This book began as a business book. I wanted to write about interviewing, among other things, but a strange thing happened. As I wrote more I was inclined to think about the sacrifices my mom made for my family and the role that my dad played in the development of my character.
I wrote everything I could think of, even going back to my childhood, that would relate to the vision that I had for my life. I wrote about my career after graduating from UCLA, the events that led me to the adoption of my son, and then finally to the present state of my life in Los Angeles.
I wrote everyday for at least thirty minutes for about two years. I began writing this book from the time that my son was placed in our care when he turned three to now, in the first few months of kindergarten.
As I wrote the last words of my book, I realized that I actually wrote three books in one. It made sense to break it up into three different works. This is the first in the series; what is called in literature as "bildungsroman," not as a novel, but as a memoir of sorts. The second book is focused on my the first part of my adult life, and the eventual adoption of my son, my greatest accomplishment in life. Finally, in summation of my life so far, I take a look around and find that I have some insights to offer.
My other motivation to write this book is that I have managed young people for over twenty five years. While my generation, known as "Generation X" had its own challenges, I find that more students graduating now are challenged in many of the same ways that I was challenged. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on college graduates to know what they are going to do with their lives. I am not sure that really matters.
Some people know and some do not.
Do what you want and what you think is right. You will find your way.
If you ever wondered what it might be like to adopt a child, then this book might be for you. My life is boring, and I mean that in a good way. I am not rich. I am not very smart. I am completely average. My family was not well off. My parents were teachers and musicians, insuring that they were not going to have a comfortable lifestyle.
I grew up in a community that was ideal for a kid. I lived in “Surf City” Huntington Beach, California during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Back then it was easier for an average family to survive on a moderate income. Things are becoming so expensive and more complicated than ever. I do not know if a family like the one I grew up in could live in Huntington Beach now without some help.
After I moved to Los Angeles and attended UCLA, though I had dreams of being a writer, I knew that I was going to work in restaurants. These days as you watch television, it might seem that working in the food business looks glamorous, but I can assure you that it is not. It is a living but not what you might think. I like my career as a food manager but it is not for everyone. Writing is not always fun when you get right down to it and has the added benefit of not being a reliable way to pay the bills.
My line of work exposes me to many young adults who are attending college. As a person who now is old enough to be their parent I am in an advice-giving position. I like to say two things about my career when I am asked. First I say "unfortunately, I chose the right career for me" and "do not work in restaurants, if you can."
It is a miracle that I have been able to stay married and to carry on a somewhat normal life with all of the odd hours I need to work. Gone are the days of having a reliable and well paying job. I am lucky and grateful to work at UCLA. UCLA is stable, that is for sure.
I graduated UCLA almost twenty years ago. I began working as a manager while I was finishing my undergraduate degree in English literature. After I worked in restaurant jobs for a few years, my wife and I wanted to have children. We experienced trouble with conceiving a child. This was not a delightful situation, but if there was a time that I could say that I had to grow up, that was the time.
Meanwhile, my father passed away and then my father in law passed away. My wife and I sought out different medical treatments to have children that were not successful.
The one thing that my wife and I always had was a strong bond. My wife is very tenacious. She is a wonderful example for me. We then finally learned how to adopt a child. There is a process that we went through within the County of Los Angeles. This book is the story in part, at least from my point of view, of our adoption of our son. It was easy and it was not easy.
If there is one thing you could take away from this book, it is that if we could do it, so could you.