Opinion » Alta States

Sara Jennings — changing the world, one act at a time

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Speaking of babies, did you know that the WCSS's current Food Bank coordinator is actively engaged in trying to adopt a child? "I always, ALWAYS, wanted to be a mum," says Sara. "Since I was three years old, you know, I thought I'd have the whole family thing: husband, kids, bustling household." But it didn't happen. And so she finally came to a life-changing decision. "I realized that I could live with myself if I never found the right significant other," she says, "even though it would be really hard... But never being a parent? That's just not acceptable."

So why adoption? "I've always had a desire to adopt," says the woman whose training and work in early child education seems particularly well suited to a parenting role. "There are just too many kids already here in this world that need the love of caring parents," she continues. "And for me, personally, I don't think I need a blood-bond to make a real connection with a child."

A very private person — and not at all accustomed to revealing her personal issues in public — it was Sara herself who encouraged me to talk about her adoption plans in this story. "I've been trying to adopt for a long time," she explains. "But I want an open relationship with the birth parents so I'm trying to adopt within the local program — as opposed to an international adoption."

Hmm. Does an "open relationship with the birth parents" mean they remain part of the adopted child's environment throughout his/her life? "That's exactly what it means," she says. And laughs nervously again. "You see, I want things to be out in the open. I want my children to know where they came from. What their roots are..."

But that kind of a process (where the birth parents actually pick their favourite adoption candidate) can't be easy for someone in her situation. "You're right," she says. "Being a single parent, it's very unlikely that I'll get picked. But it's all about word-of-mouth, you know. So..."

She sighs. And for just a moment I see just how challenging this adoption process has been for her. But then the veil drops again and she's back to being the bright-eyed, gung-ho woman she always is. "You never know," she says. "Maybe there's somebody out there who wants to put their child up for adoption who knows somebody who knows me. And maybe that person is reading this story right now." Another long pause. Finally she shrugs. "I've gotta stay positive about the process," she says. "And I've gotta hope that it will come together somehow. After all, that's the way the world works."