Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friday Friend or Family Feature... A Day Early...

Today's Feature is...

The Single Mom...


Ethiopia is changing its adoption policies for single women.


Are you guys skiers? When I was in junior high I joined the Snowflake Ski Club. On cold, Midwestern Saturdays, I would bundle myself into puffy, slippery ski clothing and get on a bus before dawn. The driver would proceed to drive us to one of the small man made humps north of Chicago. Tweens would spill out and grab their cumbersome ski equipment. I haven't been skiing in a long time, but back then we sometimes skied in pairs or groups. Occasionally one of us would gather speed and find ourselves at the bottom of the hill, exhilarated and ready to go again. I remember sliding up to the chairlift line by myself, "Single," I would shout as I raised my ski pole to indicate, that I, over here in the Mylar, would be needing a partner to accompany me in my chairlift. The ski mountain staff (and of course I use that term 'mountain' loosely, really should be molehill) didn't want to waste a perfectly good chairlift seat, and would encourage strangers to partner up saving time and energy. It was something that was both filled with excitement and dread. Who would I be paired up with? The cute boy skiing in jeans? The creepy older gentleman with the suspenders? A snot nosed ten year old? Occasionally I would end up next in line with no partner in sight. The attendant would shrug his shoulders and wave me over solo. Going up alone in the lift could be both frightening and freeing. You could sit smack dab in the middle if you wanted. You could swing your skis around, and spread your arms across the entire back of the seat. You could breathe in the cool air, take in the view, and thoroughly enjoy your solitude and freedom.



Does being partnered up make you a more desirable adoptive family? It shouldn't. I think that you can be single and be a wonderful parent. The fact that single women are now going to find it very difficult to adopt children from Ethiopia makes me really sad.



These are just a few of the incredible single moms that I have met in real life. They are strong, accomplished, and vibrant. They are excellent mothers. Their children are thriving in their care.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of having lunch with three other women who are waiting for their 'proposal' (referral). Two of them are single. During the lunch, one of the moms to be spoke about how she has never felt God's presence more than right now, during her adoption process. Her eyes welled up as she described how she felt that God was absolutely leading her to this child in Ethiopia. Last night I received an e-mail from her. The e-mail was electric. The hair on my arms stood up as I read it. It was the announcement of her daughter, her beautiful, smiley, Ethiopian daughter. Julie will make a fantastic mother. She is smart, funny, owns her own law firm, and has a family chock full of relatives looking forward to embracing its newest member. The idea that other women like Amy, Sam, Tami, Robbin, Haze, and this woman, may be denied an opportunity like this, really hurts my heart.

To my friends who are seeing their dreams deferred, I am sorry. I am thinking about you and your pain. I think that this is a truly unfortunate development.

If you need someone to ride the chairlift with, give me a call. I would be honored to sit next to you, but absolutely understand if you would prefer to ride up alone.

39 comments:

  1. This is just heartbreaking. I don't understand this at all!

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  2. Uggghhhhh. This completly baffles me.

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  3. Julie, thank you so much for writing this, it's been amazing to me how much support there has been around the adoption blogosphere for us singles about this. FYI, it is starting to look like not all US agencies are being affected by the new restrictions, with my agency being among the few in the un-affected group for now (knock wood, fingers crossed, salt over the shoulder, and whatever else you can think of!).

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  4. OH...and I've been on those ski bumps too:-) You're right, can't really call them hills!!

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  5. Just beautiful. This new rule breaks my heart. I feel for all the single moms. They are truly anazing strong women.

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  6. I was in a club like that north of Chicago (and yes there are no mountains north of Chicago - in case anyone thinks their geography is off.)

    It's not right, it really isn't. Everything you said is true. Plus with divorce rates at 50% who is to say that some of the couples won't be 'single.'

    This post made me tear up and it's so important to write about. Perhaps if more people wrote about American Single Women and how they are able to head their own families it will change things.

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  7. Can I hug you?

    Thank you. Thank you.

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  8. This is heartbreaking! I am adopting because of the experience of following a single friend's adoption journey. I don't understand it, but am glad you blogged about it. You are so thoughtful and will make such a great mom!

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  9. That was a gorgeous tribute to single mothers, yet tragic under the circumstances... I, too, find much sadness in the knowledge that some of these amazing single women won't soon get the opportunity that they've been waiting for...

    Cindy

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  10. What is going on??! This is so sad...:(

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  11. I know. It's so sad. So, so not right.

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  12. This may have been one of the most beautiful things I've ever read in blogland. What a lovely tribute to the single mamas. I'm so sad and angry, too.

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  13. I don't know what to say. Thanks for your kindness and support. Of course, I'm crying again! - Julie O.

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  14. I mean, you are something Julie. I appreciate your post so much. You know how to write in a way that our hearts feel it. love.a

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  15. Just so completely heartbreaking and unfair. My sister is a single adopted mother and a more loving parent you'd be hard pressed to find.

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  16. This is truly sad. Having been raised by a single mother, this stings.

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  17. I'm one of the lucky ones and holding out hope that MOWA realizes the error of their ways soon...

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  18. What a great post Julie....
    As a former single mom, I find this so outrageous.Why limit adoptions to couples?! It makes no sense!

    Love the video of the sisters, how cute are they?

    Living on the east coast I had many Friday nights in junior high skiing with friends and classmates. Except I used the oppertunity of riding the ski lift alone to sneak ciggarettes....

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  19. wonderful post. Very sad development for all the waiting Ethiopian kiddos. As a single mom, I would never argue that a single parent home is just as good as one with two parents. But surely a one-parent home is better than none?

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  20. Thanks for your posting today...It was very thoughtful... I am one of those singles trying to adopt from Ethiopia...

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  21. THANK YOU for writing this lovely post, Julie. How thoughtful you are!

    I am waiting with big, bad, butterflies in my stomach for my agency to get back to me if the new MOWA ruling affects us up here in Canada. So far, I've heard nothing saying that is the case. Fingers crossed.

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  22. Thank you for this post. I am heartbroken for these ladies affected by this new rule as well as for the waiting children. I am home with my daughter since June and since finding out this news (I had hoped to go back to ETH for an older sister for her) I am holding her that much closer to me. (Not that I didn't before ;)

    I am praying that MOWA changes the ruling.

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  23. Man, it's so heartbreaking! I just don't get it either... :(

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  24. Julie,

    You know, when I read the beautiful things you write, I sometimes think to myself, when your little ones come home you won't have time to do this as much anymore. Gah! That was a selfish little moment, but I just had to say it.

    Yeah, I am a girl from Illinois, that is a molehill, but inspired! Build it and they will come.....

    I am so dismayed that single moms are being treated this way. Heartbreaking and wrong.

    Christine

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  25. Thanks for the thoughtful post, Julie. As a single mom to be with referral of a darling 5 year old but no guidance on whether I can get through court anytime soon, these are trying times!

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  26. I love, love, love your post!

    My heart hurts for my singlemoms because I know that a single home filled with love and laughter is just as good as a two-parent home. I watched my sister whom, after a crappy divorce, pick herself up along with her two sons and successfully parented them into two of the most outstanding citizens this country will ever have!

    What has happened to our sisterfriendsinglemoms has taken some of the joy of my family's adoption journey away from me.

    I'm learning from Robbin and Tami in addition to leaning on the LORD for the excitement for us all to be renewed and restored.

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  27. Thank you for so eloquently supporting all the awesome single moms & moms-to-be out there.

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  28. What a great, great post. I just love it.

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  29. hi julie, thank you for this post. not sure if we met last summer at the blog union, but i just wanted to say hi as i was moved by your writing. all the best, kelli (studio city)

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  30. This is very thoughtful of you to write such a wonderful post , it is really good and you are very right about the facts that single mother is a very good family for a child because the mother can very well make a child a man and help him grow

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  31. I just realized that my first comment didn't post:-( I'll try again, Thank you for this beautiful post, I feel lucky to know you.

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  32. JuLiE!!!!

    From now on, I elect you to be my mouthpiece. Sing it sister--these single mamas are incredible!

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  33. Wow- what an incredible write-up. Thank you for doing this....

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  34. WOW!!!!!

    What an amazing entry. Thank you.

    XOXO

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  35. This is lovely.
    Thank you for the support for single moms.

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  36. Thanks for the shout out. i dont know how I missed this post. Its all very very frustrating. There have been lots of times when I wonder if I am doing the right thing and then I am reminded that at any second the CHOICE to can be taken from me and I get upset and realize that I am doing the right thing. Thanks for the really nice post....

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