I have loved children since the day my brother was born many, many ago and I danced around him to keep him entertained. ( I have the video to prove it.) I started babysitting at the age of thirteen and now eighteen years strong I have taught preschoolers, been an infant teacher, coached girls cheerleading/basketball, and became a director of a youth basketball league.
Baby mobile, Image Credit: Shutterstock
My calling was to educate them, nurture them and make them feel loved no matter the limitations or their family background. Every child that has stepped in my classroom has been treated as if they are my own and I make that my first priority. I make sure that each child knows that they are loved , they can do wondrous things and that no matter race, religion, or how much money is in their bank account, should have any effect on how they are treated.
Just like any single woman, I have found that finding a mate who will respect me, care for me, be loyal and honest, is just an impossible feat these days. As a writer of mostly dating and relationship advice, I tell everyone that the reason it is so hard to find someone who wants you to be their first and only choice, is because everyone thinks meeting someone online is the answer and its just too “easy.” No one has to put forth the effort anymore. If the relationship doesn’t work, no problem, they’ll just go back online and find another victim. My vision when I graduated high school twenty years ago was simple and it didn’t involve dating men from online sites! I wanted to get married, have four kids and a career that was enjoyable and satisfying.
As I hit a milestone birthday in 2016, I see that my vision is not going to happen; and that is okay. While on Facebook about a few weeks ago, someone posted something that merely was talking about how women should feel less of themselves when they get their periods and they haven’t become moms yet. That outraged me. That also made me start seeing just how little information is out there on social media about adoption.
Adoption has always been in the back of my mind for the last ten years. To me, you don’t have to give birth to be a mom, just like sperm doesn’t make a man a father. To be a parent, takes a whole lot more than just giving birth.
In 2013, Americans adopted 7,092 children from abroad. The total number of intercountry adoptions from 1999 to 2013 was 249,694. According to UNICEF, approximately 13 million children have lost both parents. In the United States alone, approximately 140,000 children are adopted by families in the United States each year. There are between 1 and 2 million infertile and fertile couples and individuals who would like to adopt. 33% of children adopted are adopted by single parents.
The process itself, isn’t as clear as everyone thinks it is, since adoption laws vary from state to state. This is where the problem lies. People see and hear how frustrating, overwhelming, and sometimes expensive adoption can be, and they back away from it as quickly as possible. There are many misconceptions about cost, which can range from $3,000-$30,000, depending on what type of adoption you do and also what agency you use. Some adoptions, believe it or not, are free.
On average, a child will wait three years in foster care awaiting adoption. Maybe if information was more readily accessible, the wait period would lessen and more children would be adopted. A growing number of companies and government agencies offer adoption assistance as part of their employee benefit packages, including time off for maternity/paternity leave, financial incentives and other benefits. Plus, prospective adoptive parents do not have to be rich, married, own a home, or be of a certain race, religion, sexual orientation or age to become an adoptive parent. The “cookie cutter family” image that the media seems to be displaying is totally off centered and needs to change!
Some mommies grow a baby in their heart instead of their tummy. That doesn’t make a woman any less a mom. There is nothing greater than the unconditional love a child give you. Every child, planned or unplanned is a blessing. There is no greater feeling in the world than when a child wraps their arms around your neck and says I love you. And one day, it’ll be my child who’ll be saying that to me.