By Julie Prince
I started my adoption journey in the winter of 2012 with a visit to an Adoption and Fostering Information night through my local F&CS. Adoption had been on my mind for many years and here I found myself, in 2012, in a place I had never imagined at the age of 39: with no husband and no children. All of my life one thing consistent has been the desire to be a Mom. I had envisioned building my family through biological and adoptive means but now there was really only one option in front of me. Never in my mind did I envision doing it alone but that is where life led.
At the adoption information night I filled out a contact form and shortly thereafter, I had a home visit from an adoption worker to introduce me to the process and, I assume, give me a once over :) Catherine joined me in my home and I remember sharing with her my hesitancy of adopting alone. She provided me encouragement and she gave me a strong piece of advice: “start practicing asking for help”. When you’ve been alone all your adult life there is a certain level of independence that comes with that - there is no one else to rely on and so you learn to do it all yourself. Her advice has been crucial in my journey so far. I’ve had to build my “village” -- not just for my future child but also for me.
Just after being declared “Adopt Ready” in the summer of 2014, I felt a voice within me saying, “Hold”. My Christian faith has always been a central part of my being and so when I heard that voice, I knew I needed to listen. My first response though was Hold?? You’ve got to be joking! I had just attended the ARE in Toronto and had actually been contacted about two children I had put expression of interest sheets in on the very same day that I was writing to let my Adoption Worker know of this change in my status. It’s important to say that it wasn’t a “No” I heard, but it was "Hold”. Little did I know at that time the personal turmoil I was about to enter into that coming Winter. It has been quite a journey and I will only say that God is wise and I am glad that I listened to His voice asking me to “Hold”. I knew when I made the decision that there was something in me that I needed to focus working on but I didn’t know what it was. It all became very clear in December of 2014. So, I spent about 18 months working intensely on me, with the help of some professional counseling. Along the way, I kept my Adoption worker updated. I will say that I was supported very well by my Adoption Worker in making the decision I did and she has been extremely understanding and affirming throughout this process. In the Spring of 2016, I became “Adopt Ready” for a second time and now I am what I endearingly refer to as a “sitting duck” -- waiting, praying, hoping for the right match.
When I first started my adoption journey, I imagined adopting a toddler. Through the many courses I have taken and the stories I have heard, that has changed over these four years of waiting. I am now in a place where I am open to an infant up to 10 years old and potentially beyond if it is the right match.
I often read the words “don’t give up” in adoption blogs. I hear those words and sometimes hold on to them and other times just feel weary of hanging on. I know that life could change in a matter of a phone call and I long for that day, despite the healthy fear and anticipation that is enmeshed in it. Everyone’s adoption journey is unique and very personal. The truth is, ultimately adoption may not be a part of my life as much as I long for a child. No matter the outcome of this journey, I will say this: it has been worth it. I am a woman more aware of herself than I was before. I have learned how to reach out beyond my self-reliance and my mind and heart have been opened to the amazing lives of children and families living the reality of longing for permanence. Despite the emotional roller coaster it has been, I don’t regret one step of the journey -- it will make it all that more worth it should my match come someday.
By Julie Prince