It’s These Moments That Catch Me

It’s these moments that catch me.   This morning before work, way too early for my liking, I walked my three year old son and his bestie Elmo to his car seat and strapped him in. As he often does, he smiled and asked, “Hug, Mommy?” after I fastened his seat belt. I leaned in and hugged him, feeling the strength of his tiny little arms pulling me in.

I then brought my daughter’s infant car seat around and fastened it in place, bending over to kiss her downy head as she slept through the whole process, more beautiful than I have words to describe, cooing softly and smiling.

It’s these moments that catch me. When I am doing everyday Mommy things and I get blown away with how much I love these itty bitty humans that am privileged to call my children.

I loved my life pre-kids, I orchestrated great … Continue reading

A Letter To My Younger Self

I recently read a blog post by someone who has kids and was lamenting her pre-kid single life freedoms. The post was a letter to her young self about how she should enjoy being free, staying out late with friends, traveling and not worry about meeting someone to share her life with—or about whether she has kids; that her life would be just great without them. I love how people who are married with kids always joke about what a pain it is to be married, and tell single people how lucky we are to not have to “deal with” a partner and how hard it is to be tied down to kids.

So I decided to write my own letter to my younger single self:

Dear naive self who thinks she’ll just meet Mr. Right at that perfect age (no need to worry!) and who believes her uterus will … Continue reading

From a Mom of a Little One through Anonymous Donor IVF

In the popular media, single mothering by choice is sometimes about these crazy women who go looking for sperm donors like they’re ordering pizza toppings — Tall? Check. Good SAT scores? Check. Mushrooms? Check.

In reality, it’s not about the sperm. It’s not about the donor. It’s not about the turkey baster or the petri dish. It’s about the milky smell of a newborn, the little fingers that clutch mine when we cross the street, the worries about paying for college and whether the plastics and the scented baby shampoo will poison my toddler. It’s about motherhood, not hatred of men. So that’s why I’m leaping to add my voice to this blog. I want people to understand why so many of us are doing this. I’ve always known I was a mother, I just needed a little help to get there. And I thank God — thank God thank Continue reading

Supermom

As usual, time has gotten away from me and a holiday is fast approaching. I was going to dress up as Supergirl for Halloween; mostly because I have the costume and there’s a television show about her. Then it hit me…why not dress up as myself?

Supermom.

I manage two little lives, taking care of all their needs and many of their wants. I give boo-boo healing kisses. I run our home, which needs a ton of work, but is still standing. I work full-time, plus some each week. I drive long distances so my kids will be with people I trust while I am supporting us. I keep my title of “Mom” by earning it with sweat and diaper-changing equity. I don’t go out “adulting” often because I prefer to spend my time with my babies. I even keep our many pets fed and watered, if not played … Continue reading

On Turning One

You probably won’t remember anything of your first year. Your knowledge of it will come from photos, videos, and stories told to you by family and friends. In other words, you’ll get the highlight reel.

Honestly, I’m not sure my memory will be much different. Already those early hours, days, and weeks have begun to blur into that foggy place we call the past. My clearest memories are those too special—or too scary—to forget.

Waking up from surgery and wanting to meet you so badly it hurt.

Seeing you for the first time, so small, so fragile, so mine.

Watching you find my breast and begin to feed, and feeling overcome with amazement that our bodies worked together so innately to give you just what you needed.

Snuggling skin to skin with you that first night. Secretly enjoying the fact I had no one there to share you with.

The … Continue reading

Our Second “Family Day”

My son’s 2nd adoption anniversary is this month.  It’s so weird that he has only been my “legal” son for 2 years.  It’s almost easy to forget how uncertain things were while I was fostering him and how I lived in fear that something would happen and CPS would take him from me.  Now, he’s almost 4 and he has such a personality!  He’s also starting to understand “adoption” a little more.

I know there’s so much controversy about celebrating Adoption Days. I don’t really look at it as “celebrating,”  I look at it more like “remembering”… talking about how we became a family and reflecting on it.  As my son gets older he will have more say in how and what we do to “commemorate” our adoption.

I actually don’t call it “adoption day” or “gotcha day.”  I don’t really like those phrases.  I refer to it as our … Continue reading

A Letter to My Donor

Dear Donor,

We’ve never met.  In fact, you have no idea of my specific existence, but I think about you a lot.  Sometimes on the subway I’ll see a youngish brown-haired man and wonder if we’re connected.  When an older gentleman or woman passes by, I think about your folks —what they’re like and if they have grandkids.  Other grandkids, that is.

See, I have a son, Isaiah, who’s two and a half, and you, my anonymous sperm donor, made him possible.  For that I thank you with all the gratitude I can summon now and forever.  That sounds like a corny love song lyric, I realize, but the sentiment is true.  I’m so deeply appreciative that something—a little extra cash? some desire to change the life of someone you’ve never met? an inexplicable nudge from the universe?—motivated you to head to a sperm bank some years ago.  With this … Continue reading

Meeting Donor Siblings: The Postmodern Family Vacation

I sifted through my Sunday paper yesterday morning, pulling out the usual bits – coupons, TV guide, Target ad, and USA Weekend. On the latter’s cover were pictures of the characters from NBCs debut of “The New Normal” and the corresponding story inside was titled “The Postmodern Family.”

“The Postmodern Family?”  Really?  How could I resist?

The article talked about the multitude of upcoming shows based on non-traditional families. TV historian Tim Brooks notes that television has often presented us with non-traditional families, as it reflects what’s already going on in our current society. For example, The Brady Bunch in its time reflected “the trend of a blended family,” where adults with children from previous marriages came together to form a new family unit.

This particular example rather amused me, as I just had a Very Brady Summer Vacation…

Back when I was pregnant with my son, there was a … Continue reading

Me, My Mother, and My Children

I called my mother last night. Something I generally do a few times a week, but have done less often in the last month or two. I just don’t feel like talking once I get the kids to bed. But I called her.

My mother was a good mom. I never ever ever doubted her love for me. Even when she told me, in so many words, that “she didn’t really like me right now”. As the oldest of 3, I think I carried a lot of responsibility. Some of it placed on me (mommy’s little helper, type things), and some of it just my internalization of my role in the family. My parents were somewhat free-range, pretty normal for the 70s. I had no actual needs that went unmet, but there also wasn’t lots of extra money, until I was in the middle of high school.

But my mom … Continue reading

Child of Mine: A Story of Embryo Donation

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mom. I started babysitting when I was just 9 years old and continued to do so through college. I have always loved children and “borrowed” my friends’ children on a regular basis. When I was in my mid-20s, I would often say that if I got to be 35, wasn’t married, and had no prospects for marriage, I was going to go to a sperm bank and use a turkey baster. Fast forward 10 years: Me, at age 35, not married and not involved with anyone. And so my journey to a child began.

Fast forward another 2 years. I had moved back to my hometown so I could be near my family, bought a house, lost weight, and was on the brink of my first donor insemination. I was beyond excited!! The morning of my insemination, Continue reading

“SMC has been a huge inspiration to me from the moment I became a member. I got to know many wonderful women who encouraged me to take the leap of faith and whose support over the years was just great. I treasure the life-long friendships that I have developed.”

– Rada Lankina