Adoption and the Single Parent
This is a special post from a friend of mine, Amy. Amy and I have known each other since middle school and while our lives went separate ways, by the power of good ol’ Facebook, we reconnected and have stayed in touch over the past few years. I’ve followed her journey to have a child – first thru IVF and then thru the adoption process. Those of us who have never had a problem conceiving (hello, Fertile Delta here) have no idea the pain that people go thru just to become a parent. I remember when she gave herself a timeline for having that happen and my heart broke for her. I remember the day that she finally got the
“call” and when I read her post that she was finally getting her child, I cried tears of happiness for her.
I hope you will read her story and pass it on – her Kickstarter campaign has a very reachable goal and could help other single parents understand what to expect on the journey to become a parent.
Thank you for sharing your story, Amy!!
People call it crazy. I call it deliberate single parenthood.
Yes, I was one of those people who reached their late 30s and thought, whoops, something that I thought would happen, didn’t. I attacked college and career like a hellhound, but when it came to marriage and family life, well, that didn’t fall into place like I imagined.
For six years, I tried to become a mother. Three years of fertility destroyed my goodness. Three years of adoption training and waiting zapped my patience. That was it. I was preparing myself to walk away from this life. My Facebook post announced my plans to move to France. My belongings were going to find new homes. I was done with this life of trying to become something that I could not become then BANG ZOOM POW, it happened. My son was born one random December morning and he was mine that afternoon.
Many adoptive families go through insane challenges to become parents. If you have the Hallmark channel on your TV listings, you may have seen a few of them in action. Unfortunately for single people, there is not a lot of dialogue out there about the realities of becoming a single parent deliberately. Instead, most of us live without a network to support us or an understanding shoulder to share our failures. We literally think that no one else is out there doing what we are doing.
Surprise! There are HEAPS of single people out there finding their way to parenthood. After I returned to work from my maternity leave, random people started asking me questions. “Can I do this too?” “What agency did you use that let you adopt alone?” Strangers have confessed to me their secret wishes about becoming a parent and their worry that it was just too late for them. It’s not too late, but the journey is a hard one.
That’s why I asked Kristen to let me share this with you. You see, I have spent the last two-plus years writing a book based on my blog called Mommy Shark. It goes through fertility, adoption and the first year of single parenthood without a partner. I have started a Kickstarter campaign this month to generate funds to hire an editor and graphic designer to complete this process. Plus, I want to order one large round of books for the adoption agency that I used to give them away to others so that they realize they are not alone in the journey to becoming a single parent.
My Kickstarter is located here – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/305324663/mommy-shark
Thank you for considering this and helping me help others realize that they are not alone.
As a thank you for your time here, I want to share a snippet from my book, Mommy Shark. It’s from the section where I share how I plan to talk to my son about his birth mother.
Your birth mother was a regal-looking woman with beautiful skin, striking features and a calm demeanor. She was quite tall and commanding in stature. You have her lovely face and complexion. She was a peaceful woman, at ease in solitude who didn’t have much to say but she was affectionate – willing to humor people around her who seemed overwhelmed with emotion (like me).
She walked into the hospital and immediately told the staff about her plans to put her child up for adoption. They assigned her an alias name and she gave birth to you that morning around 10:08am by cesarean. Later the day, a staff member from my adoption agency met with her and gave her a stack of 10 or so brochures of families wanting to adopt and willing to accept a child last-minute after the child was born. She took about an hour to review the brochures. Then, she told the agency that I was her first pick.
Once they got me on the phone, my heart knew that you were finally here. My long wait had ended. When I talked to your birth mother, she wanted to hear about my journey to try to get pregnant. She liked the idea that she helped someone who could not have a child. It made her happy to give someone else this joy. She picked me because I am a teacher and she had always wanted to be a teacher. She wanted someone in your life to value the importance of learning.
You have her eyes, skin, look, curly hair and calm demeanor. When you sit quietly and play, or when you stare ahead looking at nature around you as you ride your stroller, I see your birth mother. When you smile at me right before you give me a big bear hug, I see your birth mother. As I bathe you at night and clean your skin, I see your birth mother.
She is one of my favorite people on this planet. I will carry her in my heart for the rest of my life.
If you have questions about this project, you are welcome to use the message features in Kickstarter to reach me. This book will be published in fall 2014. Thank you!