There are many translates of this particulair phrase and suburbia is the best translation in our opinion. However nothing nails it as the original Dutch phrase: huisje-boompje-beestje. It means that someone lives a quiet, structured, conventional and happy life with a spouse, children, a good job and a nice house.
For some it is the ultimate goal in life. In the Netherlands (and many other countries) you get questions if you don’t have a partner, if you don’t have children, if you don’t have a good job, if you don’t have a pretty house. But what if you don’t want that? Is that possible to discuss?
Of course you can discuss any topic, but people are not always open for different ideas. For example: we think we don’t want to have children. In some people heads those words are turned, twisted and dipped into a imaginary lake of evil and they hear: we hate children. Wow.. that is really something different. How could you possibly make that out of our words?
Some call it selfish. But why? Isn’t it much more selfish to have children while you don’t want them just to paint the world a perfect picture? We have a goal in sight and we want to make the world a better place on an individual level in the middle of the bush. There are no peers, schools are far away, it is a potential dangerous place for (small) children and as parents we wouldn’t have all the time in the world for the child (which it deserves) because we are working on our bigger goal. Well who is selfish? Believe us we thought it through. If we want children in a later stage of course we can make it work, but the main question is still: do you feel the need to reproduce?
We are both way more excited about adoption. There are enough people on the earth in our opinion, but there are also alot of unfortuned children because of many different circumstances. We did research for the possibilities in both the Netherlands and South Africa. In the Netherlands Wiebe is ‘too old’, it cost a fortune and you are treated like a criminal with all the tests, costs, research and documents. It is very good that there is research before people can adopt a child, but it is completely over the top. If you would like to reproduce again and again and again and you are a horrible parent you can just do your thing and nobody can make you stop. If you thought everything through and you want to offer a place, love and oppurtunities for a child that is in need and you have the finances… well then you have to go through the whole circus. Believe it or not, that wasn’t the biggest issue. An adoption procedure can take many years and in the fastest case we could get a child right before we would leave to South Africa, which can’t be good for a child. The other option was to adopt in South Africa, however you need to live there for five years, which we obviously don’t. Which was the end (for now) of the adoption story.
The reason is not that we go to South Africa because they think differently about suburbia, but we are not bound to the Netherlands because we have no children which gives us the opportunity to follow our dreams and go straight towards our goal.
Wiebe & Melanie