I am officially on the countdown until my next milestone birthday. Recently I’ve been accessing my personal, professional, spiritual and fitness achievements and goals. This year, I’ll be celebrating not only a decade as an entrepreneur, but I have signed up to run the ING NYC Marathon as well. I’m so excited about everything that 2014 is promising me through my faith works. Everything that I am trying to accomplish in life all seems feasible as long as I am willing to put in the work.
But there’s still one thing that weighs on my mind.
In the past I thought I wanted to be married by the time I was 25; now I laugh at that idea. In my 30’s I started a PR agency, became a distance runner, travelled to Africa and Europe and became a literary agent, among other memorable experiences. As a professional woman with no kids, it would seem there are numerous things that I can accomplish independently if I truly desire…except motherhood. Or can I?
Inspired by Hollywood moms like Sandra Bullock, Shonda Rimes, Viola Davis and Jillian Michaels, among others, I have entertained adoption as my means to motherhood. I’m a woman who would love to be a mother, but the “traditional” avenue seems to elude me.
Yes, when I look at my baby photos I would love to have a biological mini-me. I get all sappy when I see my girlfriends and colleagues post photos of their little girls, who look just like them. It fascinates me to see the genes carry over so strongly. There is no doubt, my daughter would have a head full of hair, slanted eyes, cute little bootie, and a winning smile.
Alas, finding a partner who has the same desire for family, as well as respects and appreciates the commitment it takes to achieve that, has proven to be challenging. I focus on what I can control and not on the things I cannot. Simply put, there are a lot of children who would benefit greatly from my love and if it looks like having one biologically isn’t going to happen then I’m really leaning towards the reality that I can have a child legally.
Some of the statistics on children and adoption are alarming. According to the Congressional Coalition on Adoption institute (CCAI) 400,540 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system, and of that number, 115, 000 children are eligible for adoption.
After speaking with someone who has adopted several children, I know that there’s a great deal of preparation on my end if I want to make this a reality in the next few years. My to-do list would include: increasing my income and tightening up my financial affairs, getting a bigger home, discussing this with my family and friends and doing more research.
Through some of my initial research I’ve found that in 2012, there were nearly 500 adoptions in the state of New York alone. Those of us who are fans of “Sex and the City” saw the lengths that Charlotte and Harry went through in the adoption process to get Lily. Adopting a baby is like a business transaction in some ways, just a more intimate form of a business transaction. You have to have your financials in order; you have to get recommendation letters and prove that you are qualified for adoption and then wait it all out. I may not have the dating and relationship thing mastered, but I do know how to negotiate, sell myself and Lord knows being a literary agent has taught the art of being patient after the pitch. Indeed a life is involved but obtaining a baby requires your heart and affairs to be in order. At this point, my heart wants a baby therefore I am getting my affairs in order.
I know the risks women over 40 may experience during pregnancy, but I do have a couple of girlfriends my age who are currently with child. No one can foresee having an easy or difficult pregnancy, but with adoption those physical traumas won’t be a factor…and I get to keep my flat stomach that my fitness lifestyle has awarded me. Is that so bad?
I love children and I know that it would be great to give a home and a family to a child who for one reason or another is up for adoption. I’m not saying that I am closed off to getting pregnant at this stage of life, but I am saying that I’ve wrapped my mind around having a baby this way.
Have you adopted a child? Are you considering adoption? Tell us about your story.