I am talking about myself now. It was a crazy warm summer night in 1978 that my large group of friends invited a tattoo artist to our party. Without any planning, I got a tattoo of a couple of roses on my hip. Yes, I surprised myself if you want to know the truth. Besides the couple of women at the party that did get tattoos, I didn’t know of any other women with tattoos. This was a point in time when people thought women who had tattoos had just been released from prisons. A couple of kids at the beach thought I had wasps tattooed on my hip. I spent the next 15 years or so keeping it covered up. Little did I know that the rest of the world was going to catch up with and pass me on the tattoo band wagon.
That wasn’t the only unusual thing I did in the 70’s. There was another event in 1978 when I was living in northern California with my boyfriend. I was 19 years old at the time. A young woman had walked by my house a couple of times one week on her way to visit someone down the street. I had seen her around before and chatted with her if I happened to be outside when she came by. Her name was Debbie. One week I noticed she was pregnant and congratulated her, then she told me she was not pregnant. Opps! It was an embarrassing moment for me as well as a good lesson about keeping my mouth closed. A week or so later she came to my house and confessed that she WAS pregnant. She already had some other responsibilities and was going to give the baby up for adoption. That event happened the same year as the tattoo thing so you can see how it made perfect sense to me that I offer to adopt the baby! 19 years old and adopting a baby? Sounded very logical at the time. I had never been pregnant and didn’t think I would be able to get pregnant after an illness in my early teens.
Long story shortened here, I picked up the newborn at the hospital to the shock of the administrators and nurses and the confusion of the Social Services department. My boyfriend and I didn’t work out but I went to the courthouse and got a legal single parent adoption. Here is a link with some history regarding Single Parent adoptions. If you read it you can tell there wasn’t very much history regarding this subject at the time.
Everyone knows my oldest daughter is adopted so this isn’t news to anyone. It is a crazy story of how this came to happen and since she is grown and in mid-30’s now I don’t mind sharing the series of events. This baby was loved by the village of my friends and family and has since grown to be a productive member of society. That isn’t to say there weren’t some rocky roads along the way as parents all experience.
I eventually did get pregnant when she was 15 years old. She had grown up wishing for siblings and I did feel guilty about not being able to provide her with any until she told me the real reason she needed siblings. She wanted to start a band, really that was it! She eventually ended up with one sister and 16 cousins and never did get a band going out of it.
These events in 1978 remind me how impulsive my thought process was at that time. Now that my children are out of the nest I try not to be surprised by what they do or say but I am sure I could be.