My name is Charlene.  I am a single African-American woman. I’m a southern girl at heart, originally from South Carolina, but now I live in western MA.   I’m a fun filled adventurer.    I am enthusiastic about being a mom and creating a genuine and nurturing life for a child.  I always wanted to be mother.  In my late 30’s I was engaged to be married but that did not work out.  I had it all planned out.  I would get married and with my husband we would have at least one child if not more.  Well as they say “life happens”.  I am not married and I have tried intrauterine insemination (IUI) three times with no success.  The failed IUI’s upset me and had me asking why not me?  I spoke with my cousin about adopting since she has been through the process and now she has a beautiful little girl.  I know that I would make a great mom since all of my friends’ children love being with me.  I believe I have enough love to give to a child that I did not physically give birth to. It’s a dream of mine to raise a child in a secure, caring, loving environment.  I respect the hard decision that you are making by allowing someone else to raise your child as their own.  I can only imagine how much thought and care you have taken before choosing to make an adoption plan for your child.  Please know that I will do everything in my power to teach your child positive morals and values that will make him/her a success in whatever career/life direction she or he chooses.

I love working with children.  I sometimes tutor adults and kids that have problems with math.  I understand that math is hard and I try to help people by using my skills to make learning math exciting which will help reduce their anxiety level.  My life is full of church activities, singing engagements, outings with friends and work and I’m looking forward to sharing my daily life experiences with a child and experiencing all that life has to offer with them. My favorite things to do in my spare time are reading, baking/cooking, listening to music and singing.  Any books written by Robyn Carr are my favorite.  I like making pound cakes, carrot cakes, and peanut butter cookies.  Since I grew up living with three boys I was always watching some type of sports and became a big football fan.  I love watching football and I am a San Francisco 49ers fan.  I know this team has not gone to the Super Bowl since the early 1990’s when Jerry Rice played but I still like them.  I love all genres of music, but my three favorites are Gospel, R&B, and Jazz.  The song “Your Steps Are Ordered” by Fred Hammond is one of my favorite Gospel songs.  Alicia Keys’ song “Superwoman” is my favorite R&B.  My favorite Jazz group is Acoustic Alchemy.  As a child, my love of music grew and I learned how to play the violin and piano.  I remember going to violin camps during the summer to enhance my playing skills.  I played the violin until I reached the sixth grade and the piano until high school. I loved playing the violin so much that I can remember crying when I got to middle school because they did not have a teacher that taught string instruments.  I learned to play the clarinet instead and continued until I went to college.

I usually go to the gym after work.  Once I get home from the gym I have dinner, read a book, and I may watch television for a few hours.  I am not into watching a lot of television.  I would prefer to read or listen to music.  For me, a typical weekend would not be the normal Saturday to Sunday.  My normal weekends consist of Thursdays and Fridays. Most Thursdays I get up and go to the gym in the morning.  I usually do errands that include laundry, grocery shopping, banking, or paying bills. Usually Fridays I relax, watch a little television, go out with friends, or cook and have friends over for dinner.  Once I have a child I know my routine will have to change and be centered on my child and not me.  I will spend my two days off doing things with my child like going to museums, parks, and the library just to name a few.  I look forward to being able to go to the Science Museum in West Hartford, Connecticut.  Also,  going to see the Dr. Seuss exhibit at the Springfield Museum.  Most of my holidays are spent working.  Since many of my co-workers have small children I volunteer to work on Christmas so that they can be with their families.  My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is the only holiday that I have off from work.  I make a big Thanksgiving dinner with a turkey breast and include apple pie for dessert for myself.  Since my mother lives in South Carolina I usually go to one of my friend’s homes and have dinner with their family. I have several friends like Carol, Michelle, Edvertis (Jr), and Amber that invite me over to spend the holidays with their families after I get off of work.  The catch to being invited to dinner is that if I show up I am expected to bring one of my two famous desserts, either a carrot cake or a pound cake. During the summer months my friend Michelle usually has a barbeque once a month in her backyard.  All of the guests bring a side dish.  We have several tables in the backyard where we play different board games and the card game spades.  The spades game table is usually the loudest with the players bantering back and forth about how bad a player is doing.  All of the kids are in the backyard also playing their own games.  Every weekend during the summer months as long as the weather permits I am going to some type of cookout or park with my friends and their children.

My extended family consisted of three sisters and six brothers that became family to me in a non-traditional way.  My mother was a single parent.  My mother and I lived with her brother (my uncle Joseph), his wife Ruth and the three sons they had together.  The other children had different mothers and did not live in the same household as us.  My uncle became my father figure and helped raise me like his own along with his other children.  Being the only little girl in the house, I was taught a lot of things by my three brothers and they were very protective of me.  When it came to working around the house or doing chores, they did not care that I was a girl.  For example, I learned how to change a tire and the oil in my car, a 1979 Buick Regal.  My brothers’ motto was “if we can do it she can too” and I’m so grateful now that they treated me equally and taught me so many “manly things” that have come in handy.  As a result, I was a little tomboy until I got to high school.  The only time my brothers thought of me as a girl was when a boy showed any interest in me.  There was never a guy that was good enough for their little sister.  Now I appreciate how sweet that was and why they wanted to be protective, but during those high school years I wished I didn’t have older brothers.  So because of this experience I am much more self-sufficient than most women.  These experiences also provided me the level of confidence that I’ve carried into my adult years.

I’ve always been extremely close to my mother and we speak at least once if not more often on any given day although I live in western MA and my mother lives in South Carolina.  My mother is 84 years old.  She is a retired nurse and worked in a hospital for 42 years before she retired. She will be very excited to finally become a grandmother.  I am my mother’s only child and she does not have any grandchildren.  She is a firm but fair person and believes in teaching children morals and values that will get them far in life.  My mother and I spent a lot of time doing things together when I was young.  Our favorite thing to do was going to the movies. She would take me to Krispy Crème Doughnuts to get glazed doughnuts and go to the store to buy coconut cookies and juice.  She would have these things in her big purse. We would sit in the movie theatre eating our goodies and watching the movie. My mother made sure to teach me manners.  For example, when we went to anyone’s house I knew that I could not run in the house or touch anything unless I asked first.  Since I was born and raised in the south I was taught by my mom to respect your elders.  If you were addressed by an adult you would answer with either yes ma’am or yes sir.  My mother is a firm believer in education.  She made sure that although she worked 2nd shift (3 p.m. -11 p.m.) in the hospital that I had someone that would check my homework. Whoever checked my homework had to sign a journal provided by my mother.  I remember one time in high school I did not complete my homework so she woke me at midnight and made me complete it before I could go back to sleep.  This was a lesson learned.  After that I made sure I completed my homework because that was not fun.

I have a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Psychology.  My education prepared me for my jobs.  I am in the United States Air force and have been for 21 plus years.  I am what you would call a traditional reservist.  I usually work for the military one weekend a month and have a two week training once a year.  I also have worked nearly ten years for Hampshire County House of Corrections as a correctional officer.  Working in a jail as a female correctional officer has many challenges, but I like what I do and feel I make a difference in the lives of the people who are incarcerated there.  I have other co-workers that are working with me so I am never the only officer working in an area. This facility does not house criminals doing lifetime sentences.  Most of the males are incarcerated for about five years.  They will one day leave this facility and hopefully make a difference in the community.  I work the day shift which is from 7 am until 3 pm.  This shift will allow me to be home to make dinner and spend quality time reading or playing with a child.  We can create a bath/bedtime ritual like listening to some of my favorite music. During bedtime I can sing something soothing while they are trying to go to sleep.   I will get 12 weeks of maternity leave to spend with the baby before I have to go back to work.  This will give me time to bond with the child.   For example does he/she like to be burped over your shoulder or sitting on your lap patting their back.  Also figuring out whether that particular cry is because they are hungry or need their diaper changed.

I have two different caretakers to help me when I am at work.  Gloria (everyone calls her grandma G) and Candi.  Both women have children and grandchildren of their own.  Ms. Gloria will care for the baby during the week and Candi will care for the child on Saturdays and Sundays.  Ms. Gloria only has one other child that she cares for in her home.  So my child will get the personal attention and nurturing that is needed to be happy and healthy.  Candi will only have my child to care for on those two days.  Ms. Gloria cared for my friend Michelle’s two sons when they were younger.  My mother will come to visit every other month. She would stay longer but because of health challenges she has to be seen monthly by her doctor.  My mom and I face time and skype which we will do daily once I get a child when she is in South Carolina.  Although she will not be physically in MA with me and the baby it will seem as though she is.  We will go to visit grandma more often when the child is older.

I have owned my own home for eleven years.  My ranch house has three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a nice size backyard.  Where I live there are children of all ages.  My child will have playmates from the neighborhood and from my church who will be overjoyed to have a new friend.  The backyard is a nice place in which kids can play catch, soccer, or dodge ball.  Down the street from where I live there is an elementary school.  The school has a nice playground.  There are also several parks located near my house.  It is a good place to live and raise a child.

My promise to you

You will always have a place within my family.  I promise to create a safe and supportive home.  I will be honest, open and give unconditional love to this child.  I will encourage creativity, support dreams that may seem impossible, give encouragement to do their best at whatever they choose knowing that the support will always be there.  Education will be very important in molding and shaping of their minds.

Thank you for taking the time to read my profile.  If you decide to make an adoption plan with me I will teach self-respect, courage, and determination.  All of these characteristics will create a loving human being with positive morals and values.  I am open to having on going contact with you in whatever way is most comfortable to you.

If you would like to learn more about me or arrange a phone call so we can get to know each other better, please call Cindy at A Loving Alternative (800) 556-5635

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