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MY ALMOST MOTHERHOOD

A Summary from Blake & Associates Law Firm

 

By Janet Lee

I had a lot of questions about my career in tech, but of one thing I was certain: I did not want a child. Then I met a girl who needed me as much as I needed her.

When I was 34 and single, a social services caseworker asked me if I wanted to adopt a 14-year-old girl. Wanted. The word wilted in my chest. How had my life meandered to a place where someone thought I wanted to be a mother? How could I explain to the caseworker that becoming a mother was never part of my plan?

E. and I met in a volunteer tutoring program shortly after I’d turned 30 and she was 10. (I am referring to her by her first initial to protect her privacy.) It was 1991. On the night of our first hour-long session, she descended a narrow staircase inside her one-bedroom house, wearing clothes that had endured too many wash cycles. Her shoulders sloped as if she hauled weights in her hands. She stared at me with large brown eyes.

“What’s your favorite subject?” I asked as we drove to her school.

“Not math.”

Without the volunteer program, our paths would likely have never intersected. My orbit existed primarily inside my white-collar office and the New Jersey shore, where I played tennis and dated actively. I was very invested in my career. I had earned a computer science degree three years before Apple went public, and completed my M.B.A. Management certainly awaited me in the incipient tech field, or so I thought.

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