To have or not to have a baby, that’s the question.
The play Sperm by Justin Johnson deals with a universal normality that either cheers or torments the many couples residing in our planet called human multiplication. At some point in their relationship, every couple debates on whether they want to bring life into our world. After every couple plays the Hamlet card, “to have or not to have a baby” then comes the next question, can they actually have one?
“We’re trying to have a little miracle of our own.”
- Beth, Sperm
In Sperm, Kevin and Beth played the Hamlet card and they want to have a baby. Now, comes the next question, can they?
“We’ve had no luck,” says Kevin. This couple is trying very hard to bring a little miracle of their own but unfortunately the results don’t match their expectations. Just like Kevin and Beth, many other couples have tried but also have failed. What could be the causes to these tormenting results? Well, that depends on the person’s reproductive system. In some cases, the man’s sperm could fail by not traveling far or fast enough or the woman’s eggs could not be reacting the way that they should. Either way, asking the doctor, “we’re not pregnant?” and hearing a sentence composed of words that only make you and your partner feel like you too have been kicked in the stomach is never a pleasant experience, especially when you both strongly desire an answer that would fill your stomach with butterflies.
“Another year goes by, and we’re still trying.”
- Kevin, Sperm
This constant disappointment consumes Kevin and Beth. Both of them have experienced guilt and failure. Even seeing children outside their home or going to yearly family Christmas dinners hurt them because they are loaded with this massive dream that keeps on crashing down.
As stated earlier, many other couples have experienced the same sorrow as Kevin and Beth. The world of Entertainment has given us the gift of Guiliana and Bill’s life story. This well known couple composed of a popular TV host and a first season Apprentice winner have gone through an emotional roller coaster with this universal normality of human multiplication. They worked hard towards having a baby for years but after natural intercourse, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), and multiples tries of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) were not successful, they decided to find a surrogate, which gave their life story a rewarding twist. The journey Guiliana and Bill experienced brought them unhappiness, heartbreak, desolation, guilt, despair, and many more unpleasant emotions. Thankfully, the emotional roller coaster they were dreadfully riding on came to a stop because they successfully found a way to bring life into their world.
To adopt or not to adopt, that’s the question that never came to mind.
Both of these couples have had difficulty having a miracle of their own. Both pulled the Hamlet card, “to have or not to have a baby” but once they knew they couldn’t have one, none of them pulled the card, “to adopt or not to adopt.” None of them even thought or stated the idea. Would adoption have made Guiliana and Bill’s life much easier? Would adoption have solved Kevin and Beth’s problematic situation? How come none of these couples thought about adoption?
The more I analyzed their life stories and tried to figure out a reason as to why adopting didn’t come up in any of their conversations, I realized that they spent years on having their own baby because they were disappointed at themselves. They couldn’t do the universal normality of human multiplication. So, they felt guilty, embarrassed, and even worthless because they couldn’t bring a significant element to our planet: human life. Also, they wanted a mini them at home, a combination of their great looks and awesome personality traits.
Even though this could be a possible theory that I’d agree with if I had the chance to talk to Guilina, Bill, Kevin, and Beth, I still can’t stop thinking about the fact that adoption hasn’t been mentioned in any of their conversations. Is there a difference in loving an adopted child? In my opinion there isn’t. Yes, this child isn’t biologically yours but it is having a little miracle of your own because you get to remove that child from a life full of pain and loneliness to a life filled with happiness, company, and pure love.
Adoption wasn’t part of Guiliana and Bill’s journey but what’s important is that they stood together, never lost hope, and found an exit from their emotional ride. Adoption hasn’t crossed the minds of Kevin and Beth but who knows? Maybe they end up playing the Hamlet card, “to adopt or not to adopt” and finalize their life story with a little miracle of their own.
SPERM by Justin Johnson will be performed in the Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival at the Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th Street, NYC, on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 5pm. For tickets go to www.therianttheatre.com #StrawberryOneActFestival Tweet us and share your comments @RiantTheatre