I had not heard from the adoption attorney since the previous Thursday. After obtaining my husband Tom's consent to move forward, after faxing the necessary forms, and even after sending the link to my "We're a Great Family! Please Pick Us!" photo album, we heard nothing.
The weekend felt eternal. The kids were happy that their dad returned from his business trip, but after the soaring excitement of a possible adoption, we were all feeling defeated.
TJ, our teenager, offered his consolation:
"Eh. It's better off. You guys can hardly handle the two kids you already have."
Tom offered his version of optimism:
"Yeah, what were we thinking? TJ is almost the age we were when we had him. We could be grandparents soon."
"Don't look at me!" TJ jumped up. "I'm not making you no baby! I 'm never having kids. They're a pain in the butt."
I chimed in:
"But you do watch an awful lot of 'Teen Mom' for someone claiming to be so disinterested in parenthood." I couldn't resist teasing him. "In fact, I think you look forward to Tuesday night even more than we do."
Tuesday night was when our favorite television show, 'Parenthood,' was on. There was even an adoption story featured in the current season. Now we'd be more hooked on the weekly drama.
Sara woke from her nap and I went to get her. When my cell rang a few hours later, Tom was busy working in our home office and TJ was doing his schoolwork.
"Oh my God! Seriously? She picked us? Is she sure?" I couldn't believe it.
"Yes," the adoption attorney replied. "Of course, there's no guarantees with any adoption. There is always the slight possibility that she may change her mind after the baby is born. But that seems unlikely in this case."
"Oh, sorry, that's not what I meant to ask," I explained. "I was wondering if she was sure about us? About picking us."
"Yes. Of course. She was in my office looking through a whole stack of prospective parents. She loved you guys. Jennifer, I swear, I never say this to anyone, but you even look like the birth mother. Kendra looks like she could be your little sister."
"Does she want to meet us in person?"
"She's not requiring that."
I was confused. I knew that our friends, Tracey and Jim, had met with their birth mother a gazillion times.
"She prefers a closed adoption," Shelley stated. "Can you and Tom come in tomorrow to meet with me? There's a lot to get done in a very short time. Kendra thinks the baby could be here by next week."
I scheduled an appointment with the attorney for the following afternoon. There was only one problem. The birth mother did not want to meet us, and even though plenty of people were telling me this was ideal, I did not agree.
By the time I went to bed that night, I knew I would not be able to adopt this baby unless I met the biological mother. I had plenty of adopted friends who reconnected with their biological parents later in life. If I were going to raise this child, I wanted to make sure that this woman was a decent human being. And given the ease of locating people in today's world (i.e. social networking sites, etc.), I felt pretty sure that I'd be dealing with the biological family at some point down the road. I wanted at least a hint of what this baby's birth mother was like.
Tom didn't think it mattered much. "Even if you find her to be a miserable witch, I know you too well. You'll feel bad and want to protect the baby."
"Ha!" I countered. "That's your rescue fantasy!"
And with that, we tried to sleep.