Mar’s young, in her 20s, very well-educated (she’s working on a PhD in Educational Policy, has an MS in social work, an MA in history, and is thinking of picking up a JD in her spare time); first-generation American whose parents came from Jamaica; and passionate about children, education, and social welfare. Since Mar’s new to our area and hasn’t made it to that museum yet, I invited her to come with us, and, well, I was assigned to drive FIVE kids and needed another grown-up to manage the chaos.
I like her. She’s young, idealistic, and working hard to meet the goals she’s set for herself to make the world a better place. She reminds me of me when I was her age: focused and driven on education and career.
In the blizzard-slowed hour-long drive, we talked. Mar mentioned that some of her friends are starting to marry and begin families, and that she’s not interested in any of that yet. I reiterated that her focus on education and career are fine (not that she needed my affirmation), then she said that she wonders if, in 10 or 15 years, she might regret not having started a family yet. I mentioned that there are lots of ways to make a family; that it’s about being a parent, not being pregnant; there are children in need of families; and that medical science can work wonders.
Her response? That my point about being a parent vs. being pregnant is poignant but that:
"It seems like putting all the effort into a child who isn’t your own is aThis, from someone with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and working at my daughter's school, was disheartening and a little alarming.
I don’t think she knows I’m a mom-by-adoption, and I wasn’t about to get into a big discussion on the validity of parenting-by-adoption because the car was filled with BabyGirl’s school friends. But I still find myself getting torqued up about it.