Sunday, February 13, 2011

Formspring Revisited: Single Parents

I was asked this question months ago and I thought it was a good one.

Are you friends with any single parents? Is that hard?

I am friends with two single mothers, but they're both also birth mothers, so that situation isn't hard. Both chose adoption for their second children because they knew firsthand how hard single parenting was. I respect them greatly. I think that the decision to place must be that much harder when you're a mother already, and you know you can be a single parent.

Beyond those I consider friends, I am acquainted with several single mothers, and I don't wish to sound insensitive, but seeing how hard their lives are makes me happy that Roo doesn't have to deal with the drama of having a single mom. So, far from it being hard for me, it actually helps reinforce the decision I made. I don't envy them their lives for a second. If it works for them, fine, but it's not something I wanted for myself or for my baby.

That's how I feel now. Things were different when I was pregnant and considering adoption. Seeing single mothers was a lot harder. I always sort of felt that adoption was right, and I was certainly pressured by some people to choose adoption. I'd see single moms, many of them younger and less stable than I was, and I'd think, how come they get to keep their babies and I don't? Why did they get congratulations when all I get is warnings and unsolicited advice? It seemed grossly unfair. It still does, actually. I am a firm believer that if a woman announces she's pregnant, she should be congratulated almost no matter what her circumstances (almost, because sometimes bad things happen that result in a pregnancy). I don't care if she's single, on welfare, living in a van down by the river and has five other children. Babies are awesome. Congratulations are in order (she's already pregnant, so being a jerk about it, even if you feel she's made a mistake, won't change a darn thing).

I digress.

It bothered me that the girls I'd worked with at the hair salon, girls barely out of their teens with strange tattoos and piercings and ex-con boyfriends, got to keep their surprise babies and I, essentially a good, responsible girl, had to give mine up.

But I don't feel that way any more. I wouldn't trade lives with any of them. I didn't give my baby up. I gave her the best life I could. I didn't want her to have a single mother, even if that single mother was me.


Chris, Dana and Addison: Hoping to Grow through Open Adoption said...

I love how you say that babies should be celebrated no matter the circumstance. I so believe this...congratulations are in order for any new life. Every single person needs a positive and loving "Welcome to the world, we are glad you are here!"

Jill Elizabeth said...

I believe it, too, and I love the way you said it, Dana!

I mean, get that people are going to judge a pregnant woman in certain circumstances, but being a jerk about it is like punishing the baby, which is unfair. Sometimes I still cry about how no one seemed really happy when Roo was born. I may have screwed up, but that's no excuse for my little Roo getting such a shoddy reception.

Stacey said...

I love reading your point of view. So impressive!!
From a forever grateful adoptive mom in Baton Rouge, La.