PAGE # 72
Approximately 11:00 am

Tom was in charge of the kids while I tried to understand our confusing and complicated situation.  I spent over an hour on the phone with the attorney.  The uncertain future of our adoption situation overwhelmed me with anxiety.  The attorney, in contrast, showed little concern.
"I think you're overreacting," Shelley began.  "Like I told you yesterday, he hasn't even completed all the steps to contest the adoption."
"I understand that, I do, but what I'm trying to understand is why he would sign the registry if he weren't planning to complete the other steps?  I mean, is there some other reason, besides planning to contest an adoption, that would cause a birthfather to sign the registry?  If not, then I really think we ought to start preparing for a contested adoption."
Shelley sighed.  "I think it's too premature to even think like that right now."
"I need to think like this.  I need to prepare for all the possibilities."
"If you are worried about getting too attached to the baby, I could hire a nanny to watch her at my house," Shelley offered.  "I'd charge you a minimal fee for the childcare."
"That's not fair to Lily," I replied.  I couldn't imagine handing Lily over to some unknown babysitter.  "We're trying to give her the best start she can get, whether we end up adopting her or not."
"Okay then," Shelley said.  "But just know that the offer still stands if you change your mind."
"I'm not going to change my mind about that.  I'm just trying to psychologically prepare."
"Look, even if that interloper does follow through and contest--which is highly unlikely--we don't just give up.  I'd file a motion to terminate his parental rights.  Of course, the judge would need to grant due process and give him his day in court.  But he'd never get the baby."
My head was spinning.  Sure, it was all hypothetical then.  But Shelley spoke as if we were simply making alternate travel arrangements in the event of inclement weather.  This was no vacation!  There were lives and families at stake!  

I tried to comfort myself with the following thoughts:

It won't come to a legal battle anyway.  We have a back-up plan.  Kendra takes the baby back if the adoption gets contested.  

But then new worries emerged:  
"What if the birthfather doesn't contest the adoption within the 30 days but does so a year from now?"  I asked Shelley.
"Exactly one year after the adoption is finalized, no one can contest it for any reason."
"But it will take another 6 months to finalize!  That's a full year and a half from now!  Are you saying we could live with this kind of uncertainty for that long?"
"That's highly unlikely.  My adoptions are almost never contested."
"Well, how many of them are?"
"Not many.  And I've won all of those cases anyway."
"What about the case of Evan Scott?  I was reading about it all night.  His case got dragged out for years."
"I never heard of that case."
"You can't be serious!" I exclaimed.  "It was right here in Florida.  My friends who have nothing to do with adoption remember the news coverage."
"Well, I don't know of that case."
"But it shows there is a possibility that an adoption case could get drawn out for years!  And that there's no way to predict the court ruling!"
"I don't know the case, but it was probably just a matter of shitty lawyering.  I really wish you'd start reading my cases instead.  You need to read up on my "Baby A" case.  I won it at the Supreme Court level.  You needn't be worried."
"Oh my God!  I don't want to end up in the Supreme Court!"
"That's highly unlikely.  It's highly unlikely he'll even contest the adoption.  In a few weeks, we'll know for sure when his time runs out."
I didn't believe Shelley for a second.  She had to know of the Evan Scott case.  It had been local news and pertained to her area of legal practice.  What a liar!  

My hand was sore from clenching the phone.  My chest felt even tighter, and my heart was beating more rapidly than if I'd just run a race.

I did not trust our attorney.

Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

This childhood phrase came to mind, and led me to my next thought:

I want to fire our attorney.

But I didn't know if that was even possible.  She had claimed to represent us--not Kendra and not the baby.  And even though Lily was in our care, she had been legally relinquished to the attorney.  The attorney was, in fact, her legal guardian at the moment.  We had no legal claim to Lily.  And if I tried to hire a new attorney, what would happen to Lily then?

To Be Continued...


J said...

Did you ever consider reporting her or leaving bad reviews online for her?

Jennifer said...

Yes, I did consider reporting her, and my desire to report her grew larger as the story unfolds. I will eventually get to that part!

Anonymous said...

When will we hear how this story ends!?
I feel like I've been following it for over a year now...

Jennifer said...

Dear Anon,

Sorry it's taking so long to write--I am so busy with hardly any writing time. You are right--I have been writing this for over a year. Yikes!

Thanks for reading. The ending will come, I promise, just I'm limited to a slow pace.

Jennifer :)