Hi friends! It’s still November and that means it’s still adoption awareness month. Today I invited my friend, Whitney, to share about her journey to adopting as a single woman. I get a lot of emails about this subject and since I have no lived experience on adopting solo I always point to people like Whitney. I’m so grateful she took the time to share her story with us today.
Ok.. I’m passing it over to Whitney now.
In August 2017, I entered the amazing, crazed, sleepless, delightfully fulfilling world of parenthood. Unlike the stereotypical scene of being in a hospital with a proud papa by my side and newborn on my chest, I was instead in a humid orphanage in Northeastern China with my sweet mom and a terrified 16 month old little girl. I always dreamed of adopting, but I never imagined it as a single mom. Now I can’t even envision my life any other way, even with its own unique set of trials.
Some of the challenges of being a single adoptive mom are as expected and quite like a single biological mom – a single income, your child being the priority over some of your own personal desires, etc. But some of the adversity was surprising as an adoptive mom. As a parent of a kid coming from a hard place (and whether a child is adopted at birth or older, this is certainly considered a trauma in their little lives), being present in however his or her grief is displayed is an incredible privilege, but there’s no denying it is difficult to know how to best handle – especially when you’re running on such limited amount of sleep. Self-care is truly hard to come by when you are “cocooning” and working on attachment single-handedly…and 2020 quarantine has resurrected that ordeal all over again!
Perhaps the toughest thing I have encountered is resting fully in big decisions I have to make by myself. Even with an extraordinary support system and extremely present parents, no one is quite “in on it” as I am with my daughter, and the weight of major decisions is solely on me. School systems, medical procedures, and recently – in-person school or virtual?? It’s a lot for an over-thinker like myself! But at the end of the day, and I’ve been gifted with the indescribable mother’s intuition in knowing her fully and leaning into what I believe in my heart to be best for her (even if I question it 10 times more!).
There’s no doubt that single-parenthood has plenty of hardships, but if it is something you are even slightly considering – please don’t let the hard scare you! Being my daughter’s mom is my favorite role and the thing I am most proud of. She is a joy, and if I had given in to the hesitations and fears, I would have missed HER. I would have missed hundreds of drawings of us holding hands inside a heart (allllll the heart eyes!) and her first dance recital and the silly “please face” she made up and the look of pride she had in reading her first book and the best snuggles in the world. She is pure magic and the best decision I ever made, and no matter the challenges we have faced or have yet to face, she is 110% worth it all and then some.
Thank you Whitney for sharing your story. Whitney has a private instagram, but she is willing to message anyone who has questions about adopting as a single (especially from China or a special needs adoption). If that’s you, feel free to send her a DM. 🙂
In honor of adoption awareness month, I want to share a great way to give- Holt International’s Gifts Of Hope.