How It All Began...
Single Is More Than Enough
For a long time now, I’ve known that I can’t have biological children, but I’ve always wanted to be a mother. When I was in my mid-thirties and Mr. Right still hadn’t come along, I thought the obvious choice was to adopt a child. I’ve worked hard to build a good life that serves as the foundation for my family today. After taking time to evaluate my choices and circumstances, today I’m a proud single mother by choice.
The Judgements and Misconceptions
I haven’t always been so confident in my journey, mostly due to the judgments and the inability to adopt before I found Angel. For a long time, I tried every avenue to find the right partner for the adoption process. But due to the fact that I don’t have devout religious affiliations and am a single mother, many viable partners turned me away. One place even asked me not to come back after I attended their information session.
The negativity and misconceptions associated with the concept of being a single mother by choice even put doubts into my mind about whether this was the right option for me. When no one at these adoption meetings would sit with me or even talk to me, I felt defeated before I even began my process. I felt broken and cried because my kind of family was not accepted.
It didn’t help that some of my family and friends asked me, “Are you sure you can handle this?” I know that they meant well. Nevertheless, I felt like I was being met with insurmountable hurdles while having to debunk the misconceptions of single motherhood.
Your Support Group Needs Time to Process
Then I found Angel. They embraced me immediately—a family with one parent with an unlimited amount of love to give. I asked them many questions initially. They answered each one with honesty, which I really appreciated. I didn’t need to be served buttered up marketing sugar and then let down because my type of family was not the right one. Angel didn’t do that. They set my expectations about the rate of success, the possibilities, and also the length of time it can take. When they presented me with a list of single parents who have successfully adopted, my hope was renewed.
I started to slowly ease my family and friends into my single mother by choice journey. I chronicled my entire journey from decision to research to embarking on the adoption process on Facebook. There were lots of questions from my community. These questions were both positive and negative. They sounded intrusive at times. It felt like I answered the same questions over and over again. Then my community all came around me. Even the skeptics were convinced and supported me the whole way through.
I learned that sometimes you’ve got to give people in your network time to process your decisions they may deem as unusual. It doesn’t say anything about their judgment of your decision. It’s simply that they need to be educated and learn about what that decision actually means.
So Worth It
My adoption journey with Angel took 18 months. I had three possible connections that didn’t work out before the one that allowed me to adopt Abigail. My first expectant mother ended up picking a family with two parents. My second and third had similar endings. For a while, I felt defeated. Working in healthcare, I’m a realistic person immersed in the real world of human care every day, so I set my expectations low. After these three chances, I just waited.
Like the other connections, Abigail’s birthmother seemed unsure whether she wanted me to be the adoptive parent of her baby. She only wanted to text. When the social worker called to say she had picked me, I was very surprised. She even wanted me there in the delivery room. I was grateful for the opportunity. She was in active labor when I met her. The birthfather and grandmother were also in the delivery room. She seemed disconnected as we talked about everything except Abigail.
Then an hour passed, and she pushed and delivered Abigail. She didn’t want to hold her, so I held Abigail after delivery. The minute they put her in my arms, I just blanked out. I felt like my heart would explode. I thought, This is when moms say they would walk through fire for their children. I now know how they feel. It’s a love I can never use words to express.
Power Comes From Within
Single motherhood has changed me. It has mellowed me out thoroughly. Abigail and I simply savor our days together. I feel stronger in my decisions, in particular, decisions involving my family. There’s a kind of empowerment that comes with overcoming an overwhelming situation. The adoption process is certainly that kind of situation. You simply have no control over how it will turn out. With Angel’s help, however, I succeeded in having the family I always wanted. More than that, I feel whole and solid in my own being, even after weathering all of that judgement before my process started.