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The realities of a single woman adopting from Haiti

When I first started my journey to being a mom (through insemination) I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  Sunshine and rainbows would not be in my immediate future, but I knew without a doubt it would be worth it.  All the poking and prodding and monitoring of my cycle would be agonizing, but I was okay with all of it.  It was a means to an end.

In November of 2015 when I started the adoption process, I knew my journey was going to become much harder, even more invasive and much more expensive, but again I knew in my heart that it was what I needed to do.

The realities of this journey have surprised even me, me the girl who plans and reads and researches and re-plans and re-reads everything!

The costs – financially are exorbitant.  For the first year I literally was in the bank on a monthly (sometimes weekly!) basis moving money around and getting money orders to pay everyone under the sun.  My money – it’s running out.  Well in reality it has run out.  I am actually looking forward to re-mortgaging my house when it comes up so I can pay off the debt and have my nest egg (which is going towards paying the second half of my adoption costs) settled. The thing that kills me is that none of this money has gone towards my sweet little child who I don’t even know yet!

Every penny, paid to whomever, is worth it.

The costs – emotionally are exhausting.  I see people I have connected with in chat groups get their referrals, their Visas, their Exit letters and of course their homecomings and I am jealous.  Not like the boy I like, likes another girl jealous – but WHY NOT ME???!!! jealous and that is an envy that isn’t fair to anyone.

Every tear and sad face is worth it.

I don’t have a partner to share in my grief.  Most people who adopt have that special someone that they can lean on when the wait becomes to long.  They have someone to talk to who understands and most of all is REALLY REALLY interested in everything you are thinking and hoping for. My friends and family love me and they care and are excited for me, but they don’t have the same passion obviously as a spouse would have and sometimes I feel completely alone.

Every ounce of longing is worth it.

I don’t have a partner to share my fears with.  There is a Hurricane blowing in quickly and fiercely.  My child, the one I don’t know, is living there, as are hundreds of other children, with no parents to wrap them in their arms and keep them safe.  The sweet nannies and creche directors I know do everything they can, but nothing replaces a mother or fathers warm embrace. With every update on Hurricane Irma, my anxiety rises and my prayers become deeper and longer.  Other people are disappointed their Caribbean vacation spots will be destroyed – I am terrified, the child meant for me, will be harmed or that their biological family will be injured, it takes everything in me not to scream.

Every prayer and raised heartbeat is worth it.

Co-parenting will not be my reality.  I was with my friend and her husband this weekend – as I am most weekends, and their youngest was having trouble pooping.  She had been constipated for a couple of days and she was screaming and crying not wanting to poop.  What a simple concept for us adults.  You have to poop.  She was bribed, begged and pleaded with for over an hour and her parents were lucky – they had each other to tag out.  When one needed a break to get out of that small cottage bathroom, the other was there.  When my kid refuses to poop – and don’t they all at some point – it will be me.  My patience will be tested.  My frustration levels and anxiety will be pushed to the limits.  My kid will stomp on my buttons and I can’t push back. I am the adult.  The only adult.  I have no one to tag out with and that reality kicked me pretty hard this weekend as I looked down on that sad little face of a girl who wouldn’t poop.

I can handle this.  Not only can I handle this, I WILL handle this and while I know sometimes I will fail, sometimes I’ll barely pass, my child will NEVER doubt that they are loved.  They will always have a soft spot to fall and that is something we all need a little more of.

Love Nicole

 

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It takes a village

As you all know, I am currently in the process of adopting a toddler internationally.  A decision I didn’t make lightly, but one that I know in my heart and in my soul is the right decision for me.  I have never thought – not once – maybe I shouldn’t, maybe I should wait another couple of years, maybe, maybe, maybe…I just know.  I know like I need to breathe air and eat food and drink water – I know.  I know where my baby is.

***now as a side note, I have been informed that I am unable to talk on any social media forums (inc. blogs)  about the specifics of the adoption at this point from my agency and I understand that.  The child’s protection, the orphanages confidentiality and the details I am paying a great deal to learn from my agency is not for the eyes and ears of the world so I will not go into any details about particulars.

This choice, it didn’t come easy.  I had to accept that I may never have a biological child to start processing this choice.  I had to argue for my rights with a doctor to get forms signed and completed.  I had to defend my choice against critics of single motherhood (aren’t we in 2016 where women can do whatever the hell they want?).  I had to accept that the inheritance that my father left me would be gone, depleted  and pray that he would be okay with how I have chosen to spend this portion of it. I have binders of information to read through, sign and date.  I have essays to write, photo’s to take, reference letters to gather all while giving up any source of privacy because our Ontario government and the government of Haiti, need to know that I can, and desire to, and have the means to, adopt a child and raise them in a healthy, safe environment.

I am overwhelmed often.  I am tired often.  I want to scream and cry often.

But it is always worth it.  Every second spent, every line of defense I need to spew, every dollar I give is worth it.

This child is already loved – yet they might not even be born.  This child already has an aunt and an uncle and a grandmother eagerly awaiting them to arrive.  This child has surrogate aunts and uncles in my friends who have offered to help in anyway they can.  Some have offered clothing, furniture and toys, while others just can’t wait to take this amazing child to the park, or downtown exploring Toronto.  This child was born blessed as all babies are – and they are going to make me blessed in the process.

It takes a village to raise a child.  No one does it on their own.  We all rely on someone at some point for assistance and I am grateful for the chance to bring my little boy or girl home in the future and raise them among my amazing village.

Love

Nicole

 

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Starting from the beginning…welcome

Welcome everyone who is reading this blog. I am truly fortunate to have you all in my world.  I started actually writing for this blog months ago.  I will post all of my writing now.  For you to read what has been going through my head from the beginning of this journey – my journey to be a mom.

June 21st, 2013 

I must have gone crazy right? 

The internet definition of a family is as follows: Noun – A group consisting of parents and children living together in a household 

Right now, as of June 21st, for me, that household consists of my father, Edward and me, Nicole.  I’m a 32-year-old female who has a great job that I love, friends whom I cherish more each day and an extended family that makes me laugh on a regular basis.  In a nutshell, I am blessed. 

I have some people missing from my life though – people whose absence I feel daily. I’m missing a husband and the pitter-patter of little feet.  Now don’t get me wrong or feel too sorry for me, I have been fortunate to have some great boyfriends in my past.  Men who loved me and whom I loved.  Men who were great role-models and who would have made wonderful husbands and fathers had the timing been right.  But it wasn’t, the timing and the situations were wrong and my relationships ended.  I can’t do anything about that.  I have dated and will continue to date in the search of someone who makes my heart skip a beat again, but I can’t just make them appear.  I can’t wish someone out of thin air (though seriously how amazing would that be?).  So what does that mean?  Does that mean I don’t get children?  I don’t get to be pregnant, to be a mother, to experience a baby inside of me and raise that child through the good times and bad?  That doesn’t really seem fair.  Does it?  

Well, I didn’t think so.  About 8 months ago I started thinking about the possibility of being a single mother – by choice.  Of using sperm donation (Artificial Insemination) to become a mom.  My first thought wasn’t what people would think, I really couldn’t care less what absolute strangers think of me.  My concern was, do children suffer in any way from not having a father?  My second concern was what my father would say and do?  I’ve spent the past three years taking care of him, it being just the two of us.  I have given up the “hard-core” dating scene of clubbing and bar hopping (willingly) in order to make both our lives easier.  But would I have to give up my dreams of being a mommy in order to keep him happy?  I was not concerned financially – I am debt free, make good money and while I spend it foolishly, I can be responsible when I need to be – when I want to be.  I certainly wasn’t worried about what being a mom would do to my dating life, if a man can’t handle a child in his life, he can’t handle me.  The good thing would be that any future man in my life wouldn’t have a biological father to deal with.  He would be the only father-figure my child would have. 

So I started thinking more and more.  I went to my doctor first.  Because I take Ciprolex for anxiety I was concerned for the baby’s health.  I was referred to Mothers Risk at Sick Kids Hospital and the doctor there reassured me that not only could I have a perfectly healthy child, but that the chance of birth defects for babies whose moms are on Ciprolex do not rise at all.  This made me happy!  Very, very happy. 
Next I wanted to do my research, I spent a lot of time on Google (it really is your best friend when you need answers).  I found an amazing website www.singlemothersbychoice.org.  I bought a book, written by the founder of this organization, Jane Mattes and read it in about three days. I bought What to Expect when Expecting and am going through the first few chapters now.  I was becoming more and more confidant in my decision.  

I talked to my girlfriends – the closest of them being my sister-in-law Tammy and my girlfriends Kris, Agnes, Kim, Erin, Nancy and Rochelle.  I talked to a few other friends too and the overwhelming response was positive.  They had questions and I gave them answers.  Some friends urged me to wait, that my man could be around the corner and not want to deal with a pregnant woman; they didn’t understand that would not be a reason for me giving up this chance. 

I went to my doctor again and that is when I got hit with my only speed bump (or a brick wall if I am describing the feeling).  She, as a Jewish doctor, did not believe it was acceptable or responsible for a single woman to choose to get pregnant through AI and have children. 
WHAT?? 

HUH? 

DID I HEAR YOU RIGHT? 

I know, when I talked to my girlfriends, they wanted and encouraged me to go to the Physicians board of Ontario and demand her license be revoked.  I agreed that she had NO right to have her personal opinion affect my life, but really – what would that do?  I’d still be without support from a practitioner and the fertility clinic I wanted to attend required a referral.  

At this point, I didn’t give up, I couldn’t.  I have felt this was the right decision for me for a long time.  I continued my research, even having lunch with a 22-year old woman whose mother conceived her through AI.  She is a delightful, smart, beautiful girl who seems to have no issues with her mom being a SMC.  In fact the way she put it to me was like this: 

“I don’t have a dad, some of my friends don’t have dads, the difference is, I was never abandoned.  My mom wanted me so badly she did everything in her power to get me.  I don’t have the issues my friends do with feeling like I wasn’t good enough for the second parent to stick around.” 

What a great kid right?  She made me more determined than ever.  I contacted the fertility clinic right away and the lady there advised me any physician could do the referral and I could go to a walk-in.  I immediately thought of Rochelle, who when not on maternity leave, works at a walk-in clinic and always talks highly of her doctors.  She contacted her doctor, I got an appointment and three weeks later I had a signed referral letter faxed to the clinic! 

Now I had to tell my dad. 

**insert Jaws theme song here** 

One Friday I pulled on my big girl pants and came out and told my dad what I wanted, why I wanted it and exactly what my plan was.  After talking I prepared for the worst. I had all my comeback lines ready.  Instead I saw a grown man humble himself, he had tears in his eyes and a smile so big I was speechless for a second (I’m never really speechless, nothing actually shocks me).  My father, the most traditional man I know, was happy – ecstatic actually.  I had given him a new reason to live.  He started making plans with me!  He fully supported me.  Being his only daughter and the one who had done everything for him for the past three years, I wasn’t actually surprised.  We have a bond.  A bond that is unbreakable.  I love my father more than words can express and his supporting my untraditional approach to motherhood is heart-warming.  

I know my decision is not going to be popular amongst strangers, and not even amongst all of my friends and co-workers.  However those who love me most love me and support me, know that I am making the right decision for me and the right decision for any baby that I am fortunate enough to deliver. 

Please join me, join me in the ups and the downs.  The highs will be extremely high, the lows I am sure will be painful, but through it all, I will document this journey, for me, for you, for single mothers by choice and for my child.  The child that I will pray God brings into my life as soon as possible. 

Love

Nicole