Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Decision to Adopt -- Child #1

There is A LOT that goes into the decision to adopt a child. In the next weeks, since the blog is brand new and I'm not sure there will be many stories to share, I'm going to post about the things I think are important to think about when you are considereing adoption.

I'm wanted to share what I was feeling and thinking about when I decided to adopt my children. Because believe it or not, it the decision doesn't get easier with subsequent children.

I guess it all started because my biological clock started ticking earlier than most single women I know. By the time I was thirty, it was so loud it was keeping me up nights! I’d felt for years, that if I’d not met the man of my dreams and was on the road to making a baby by the age of thirty-five, I’d adopt. I didn’t know the where’s or how’s, but I was sure of the day.

Much to my surprise, the timetable sped up a bit. I turned thirty in October of 2000, and my father, my last living immediate family member, died the following May. The prince I’d had turned out to be less than charming and a new one had yet to show his worthy head. I was, for all intents and purposes, on my own.

In July of 2001, two things happened. First, I received an unexpected check from the Veterans Administration for a life insurance policy I hadn’t known about. Secondly, my employer gave me a form to update some insurance information. It asked me to provide the names of four immediate relatives. The form defined “Immediate Family” as Parents, Spouse, Children or Siblings. I marked “N/A” on the form and used a minor head cold as an excuse to go home for the day.

I think of that day often. It was the absolute low point of my life. I was thirty years old and felt like I had no one. I felt sorry for myself, yes. But mostly I was angry. Angry at the fates and if I'm going to be brutally honest here, at God and everybody, anywhere who had what I so despriately wanted.

I guess that comes from being the well-loved, only child of a single father. I wasn't raised to hide in a corner and rail at the fates. I grew up believing we all have the power to change our own lives and shape our futures the way we see fit. From my vantage point on that day, there was little in my life to salvage. I did have some things going for me. I was healthy, I had a job that paid me a living wage and I owned my own home. I had this new found tiny nest egg, but no husband, partner or significant other on the horizon. Frankly, I was still stinging from an old relationship and I wasn't really interested in beginning another at that point. Try as I might, I couldn't pull my prince out of any old hat.

I was determined to change my life and find my own happiness. When I arrived home, I went directly to my computer and typed, “Single Parent Adoption.” Over the next months the where's, how's and when's of my adoption journey would change. But I never lost focus, never faultered and never had a second thought. Only with hindsight do I understand how unusual that is and what I gift I was given.

Rarely in my life as I know it, can I ever be sure I am doing the right thing when I am doing it and rarely are there absolutes. But I knew to my soul I was doing what I was meant to do and I never stopped working my way towards my child.

In seven short months from that monumental day, I was a mother.

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