The Journey to Motherhood


I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to be a mother. I also can’t remember ever thinking I’d do it as a single woman. I always assumed it would just happen in the traditional way. I’d graduate from college, move to Chicago, land a job, meet a great guy and settle down with two kids and a dog. At 40, I had left a corporate PR firm and started my own. Too many dates were ending up on a road to nowhere, and it finally hit me: Maybe this dream wouldn’t become a reality. I may have to create my own destiny.

I pursued adoption and decided to fulfill my dream of being a mother. While scary and sometimes feeling alone, I found great comfort in knowing that I was among a growing number of women who have chosen the path to pursue motherhood while searching for Mr. Right.

For Rebecca Gruenspan, adoptive mother and founder of RG Adoption Consulting (featured in TCW’s May issue), being a mother was her biggest dream in life. “While I thought it would be in a more ‘traditional’ manner, it turns out, that part wasn’t as important to me as being a mother was,” she says.

Kate O’Malley, president, K.O. Strategies, who adopted her son as a single woman, advises other single women considering pursuing motherhood on their own to reach out to some single moms to get a sense of what they’re going through. “I connected with a group called Single Mothers by Choice, and it was really terrific to meet professional, accomplished, single women who were already parents,” she explains. “Talking with those moms and seeing them interact with their children only reinforced my decision to pursue motherhood as a single woman.”

While many of us share the same bond of motherhood, our journeys – filled with uncertainty, happiness and fear – are all very different. My journey to motherhood took me across the world to Kathmandu, Nepal.

My mother and I boarded the plane from Bangkok to Kathmandu, the last leg of our long journey from Chicago to Nepal. As I stared in wonder out of the windows at the beautiful mountaintops, I was filled with excitement and nervous energy. All I could think about was the serious little girl with the dark, sullen eyes in the small photo I clenched in the palm of my hand. I tried to stay calm and focus on what brought me to this moment – adopting this beautiful, little girl. And, despite what many told me was the final chapter in my journey, I knew my journey was just beginning.

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About Candice Warltier

Candice Warltier is the founder/principal of Communication Strategies Group, a Chicago-based strategic communications firm. She works with a team of individuals to help clients achieve their business and communications goals by creating awareness, changing opinions and influencing behaviors of key audiences through targeted, effective communications programs. She is a mom and involved in advocating for international adoption. She has conducted numerous interviews on the subject in media outlets including, NPR, The Talk, Chicago Tribune, WGN-TV and Washington Times.