PAGE # 11

4:45 pm

Tom and I were home from our meeting with the adoption attorney.  We needed to go inside and pay the babysitter, but we were stuck in the car, trapped in a philosophical debate over whether the lawyer was mostly good (Tom's stance) or a mad demon (my position).  It's a timeless theme--the good vs. evil one--and to our credit, at least we weren't battling over something more mundane, say credit card bills.  

"You are such a pessimist!"  Tom shook his head at me.  "I think we should go for this."

"But I don't trust her.  Every time I tried to ask about the birth father, she'd pull a new trick out of her hat to dismiss me."

Tom was more sympathetic.  "Oh, come on.  At the end of the day, she's trying to get her job done.  I'm sure she just wants the best family for this baby.  She's gotta be  somewhat of a salesperson to get the process rolling."

"A salesperson?" I disagreed.  "She's more like a maniacal magician!"  I was talking with my hands and the left one accidentally knocked Tom's jaw.

"Ouch!" he cried.

"You?  Your scruff practically peeled the skin off my hand!"

We rested for a moment.  

I was thinking I was a much better judge of character.  I often remind Tom that he is lucky I stalked him early in life; otherwise, he probably would've ended up marrying a serious problem.  

"What about Ricky?"  Tom pointed out.  "Tracey and Jim have Ricky because of that attorney.  Where would Ricky be now?  If not for her?"

"That may be true," I conceded.  "But their situation was totally different.  Their birth father signed off on the adoption and they were not under the same kind of time pressure we are.  And that's another thing!  Why is this baby being put up for adoption at the final hour?  I just don't get it."

"That is strange," Tom agreed.  "We need to ask the birth mother about that tomorrow."  

"But what about the attorney?"

"Forget it!  She can't be all bad.  She adopted a special needs kid and ..."

"And the dog!" I exclaimed.  "Even the devil needs props!"

Tom's eyes grew wide.  "That's a bit cynical.  Even for you."

"Perhaps, but she might be a sociopath for all we know!  She takes in a sick dog and a sick kid and fronts them in her office!  She uses them to create a benevolent image of herself!"  

Unfortunately, I wasn't even kidding.  I had recently read that sociopaths account for 4 % of the population.  (See here:  http://www.amazon.com/Sociopath-Next-Door-Martha-Stout/dp/076791581X )

Tom sighed.  

I started looking through the folder we had received.  There was a stapled packet entitled, Background Information on Prospective Adoptive Child. 

"I'm done arguing," I said.

"Good, because we need to go take care of the two kids we already have."

"Yes," I agreed.  But really, I couldn't wait to read more about the biological parents.  Especially the pages that described the alleged birth father.

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