Adventures in Adoption

A successful businesswoman trades work for adoptive motherhood.

Interviewed by Nicole Alper

Businesswoman to Mother
It was 9:30 on a Thursday night when I got the call that a drug-exposed baby had been born a few hours earlier. "Her mother is leaving the hospital in the morning," said the adoption facilitator. "Are you interested?"
I had fantasized about being part of a large family ever since I was a little girl growing up in Richmond Heights, California. I had two brothers, but I desperately wanted a sister, someone I could really relate to. My next-door neighbors had five children, and I spent an entire summer babysitting for them, just so I could feed off that energy. Of course, I also remember thinking, "I never want this many kids!"
I married young and became a mother while still in college. The marriage ended after just three and a half years, and my ex-husband and I shared custody of Nicole. But when he remarried a few years later, his wife wasn’t comfortable with our arrangement, so we agreed that it was best if Nicole moved with them to Oregon. It was a tough decision, but her father was able to provide a more stable environment. Though I visited my daughter often, I spent the bulk of my 20s and 30s building my career as a property investor in San Francisco. It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I realized money had been the main motivating factor in my life. I wanted to make a commitment to something more meaningful.
Around this time, a friend of a friend had a baby that she couldn’t raise on her own, so I offered to take care of her on a temporary basis. She ended up living with me for two years, and it was during that time that I said, "Wow — I think I’m ready for this." There was just one problem: I was single.
I briefly considered using a sperm bank, but I felt compelled to bring a baby into the world with someone who’d be a part of that child’s life. So I got up the nerve and asked Richard, a friend from college. His response? "Yes!" I was surprised. "Don’t you even want to think about it?" I asked. "I already have," he said. On September 30, 1989, I gave birth to my daughter, Taylor.

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