Could I really be someone’s mother?

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I keep thinking that “now is not the right time” when it comes to being a mother.

I mean, money is very tight. Ironically, one of the good attributes I have in my corner as a potential parent is that I have my house, and yet it’s the number-one moneysucker in my life. My credit card bills are high because of the house. My mortgage payment is completely reasonable, but it’s all the other crap that’s made me feel like I’m living paycheck to paycheck.

There’s my book(s). I need to focus my attention to GET MY BOOK FINISHED and move on and finish the other two books after that.

There’s the dating thing. Is now the time to explore my options regarding adoption and foster care when I am actively putting myself out there to see if I meet anyone I like enough to have a relationship with? What if I fall for someone who already has children?

I always have a lot going on. My brain’s just whirring away all day, every day, to the point of exhaustion. My mom pointed that out to me recently when I was telling her I think my depression could be trying to break through the medication again. She’s not so fast to think it’s depression or medication issues– in her opinion, I have “too much going on all the time.” She knows I think about my book almost constantly. And then lately I’m thinking about the marathon and training, and this dating idea, money has been stressing me out as I struggle to get all my bills paid and squeeze my way into a new budget; I’ve been thinking about NJ and the possibility of going back there in the next couple of years, the suddenly-strange relationship with my father; I worry about my mom and the fact that she has yet to find a job and even more so that she shows little to no interest in searching and applying for jobs and spends most of every single day in her apartment, watching TV… and then shingles keep blowing off my roof in all these storms, and my plumbing’s getting close to needing service yet again… YES. I do have a lot of my mind.

And then I add in these thoughts about being a parent. Oh my God, what am I thinking?!

How could I possibly be a good mother to anyone, with all these other things on my mind and going on? How could I afford a child? How could I manage to balance work with being home with the child as needed? A spouse really would be helpful in this sense, sure, but the truth is I’m not really sure I should wait much longer for that to ever happen, because it might NEVER happen. I don’t say that to be all woe-is-me… I say it because it’s a simple fact. And because I might really prefer to be single the rest of my life. I don’t know.

The thing is I am so fucking SICK of reading these stories in the news about kids being abused, neglected and killed by their parents or caretakers. All these kids born to parents who don’t really want them, but the law says they need to keep them. Why can’t kids just be turned in for adoption instead of killed, you know? UGH. There are so many people who can’t have children who would take those unwanted kids. People like me. I might not be perfect, and I might only be a single woman, but I think I would still be a better option for an unwanted kid than a hospital bed or coffin.

The process is lengthy, and the red tape is very daunting to become a foster parent in AZ. Yet the papers write about how there is a shortage of foster homes for the record numbers of kids that are in the foster system right now.

My ideal situation would be to flat-out adopt a baby or toddler. Like anyone else who wants to adopt, you’d rather go younger because there’s less chance of major behavioral or emotional issues, and you can raise the child like it is your own if you have an “earlier” start. But the waiting list for a baby or toddler? SO LONG. I know someone who used to work with me that only just got to adopt her little baby daughter last year after taking almost FOUR years in the system, waiting. She even had a baby lined up once, and was all set to drive up to Oregon to get the little boy, and the birth mother changed her mind.

But on the upside, at least she did finally get to adopt. And she is so incredibly happy being a mother to her little daughter. She’s an inspiration.

So, anyway. I think I should probably at least do myself the service of going to an adoption/ foster care orientation event here in town, soon. Find out the real facts, and the real potential I might have to actually be a mom. I know that babies and toddlers probably get offered to two-parent families first, but maybe there is still a chance I could get lucky. After all, my friend did. She’s a happily single woman.

Several years ago, I went with my X out to California on a trip to Six Flags for the fourth of July. While we were there, we met up with his uncle and nephews/nieces. His one nephew and his wife were the adoptive parents of these two little girls… one was maybe a two and a half, and the other was almost 5. They were half-sisters. X’s nephew and wife had adopted the older girl years ago, and because they had a strong relationship with the birth mother, when the birth mother became pregnant again, she asked them if they would like to adopt this second baby, too. They didn’t plan on having two kids, really, but of course they said yes. And that family was just so cool… we were eating dinner at ClaimJumper, I remember, and the older girl was just sitting next to me, talking a mile a minute, eyes glimmering and feet kicking in happiness as she told me all about her dog and asked me questions about ours. Both she and her little sister were in matching pink dresses, with pale pink Crocs that had little clip-on magenta and purple rhinestones, and the older sister had painted fingernails because she had begged her Mom to do that for her. It was so adorable. After dinner, the two sisters were walking out to the parking lot with their grandfather (X’s uncle) holding each of their hands, and something about that image just got to me. For the rest of that trip, I was fixated on thoughts of adoption, and how sometimes it could work out so perfectly… those little girls would have had a completely different life if their mother hadn’t decided to give them up for adoption. But she did. And now they have an entire extended family who loves them, and they’re always going to be safe and cared for and happy…

I wanted that, too. It’s been years now, and I still think back to that night at ClaimJumper and those two little sisters.  And it makes me feel a tremendous pull to be a mother. And not just any mother… an adoptive mother.

Sure, I would looooove to have my own kid. That would be great. But it’s not in the cards for me, I honestly believe that. First and foremost, I had stage IV endometriosis and the scarring on one of my fallopian tubes has likely closed off that ovary… and if not, I still risk ectopic pregnancy. And I am 36. I’m not a young kid anymore. Since I don’t really want to go the sperm bank route (ha ha, like I could afford it), the time it would take to build a relationship, get engaged, married and finally ready to have kids could have me well into my 40s by the time we were “ready.” I suppose I could always engineer a happy accident, but that seems so wrong, especially if deception was involved. Nope.

I don’t know what to do.

I just hate sitting by idly as these horrible things unfold, and kids are bunking together in shelters because there aren’t enough homes for them. I don’t know that I could take on an older kid, or one that would only be with me for a few months before they had to go back to their parents or a relative, but who knows…maybe I am stronger than I think I am. And maybe I wouldn’t be doing that, anyway; maybe I really would get a little, little kid. I don’t know. And I won’t know, until I formally look into it.

Again, is now the time, though?

Am I biting off more than I should chew?

Should I wait a little longer?

I hope I get some kind of sign soon. I’m kind of on edge about this lately, and feel like something has to happen. Whatever that something is, I don’t know. But it’s coming. I can feel it.

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3 responses »

  1. You will definitely be an awesome mom! Just remember that there is never the perfect time to have a kid. But when you do have a kid, everything seems to come into perspective and you always have just what you need. If this is in your mind, maybe you should start the ball rolling for adoption. Just like the birth mom can change her mind, you can always change yours too, if it came to that. It’s strange, because I have become more organized and better with my time now that I am a mom. Although it never feels like it! Ha ha. But it’s true. I think the most important thing is to have a good “village” around. Have a good support system with friends and family. It can be done. Gia and I are here for ya! 🙂

  2. Just wait- tomorrow on The Doctors, Jillian Michaels gets called a “narcissist” for being single and adopting.

    I’m sure you’ll figure out exactly what you want to do, and when, and how, and it will all fall into place. I think right now maybe you’re just so overwhelmed by the desire to do “SOMETHING, ANYTHING” to fix even the smallest part of what’s wrong with the world , that maybe you’re frustrated and just trying to find a focus. It probably feels kinda like spinning your wheels. Just know that you ARE doing something, you ARE exactly WHO and WHERE you are supposed to be RIGHT NOW, and you already ARE doing things that make a difference.

    Maybe think a bit smaller- join a CSA or start making weekly trips to your local farmers market. Volunteer, or make a donation somewhere. GO ON A DATE! I dunno… One step at a time. I think your mom is partly right, you DO have a lot going on right now. So many different things demanding your attention. Maybe you need to do the opposite and simplify for a bit? Gosh, there are so many ways you could view this post. It starts wit ourselves- sometimes the first step is making a change closer to you.

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