Four of us made it to this inaugural gathering, and I have few other insights to share:
- SMCs are very diverse and come to be an SMC - adopter in diverse ways. For example, some folks were married, then divorced because he decided he didn't want kids (and don't want to try getting pregnant on their own or feel it's too late), some women were never married and never tried biologically, some tried really hard through all means available to become pregnant and then opened up to adoption.
- Everyone brought up worries about the issue of the "dedicated room" requirement in the context of the Bay Area housing market, which somehow felt so validating. Each of us are planning for and managing this requirement in different ways. Some were glad to hear that my county adoption agency is a bit more lenient than some and, for one thing, does not require a built-in closet. *The county and many agencies require a dedicated bedroom in the home for the child, either from birth or when they turn 2 years.
- No way around it, this is an emotional process. One poor woman was clearly stressed and pent-up when she arrived, and it was a little annoying until she started talking and I realized it was because she was holding back tremendous sadness and grief over her divorce and not having a child with her ex. She and I related with regard to both of our exes holding us back from pursuing motherhood and when the relationships ended, both feeling compelled to move forward quickly.
- We took a moment to recognize two huge positives: one, that single women would not have been accepted or often even allowed to try having a child on their own or adopting on their own a generation or two ago; and two, we are super fortunate living in the Bay Area in terms of normalizing alternative choices and paths and a very progressive overall culture.
Hopefully we will stay in touch and meet again. There is an East Bay SMC Thinkers/Tryers group we might all check out, as well, though I like the idea of having an adoption sub-group, as it has unique considerations and steps.