Monday, 26 May 2008

so you think you can be a grandma mom

I am 46. I've always hoped and believed that somewhere along the line I would meet the father of my children and raise a family. At 35 I married a friend and we tried to bear children without success. We tried fertility drugs and artificial insemination hoping for more than one, you know, to get it over with.

With the exception of one miscarriage, the treatments were unsuccessful. I looked into adoption, however my husband did not share in my enthusiasm. We had a lot of other problems anyway. After the divorce, I continued to hope for a child, adoption or otherwise, thinking that it would happen after I sold my house. Of course there was not enough money at the time to start over AND have a child. As it were I had to rent a place, which did not allow for children.

Eventually I let my dream of motherhood go the way of all of my dreams. Kiss it to God. Not meant to be. On the spiritual and practical side I just accepted the reality. No Mother's Day, No artwork on the fridge, no ceramic chatckees to put around. No school pictures...and on and on. God's will be done.
I found comfort in the single life and eventually stopped the dating altogether. I decided to just stay in the present moment and stop pining over what could have been. Depressing is what it was. Watching every other family as if through a plate glass window.

Living my life like a nun.

I said A NUN.


And this was my state of being until 2 days ago when it started in again. The nagging desire for a family. For a little girl from China. From anywhere really. A little boy would be nice but I understand that boys are in demand in China. Not so with little girl babies. Anyway. I would LOVE a child, male or female and thought I would move to another home and start the process of adopting my daughter. Or Son.
And so, I started to talk about it again. I have told several people. Most of them have been encouraging. Today I went for a walk with my friend Mike L,
a man who I can always count on for level-headed advice. Shoots straight from the hip, whatever that means.

"I'm thinking about adopting a little girl from China".
Mike reminded me that I've been thinking about that for years. He then reminded me that would be a 'Grandma Mom'.

Oh yeah. I forgot about that. I'm sure he was sort of kidding but it was a valid point. Something to consider. We talked a little about it, but mostly I just pooh-poohed the whole notion of being too old to have young children. I pondered it all afternoon. Seriously. Do I really have the strength and stamina to care for a grow old as the kid grows up into a teeeeenager?

Challenging my authority? Coming in at all hours? Hiding boys in her closet? Slapping me around in my old age? Heaven forbid! Seriously. PMS and hormones can reek havoc.

Depending on the age of the child I could wind up being a grandma mom. An OLD MOTHER. My #1 eX's mother was 40 something when she had him. When we met she was 68 and extremely wrinkled with white hair. She was also an Estonian immigrant who sent him to school with Bratwurst in a paper bag for lunch. He lost his dad at 2, which meant he was left with his old mother and no dad. Maybe being the daughter of an grandma mom isn't as hard on a daughter as it is on a son.

Grandma mom. Is this something I need to think about? Will I be able to keep up with my child's activities? Attend her prom, her graduations? See her uncle walk her down the aisle? Will my child shrink in embarrassment at my wrinkles and gray hair when I am with her? Will my child harbor a grudge that her mother isn't in the same shape as her friends mom? That her mother has at least 20 years and pounds on her friend's mom? Or maybe, if I can work it out, her friends mother will ALSO be a grandma mom. Oh my... So many questions to consider. And what of the love and other things that I can offer this child? The things I could teach her. Weaving and such. Kidding. She would keep me young. Healthy. At least until she hits the teenage years which we can deal with when we get there. 60 year old mom when she is 13? Oi I am starting to get it. much to think about. But somewhere there is a little girl coming into the world who would not have the her momma around to hold her and be there when she needs her...does any of this matter, really? Age? AM I too old for a young child?

I was thinking that if I was a black woman it wouldn't really matter since black women seem to remain youthful way beyond 100.


I think I am more concerned with where I am going to get the money to adopt a child. Worry about the grandma mom thing later. The whole thing just give me a headache.

Time will tell if I ever get to be a grandma Mom or not...


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Dear Gina,
I am 46 this year too and my wife is going to be 43. We have no children yet but we still hope to try in the next two years. Our late start was partly by choice and partly by circumstance. We do not think it is too late to start a family or to adopt a child.

A child will respond to love and security and won't care about the age issue. My own mother was 41 years old when she had me (youngest of 4 siblings). My childhood was different from other kids because of the age issue but that does not make it necessarily worse, just different.

I honestly think that to surrender your wishes and desires in prayer to a loving God is the best thing. He knows what is the best for you and will provide the way and the answer that is best for you.

I think if you have the love to give to a child, then adopting a child would be wonderful.

I'll be praying for you.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Dear Gina,
I guess I am feeling talkative. But I just wanted to share this little extra bit.

I too wondered if I was too old to connect with young children. So I have purposely taken the trouble to baby sit and play with my friends' children. I am Uncle "Big Guy" to them. I don't think I do anything special but they seem to like me. I guess kids are good enough to give us marks for effort!

Gina said...

Thank you very much, LGS, for your positive comments! My friends comment was actually funny to me at the time before I became obsessed with the topic. I am probably just over-thinking again. Trying to be practical and consider all the angles. If it's meant to be, it will be.

You made some very good points here. I don't even know if adoption it will be financially feasible but I am looking into it. Praying for the door to open. I will also pray that you and your wife will soon become pregnant.You'd be a great Dad! Thanks again!

PS I do enjoy my nieces and nephews and have friends with children who call me Aunt Gina, which always warms my heart.

Angelissima said...

I'm a grandma-mom, literally!
I don't want to fuel the fire, but Gina, lots of women our age are having their first child.

Grandma-mom is a thing of the past.

I will tell you that you do need lots of stamina to keep up with little kids and they are annoying as all get out sometimes.

When they are your own you won't have the luxury of giving them back to their parents.

its FOREVER...and they grow up into scary teens...and cost a lot of money...they'll bankrupt you if your not careful.

But, maybe not! Maybe with the right kind of undivided attention and guidance, you'll have a good child that will never cause you any grief.

Its a crap shoot, Sister Bertrille.

On the other hand, you'd be saving the life of a Chinese girl.

You know what? I asked my doc how much AI is now...$10,000! and thats using your own stuff!

Adoption costs just as much without the stretch marks.

Six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.

Walk with Michael?

Gina said...

We paid 400 bucks a pop.

I think he was talking about in vitro fertilization which costs so much. Not an option here. Not in my current situation.

THANKS Ang, for your advice. I am looking into adoption. Not childbirth. We shall see.