the suffering of miscarriages with Roman Procope, Chuck, see how I got that for Kojak? Don't forget to follow us on all social media. You can always listen before you watch over audio episodes come out on Sunday. Please follow us on Instagram at the suffering podcast follow Mike on Mike underscore Falaise. Follow me at real Kevin Donaldson and we will see you on the next episode.