Adopting While Pagan, Part 1

This is an interview with Tara “Masery” Miller about her experience initiating the adoption process. She writes the Staff of Asclepius blog here at Patheos and we previously published her beautiful essay about facing infertility.

Adoption is something I have little experience with so I’m really happy she volunteered to share her first-hand experience. She said, “I hope my experience can help other Pagan or magical families going through the adoption process or thinking about it.” I hope so too!

1. Why did you decide to pursue adoption?

My husband and best friend, Michael, and I were married in 1996 while living in Cape Girardeau, MO. Almost right away we began trying to start a family. When I was in my early 20s, I became seriously ill. Diabetes and hypothyroid almost put me in a coma. A really wonderful OBGYN, Tammy Williams, recognized my declining health symptoms as possible Mosaic Turners Syndrome. She referred me to a geneticist in St. Louis. Females have two x chromosomes but I have an x and partial x. Girls who have Turners usually can be treated with hormones, as long as treatment starts before puberty, and live fairly normal lives. It was too late for me though since I had premature ovarian failure.

Both of us went into a period of grief mourning the possibilities. We had spent a couple of years dreaming and planning how we would raise our children and what we would name them. We wanted one or two.

Instead of adopting, we ended up being busy in the Pagan community and I finished college. We had a lot more time to think about what it’s like to be parents and what it would take. Also, with our disabilities we really didn’t think we could pull it off.

After being in California, we’re now living closer to my family, we have a lot more support. We are also older and have more experience with children. I have helped quite a bit with my nieces and nephews. One I watched almost daily when he was an infant. We are also taking our health more seriously. You can’t give all of your time to another living being if you aren’t willing to care for yourself.

I wanted to adopt for several reasons. I don’t want to speak for my husband Mike so for me personally a couple of things happened. My best friends had their first child and my sister had her fourth. I was surrounded by infants and felt my biological clock ticking. I’m 36. If we adopt a 5 year old this year we’ll be in our late forties when they graduate from High School. Some people are grandparents at that age. I want to be able to get on the floor and play with my children and grandchildren. Heck, even pick them up and lug what they need around.

The other is more spiritual. I’m known in my family for predicting births. Spirits will come to me and ask to be a part of the family. I’d direct them to my sister until the last one. She just said I’m coming! They show me what they will look like, too. Either at birth or a year or so into the future. Well, finally I got a vision of a little girl, not a spirit wanting to be born but a child coming into my life and I felt the Goddesses’ blessings. That’s how I knew it was time.

2.  What are your hopes and dreams for your adoption?

That we can offer a safe home to a couple of kids. We’ll have good times and bad. Laughter and tears. Overall I want us to build many wonderful memories.

 

Tomorrow I’ll publish part 2 in which she responds to lots of questions about the intersection between Paganism and adoption.

Image: Attribution Some rights reserved by Horia Varlan http://www.flickr.com/photos/horiavarlan/4273168957/

About Sarah Whedon

Sarah Whedon is founding editor of Pagan Families, the author of Birth on the Labyrinth Path: Sacred Embodiment in the Childbearing Year, and former Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious History at Cherry Hill Seminary. Sarah’s teaching, research, and advocacy work center around topics of spirituality, feminism, and reproduction. She makes her home in the Boston area with her partner and their children.


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