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.