I have an executive-level role in a global 24x7 support organization for a big media company. I love my free time, love traveling on a whim, love my clean and meticulously organized home but I knew deep in my heart there was something I wanted more than anything.
I remember calling one of my brothers to tell him about my decision. Honestly I wasn't sure how he would react, so when I heard the words "that is terrific," I was thrilled. After a few more seconds of our conversation about this life-changing decision he said, "Wait... shouldn't you think about starting with a Chihuahua?"
I was a 43-year-old single woman and what I wanted more than anything was to be a mom and adopt a child.
My bucket list has many things on it. Being a mother was one of them, but honestly being a single mom was not! I always thought I would get married, have a few kids, live in a nice home in the suburbs and perhaps be a stay-at-home mom. I was raised from the age of 11 by a single mom and saw firsthand how hard it was and how much she sacrificed, mainly her health and her own interests and joys. I never thought I wanted my mom's path to be mine. I have had many great relationships and loves in my life, but they did not result in marriage. At age 41, when I ended a long-term relationship, I looked deep inside myself and said that although I wanted to have a conventional life and to be in a healthy marriage one day, what I had to seize the moment on was motherhood.
Adoption has always been something I was open to, so it wasn't hard to let go of the thought of having my own, but I knew time was still a factor. Older parents are not as attractive to birth moms, and add someone doing it on their own... I knew I had to not put it off past the age I was. So I switched the search for my partner in life to the search for my child. What a journey it was to find that child; the road was bumpy and had some deep potholes, but as opera singer Beverly Sills once said, "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."
Raising a child alone can be difficult at times. My time is all about him. He determines my life because his needs come first. I have to be everything to him: the mom and the dad. The fun one and the disciplinarian. The breadwinner and the household manager. I manage it all. I have a great support network, but when all's said and done all of the decisions around raising him are mine. I am often exhausted in the pursuit of trying to juggle it all. When people learn that I adopted on my own they will often say it takes a special person to do that, and I often reply somewhat jokingly, "or a crazy one.”
There have been a good deal of late-night crying episodes during these last five years as I have tackled a number of issues with my son. I will even admit that there was a time I thought I made the wrong decision, but at the end of the day I know deep in my heart I did make the right decision and that I was meant to be Christopher's mom. I believe in life you need to choose joy, and I think what happened here is that joy actually chose me. The job of mom is the most important, the most special but the hardest job I ever applied for. I am so glad I never gave up on my motherhood dreams!
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