Jill Silvey (adoptive mom) and Kathryn Veazey (adoptive and foster mom) will be leading Tapestry’s new Adoptive/Foster Single Parents Group, which meets this Sunday from 5:00 to 6:15 pm at Irving Bible Church. You will be hearing more about Jill and Kathryn and their desire to help us serve single adoptive and foster parents in the coming weeks. For now, read Jill’s thoughts about the realities of being a single adoptive mom and the need for support. If you’re single, make plans to join this group as it gets started — and help us spread the word to others in the community.
By Jill Silvey
Adoption can be the most wonderful and, at the same time, the most challenging journey in a person’s life. When you add being SINGLE to the mix, that can make it all the more challenging.
Many of the questions and challenges that parents face are similar if not the same, regardless of whether the child is a biological, adopted or foster child. But single parents are forced to look at those same questions and challenges with an added filter. Ultimately there is only one parent available to provide everything that is needed. This ever-present reality can be overwhelming at times, causing us to question ourselves even as it hopefully motivates us to seek the help and support we need from others.
But with the added challenges and burdens that single adoptive and foster parents face, it can sometimes be difficult to find others who truly understand. Issues about the logistics of how to make everything work in my life; questions about who will care for my child if I am sick; concerns about what to do about childcare; doubts about how can I provide my child (or children) all that they need and still meet the demands of my job; confusion about how to answer intrusive questions about my child’s background and my single status – these are all realities for single adoptive and foster parents that many others cannot fully relate to. It’s a lot of responsibility to bear, and sometimes it feels like it’s all up to me.
Singles that have adopted must be ready to face these and other questions that married adoptive and foster families simply don’t have to face. And if that weren’t enough, we often encounter many intrusive and judgmental questions as well as more than a few stereotypes. For example, I was dismayed when I, a Christian since I was eight years old, came across a very blunt discussion on the internet about whether singles should even adopt. Frankly, it saddened me to see such narrow-mindedness from others who shared my faith, saying things like, “If these women don’t want to be a wife, why do they think they could be a mom,” and “This isn’t what God intended for families to be, shame on these women that adopt from their own selfish need to not be alone.”
Really, I thought to myself? I know the benefits from having a mom and a dad, but I also know the benefits of a child having a loving and committed mom or dad instead of an orphanage caregiver or bouncing around the system endlessly. Truth is, I am not interested in debating the issue of singles adopting or fostering because I know what God has called me (and many others like me) to do.
I understand that some people don’t agree or cannot understand, and that’s ok. But the reality is that we live in a broken and imperfect world. The very need for adoption and foster care is evidence enough of that reality. And even though I have been called to walk this journey as a single mom, I am not walking it alone. I’m blessed to have the support of my friends and family and of my church family, as well as the support and friendship of so many other adoptive and foster families (both married and single) in Tapestry. And I have the strength and peace that comes from a loving God who has called me to this amazing journey and is with me every step of the way.
This is why I am excited to be leading, together with my friend Kathryn Veazey who I met at Tapestry, a group for other adoptive and foster singles – Tapestry’s new Adoptive & Foster Single Parents Group. The group is open to all singles, whether you adopted or started fostering years ago, just adopted last week, are still waiting for a placement or are simply considering adoption or foster care. We meet each third Sunday night from 5:00 to 6:15 pm in the Training Room (across from the indoor play area) at Irving Bible Church. You don’t need to attend Irving Bible Church (or any church for that matter) to join us. You don’t need to pay anything or let us know that you are coming in advance. Simply show up and meet some other singles who understand what it means to be on the adoption and foster care journey. In addition, children ages birth through 5th grade can participate in the Sunday evening children’s programs during this time.
We hope that you will consider joining us as we travel the adoption and foster care journey as single parents, but not alone.
If you have questions or need more information about the Adoptive & Foster Single Parents Group, contact Amy Monroe at firstname.lastname@example.org