I have genuinely loved my experience as a mother. I’m single as the day is long, sometimes struggling—not just financially, but for answers, wisdom, and patience—and always learning about myself and my child at the same time. She is a joy. You know, for all of my fussing and carrying on about these tumultuous teenage years, she really is a good kid.
Now watch, when I get home, I’ll have like three calls from three different teachers, a letter from the school in the mail, and an email from an angry neighbor. But let’s just pretend that I could have that moment free and clear of any consequential shenanigans.
I love being a mommy so much, I’ve always planned to have more children. But the right way: husband, house, money in the bank. And I have always, always wanted to adopt a child. Not a baby. Maybe a 7 or 8-year-old, maybe even older than that.
But as I climb into my 30s and still haven’t had the experience of seeing a guy drop to one knee, sans that dude who flustered me by bending to tie his sneaker, I’m grappling with the reality that marriage may very well not be in my future. There are thousands, maybe even millions of single-istas just like me, waiting to find that one ideal dude they can boo up with for the next 20, 30, 40 years, so it seems kind of hard to believe that I would be a chosen one. I’m too ornery, I suspect.
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But does that mean I can’t bring home the child I planned on adopting and welcoming into my little two-person family?
A few months ago, my friend announced that she had been in contact with an agency here in the D.C. area that specializes in facilitating single-parent adoptions, and she passed along their information because she knew I was interested, too. I know—largely from their own admission—that my single friends who don’t have children are restless of those ticking biological clocks and want to get this whole motherhood thing off the tarmac already. Single-parent adoption seems like the golden path.
But I balked, because if parenting in general is full of challenges, parenting solo is an American Gladiators gauntlet. It’s been fulfilling to see my daughter grow into such a spirited young lady, but all of that fluffy crap aside, it has been super difficult at times to do the work that should be parceled out to two people.
Bills, household necessities, all of those wonderful Mommy-can-I-have? requests, they all fall on me. Even pick-ups and drop-offs from school, sleepovers, dance practices, they all fall on me, too. I have a fabulous support system of family, but they live two states away, so that means it’s spotlight on me, all day, every day to make sure she’s cared for, healthy, and content (as much as you can keep a 14-year-old content).
Those are things my friends haven’t been taking into consideration since they started thinking about adoption. They’re thinking she-ra super girl power, I can do this by myself. I’m saying damn feminism. This solo parenting can be overwhelming at times.
But, on the flip side, putting that desire to be a mother on hold to lie in wait for a man who may never show up seems kind of foolish. And that’s where I am myself. Do I volunteer for another round of single mother follies, romanticize the beauty of one-woman childrearing, and accept the multitude of challenges again—times two—or do I just appreciate the fact that I managed to manufacture a relatively productive human being the first time around?
Still, I can’t help but think about the children who may be waiting for someone like me or one of my friends to come along and love and dote on them. And, even if our households aren’t made up of two parents, there would be no shortage of adoration for any kid in them. I guess this, like so many other things, is a personal decision that every wannabe mama needs to make for herself. I’m just not sure what any of ours will be just yet.
Did you or someone you know adopt as a single parent?
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