PAGE # 13

Just Before Bed

My husband did not like the Facebook connection between me and bio dad either. 

"Wait, there's more," I said.  "You have to see the pictures I found.  All with knives and guns and..."

Tom shook his head.  "No, I don't want to see it.  Don't show me."

"Don't you care?"

"I don't want to see him.  I don't need to know what he looks like," Tom explained.

"But he looks scary!" I cried.  "I need to show you."

Tom still refused to look.  So I started talking.  A lot.

"He won't sign off on the adoption paperwork!  It says in this packet, right here," I pointed at the exact page, "that he is aware of the pregnancy and that he does not support the adoption plan."

"But the attorney already told us that he has no rights to this baby because he's not the legal spouse," Tom argued.

"Honey," I pleaded.  "I don't care about the law.  Because how do I know if he cares about the law?  We could take this baby home and be looking over our shoulders for the rest of our lives.  We can't do that!  We can't do that to Sara and TJ!  I'm going to be stressed out about our safety forever!  If this guy is against the adoption and wants this baby..."

"You're right," Tom finally agreed.

"And we already know that he punched the birth mother in the stomach during her pregnancy!  He is being prosecuted for beating her up!  There are multiple restraining orders against him!" I continued.

"You're right," Tom repeated.

"And you should see his Facebook pictures!  All guns and knives and..."

"Babe, I already agreed with you.  Calm down."

I let go of the adoption papers.  They fell to the floor.

"It's just too much anxiety for me to handle," I continued.  "This guy lives close by.  If birth mom is so afraid of him, then maybe we should be too."

"You're totally right," Tom said.  "I'm not going to put the family I already have at risk.  This is obviously a bad guy.  I feel bad for the baby and the birth mom, but this is not our problem.  We want to grow our family, of course we do, but not like this."

I took a deep breath.  I was already thinking about trying to reinstate our Disney reservations.  I had cancelled our vacation, but now that we were opting out of this adoption thing, I was ready to move on with our original holiday plans.  Then I remembered that we had an appointment with the attorney and Kendra, the birth mother, at 11 am the following morning.

"We need to cancel with the lawyer," I told Tom.  "But it's too late to call."

"Send her an email," he instructed.  "Do it right now, so she gets it first thing in the morning.  And I need to cancel the appointment we made with the social worker.  For the home study tomorrow afternoon."

I quickly wrote the email to the attorney while Tom wrote to the social worker.

I sent the email to the attorney at precisely 10:53 that night.  The email read as follows:


Tom and I have taken the last several hours to discuss this adoption opportunity.  While we are so excited about the prospect of adopting this baby girl, we explored our sincere feelings regarding the circumstances of the birth father.  While we are fully confident that you would overcome the obstacle of the birth father, we had to admit that the ambiguity was simply too anxiety provoking for us.  We were so focused on the concrete tasks at hand, given the urgency of the adoption; truly, we apologize to you and Kendra.  
Please send us the invoice and we will send payment for your consultation.  It was lovely meeting you and we pray that this baby finds the perfect home.

Warm regards,
Jennifer & Tom

We were exhausted and already in bed, but we waited up, just for another 20 minutes or so, to see if the attorney would confirm receipt of our cancellation.  

"You know what else I don't get," Tom rolled toward me.  "I don't get why Kendra's husband is making her give away this baby.  I mean, if he's trying to reconcile with her, how can he make her give up her own baby?  They weren't even together when she got pregnant."

"I guess he doesn't want to raise some other guy's kid?" I speculated.

"Then he's a jerk too.  I would never make you give away your own baby.  If he really loved her, he'd raise the baby as his own."

I had a new (and terrible) thought:

"Oh my God!  Maybe she was raped!"

"What are you talking about?" Tom asked.

"I'm thinking that maybe this baby is a product of rape.  We know that her and her husband already have two kids.  And that they are still together.  And that bio dad is being criminally prosecuted.  I'm just saying, it is possible she was raped.  And that's why they're not keeping the baby.  The attorney did make a point of saying that Kendra is totally against abortion.  It would explain a lot.  Poor Kendra."

Tom was thinking.  

"Well, what does it matter anyhow?" he asked.  "We wouldn't want to get involved with a rape case either.  You'd be even more terrified."

"Yeah, true."

"Let's go to sleep, babe."

"Okay, just one sec."  

It was too late to phone my mother, so I sent her a text message to let her know we were calling off the adoption.  We would tell the kids in the morning.  Sara was too little to understand and TJ already thought we were nuts.  What was one more swing of the pendulum?    

I kissed Tom goodnight.  "Sweet dreams babe."

Then, I checked my email for the last time before hitting the pillow.  There was no reply from the attorney.  Not yet anyhow.  By the time the lawyer wrote back, we were long asleep.

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