My name is Joel Batten-Amador. I'm 34 years old, and I grew up in the 1980's in a cute little town in North Carolina called Goldsboro. I spent my childhood there rather idyllically. I grew up in a place where I could play hide-and-seek in corn fields.
I was a part of this roving band of children comprised of myself and the children of my mother's good friends. We played outside after dark when the streetlights would come on, we climbed trees, jumped fences, and jumped out of swing-sets when we were going really high. We had it pretty good.
My Mom, Mary Jo, raised me on her own with a lot of help from my grandparents. Mary Jo was a pretty remarkable woman, but I'm sure most sons would say the same of their mothers. She is such a nurturer, and from my understanding, she always was. She was the kind of girl who baby-sat all the kids in her neighborhood or in her church community when she was a girl. She was a "Mommy," even when she was a young girl, even before she was my Mommy.
It was what she always wanted.
I think that she had a relatively normal adolescence and early adulthood. She got in trouble some, she was a "challenge" for my grandparents from time to time, but she grew into womanhood in similar fashion to most of her contemporaries.
In 1975 she got pregnant, and this is where things get interesting.
I now have to take just a moment to preface a bit with the fact that I never knew my father, and that my mother and I never talked about him very much.
That is a whole other blog!!!
For as long as I remember, and even now in my aduly life, I always imagined that questioning her regarding him might have been too painfl for her. I clearly remember being oblivious to the fact that my not having a father was anything to bat an eyelash at. I had a wonderful Grandfather(My Pop-Pop),and my Mom's brother(my Uncle Sammy) were both there to pick up the slack of my not having a dad by teaching me how to throw baseballs, footballs, and to change tires and things like that.
Please remember, I had a fabulous childhood.
My Mom was magic!!!
Or was that manic?
Who can remember?
Maybe a little of both.
But with regards to my Mother and father, I know this much...
She wanted me and he didn't.
That was that, and I don't think that they lasted much longer than it took for him to find out that she was pregnant, and for them to have that conversation.
I was what she had always wanted.
At any rate, I was born and went on to become quite a funny, smart, weird kid. I made it through junior high and high school without too many scars...well maybe I have a few, but that's a matter for my therapist and I once I become a famous author. I went to college primarily to get the hell out of a town that, at some point during my youth, had just become too damned small for me. In college, I net some of the most amazing people that I have ever known in my life! We did lots of drugs and had tons of fun in clubs and warehouses(used as club venues) all over the southest.
Excess and a little bit of my own personal "crazy" led me back to my hometown for a little rest from the life that I'd created for myself.
Once back home, I promptly found myself another group of friends and a "healthy" new life of more drugs, but this time, I added tons of drinking to the mix.
I moved to Florida midway through my twenties, again trying to get the hell out of my hometown, and had a couple of good years before, yet again, moving back to Goldsboro.
This time I was fine, and feeling professional after having worked a job in corporate America for a while. This time i was going to cosmetology school, which I did, all while falling back into my "old routine."
Barely surviving into my late twenties, I moved yet again back to Florida with the help of a great friend, who also helped my land a job at a high-end salon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Now this is where my life takes a drastic turn. I meet someone, we have an amazing couple of years of getting to know one another, we become each others' best friends, and then we decide to get married. We spend a year planning it. We invite some of our closest friends and family up to Boston for an unforgettable wedding.
That was last year.
It is now the summer of 2010, we've been together since 2006(married for just under one year), and we have decided that we would like to have a baby.
There's just one problem...
Here i have to admit that I haven't been very passionate about much in my life up until now. I've had almost any job you could imagine, and some you'd never be able to imagine me doing, if you knew me. I tried college, rather unsuccessfully, a time or two. Nothing took until just about six years ago.
But I have always wanted to be a Father to a child. I think that a great deal of my desire to raise a child some from the fact that I had no actual father of my own, and I'm sure that there's issues involving this that I should probably discuss with that therapist one day.
But here and now, I find myself on the verge of a new frontier.
I've managed to survive the rigors of my early adulthood, and have somehow managed to find the man of my dreams.
He and I would love to have a family.
This is what I have always wanted.
You are what I have always wanted.
The subsequent blog entries are intended to be a blow-by-blow account of how My Henry and I figure out how to become parents. I plan on including my research on surrogacy, all sorts of adoption options, my own thoughts and feelings along the way, how we figured out who's last name you'd have, and anything else I can cram into the blogospehere(or in between two covers), and we begin our journey into parenthood and the next chapter in our lives. I'm going to write how I write, I'll write how I think, and I'll leave it to some fancy editor to sort out one day.