One year ago, I started my adoption journey. I’d been pondering adoption for years…well, for decades, actually, because Cindy Whelchel (my best friend in high school) and I had made a pact when we were seventeen that we were going to adopt “brown” babies that no one else wanted. We’re both white but love black culture, abhor racial prejudice, and—truth be told—were probably hoping that having mocha-colored children would give us the opportunity to talk back in church!
Of course, we had no idea when we made that solemn promise while wearing matching pink Izods and poufy hair in the eighties that Cindy would marry Peter in the nineties, that they would struggle with infertility and then go on to adopt two beautiful biracial children. Nor did we imagine that thirty years later, in 2012, I’d still be single.
Frankly, being unmarried is the main reason I pondered adoption for so long but never seriously pursued it. I grew up in the Waltons and Huxtables era, so the idea of having a child without a dad was pretty foreign to me. But when an old friend called last year and asked if I’d be willing to adopt a hard-core crack addict’s baby that no one else was standing in line for because of the inevitable neurological problems and possible birth defects, I thought, “This soon-to-be mama and the baby she’s carrying need someone—anyone—to love them and even a single chick with chemically dependent hair like me can do that!”