Inventing My Life

When I turned 40, I figured I was now officially a grown up - now what? Here's what: on Christmas Day in 2009, I arrived home from Ethiopia with my two-and-a-half year old daughter Elfe. We've been busy ever since inventing a life worth living...

Liz is a winner of Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Parents

Why did you decide to adopt?

Unlike a lot of women, I did not dream of being a mother from a young fact, I always assumed I would never get married or have children. Then, the year I turned 39, I met a man and very quickly became engaged and started planning to have kids with him. On some level, I think my biological clock was ticking, even though I couldn't really hear it.

Before the year was out, however, I discovered that my fiance was an alcoholic and an addict. I called off the wedding and eventually broke off all contact with him. After I came to some closure about the whole situation, I realized that I still wanted to be a mother even though I was no longer going to get married.

I started out thinking I would try to get pregnant on my own, but after doing some research and realizing that it would involve a whole lot of medical procedures and wouldn't neccesarily even result in a baby, I decided to pursue adoption.

What was the biggest challenge or hurdle you faced in the adoption process?

I chose to adopt from Ethiopia, and it was extremely challenging to be single during a time when Ehtiopia was starting to put limits on adoptiongs by single women. I learned to ignore all of the rumors that flew around the big Ethiopian adoption Yahoo board, and put my trust in my adoption agency. It turned out to be a good decision!

When and how did you (or will you) tell your child they were adopted?

My daughter Elfe was close to 3 years old when she left Ethiopia with me, so she has always known that she had a family before I became her mother. Within our first six months together, I read the book "How I Was Adopted" by Joanna Cole with her so we could open up a conversation about it. The book really helped me to introduce the word "adoption" in English to her, and also to help her start forming and making sense of her own adoption story. Adoption is a fairly frequent topic in our house, and we are also very fortunate to have a large network of adoptive families that we see on a regular basis to help make being adopted no big deal for Elfe.