I always think to myself that I really was born at the right time. I’m living in the age of convenience, technology, and choices – just a few of the things outside of my family and friends that make me a very happy person.
Choices. It’s one of my favourite words, and one of the things that I like to take full advantage of. A defining moment of my life was choosing to relocate to England, leaving the best food in the world, my friends and my family thousands of miles away.
Returning every year, I board the plane with excitement knowing that I’ll be seeing my grandparents and cousins soon, but also dreading hearing family and friends ask, “So when yuh going to settle down?”. This question – a loaded one that translates into “When are you going to get married and start having babies… you are 29… 30 this year?” – is always asked. My response is standard: “Well my life is pretty fabulous the way it is and I’m adopting around the 35-year mark”. Raised eyebrows, puzzled looks, and “yuh want to do an Angelina?” normally follow.
For most, marriage and babies go hand in hand. However, for me the woman of choices, and someone who does not have a traditional view on life, they simply don’t. To put things in perspective, I am not anti-marriage, and have no biases against the nuclear family structure. If I do get married one day, I hope it’ll be forever. However, I’m not planning my life based on when and if I get married. I’m not sitting waiting for a life partner in the manner that Vladimir and Estragon waited for Godot.
The idea that life truly begins after you’re married is still held by many strong, intelligent women. Yes getting married is an exciting new chapter, but not a chapter that will delay me having a child or purchasing a home. Those things will happen as soon as I am ready, whether my status is single or married. Finance is also a factor, which means many young women won’t consciously consider committing to a child or home without the financial stability of a partner. However, as a young professional who’s been working my way up the corporate ladder in London, this is not an issue for me.
What I know is that I want a family, and, for me, that means having a child and giving that child all the love that I have, and by having a child I do not mean biologically. Adoption is my choice. My thoughts on adoption do spring from my upbringing. I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of an extremely loving family who gave me a great foundation and a great start in life. My cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents are, however, not my biological family, but believe me when I say they are my family, and I couldn’t love them any more.
My story is not quite straightforward, as I was not officially adopted, as is often the case in Trinidad. When my mother passed, my grandparents (my mother’s godparents) knew that I belonged with them. Life’s not been a bed of roses; like every family, there are ups and downs. However, throughout the arguments and despite the fact that they’re the epitome of tradition, and I’m… well… me, no one can tell me that they’re not my family. So when I’m ready to take that step into motherhood, I intend to once again board that plane to Trinidad, and adopt a child from my homeland.
I can’t imagine how my life would have turned out had they not taken me in, and I’m eternally grateful for all the love and support they’ve given me. Parenthood isn’t just about a biological connection; it’s more emotional and psychological than anything. Therefore, adoption is something I’ve opted to undertake. Does it mean that I’ll never have biological children of my own? Who knows! All I know is that I’m not waiting for a life partner for me to give a child a nurturing environment. He or she will definitely have an extended family, who will continue to share the love, and show that biology is just a small part of the equation.
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