For those of you who have been following my journey I hope that the information and my story has inspired, informed, and challenged you to consider adoption as an option. I'm writing post-adoption because I feel that the journey of adoption never stops. As we go forward in our lives I find that committing to a child for the rest of your life is not only taking the challenges but the joys to a whole new level.
My daughter will be 3 very soon and is into everything. While my precious baby has now turned into a talking, running toddler I find that there are new things about parenthood I never considered before. I don't know about other single mothers out there but I for one have discovered there's a dependency that I've had to embrace on the people and family that surround me that, can be scary. In our fiercely independent culture weakness is confessing that you need help. I am not a weak person and yet I need help. The saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," comes to mind. While some people in my belief system would disagree I don't. As a single parent I'm uncomfortably dependent on other people.
I started this adoption journey with really no forethought on how drastically it would change me but now looking back on what I'm been through in the last 3 years I can say I'm utterly undone. The love that I feel for my daughter and those around me who have sacrificed for us is overwhelming. I would consider myself a self-driven strong woman who sees problems as a challenge to conquer. That being said there is something to being weak that makes me learn what true strength is. My relationship with God is the only thing that has kept me strong. Truly when I am weak He is strong.
I've learned so much utter dependency on God that I know if I don't have money for bills or our needs, somehow He will make it all work out. This takes all the control out of my hands which for powerful independent women like me can be very scary. Over the last several years I've seen and felt how single mothers feel in our society. For the most part people are supportive but there are many stereo types that go along with single parenthood. I want to let you know as you read this I never set out in my journey to be identified as a single mother. Mostly I consider myself a single person who is a mother but I've struggled not to identify as a victim because when people hear that I'm a single mother their instant reaction is "she's a victim". Through no fault of their own they assume before I tell them my story that somehow I was wronged.
Usually my next line is my daughter is adopted. Then the looks change into a mix of awe and confusion on how that's even possible in our society. It's usually on me to tell the story again for the 50th time which I don't mind so much but it can get tiring. I know other mothers/adoption or single who feel like explaining is our chore all the time. I've learned that it's ok not to have to tell our story all the time. I know many parents who adopt children that are not their race must face the same explaining.
Adoption has changed my life so much and a lot towards the positive. I've gained a whole community of people that I before adoption didn't know existed. When you are an adoptive parent you realize all of a sudden how many people there are who have adopted and in many ways I'm so proud to be apart of that community. I'm a huge advocate now for foster care and do whatever I can to continue supporting local foster children. To be able to change the systems that we have we have to be willing to serve them and advocate to bring in healthy amazing people who have the potential to be phenomenal parents. I do love this feeling that I'm apart of a greater cause, purpose, and destiny to see these children who need help get it.
I think that most humbling and amazing part I've had to learn is now this little person that I have in my life gets all of me. I'm sure this is no new news to parents but there is no way to have healthy children in every way without you yourself giving everything you are and have to training and raising them. Sometimes I feel like I'm making up this parenting thing up as I go. No matter how many books I read or Cd's I listen to every child is different and I have the one who is a leader in all things. She's my fire, everything in me that was not beautiful is brought to the surface and I have to deal with those little cracks in me that I didn't even know I had. I've heard wives and husbands say the same things if you are broken in any area it will come up eventually. It's so true with being a parent. I've gone to God on my knees asking for help and in His faithfulness He's always come through.
I know God designed us for such dependency. In our humanity we fight it, we want to be completely awesome all the time or even in our ugly mess we want to at least do it with style. Ugly is ugly and it will come out and God will walk you through it and it will become beautiful because that's what He does. I began this journey looking for what it meant to lay down my life for love and while I'm still in the throws of this revelation I can tell you it's pushed me to all my limits and made me dependent on Gods limits. I know after this is all said and done with I will look back and know I didn't accomplish it in my humanity but only in my surrendering to the love of the Father. It's all worth it not one day to I regret adoption and if you're considering it I promise that you will discover a part of you, society, and God that you never saw before.