Saturday, September 15, 2012

Why Live A Life of Regret If You Don't Have To?

Well, it's been 18 months and I am not on the way to the altar.  However, my journey has taken me in a different direction.  It looks like I'm on the path to becoming an adoptive parent. I'm 46 years old and the likelihood that I will have my own biological children is pretty nonexistent. That said, I'm excited and fearful about taking this step. I almost didn't submit the application to become an adoptive parent because I've been so paralyzed by fear. I set it to the side, repeatedly, telling myself to forget it. Taking this step has required that I acknowledge a suppressed disappointment and confront some new fears.

When I decided to take the adoption plunge, I had a very clear idea of how it would go. I would take the classes, become a family with an 18 month to three year old toddler and ride off into the sunset as a fun and fabulous single mom. Well, it didn't quite go that way. After asking some very specific questions, I learned that the often repeated story of a system over burdened with black children waiting to be adopted is not quite accurate. I had hoped to work with an agency that collaborates closely with state of Georgia to be certified as an adoptive parent and then be placed with a toddler through a foster to adopt situation. It didn't quite work that way. The state's current focus is upon placing black children over the age of 7, with special needs and in a sibling group with families. While I would love to be a blessing to two or more children over the age of 7 that have special needs, it isn't feasible financially or emotionally. My hope of being placed with a toddler through a foster to adopt situation just wasn't going to happen. I was confidentially told that it was most likely my file would sit on a shelf gathering dust. It was then that domestic adoption was suggested to me as an option. Domestic adoption is a private process that places with adoptive parents a newborn to 6 month old infant. Wow! Talk about a shift in thinking.  I met with the adoption coordinator and we had a lovely chat. I asked many questions and learned that the steps required to adopt an infant weren't all that complicated. I took the application and headed home. I stared at it for a full week before actually completing one page of the thing. Fortunately, I went to church that following Sunday and was blessed to hear my pastor deliver a message about the danger of letting temporary things such as fear, frustration and disappointment take up so much space that faith, determination and hope are squeezed out.

I was ambivalent about going forward with the adoption process because it would be a concrete manifestation of the knowledge that I would never have my own biological child. A major disappointment.  I am also fearful that, if I have this tiny baby, my potential groom that I'm still hoping for will be scared away. Not only that, do I really want to be 50 with a three year old. Yikes! What if I want a drink with the girls or to head off for a long weekend of nothing? Let's just say I can go on and on with all the stuff that's flying around inside my head about what can potentially go wrong. The pastor's sermon helped me to consider all the things that can go right if I just take one step in faith and pray that I'm so filled with the holy spirit that there is no room for fear, disappointment or frustration.  I completed the application and started making plans for this little person that I'm praying into my life.  My good sister friend, Rhondette, said to me today..."why live a life of regret if you don't have to?" 

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Beautiful People, it has been way too long.  I've missed being here with you; engaging in these free therapy sessions.  A lot has happened since I last posted a blog - August 2011.  A new year has arrived, my niece suffered a really bad accident, but has recovered fabulously; and I have passed my qualifying exams!  All in all, my family has been blessed in many ways this year and it is only March! I have much to be thankful for. I hope the last few months have treated you well. 

While I have been away, I've tried really hard to maintain my spiritual health, stay focused on my goals and objectives by doing the work and staying present in each moment. I know you're wondering where I am on my 18 month journey.  Well, the 18 months will end in August 2012 and there is no groom waiting in the wings, however, I've still got about six months to make it happen. That brings me to the title of this blog, Attachment.

I know we're all familiar with the often repeated wisdom that we shouldn't become overly attached to an outcome, a relationship, a job or take for granted that the world around us will remain the same.  It's taken me years to understand what was really being conveyed when I read in various books, heard from yoga instructors and practitioners of meditation that I should relinquish my attachments because to do otherwise only causes suffering.  I incorrectly understood these words of wisdom as insistence that I remain detached, keep my distance, be an observer, not get invested or remain aloof.  I could not have been more wrong.

A few months ago, I decided I was going to devote at least 10 minutes each morning to meditation in addition to reading passages from my bible, spiritual texts and journaling.  I was practicing a forgiveness meditation when I heard the voice of my best friend, Ben, in my head. I wanted to be able to forgive an old love for the terrible way (my perspective) he treated me and thought meditation might lead the way.  During the meditation, I heard Ben's voice check me for being mad at this old love for not treating me the way that I thought he should have.  His voice again checked me for thinking that I ever had any control over this person's feelings, intentions, or behavior.  I was reminded that I couldn't be mad at the old love because he didn't behave the way I wanted him to.  As I listened to this voice in my head, I was a bit confused.  The Ben Jordan I know would have kicked anyone's a** for treating me badly.  His comeback was that I was right, but his job was to also let me know when I was walking around with my a** on my shoulder.  His point was that I let my desire for a specific outcome get in the way of recognizing a not so great situation.  He then forced me to be honest and admit I was angry at myself more so than the other person. Sure, he was a p*nk, but that's what you get when you spend time with p*nks (that's Ben Jordan talking not me).  Ben then commended me for doing my best (as always), getting my head on straight and agreed that I am still the bomb-diggity.  He concluded with reinforcing what I already knew which is that I am responsible, only, for my own actions and the consequences of those actions and to let everybody else worry about their own sh*t.  It was then that I began to really understand what it meant to relinquish attachments.  The lesson for me was to understand that I have no control over the outcome of any intimate relationship. Maybe we will marry and live happily ever after or maybe we'll get divorced. Maybe I'll cheat or he'll cheat.  Perhaps one of us will suffer an illness or we'll win the lottery.  Who knows?  What I do know is that there is no strategy or act of perfectly doing, saying or acting the role of girlfriend/partner/significant other that can influence life and what comes with it.  My job is simply to do the work, make sure that I am on point and enjoy the journey. My job is to know that I am enough as I am - no baby talk, no mothering, no holding up egos or wearing the dress AND the pants.  I'm not good at that stuff anyway. Tried it on and it didn't fit. I need grown folks to be grown folks. So the lesson here is to surrender to the journey and not be tied to a specific outcome in any circumstance. I'm not suggesting that we give up on our hopes and dreams because the work gets hard.  That's to be expected.  We should most certainly show up and show out. On the other hand, it's okay to let go when it becomes evident that we're not reaping what we've been sowing. Be prepared to make adjustments - some comfortable and others not so much.   

The 18 month journey to the altar may or may not end in the way I planned.  I'm not so attached to any particular outcome that it is going to blind me to any other greatness that might present itself.  I am grateful for the twists, turns and unexpected lessons I'm learning in these 18 Months to the Altar.