I could not get a reservation at Chef Mickey's. We were headed to Disney in ten days and I was getting desperate. Our two year old, Sara, was in love with the mouse; surely, a chance to dine with him would be a vacation highlight. I wondered if I could bribe our sixteen year old, TJ, to wear a Mickey costume during the Disney trip? Sara could literally be escorted by Mickey throughout the theme parks. Take that Disney! But TJ would likely refuse. And I could already hear Sara: "Where's Brother, Mommy?" Moreover, would Disney even allow an "alien" Mickey into the parks? Sure, everyone wears those ear headbands, but a full-blown Mickey suit? We'd just have to wait in line, like everyone else, at one of those designated character greeting locations.
I sighed and logged off the Disney website. There were more important tasks awaiting completion that morning. Like showering. And brushing my teeth. It was probably noon and I was still in my pajamas. I went to check the time on my cell phone, and saw that a new text message came in. It read, "Call me urgent" and was from my good friend, Tracey.
"Call me urgent" was not punctuated. True, it was only a text message, but "urgent" pretty much demands an exclamation point in my opinion. At least if the receiver is to take the sender seriously. But Tracey was barely into her second trimester of a difficult pregnancy, so I could cut her some slack. And then I got seriously worried that "urgent" was regarding my friend's pregnancy and I immediately called Tracey:
"I just got your text! Are you okay?" I asked.
"I'm fine. Everything's okay," Tracey replied. "Look, I just got a call from our adoption attorney, Shelley. We got a match. It's a baby girl. Obviously, we're not accepting a baby right now. But we told Shelley about you guys. If you guys are serious about adopting, you need to call her. Today. Like now."
My husband, Tom, was away on a business trip. "I can't adopt a baby right now! Tom's in Spain at the moment!"
Tracey reiterated the importance of taking quick action, "We've been waiting on that list for over a year. I'm telling you, Jen, just call."
"But why would Shelley want us for this baby? I mean, doesn't she have dozens of families working with her already? People who've been waiting for a baby, for like, for like years?"
"I don't know all the details on the situation. Just that the birth mom liked our family profile because we're young and already have two kids. I told Shelley that our friends are the same age and also have two kids and live right next door to us and are hoping to adopt a baby girl. I'm texting you her number now." Tracey hung up.
I wanted to call Shelley, but a part of me felt like that would be cutting in line. My husband and I talked about adoption over the years, and we were certainly beyond contemplation and in what I call the exploration phase (we had watched a documentary on adoption in China only a week earlier), but we had not officially signed up with any attorney or agency. To call now seemed like cheating.
Then again, perhaps it was meant to be! Tracey had been told she'd never get pregnant again. She'd been trying for over four years. And what were the odds that she'd be matched with a birth mother right then? We just told Tracey, and her husband, Jim, about our plans to adopt someday. We discussed that plan with them only ten days earlier! What were the chances?
I reached for my phone. There was a stork nearby and it seemed to be searching for our house.