Tonight is my last evening as a single, foot-loose, fancy free single gal. Hope arrives in less than 24 hours. So many wonderful people have asked me during these last days, “Are you ready?”
Of course not! I mean really, what parent is really ready? No new parent I’ve ever come into contact with said they were ready. The ones who tried to fake readiness saw that façade crumble pretty quickly. I’ve been busy all day, but I’m surprisingly calm and just ready to get in the front seat of this roller coaster. Of course the fact that I have been able to freely and happily imbibe the night before my paperwork “due date” has helped my outlook considerably. I also finally got the lock for my liquor cabinet today.
I can tell you one thing; I am way more ready than my sweet girl. She’s scared. She’s anxious. She’s leaving everything she’s known, good and bad. Her story is changing and even though intellectually she may know that it’s for the better, it must be a very scary time. Deep down she’s just a little girl.
Despite Hope’s desire that I leave the boxes that arrived a few weeks ago, I opened them and unpacked them this morning. Boxes of cards, vacation Bible school handouts, stuffed animals and books, including a few Little Golden Books that have no doubt followed her for years from home to home. I freshened one of her stuffed animals but adding some poly-fill and put up more shelving to accommodate her books and toys. Her things reminded me that she really is a little girl.
She’s my little girl.
I’ve given a lot of thought to this transition today, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Imagining a version of me attempting to adopt and finish up a doctorate alone would’ve been bizarre and nearly unheard of during MLK’s day. The social stigma alone would’ve probably spun me into some different choices. But here I sit the night before Hope’s arrival, single, educated and Black with very little push back on adopting solo.
Oh sure, last week when I shared with one of my more senior mentors that I was adopting Hope initially said, “Oh well I hope that means your love life has improved…,” the implication that clearly I wouldn’t be doing this on my own; I need and should want a man beside me. I would love to have a partner, but I don’t and I decided to stop waiting for one.
I am happy that we have evolved enough to believe that families come in all sizes, shapes, colors and constructions. I am glad that the social stigma of single parenting and single adoption isn’t what it used to be. I’m glad that my quest to be a mom didn’t limit my options.
So on this MLK day, I think Martin would be proud to know that the bridge to civil rights has been pushed to places he may not have given much thought to back in the day. I’m glad that social views on the character I will become tomorrow have evolved such that I and Hope will live a happy, healthy life. I’m glad that I live in an era where my path to motherhood is socially accepted. I am thankful that I was matched with my beautiful girl. MLK’s legacy is broader than most might know or remember.
With that I’m shutting this party down for a good night’s sleep and some running tomorrow morning.
Happy Adoptions, folks.
January 20th, 2014 at 11:52 pm
Best wishes to you and Hope! I am so excited for the both of you and definitely share your sentiment regarding the different paths to motherhood. We have a lot to be thankful for. Congrats again!
January 21st, 2014 at 6:03 am
Lifebytce, thanks so much for the well wishes! All the best to you too this week! 🙂 ❤
January 20th, 2014 at 11:56 pm
Everything you wrote is so true! The country has come a long way – I would say there are short periods of extreme social growth (like the last few years with gay marriage, repeal of don’t ask/don’t tell, etc) and then long periods of stagnation – there is definitely a political metaphor in there, but won’t go there! 🙂 Anyhow, it’s wonderful that the environment is such now that your journey is supported and the system is robust enough to find a girl like Hope a home like yours, from thousands of miles away! I am so excited for both of you! I am sure she is nervous, bless her heart. She’ll get into the new routine in no time, though. Just give her lots of space, hugs, and structure, sort of my big three for girls her age who are moving, have to find new friends, etc. Also start a new tradition at home, like Friday is pizza and movies night or something. It’s small but powerful to know that every Friday, no matter what, it’s pizza and movies night. I’ve tried to do those things for our girl as we move all over the world, I know I can always find pizza (or at least make one! 🙂
Geez, I just hate what your mentor said. When I found out I was pregnant, I was already very well established in my demanding career, the same work as my husband. One of my “dear” mentors asked me if I was going to quit and stay home with the baby – former mentor say what???? And he wasn’t the only one, I even had women asking me the same thing! Why wasn’t anyone asking hubby why HE wasn’t quitting HIS career to stay home? I also got the “you can’t have it all” speech when she was little. I had no female mentors who supported my motherhood, because they couldn’t have it all (or likely, they couldn’t figure out a way to have it all) – I learned much about double standards when I became a parent, even after I felt like women had progressed so far. And women are the worst to each other, like the forum you mentioned! For instance, the battle between the stay at home moms and the working moms is just so ugly and hateful. I’ve been both and neither is the best.
Also interesting how these situations bring out the best and worst in people, you start seeing who cares more about you, the person, and who cares more about the job, or themselves, feeling threatened about the status of their relationship with you. Instead of being joyously happy and supportive at what is actually a very fragile time. Basically, some people are small minded and selfish and on their worst behavior at a time when they should get out of the way.
Ok, I feel like I just had a good half hour of therapy, LOL!
Keep us posted during the transition and big hugs to both of you!
Happy Adoption! ヽ(•‿•)ノ
January 21st, 2014 at 12:51 am
I can’t wait for the next blog!!
January 21st, 2014 at 10:22 am
Best wishes in your first days as a new family! I am also very glad that we live in a world where these things are accepted. I am married to a black man, with a bi-racial little girl who we adopted at birth and can’t imagine my world without either of them – or the acceptance that we have from the majority of society.
I look forward to hearing more about your life with Hope!
January 21st, 2014 at 10:53 pm
Thanks for the read! Families come in all flavors! ❤ Thanks for the support!
January 21st, 2014 at 5:30 pm
I just love the tone of this post! You are ready, for sure!
December 31st, 2014 at 9:44 am
[…] Hope was placed with me in January. […]