[This is a guest post by Nina, one of CMomA’s 2012 grant recipients. Her adopted child is coming from Congo. Nina’s blog entries chronicle her journey.]
This baby is the result of the love of many. When I think about her arrival, I see an ocean of people who have been part of her journey here. About six months ago, when this process was just beginning to take shape, I imagined making a book for her. Each page would feature one of the important people in this process. Six months later, I realize that this book will be volumes long. I will not write volumes today. I will, however, write about a few people who were involved in her conception, so to speak.
Tara is the kind of person this world needs more of. She understands friendship and demonstrates her understanding with infinite kindness. After years of spending her Sundays going to open houses with me, she helped me choose what will be Antonia’s home. Long before Antonia was even a real thought or consideration, Tara would say, “But there’s no room for the baby!” Tara had a faith and commitment to this baby that superseded my own.
Once I began the adoption process, Tara was again a consistent source of support. Willing to spend hours talking about just the possibility of adoption, she helped me make decisions that were overwhelming. Also, she was the first person to write me a reference letter. Tara was adopted herself. Her insight has been, and will continue to be, priceless. Also, it makes having her in our corner even more special.
Charles. According to him, I was talking about adoption during our first date (almost three years ago!). I don’t remember that. What I do remember is the comfort and stability he has provided through every step of this process – even the just-thinking-wondering non-steps. He has two boys who mean the world to him. I think these boys are responsible for his wisdom.
As I weighed parenthood, adoption, career, finances, Charles said, “There is never a good time to have a child. But, it is never a disappointment and it never feels like a burden.” He asked me what I would regret most in forty years. Somehow, repeatedly answering this question, even today as I empty my retirement account, allows me to choose Antonia. Like Tara, he let adoption talk dominate our conversations. There are some decisions in adoption that feel huge. For me, one such decision was choosing the country from which I would adopt. In the midst of one of many conversations about this, Charles said, “Once this baby is in your arms, none of this will matter.” He’s right. As long as my baby comes to me in an ethical manner, nothing else matters. So I chose.
I remember talking with Steve and Nancy about this idea on a boat in Lake Winnipesaukee. It was a moment where my idea was met with visible love. Adopting, perhaps parenting, involves so much vulnerability. So many concerns about inadequacy persist. So when two such great people, and super parents, not only support you, but are excited about the whole thing, there is quite a bit more confidence for moving forward. Looking back, I think that I began to identify (proudly) as a potential adoptive mom that day on the lake. Steve and Nancy went on to write a beautiful letter that is part of my home study – a letter that captures twenty-five years of friendship.
I am far from done. There are many more friends. And if you know my family, you know that their love may require a whole other blog to explore.