I always wanted to be a mother. I also always knew, even in my teens, that I probably wouldn’t be. The husband and I have danced around the idea of parenthood for years now. I had a tubal ligation at 30 and a hysterectomy at 35 so we’ve known all along that any child we had would be adopted. There was always a reason *not* to adopt: not enough money, not enough time, not willing to screw up a child the way I felt my mother screwed me up… and oh, I was so very screwed up for such a long time… I thought it was a closed subject, and was (mostly) sucessful in accepting that.
Recently the possibility of adoption came up again – in the most hypothetical of discussions, with a great deal of caution. This time I realize that I can choose to be a better mother than my mom was able to be, I no longer work outside the home, and by the end of the year we will be debt-free and thus have the means to support a small person. I’ve also realized I’m not as alone as I’ve felt, and that there will be a lot of support available for the asking, from friends and family.
There are changes I’ll have to make: Merry Maids will have to come in and give the townhouse a top-to-bottom overhaul and reorganization for me. We may need to move to a single-story apartment or house in order to accomodate the increased demands on my physical energy. We’ll have to childproof the place, and buy a locking medicine cabinet. I may have to learn another language and be willing to spend a couple of months out of country (wups – have to get a passport!) if we choose international adoption. The cats may need to be rehomed in order for us to be certified to foster and adopt – because even with international adoption we have to be certified in the US first and some agencies are very picky about animals in the home.
There are still a lot of ifs and maybes, and we may decide against it in the end – but for the first time since my parents died, I feel as though I know how to reach a goal I’ve denied myself for most of my adult life… I feel as if I’m not just able, but WORTHY of reaching that goal – and that’s a very happy first for me.