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We were just having a conversation about this last night, Sarah. Friends of ours, a doctor/nurse couple, made sure that they got pregnant in time for the baby to be delivered before her 35th birthday. It gets riskier for the first child after that,they said. Another good friend of ours, single, adopted her first daughter (Chinese, cleft palate) when she was 50. She liked it so much she adopted a Vietnamese girl two years later! The results have been nothing but spectacular for the kiddos. She's a great mommy, but we know just how tough it has been on her. A little extra cash to throw at the situation (a luxury you have that she doesn't) will help. Ultimately, though, if you don't have or build a strong support network around you, it's really really hard.

Obviously I can't deny that there's a time for mourning. But perhaps the admission that biologically (maybe even politically) you're doing the right thing by adopting will heal some of that.

This is not to say, "You won't miss it." It really isn't. But I HATED being pregnant. Really, really, really. Except for the weight loss (I know, feel free to shoot me now.) Throw in the pre-eclampsia times two and there was nothing fairy-tale about the entire experience. Couldn't even friggin' give birth like a normal person, where you take the kid immediately in your arms, room in, have family and friends visit you in the hospital... none of that. Just left my kids in the NICU for a few weeks and got familiar with the evil breast pump.

No, no issues here.

The planet really has more than enough people already. I encourage you to adopt if you want to be a parent.

I personally would not want to miss out on being pregnant. There is no doubt in my mind that hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time, feeling them kick inside of you, or giving birth are all, on a basic and fundamental level, worthy, regardless of whether or not there's another person around or not. I find a hard time grasping the concept that the worth of these events are based on whether or not you have a partner to share them with. I think that life, in all it's forms and manifestations, is worth too much to be dependent on anything else.

Kim-- You have an excellent point. But sometimes, no matter the worth of an event, it's painful to be alone in important moments. It just is. I wish it weren't!

I guess I have a different perspective - one of the reasons I decided to adopt, after very briefly first considering the knock-yourself-up route because I figure I have pretty good genes that would be worth passing along, was that I have NO desire whatsoever to go through pregnancy and childbirth. Alone or otherwise. Just doesn't appeal to me in the slightest, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything by not experiencing it.

I am blessed with 2 sons. The first joined our family by adoption, the second was a surprise pregnancy. I can tell you this with complete certainty - beyond the experience of pregnancy (or not) the two options are pretty much the same. At a certain point, someone hands you a child and you're the mother. And the bonding and getting to know each other and loving them and parenting them and every other thing is the same. Given that, and the number of children that have no families, please do think about adoption.

Either way, soon enough you'll be past this part and just be parenting.

I found you through the Happiness Project, I love when things happen that way.

I'm 43 and seriously thinking about having a child on my own. I understand the questions of adoption vs to have... I will try to become pregnant this year and I know that if it doesn't happen then I will adopt. But I don't want to give up the possibility of my own biological child without trying. And I feel the same way as you do.. I wish I wasn't doing this alone.

Eve-- Oh, yes. Going it alone... it's hard. No question about it. But I think at some point I realized that it would be harder NOT to do it, than to do it alone. And once I started to reconcile my feelings on the single issue (emphasis on "started" because I am so not done with the reconciling) it became easier to really get excited about the possibilities of doing it alone. And I'm also starting to see the positive aspects of single parenthood-- being able to make the parenting decisions I think are best without having to compromise with another parent, for example. I wish you tons of luck, and if you're not already part of Single Mothers By Choice or Choice Moms, I recommend checking out both organizations. Meeting and reading about other women in the same boat we're in helps me remember I'm not alone in being alone in this. All the best, S.

On Sep 27, 2009, at 2:04 PM, [email protected] wrote:

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  • 'Bass Ackwards and Belly Up' and 'Footfree and Fancyloose' tell the story of four best friends who commit the ultimate suburban sin: putting off college to pursue their dreams.

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    What is Starfish Envy??

    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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