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?"