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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Adopting as a Single Mom- My 2 Year Plan

Where do I start... I've always, for as long as I can remember wanted to be a wife and mother. I've always loved children and felt I had so much love to give. My dream of my "ideal life" was to be a wife and stay at home mom, complete with cute little house, white picket fence and tire swing in the front yard. Oh! and dog. Can't forget the family dog. I could see it in my mind, as clear as if I were looking at a picture. The image was filled with such warmth and love, peace and joy. It felt.. Complete.

I've always been somewhat of a "good girl". Good grades, rarely in trouble, never smoked, did drugs, drank or even kissed a boy until I was 24.. those traits in my personality just fit with who I knew inside I was and the life I knew I was meant to live. So imagine my anxiety and discontent when I reached 25, was still single, in a dead end job, living with a friend and no prospective husband on the horizon. I think I'm going to end up telling a little more of my history than I intended but it seems right to do a bit of a recap of how I ended up where I am now to better explain why I finally decided not only to adopt, but to do so as a single parent.

So I'll try to condense most of the history in as short a story as possible while still giving enough background to help you journey with me to reach where I am now. When I was 25 I met a guy online. He was the farthest from "my type" as possible. Crude, tattooed, heavyset, irresponsible, obnoxious.. I could go on and on lol. I never till the very end thought he was physically cute. What he did have going for him was an uncanny ability to read people, me in specific and realize that I was lonely and terrified of being that way forever. So we chatted online, on the phone, then met in person. One week from the day we met we moved in together. WHAT?!? Ya I know, my entire family thought I was crazy. The girl who had her first real kiss just the year before moved in with basically a complete stranger. It's amazing how much you can get to know someone (or think you do) on the phone. It's also amazing what you will let your heart and mind will convince yourself of when you're so desperately searching to find who you are and your purpose in life is.

So 3 years on an off of intense love, hate, abuse, lies, cheating, loving, laughing, crying, fighting, forgiving and many other events and emotions finally ended when I came to the conclusion that I had not found myself or my purpose in life in being with this man and had in fact lost the few precious things about myself that I cherished most. My dignity, strength, self-respect, confidence and love for myself and others. What hurt and confused me the most was that a very trusted friend and pastor - a Prophet gave me a Word from God that he, this man, was the One. The helpmate and partner God had chosen for me. We were destined to be together and would have a ministry that would reach hundreds, thousands of people for Christ. In once sentence I'm told, this is God's Word and it will not return void, and in the next I'm told that even though it's God's Word, God will never force anything on anyone and if he (the man) refused to follow God's path for his life than I was free from the Word I'd been given. Color me confused. Anyway, long story short, I decided I'd had enough. I ended it and have spent the last 4 years trying to again figure out who I am, and what my purpose in life is. During all of that one thing never faded, and that was my desire to be a mother.

Fast forward to October 2007. I occasionally visit the local Salvation Army looking for interesting books to read. I love knowledge, I love to read, to learn, to grow! So I found this book called Conversations with God - an Uncommon Dialogue by Neale Donald Walsch. I read it and was absolutely blown away. It's a 3 book series and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone and everyone! There have always been things about God and life that the church taught that never quite "fit" with what I knew of God in my heart. These books clarified so much of that. One of the most important things the books explain is that we are NOT victims of circumstance. We are victims of nothing. Each and every person has his/her entire life under their complete control, and nothing ever happens that isn't right for that exact moment or season. Now I know there are many things that you and I would never agree are ever "right". A child being abused or molested, someone being murdered, children senselessly dying of hunger and prevetable disease.. but every thing, every thing, good or bad happens for a reason and good can ALWAYS be found in every situation if we have the right thought process.

I've been through some pretty bad events in my life. Suffered some unspeakable things at the hands of others. And for the longest time I thought. Why God? Why does this happen TO me? Am I not good enough, do You not love me enough? Do I not deserve to be happy and whole? But as I get older and wiser I've come to realize that nothing has ever happened TO me. Things happened that I was a prt of the experience of, and nothing has happened that I didn't overcome, conquer, gain victory over and come through on the other side, stronger, smarter and better than I was before. I realized that I did have control over my life. I realized that God really does have everything under control. I realized that I'm a hell of a lot stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. I also realized that I have allowed the events of my life to strip me of the joy I once had, of my love for people, of my ability to smile from the deepest part of my soul. I love my life, I love the Lord with every cell of my body and I can stand outside and see beauty so moving and breathtaking it brings you to tears. I appreciate my life and every blessing in it. I appreciate every trial. I think most importantly I finally appreciate every "bad" thing that's ever happened to me and realized that I can and I will heal from them all. The last is part of my 2 year plan.

So on to my 2 year plan. It's amazing to realize that something as simple as reading words, thoughts, ideas written by someone else can bring you to understand, learn or remember things that you've always known. I am not a victim and I have complete control over my life. It's brought me to realize that while being a part of a loving committed relationship is something I may always long for, it is not required to fulfill my deepest longing and I believe most important purpose in life. Being a mother. Would having a husband make being a parent easier? Quite possibly. Does that mean I can't do it on my own. Absolutely not! So I sat down, thought about my life, where it was, where I wanted it to go and how long I think was reasonable to reach those goals and came up with 2 years. It is incredibly amazing to me how different dreams become once you stop wishing for them and start doing something about obtaining them. I set a few simple goals for myself and I don't think, or hope, or even believe that I will achieve them within the time period I've set for myself. I KNOW I WILL. Any other outcome is simply not an option. Here are a few key goals on my list.

1. I will reach a certain level of financial stability by either moving up in the job I'm currently
in or moving to another job that meets both my financial requirements and will move me
further along the path to reaching my ultimate "career choice" (relief/missions work)

2. I will be enrolled in college and on my way to achieving a Bachelor's degree in a field most
closely related and beneficial to my chosen career choice. Most likely Social Science &/or
International Studies

3. I will have found either a house or apartment in an ethinically diverse, family friendly
neighborhood, close to a good school whos curriculum will best benefit my child's growth
and development.

4. I will begin the process of becoming an adoptive parent.

There are several more steps and goals in my 2yr plan but these are the most important. So why adoption? I've given thought to artificial ensimination. Having a biological child is important to me and something I hope to ultimately do, but when it happens I want it to be the result of a union between two loving people who's desire is for their love to produce a life to share that love with. So browsing through a catalog of "traits and characteristics" of sperm just isn't that appealing to me. I don't feel that I have the right to create and bring a new child into this world as a single parent simply to fill my urge to be a mother. Children deserve a mother and a father. And it is most likely that the child I will adopt had that. He or she may never hold dear a personal memory of either birth parent, but they did exist. In their case I'm simply becoming an additional caregiver. Supplemental if you will, but never a replacement. I have every certainty that the child I adopt will be an orphan not by any choice of his or her parent, but buy a simple twist of fate. They may have died while the child was an infant, they may be unable to care for their deeply loved baby due to the conditions of their environment and geographical location. But to me the importance of adopting as a single parent over natural child birth as a single parent is the choice to give a child who's already born the opportunity for a better life rather than creating a new life simply to have a biological part of me. Who says I'm that great to go repoducing myself anyway lol!

Where to adopt.. I know in the deepest part of my soul that I will eventually adopt an African child. My heart aches for the people of that country and I will do a good part of my life's work there. I also see an exotic little Latin baby in my future. I've not yet done enough research to even know if they have an international adoption policy or not and it may be that my future husband is a passionate Latino and that's where my beautiful tan baby will come from. Another option that has been weighing on my heart is Native American adoption. I am part Indian and it is an important part of my heritage. It's peculiar to me that I'd never considered it before, but once I wrote out my 2 year plan it just out of no where became something I couldn't get out of my mind. Ok I know nothing comes from "out of no where", God put it there so I think it's something that I will give careful prayer and thought to. I did some research online, I didn't even know if Indian Reservations allowed adoption outside of their community. They do. In fact there are hundreds of beautiful little Indian babies who have been orphaned by parents who have passed away or are due to the financial instability and conditions of life on a reservation (which are in dire need of improvement in many cases!) are unable to provide the necessary care for their child. So that is another option I will definitely give deep consideration.

It's kind of strange to me that I really have no deep seated desire or need to have a "white" baby. I think sponsoring children over the past few years has given me a clearer way of looking at children and people in general. I've never been one to think much of color and I can say Praise God that I am at a point where I really don't see it. The church I go to... is hmm I think I can safely say about 98% black. I've seen I think 4 or 5 white people in the months that I've attended. And I absolutely LOVE it there. I feel more at home, more free to worship, more open to the Word than I have at any other church I've ever attended. Now you may be thinking.. what there are 4 or 5 white people out of 50 or 100 church members? That's not so bad. No.. my church has approximately 4,000 members. Yes that's 4 Thousand. We have 2 services so I'd say there are probably 1,500 -2.000 in each service. And I've never felt more welcome.

Oh back to sponsoring children for a minute. Are you one of those people who see the Feed the Children commercials on TV and think omg that's awful.. I wish there was something I could do, but I'm only one person and I barely make ends meet as it is then you change the channel. Don't feel bad. I was that person once. About 3 1/2 years ago I was in between churches and was trying to figure out where to tithe. I knew you could tithe to TV minstries, or radio ministries or basically any ministry that fed you the Word and nourished your soul. I didn't want to do that so I began researching child sponsorship. There were a few very important criteria to me. 1 - it had to be a Christ centered organization. 2 - it had to be up front and honest about it's finances and be able to show me where the money I sent would go. 3 - it had to have a personal approach to sponsorship, not a broad spectrum community approach. I found Compassion International. They are a Christian organization that works ONLY with and through local churches and while this means they don't receive the funding of large corporate and/or government backers, it also means they have complete free reign in what they can do in their ministry in regards to sharing the Gospel. No censoring of big companies or government organizations. They believe in reaching each individual child and making a difference in his/her life rather than dumping money into a village or community and hoping the people figure out what to do with it. They believe impacting the children of the country will lead them to BE the people who make a difference in and for their countries. Their motto is "Releasing Children from Poverty, in Jesus Name". So I decided to sponsor a child. At the time it was $28 a month, plus you could send additional monetary gifts for the child's birthday, holidays, etc. I received a picture of the child. His name was Gerardo and he was from El Salvador. I picked him because his birthday was the same as mine and when I saw his picture online I just fell in love. I sponsored Gerardo for just over 6 months, praying daily that God would touch his little life and bless his family. I received a letter from him and wrote him in return. Then I got a letter from Compassion explaining that Gerardo wasn't going to be a part of the program anymore. His mother had gotten a job and they no longer needed the assistance of the program! Praise God. As happy as I was for the blessing his family received I was sad. In such a short time I had grown attached to this little boy. He was my "Compassion kid". He had become a part of my life and I had been a part of his. So I immediately opted to sponsor another child. By this time God had blessed me with a stable job and a better financial situation. I sponsored 5 children from 4 different countries. That was almost 2 years ago and I still sponsor them. Eduardo from El Salvador, Josselin from El Salvador, Julianna from Tanzania, Abimael from Honduras and Saiful from Bangladesh. I've had the honor and blessing of watching them grow and learn and become filled with awe and excitement about the God that loves them. We write each other letters, send each other pictures and I send them stickers and pages to color. It is by far the most important thing I've done with my life to date and I think it is through sponsoring children internationally that my heart has grown for them and their plight.

The reason for that last paragraph was just to let everyone that if adoption is not something you've considered but want to do something to make a difference in the life of a child then child sponsorship is an excellent alternative. You truly do develop a connection and relationship with the child you sponsor and it is such a blessing! The website to the organization I sponsor through is Even if you do have children or have adopted internationally, still consider it! It's a great tool for teaching your children about conditions and cultures of other countries.

Thanks for everyone who's taken the time to read my mini novel lol. Keep me and my 2yr plan in your prayers! =) I know the time will pass by in a moment and before we know it I'll be posting a blog saying I'm bringing home my new baby boy or girl!

God Bless

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