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We decided to order our entire Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners from an Italian restaurant.  Nobody felt much like cooking, and anyhow, we had already cancelled our invitation to extended family and friends.  The holidays would be a quiet affair this time around:  just our immediate household plus my mother, who was still visiting.

I wondered whether Kendra and her boys would ever celebrate a future holiday with us.  There was no way to predict how our now overlapping families might relate in the future, but I craved a connection with Lily's birthmother as if she were my birthmother!  I would send Kendra an email, then check my inbox compulsively until I received a reply.  I was like a silly teenager waiting for a boy to call after a first date.  Looking back now, my desperation seems bizarre.  What could I have possibly wanted from this young woman who had already handed me her own flesh and blood?  Sure, I told myself that I wanted to preserve Lily's connection to her natural family, and this was indeed true, but there was something else--something more personal at stake.  I needed Kendra--I myself wanted a relationship with Kendra.  Because without Kendra, I felt like a kidnapper.  

What ridiculous expectations!  To think that Kendra might help take care of me!  Kendra, who for whatever her reason(s), did not think she could take care of her own baby!  

Of course, on the day prior to Christmas Eve, I was hardly struck by this irony.  Instead, I typed out the following email and sent it off into cyberspace at exactly 3:06 pm.  I don't think my neediness was at all obvious; on the contrary, I was still following the "Script for Chatting with your Baby's Birthmother."  My overall tone was upbeat and warm, sharing not much more than the mundane details of caring for a newborn.  Eating!  Sleeping!  Just as the social worker had instructed.  And although I stayed within the confines of good prospective adoptive parent communication (according to the adoption industry), I did bring up the major issue at large--that of Bobby the bio-dad:


Just wanted to wish you guys a very Merry Christmas!  Did you leave for vacation yet?  I'm sure the boys must be super excited.

Baby Lily is a total roly poly piglet!  OMG!  She would take down the whole jug of formula if we let her.  She loves to eat and sleeps tons, though she tends to want to hang out a bit at 3 in the morning.  She likes to chill out by the Christmas tree in the middle of the night.  In case you saw the Enfamil formula recall--don't worry.  We ended up buying the Similac sensitive.  

Of course, I'm sure you talked to Shelley already about Bobby registering with the putative father registry.  We were all upset when we heard that news, but Shelley seems very positive and optimistic.  

Give Alex and Logan hugs from all of us.  And please give Johnny our regards.  Your parents too!  I hope you have a great holiday with your boys:)

Jennifer :)

I would not hear a reply until much later that night.  And so, the remainder of my day included childcare, a mad rush to finish wrapping all the Christmas gifts, and a non-stop watch over my email account.  I also started to experience heart palpitations around this time.  It felt like a butterfly was stuck inside of my rib cage--a butterfly that was flapping its wings wildly but in vain, as if trapped near my heart, and the flapping was so powerful--so urgent too--that it left me literally breathless.  

To Be Continued...

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