I chose to be a single parent. At my daughter’s school, I’ll get teachers that are like, “So, where’s the dad?” And I’m like, “You mean the donor?” And people will have this look on their face, like, “Oh my gosh. I can’t believe she just said it like that,” and I’m like, “You know, I’m not ashamed of it.” I think I come at this from a little bit different because I dealt with a really terrible co-parenting experience. I had my son in 2011 and two weeks after he was born, I fled an abusive relationship with him, and unfortunately after 15 months of being in family court, my son’s father killed him. When that happened to me, I wanted to eliminate the possibility of ever going back to family court.I didn’t want any judge to ever tell me that I couldn’t protect my child, which is essentially what happened with my son. When you become a parent you don’t just, you don’t stop. Even if you have a child pass away, you’re still a parent. When you become a parent you don’t just, you don’t stop. Even if you have a child pass away, you’re still a parent. You’re just a parent without a child. And so I still felt like a mother. And I was like, “If I ever do this again, I will do it on my own.” I grew up in a two parent household in a Christian community where everyone was married and everyone came from a two parent household, and I didn’t really have a lot of role models growing up who were single parents. Being a single mother and also a woman of color, it was a deep concern of mine because the stigma exists, you know? It’s like, “Oh, great. Here’s another one,” you know, “She’s probably on welfare.” And I’ve actually had people assume that I am. I usually have to laugh and be like, “Okay, there’s nothing wrong with being on welfare, but I’m not.” When I went to have my daughter, the doctor actually looked at me and he was like, “You’re 33, don’t you want to wait for Mr. Right?” And I’m like, “Don’t you hear me? Like I actually want to do this. I’m not doing this because I feel like my fertility is running out. I’m doing this because it’s something I want to do.” I always say to people that come up to me and they’re like, “Oh gosh, it must be so hard being a single parent.” And I have to kind of laugh because I’m like, “It’s hard being a parent.” The more that I hear from couples I think there’s a lot of people who are in relationships who are still single parenting, but they have expectations that I don’t have, and they have disappointment that I don’t have as a single parent.When I come home, I can cook my own dinner and all I have to worry about is When I come home, I can cook my own dinner and all I have to worry about is you know, getting my daughter to eat her vegetables. Being a single mother has felt so empowering to me because I feel like I was allowed to take my fertility into my own hands. I didn’t have to wait around for Mr. Right like the doctor wanted me to, and I’m able to make choices and decisions both financially and for my child on my own, My daughter started asking, she started seeing kids in her class having siblings and she’s like, “Well, why don’t I have one?” I got to the point where I was like, “Okay.I want another child.” I got pregnant and I didn’t tell her right away. I waited the twelve weeks. So when I finally told her that she’s going to be a big sister, she was really excited about it. She hasn’t stopped talking about it. She’ll actually tell people, like random people on the street like, “Oh, my mama’s carrying my baby.” I think the hardest thing for me, particularly when I had my daughter was answering a simple question of, “Is she your first?” Now, with the little girl that I’m carrying, she’s my third, but in some ways, I just have two living kids. When my son died, I made a promise to him that I would never stop fighting until this didn’t happen to anyone else. I consider myself a civil rights activist, especially when it comes to the protection of children. So, I often will use my story to give people an example of how bad it is for kids. From day one, I was like, “Okay. I am going to write about this every single day. I’m going to tell whoever I can. I am going to lobby on Capitol Hill.” So I stand here today and I plead with you to think about the real issue here. It’s not about the rights of a father. It’s not about the rights of a mother. It’s about the right of a child. We’re facing a crisis in our country. And kids don’t have civil rights. And I think a lot of times we rely on parents to basically transfer their civil rights to their children, but that doesn’t always occur.I know loads of women that come to the decision to be a single parent and we all have a different reason for doing it. I just didn’t want my desire to have children and be a mother to forcibly speed up a relationship unnecessarily because I knew what that was like. With my son’s father, if I had stepped back and I had actually given the relationship time, I would have realized, this is not somebody who is going to be a good father, so I didn’t want that to happen again. I’m also really excited to have the opportunity to raise two little girls, who will see their mother as someone who goes to work, makes a good living, makes decisions on her own. I get a huge kick out of the fact that my daughter was talking to a classmate and said the classmate was like, “Oh, there’s a spider. Go get daddy,” and she’s like, “What? Get mommy.”.