Dear Daughter, I Choose You

Dear Daughter,

I’ve never lied to you but I haven’t figured out how to explain this to you, so I’m glad you haven’t asked questions yet. I’ve been cranky lately and I want you to know that I’m trying really hard to put it behind me and get back to normal.

I had to make a really hard decision to end a friendship, and I’m feeling really sad and hurt about it. I want you to know first and foremost that it’s not your fault. I was warned when I started the adoption process that people would drop out of my life, and so I expected it. I was warned that even close family and friends will question my future child’s behaviour and the parenting decisions that I make. I didn’t expect it would be one of my best friends, but I knew it would be someone.

I’m really struggling with losing my friend, but I don’t regret my choice. You are the most important person in my world, and everyone that surrounds us should be supportive. There just isn’t room in our lives for anyone who isn’t. I want you to know that I chose to adopt you and I will continue to choose you as my number one priority for the rest of my life. I will never regret those choices.

After Tomorrow

There’s only another four-six weeks before I expect to hear from the social worker about scheduling my first home visit / interview. After that, I expect the process will seem to go a lot faster. I’m already feeling the nerves kick in from time to time, as I realize there’s only a month left of my life as a single girl, free as a bird. After that first contact, I think it will seem so much more real. Despite my nerves, I still feel good about my decision to adopt. A little panicky sometimes, but I think that’s probably normal when one is on the verge of making a permanent and life changing decision.

I have great news. I’ve reached the last chapter in closing out my Dad’s estate, and I will use my inheritance to purchase my own home… a home where I’ll raise my children. In all likelihood, the timing of my home purchase and adoption will coincide, and I must admit that I’m a bit nervous about taking it all on at once. I hope I have a few months to settle into home ownership before I have to settle into motherhood as well.

I’ve been doing as much as I can to prepare for motherhood. I’ve read a few books. I’ve thought about the logistics. I’ve told my family, and I’ve asked for their support. I think my mother and I have finally found a place to bond. I asked her outright if she’d be able and willing to support me (emotionally, as well as with things like after school and emergency care) and her response was an enthusiastic “absolutely!”. I’ve never heard my mother so excited about anything I’ve done. I truly believe she’s going to flourish in the role of a grandmother. We’ve had some pretty in depth conversations as of late. I’ve been able to open up to her about my fears and concerns, and about the practicalities and obstacles I’ll face as a single mother, and for once she’s actually encouraged me and provided me with support and suggestions. Mom’s never been like this before. It gives me comfort knowing that my family will be backing me fully, and that me and my children will have the supports we need. After all, it takes a village…

The Road to Motherhood is Paved with Paperwork

Last week I submitted an application for adoption. Tonight I attended the orientation presentation. Sometime over the next couple of weeks I will submit a criminal record check, and the next phase of paperwork. In 8-10 weeks I will have my first home visit with a social worker, who will ask some very invasive but necessary questions and then schedule me for “training” which will likely begin in September. After that point, more home visits are scheduled and a report is prepared and submitted for approval. If I “pass the test” then I will be eligible to be “matched” with a child (children). This process could take any length of time, but I am hopeful that my openness to sibling groups over the age of six will increase my possible matches. Once a match is found, I am given full disclosure of the child’s background and current state, and visits with that child’s doctors, foster parents, teachers, etc. will take place. If at that point I am confident that this is my child (children) then I will meet the child and we’ll spend a week or so visiting and becoming familiar with each other, and then I will finally move them into my home. After approximately a 4-6 month period, the final adoption papers are drawn up and submitted to the court. Once the order is granted, I become that child’s permanent guardian, and everything from their birth records to their last name is changed to reflect mine.

I am scared shitless. I am also really, really looking forward to it.