So, I wasn’t that little girl who dreamed of having kids. I dreamed of having a great love and getting married and being married, but kids…well, there wasn’t this yearning to give birth. I thought I would be a mom, but I never felt like I had to have a biological kid. By my 20s, I figured I’d adopt at some point. In my early 30s I swore to my mom that I’d totally adopt if I hadn’t had a biological child by the time I was 35. As I slid into my late 30s–having conveniently skipped past 35 neither with a biological kid or with a hankering to end my carefree lifestyle–I found myself in a relationship with someone I wouldn’t dream of having a bio kid with. In fact, within months of starting our relationship I RAN to get an IUD to make sure that procreating with this dude did not happen.
My flawed rationale for being in this relationship could probably be the subject of a whole ‘nother blog, but just suffice to say, I knew having a biological child with him was out of the question.
As some point he found himself in a bit of a legal problem, and I found myself furious. I didn’t care about him or his problems; I was terrified that possibly marrying him and his problems would prevent me from adopting a child. We fought about it; he tried to convince me it didn’t matter. But I knew it would.
That’s when I knew. Adoption was my path, and I’d probably do it alone.
It would be another three years after the breakup, after a health scare that made me contemplate my mortality and after finishing the coursework for my doctorate that I leaped into this long, emotional journey to motherhood.
Did I mention I’m working on my dissertation while pursuing adoption?
Yeah, I’m an overachiever. Totally.
So, it’s been eight months since I started the process.
I took my PRIDE classes. I filled out the paperwork. I went for my physical and was furious about having a cholesterol test (I don’t know why, but it irked me to high heaven). I freaked out when I found out I didn’t sign my fingerprint card properly. I nervously sat through my home study visits, even crying through half of the first one. I visualized me and my kid doing stuff in the future all the time.
I cried when my parents gave away some of my childhood books knowing I was quietly expecting. I sat perplexed when a classmate excitedly exclaimed, “You’re going to be a single mom!” I was just planning to be a mom. I realized that to everyone who would meet me after the adoption would just assume that I was a SINGLE BLACK MOM and all the possible stereotypes that tag along with that particular character. I continue to struggle with all these new identities.
I filled out match forms where I anguished about saying no to bunches of possible family matches because I didn’t want to cope with various types of medical issues or behavioral issues. I secretly have moments of guilt about saying I didn’t want a White child, despite the fact that I really don’t want a White child. I fretted about painting the “room formerly known as the guest room.”
I cringe every time someone tells me how awesome it is that I was adopting some poor kid or how grateful that kid will be to have been adopted by someone like me. Ugh. I also cringe inside while smiling on the outside when a friend says my journey is great, but she’s still holding out hope to have her own child. I know she means bio, but my kid will be my own kid.
I soared when I finally met an adoptive Black mom in a support group. I have desperately needed a role model. It’s a lonely path to trudge for the SBF at the adoption agency.
I lay awake at night wondering about all sorts of possible child rearing scenarios: Natural hair vs. chemically treated? Basketball vs. football vs. debate club? Sex talks…boys and/or girls. Public school vs. private school? Having to shop at Hollister, American Eagle and some other ungodly tween/teen clothing store. Growing feet and increasing grocery bills. I order books from the local library on all of these things and never read them because I’m working on a dissertation, remember?
It’s some weird form of mayhem And despite being one of the most challenging times of my life, it is hands down the best time of my life. Really, it is the best time of my life. I’m going to be a mom.
About a month ago, I got an email from the agency. It was the first one about a possible match. I closed my office door, opened the email and fell hopelessly in love with this kid. So done.
So, now I’m pursuing this kid. The adoption recruiter and the foster mom have both missed conference calls that sent me into fits of tears. I believe this will work out,. But whew, it is hard. It’s really hard.
And its still the best time of my life.