PAGE # 37
Approximately 10:35 am

I stood between Kendra and her baby.  
"Hey, how's it going?" I asked.
"It's okay," Kendra replied.  "Do you want to hold her?  You can hold her if you want."
I gathered the baby into my arms and carried her to a chair near the windows.  She was sleeping.  She showed no evidence of a vaginal delivery--her head and features were in pristine condition--I realized she was probably the most beautiful newborn I'd ever seen.  She didn't seem real.    
"She's adorable," I said.
"She looks like Alex did when he was first born," Kendra told me.  "Well, except for her nose.  I think her nose is a bit wider."
I could hear Tom talking to Kendra's parents in the background.  I think Johnny was on his iPad.  
"Where are your boys?" I asked.
"School.  My babysitter will bring them later." 
Kendra picked up her phone to text message someone.  I looked at the baby but wondered who Kendra was writing to.  I didn't feel like I was holding my child.  I felt like I was holding Kendra's baby, because I was.  

I couldn't summon love for Kendra's baby in an instant.  I was too worried about Kendra.  The social worker had told me:
"Kendra needs to see you falling in love with her baby!"
I didn't think I was doing a very good job of this and asked Tom if he wanted to hold her.  I transferred the baby into his arms and walked back over to Kendra's bedside.
"Have you thought of a name yet?" she asked me.
"We really like the name Lily," I offered.
Kendra smiled.  "That's one of the names my mom and I were talking about earlier.  She gestured to her mother, Anna, to join our conversation.  "Tell her mom!" Kendra instructed.  "Tell her how we were just talking about all the flower names."
Anna nodded.  "Yes, we were thinking of the name Lily.  Or maybe Jasmine."
"Or maybe Holly," Kendra added, "because it's almost Christmas.  I can't believe we were both thinking of the same name!  Lily!"
The conversation moved onto the subject of middle names, but I was distracted.  Kendra's parents looked nothing like their daughter.  Kendra's mom was quite fair in coloring, as was Kendra's father.  Kendra had freckles whereas neither of them did.  None of their features appeared similar.  I wondered if Kendra had been adopted.  These people could not be her biological family!

I looked at them more closely.  I looked right into their eyes.  Blue eyes for Anna.  And big green ones on Kendra's dad, Mike.  This seemed strange to me, because I thought two light-eyed people could only produce a light-eyed child.  Kendra's eyes are a rich shade of brown.  

I was sure that two blue-eyed people only made blue-eyed babies.  Two brown eyed people could definitely yield a light-eyed child, if at least one of them carried the recessive gene for blue.  But what was the rule for green eyes?  Could blue and green make brown?

I pointed to Kendra's dad.  
"Your eyes are green," I stated.
Then I turned to Kendra's mom.
"And your eyes are blue.  I didn't realize that blue eyes and green eyes could make brown eyes," I said, gesturing toward Kendra.
"His eyes used to be brown," Kendra explained.
The dad nodded.
"Yeah," he said.  "My eyes were brown and then one day, maybe in my late thirties, they started turning green."
(I would Google the genetics of eye color later--oh how science has changed since high school biology!  Eye color is more complicated than previously understood; even two blue-eyed parents canin fact, make a brown eyed child.  It's a rare outcome, but it is possible). 

My interrogation of Kendra's parents was meek.  I failed to ask what I was really curious about:
  1. Are you guys telling Kendra she should do this?
  2. Why don't you want to help Kendra keep her baby?  She's your grandchild!
  3. How can you even look at your granddaughter and daughter without crying your eyes out right now?

I did not verbalize any of the above.  Instead, I talked about eye color.  It was a symbolic accusation.  It was my unconscious way of saying to them both:
"I don't trust you."
I continued to mentally entertain the possibility that Kendra was also adopted (she really looked nothing like either parent), and tried inventing reasons why this was not disclosed.  Perhaps Kendra had never been told the truth?  OR maybe she had been conceived during an extramarital affair and Kendra's dad had raised her as his own child?  AND maybe he had no idea that Kendra had been fathered by someone else!

My mind didn't stop there.  Check out my next thought:  

Maybe these people weren't Kendra's parents at all?  Maybe her real parents didn't know about the adoption and Kendra had "borrowed" a friend's family for good show?  And this fiction, this paranoid and ridiculous idea, would have explained why Lily's grandparents were not behaving as they should have been behaving.  
"Should have been behaving?  Should have been behaving according to you," Tom would later say.  "You have no idea what those people were feeling inside.  You can't judge them.  They were supporting their daughter's decision."
"True," I would say.  "But I kind of expected them to cry and shout and beg Kendra to keep the baby."
"We don't know what they know," Tom would add.  "Maybe there are serious reasons why they'd want to see their grandchild adopted."
"We don't know shit about anything," I would conclude. 
Of course, during our time at the hospital with Kendra's family, I totally forgot about colored contact lenses:

A belated but more plausible explanation for Mike's overnight eye color change?

To Be Continued...

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