[A blogger recounts her journey in trying to adopt a child from Pakistan as a single woman. This is the second blog in a several part series. Read Part 1.]
As a single woman, my decision to adopt a baby from Pakistan is very much a journey. Deciding when to share my adoption plans is part of this journey. Who do I feel comfortable sharing my story with? Will my decision be supported or scrutinized?
The first person I needed to speak to was my selected adoption practitioner. He was a gentleman with years of international experience, and a deep intuitive sense. My initial visit was difficult. I was nervous, trying to explain my situation and my desire to become a mother. He listened intently, not dissuading me or questioning my decision to adopt as a "singleton." We talked at length about my hope to adopt from the Edhi Orphanage in Pakistan, the legal system that I would have to wrangle my way through, and the difficulties in getting my child back to Canada. At the end of our session, he looked at me and said in a calm and steady voice, "You are the perfect candidate." I felt a weight lift. He was the first person I had shared my story with and I had found someone I could trust. It was at that point that I felt the first pangs of motherhood -
I began to worry about a child who has yet to be born.
Sharing with my close circle of girlfriends was easy. They rallied around with support, questions and encouragement. Most of them seem to have a sixth sense, and claim to have known that I had great "mommy" potential. They always ask for updates, and seem genuinely interested in my latest round of ups and downs. There are just so many things to consider and reconsider. My mind is often a swirl of thoughts that range from potential immigration snags, to deciphering baby formula basics. It's at times like this that I need my friends the most. They talk me though the late-night neuroses and help get me back on track. One lesson I have learned from this process, when you make a choice in life and have the courage to act, your friends are often your biggest supporters.
Have there been difficulties? Yes. I had to attend a PRIDE workshop, a two-weekend seminar on adoption education for hopeful parents. I was the only "single" in a room full of couples. They were your typical suburban-family types, with one exception, they all suffered from infertility. I was met with quizzical looks, and felt as though they had questions they wanted to ask, but were far too polite to do so. I was carefully avoided at lunchtime, and caught more than one husband giving me the quizzical "why are you single?" look.
As far as my extended family is concerned, I will wait until I travel to Pakistan to share my story. Some things are better explained slowly and in person, over a cup of warm tea. Until then, I feel both love and support knowing that my girlfriends are happily sharing this journey with me.
: In Part 3, our blogger receives word that her home study application has been approved.