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An Open Letter to Sandra Bullock
a blog by Mikki Morrisette, April 30, 2010
Congratulations on your adoption of Louis Bardo Bullock! Just so you know, you are in amazing company, becoming a Choice Mom.
Tens of thousands of single women make the decision every year to build a family without a partner. A growing number of them -- as I hear from the membership requests to my private Choice Mom discussion board -- are leaving relationships with partners who don't want to be parents, or who are not good role models. Many have been enmeshed in careers and post-graduate education and they find themselves in their 30s, finally able to take a breath, and realizing they are running out of time to start a family.
I was actually in your hometown, Austin, recently (well, one of your hometowns) and met with 30 such women, We talked with each other about how hard it was for many of them to conceive. How they were getting organization and stress relief back into their life. How they were leaving corporate careers to try to find flexibility in home-based businesses, and finding creative ways to pay for health insurance. Many of them are grateful for the amazing gift that adoption has been to them in building a family. (FYI: I later took my 10-year-old Choice daughter to your bistro; she recognizes you as a great example of strength and admires the heck out of you.)
At these Choice Mom events, we always find remarkable joy and strength in connecting with each other. As one woman put it, "It was so great being in a room full of like-minded women and realizing that we were all beautiful, intelligent, independent, successful ladies. Before I found this community I just felt like I was so alone in this choice or some kind of societal anomaly."
I recently engaged in a point/counterpoint with a fathers’ rights advocate on PublicSquare.net, who seemed to believe that many of us are lonely, desperate women who fill our children's lives with a parade of men. He seemed to think that our children suffer greatly by not having a father in their life, and not being in a two-parent family.
As I told him, "The women who choose this path tend to be highly self-sufficient, 'can-do' women who find solutions, build strong networks, and are devoted to motherhood. Much like women who are widowed or divorced, we seek out male role models and build support within our families of origin and our school, church, and fellow parenting community. Like a family quilt, we blend together the many good materials we have in ourselves and our networks to create something greater than the sum of its parts.”
I take offense at the idea that a child is likely to suffer in a single-parent home. Yes, it’s hard to be a great parent if you are financially and emotionally handling everything without a strong partner by your side, but, by and large, we do pretty well."
I am the proud Choice Mother of two -- the second added to our family when I was 41. I left a high-paying job at Time Inc. 11 years ago, and couldn't be happier with my new role building connections and resources for our remarkable community.
Sandra, welcome to the journey!