Sunday, October 31, 2010

Journey to Tigger

As some of you may know, November is National Adoption Month.  Since this month deals with that wonderful thing called awareness, I figured I would blog like crazy and just put some adoption themed posts out there this month. 

Before we start though, I'd like to just write about how Tigger and I came to be.  It's interesting how feelings and desires of a teenager actually came full circle even if in a different way than originally thought. 

I guess you can say I've always had a tender heart.  I would be the one crazy kid to cry at the end of "the fox and the hound" over that phrase "we'll always be friends forever" "yeah forever", tender moments touched my heart, and as I grew up I developed a tender spot for children.  I have no idea why, after all I was the tomboy girl that hated wearing dresses, played with matchbox cars, ignored the dolls my mom would give me, and trains along with Lincoln logs were my choice of toys...not really into playing house or anything innately mothering of dolls and such.  But individuals are crazy, neat, and astounding constantly morphing in their likes and their path of life. 

As a teenager I vaguely became aware of baby girls in China that were in orphanages.  I decided right then and there that I would adopt a child and not only that, I would adopt a baby girl from China that needed a home.  I proclaimed this mantra to anyone that would listen and I'm sure I scared off a boyfriend or two by the time college rolled around.  I had too much fun in college.  Dreams of adoption went on the back burner and I did what any good college kid did away from home...I made friends, made stupid decisions, and for some reason still managed to graduate in four years.  Moving back to my home state, I quickly settled into a routine of work, Grad school, and learning about life.  I started dating an old high school friend of mine and that went well for a while.  I then remembered my dream of adopting a child and shared that we could do this!  Boyfriend wasn't at all on board with this idea so in my disappointment I became at peace with the idea that adoption wouldn't be a part of my life.  Well this boyfriend and I broke it off and then I just dated here and there, never really becoming serious with anyone else again. 

By this time I was done with Graduate school and was working hard in the school system.  As a Speech/Language Pathologist I assessed many preschool kids.  I also assessed many children that actually were in the foster care system.  I learned a lot about the foster care system and quickly became an annoying voice of advocacy for the children in the system...whether or not I knew about issues in the foster care system or not, I just knew that if I ever were to adopt, I decided that international was not my way, but I would pursue foster care. 

It would be a few years, two casual dating relationships later, after purchasing my townhouse, that I began my quest to be a mom.  Most people that knew (which were primarily my co-workers) were supportive.  I don't know what it is about the people working in the school system, but many that adopt do so from foster care.  Maybe working in a system that is flawed somehow lessons the fear of working with another system that is flawed?  I don't know, but in any case, I had nothing but support.  I only had one person that thought I was too young to be "throwing my life away". (apparently one has to be older than 30 when deciding to be a single mom????????)  Family was also very supportive. 

I started my quest to get licensed in November of 2008.  Was homestudied and licensed by June of 2009.  I received my call for Tigger in December of 2009 and I completely panicked...I was ready for a toddler or a preschooler, I had no idea they would actually call me about an infant.  Nevertheless, I accepted, called my parents in a panic and we spent over $1,000 at Babies R Us that night.  Tigger came to me December 15, 2009.  She was 4 months old.  I love looking at pictures of last Christmas as it shows two things....Tigger's unsmiling face, and my 'deer in the headlights' look.  I love what we have become this year.  A family of two.  I will write more on attachment and our bonding experience later, however, this year with all it's surprises, moments of panic, and absolute joy, I would not trade it for anything. 

People ask me all the time whether or not being a single mom is hard on me.  I can honestly answer "I don't know" it's what I'm used to and it's pretty dang great.  Yeah do I wish I had an extra set of hands so I can cook, clean, keep Tigger from stunts that cause imminent death? Sure....but I will tell anyone that being a mom is the best thing in the world.  I still advocate for foster care, I still talk about fost/adopt programs with anyone who will listen.  The scary part is that I may decide to do this crazy business again...I haven't made up my mind though, but choosing to be a mom, however it comes about...the best thing that I have ever chosen. 

And that is my very summarized version of how Tigger and I got together.  November is National Adoption Month.  It's a time to share awareness of many issues surrounding adoption...many issues that the average person may not think about.  I hope that my random writings may be of some use this month.


Bubeaner said...

D - you got me crying. And even in the back burner, in college you still talked about adoption. I am so glad for you and T to have found each other.

Ticia said...

Seriously girl, we all knew this was your plan in college.

You always said if you weren't married by 30 you were going to adopt. I'm so glad Tigger has you, and someday I want to see the deer in headlights D

DannieA said...

yes I did say that!...but you don't know HOW much I said it in high I was um living it up with my peeps whichever circle they were more than proclaiming this LOL

Unknown said...

You MUST join our Adoption Blog Hop!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story! It's so inspirational.

You said you'd prepared for an older child - are adoptions at such a young age rare (when looking at the foster system)?

PS: This is Kelly from the Boundless blog. :)

DannieA said...

Hey Kelly, nice to see you here....depending on the state or county it can be unless you're committed to higher risk placements (placements that usually end up in reunification) in foster/adopt. In the county I live in young kids are very common as well due to our county's unique issues (read: drug use) I just thought since my two failed matches before Tigger were age 4 and then age 5 and since I have experience with special education services because of my job, that I would eventually end up with a preschooler or something....the infant thing threw me for a loop even though my age range went down to birth...however, she really really belongs in our family...everyone from myself to great-grandpa are in love, love, love.

Dawn said...

Thanks for sharing your story!

Angela said...

I'm so happy to read your post! I love it! I love your story! And our first baby came home with us full-time on Dec. 12th and we finalized exactly one year later! God works in mysterious ways and I believe he plants those seeds for adoption and compassion for children early in our lives. He needs millions more like you! God bless you and your Tigger!

Kat said...

I just jumped over here from the Blog Hop. I remember a friend who, in her 20's, wanted to adopt a set of children that she met so badly, but her family was WAY less than supportive. She dropped all thoughts of adopting them.

I am so thankful that you didn't listen to the few less than supportive. What a beautiful blessing you have because you didn't!

I have seven beautiful blessings (four of them adopted blessings).

Thank you for sharing a little bit about your journey! AWESOME!

Unknown said...

Loved, loved, loved reading your story. It sounds a lot like mine, except for the support part. I had only a handful of supporters at the beginning. One of my friends refused to even speak to me for awhile after my first foster child came home. Others told me that no one would ever marry me if I took in a child while still single. And I heard the "don't mess up your life" advice plenty as well.

I was 25 and single when I started fostering. I fostered four kids (yes, at the same time), had to let two of them go (still hurts to talk about it) and adopted two. My daughter started praying for a daddy and continued praying for three years until I finally got married in 2002. Since then my husband and I have fostered some more and adopted three more beautiful daughters. In January, we will start the adoption process again.

Glad you and Tigger are together. The deer in the headlights look brought back a lot of memories for me as well. Would love to see that picture someday.

Glad I found your blog. :)

Cate said...

What an absolute inspiration! I'm getting ready to graduate college in next summer and then I will be starting my own process of adopting from foster care! I can't wait to share my own journey. Thank you for sharing yours!!

Unknown said...

I've been searching the internet on adoption. Foster adoption would be great! I myself was a foster child.I have a 10yr.old son that I concieved with the help of a sperm bank. And I and my son both want for him to have a sibling. But don't really know where to start. I live in the Bay Area in California. If there's anyone who has ANY information that can help,it would be great!

Unknown said...

I've been searching the internet on adoption. Foster adoption would be great! I myself was a foster child.I have a 10yr.old son that I concieved with the help of a sperm bank. And I and my son both want for him to have a sibling. But don't really know where to start. I live in the Bay Area in California. If there's anyone who has ANY information that can help,it would be great!