Welcome to my first post on my new blog! I am so happy to be starting this new writing adventure. I have a full, rich life as a single foster/adopt parent and I plan to tell a lot of stories.
I hope to hear from you if you are moved by the writing, if something clicks with recognition in your own life, and/or if you have thoughts on any subject that may add insight or (especially) levity to my days.
When I decided to embark on this writing journey, I was hesitant and told a friend that I am not sure I know what I’m doing and that I have no idea where to start. This life and my journey have been so complex that I felt unsure about where to jump in. My friend Barb said, “Start at the beginning.” To be honest, I’m not even sure where the beginning is since our pasts influence all of our new beginnings. However, I shall begin at the point that I decided to adopt a child, a little girl, on my own as a single parent.
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I am often asked, “What made you want to do it?” Since I was raised in the 60s and 70s in a very small rural farming town, marriage and children was practically a given. I was fairly sheltered from the hippy movement and I was headed to nursing school, so I did not intend to deviate too far from ‘the norm.’ I wanted kids and I wanted a lot of them.
In spite of all good intentions, a lot of deviation happened from the moment I left for college and by the time a dozen years had passed, I was 30 and NOT married and without children. To be honest, with all the adventures associated with my “deviations,” I had not even bothered to look for a husband. I was too busy, too happy, and too independent to mourn the lack of a mate, but I did begin to turn towards the idea of motherhood. Some of my adventures during my ‘deviant’ years included travel to underdeveloped countries and my heart leaned towards adoption as a route to motherhood.
I decided that I did not want or need to start with an infant as a single parent (sleep deprivation is NOT my thing!), but that I wanted to have time with a little one before she started school. So I did the homestudy process and put my request out into the adoption world for a little girl between 2 and 4 years old.
A week went by. No call.
A month went by. No call.
Two months and I started to look at all the adoption books and put in requests for specific children. No call.
After 6 months I was quite discouraged and by the time a year had rolled around, I was having a discussion (actually, it was probably more of a whine) with a co-worker about why there did not seem to be any 2-4 year old girls ready for my home. She suggested I talk with a friend of hers who was a social worker. I called Ms. F, the social worker, who shared with me the idea that there are children in foster care who may or may not ever be available for adoption, but need long term families. Sold!!!! Within two weeks, I was a provisionally licensed foster home and a beautiful little 4 year old girl was in my home.
Ms. F told me that as soon as we had finished talking, she got the notice about a little one. She called me the next day and we arranged a visit by the end of the week. The little girl came with her uncle and I had made some cupcakes for us to frost and decorate … and eat. She did not talk very much, but her uncle shared that her mother had died and that he and his wife had taken her in the year before. But this child had lived through SO much trauma that she was acting out a lot and was hurting their own children. With sadness, her aunt and uncle had decided that she needed her own home. After cupcakes, while us adults were talking, she wandered into the living room and was playing with the pillows from the couch. When we joined her, we both realized that she had used the pillows and a throw blanket to make a bed on the floor. “My bed,” said Alice. This little girl chose ME! She had been told that her uncle had a meeting with someone and asked her if she wanted to ride along. She had not been told that they were looking for a new home for her. But somehow, with that perfect sense that kids have, she knew that she had just come home.
I now had my own little family. A mom and daughter is such the perfect size and I did not intend to add any more kids to my life.
Spoiler alert: Almost 28 years later, I have adopted 8 children and currently have 7 children in my home; four of them are my adopted kids, plus 3 little sisters.
My writing will be stories of foster care, adoption, trauma, bonding, growth, celebrations, disabilities, blessings (upon blessings upon blessings), thriving and triumphs, soul-searing pain and sorrow, and very unique children who have all made me the most blessed woman in the world!