Dear Amy: I’m a man in my 30s. Ever since I was a young-adult, I’ve wanted to have a family of my own.
I grew up an only child. When I got older, I decided that whether I got married or not I would adopt a child.
The only problem with this plan was that I was young and was still getting my career going.
I’m now in my mid-30s. My ex-girlfriend and I had talked about possibly adopting a child, but unfortunately that relationship broke up.
However, I still want to adopt. The only problem is, I don’t know if I should try to adopt now — or wait.
I have a job, but that job only pays me when I am needed (which is rare). I have my own home and own my own vehicle, etc.
I don’t know how to bring this up to my family. I wonder what their reactions will be. I’m sort of afraid to say anything to them about it.
My dad was adopted, and I saw the problems he faced, and I just don’t know what to do. — Prospective Dad
Dear Prospective: You seem to have put a lot of thought into this, but you don’t seem to have done any research about adoption (other than writing to me). Becoming a parent (especially a single parent) is a heavy lift. It is emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. It is also the greatest and most important thing you will ever do.
I applaud the fact that parenthood is calling to you, and hope you will answer the call.
Start right now — by researching your options. Your local office of Family and Children’s Services would be a good first stop. Make an appointment to talk to a social worker. Ask any and all questions and take careful notes.
You might be a good candidate for fostering a child. Becoming a foster parent would give you the opportunity to see if full-time parenting is something you can tackle. You will be interviewed and educated about what is required, and you would be supported through your efforts.
Many prospective parents enter the parenting journey through the foster-to-adopt program. This effort requires both fearlessness and faith.
I hope you will also consider becoming a “Big Brother.” The Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program (bbbs.org) is a wonderful way for adults to connect with kids who are looking for a positive adult role model in their lives. Do you have what it takes to be a “big?” Check their website.
Dear Amy: After 13 years of marriage, I recently learned through a good friend that my husband, “Charlie,” dated my daughter’s longtime travel soccer coach for three years, prior to he and I getting married.
I was told the relationship was so serious that they had discussed marriage!
I couldn’t understand why my husband would keep that information from me all this time.
Charlie confirmed that this was true, but said he didn’t feel it was necessary to tell me.
I feel I have been lied to and have lost all trust in him.
Should I be upset? — Upset?
Dear Upset?: If you are upset and questioning or wanting permission to feel your own honest emotions, then you have some work to do,
You have the right to your feelings. And yes, if I were you, I would be bewildered and upset.
I’m going to assume that your daughter might be older — and that you are not encountering this coach regularly, and so there is no personal overlap between the three of you. This might account for how this news took so long to get to you.
A three-year serious relationship is a major life-event not to disclose, but I don’t think it is necessarily a total trust-breaker.
You should ask your husband what other minor details he neglected to share with you, pre-marriage. Does he have children you don’t know about? Was he in the military, the seminary, a boy band?
Stay calm. It’s time to talk.
Dear Amy: If the man who signed his letter “Love Story” truly wants to leave his wife for his lost love, but wants to leave “gracefully,” why doesn’t he let his wife and children stay in their home?
He should accept his responsibility for his children’s well-being and leave the house to his wife and kids, if he must move on to chase happiness. — Disheartened
Dear Disheartened: I agree. This man’s “Love Story” spelled heartbreak for others.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.