I always pictured myself as mom to a houseful of kids. Five was my ideal number, but between you and me? I think I probably could’ve been convinced to go for even more.
So I always considered it a cruel twist of fate that I became infertile in my mid-twenties. But as it turned out, I was also incredibly lucky. Just a few months shy of my 30th birthday, I was given the opportunity to adopt a little girl who has become my entire world.
It’s just been that vision of a big family that’s seemed a little harder to fulfill.
Recently, though, I’ve started working on a plan. One that involves moving my daughter and I into a bigger house with more rooms, and renewing my foster care license.
I’m ready to become “Mama” to one or two more.
Most of my friends are well aware of this plan. It’s why I’ve been hoarding pennies, working later hours, and skipping out on girls’ nights. Basically, I’m doing everything in my power to put the financial pieces together so that I can make that dream of a bigger family a reality for myself and my little girl.
But it was one of my closest friends who recently stopped me as I discussed this plan, and asked me a question I wasn’t quite expecting.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked gently. “Do you really think you can handle more?”
To be honest, it was a fair question. My little girl has some special needs. She has sensory processing disorder and some receptive speech delays — issues that have us in speech therapy and occupational therapy every week. And last June, she was also diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, a condition that requires me to give her a chemo shot once a week and lands us in the doctor’s office more than ever before.
It’s overwhelming sometimes. And scary. And honestly, a little heartbreaking. This kid of mine is so tough, and it just feels like nothing can ever be easy for her or even just normal. And I so desperately want normal for her. If I’m being honest, though, I often want it for myself as well.
All of this is compounded by the fact that I’m a single mother. I adopted my girl on my own, and now that I’m 35 years old, that elusive Mr. Right seems even further out of reach. I’m mostly okay with that fact. I’d love to fall in love, but I’m not desperately yearning for it. It is what it is, and I always wanted to become a mom more than a wife, anyway.
Still, doing it all on my own does make things harder. Financially, there’s a lot on my shoulders and I don’t have family nearby to take advantage of free babysitting or get extra time to do much for myself.
So, yes, it makes perfect sense that one of my best friends in the world would want to gently ensure I know what I’m getting myself into.
It may have stung a bit at first to hear, but “are you sure you want another?” is a fair question, considering our circumstances. And I’m also sure it’s one plenty of other parents have gotten a million times over when adding to their own families, too. Because the thing is, the decision to have more children is rarely convenient.
Adding more kids into our particular set of circumstances may seem like a recipe for disaster to some people. Just like adding another kid to your brood of two or three or more might seem crazy to those who love you most. But the truth is, plenty of people thought I was crazy for adopting my daughter on my own in the first place. And that’s been a decision I have never once regretted.
For me, motherhood is this role I feel like I was always meant to take on. It’s the area of my life I’m most confident and comfortable in. If money weren’t an issue, I’d buy a huge house and already be working toward that dream of a family of five kids.
But even aside from money concerns, I’m confident in my ability to do this. I believe I’m capable of mothering one or two more, and experience has taught me I can help kids with the special needs that foster care sometimes requires.
Most importantly, though: I just know in my heart that this is the direction I’m supposed to be moving in.
Will it be easy? Absolutely not. But motherhood never is.
And I’m a big believer that anything worth having is worth fighting for. There will be challenges and missteps. There will be times when I want to complain or feel overwhelmed by it all. But that’s life. That’s motherhood.
For me, it all comes down to this: When I think about what I want my Thanksgiving table to look like 20 years from now, there’s no question — I want the kind of family that fills that table with love and laughter, for both me and my little girl.
I want us to have more than just us. Even though “just us” has been pretty darn special so far.
So yes, I’m sure I want another. Maybe even a few more. And while I know it will be difficult at times, I also know that I can do it. I know, with every fiber of my being, that this is what’s right for us.