Heather WatsonFounding Director of Acorn30 - Douro Dummer Councillor
Heather's Story :
People are always surprised when I tell them I have a son who is 25. It’s often easier and usually more entertaining just to tell it that way but the fact is, he’s my step-son, who became my son.
My husband was a single dad at 20. When I met the pair I was just finishing college. Attitudes were really different back then. Typically, single dad’s were considered to be ‘dead beats’ who skipped town. In our case the opposite was true so there I was at 21, parenting a toddler while still figuring out life.
There were times I didn’t think anything of it… we were living a normal life…we had a home, went to work and managed to scrape by. Looking back now, it amazes me because at times I could barely take care of myself! I swear for the first year all we ate were pancakes and hamburgers because that’s all that was in my culinary repertoire. Thank goodness for family who would share recipes, drop off cast-off furniture and be available to babysit.
At one point, I remember being asked if I was going to have ‘my own’ kids. The fact is, I never considered our son to be anything other than ‘my own’. Maybe it’s because I was adopted and I understood that a mother’s love didn’t have to come from the womb.
Because custody and court agreements made things complicated, I was unable to actually adopt him. When he turned 18 I remember telling him that I had always wanted to adopt him. In my mind it would make things official for what we already knew to be true. His response was, “can you adopt me now that I’m an adult?”
We started the journey, consulted lawyers and as time went on, we both realized that a piece of paper doesn’t really mean anything. What really matters is that we know, regardless of the technicalities, he’s my son and I’m his mom.