The man who bought me my hot chocolate, his name was Russ and he is a flight student in the Navy. I know this now because I saw him in Circle K, and I smiled and said hello and thanked him for his generous gift. We talked for a few minutes and then we both had to head off to our perspective jobs. Russ makes me feel conflicted. He is handsome and generous, someone that in another time and a place I would love to go on a date with and I would be hopeful that a relationship would form, but can you date while you’re pregnant? I’m not sure, but as he hasn’t asked me out yet, I suppose that’s putting the cart before the horse.
With Rob back in town, Mary and I setup a phone call between us and Beth and John. I wanted to do it while he was still out of town, but he surprised me and said that he would like to be there. In an effort to show that I was willing to be accommodating I drove out to his house on the day of the call and they called us there.
It was a strange feeling, that feeling that this house that had been OUR house, was not mine anymore. It seemed a little surreal to be there as a visitor, but I was excited to talk to Beth and John so when the phone rang on schedule at 6:00 I could hardly keep myself from answering the phone like a breathless teenager.
“Hello?” I said, and for a split second I was filled with terror, what if this was Emily?
“Hello, is this Joy?” a woman’s voice said from the other end.
“Yes, yes it is!” I said excitedly.
“This is Beth,” the voice said.
“And John,” a male voice chimed in.
“This is Rob, the birthfather, I’m here too.” Rob said from the phone in the bedroom.
It is very hard for me to explain the connection that I felt to Beth and John from that very first phone call, but I felt an immediate connection. I felt a current of excitement between the three of us immediately. Beth and John started to ask questions about how I was feeling, what my likes and dislikes were now that I was pregnant. I told them about my recent cravings for Crab Rangoon, how during the really ferocious bouts of “morning” sickness my coworkers were bringing me french fries since they seemed to stay down better. I got a sense that Beth and John were happy that I had people in my corner. I told them about feeling the baby, and I could tell they were as excited as I was! I asked about what they do for a living, what preparations they had made, and without me asking they told me about the journey that brought them to adoption.
Rob stayed quiet during the first excited exchanges and then he cleared his throat and said “I have some questions I would like to ask.”
Hmmm, this was news to me.
“What religion are you people?” Rob said.
“We’re Catholic,” John said.
“I guess that’s okay, I wouldn’t want to give my baby to a Satanist or anything” He said.
Nervous laughter erupted from me, and I could tell it sounded off, but frankly, this was as unexpected to me as it probably was to Beth and John.
“I’m Mormon, so Religion is very important to me.” Rob announced.
In truth, Rob was raised Seventh Day Adventist and in college became LDS when he met his wife, well now ex-wife. He was a non-practicing LDS, early on in our relationship I had helped him burn his garments and other things that he was not allowed to wear because of his current Church status. I was a Christian Mutt, raised Episcopal, went to a Catholic School, and attending a Methodist Church – never during the course of our relationship was religion ever an issue – I was shocked to hear it was an issue today.
Rob asked more questions about their educational backgrounds, their relationship, and their family medical history. At this point the Rob was asking questions and John was answering them and I felt like a tub of cold water had been thrown on me. I knew about their education backgrounds and their relationship, all of the questions that Rob asked were in their profile. I also though asking about their medical histories was kind of funny because that was really something we brought to the table more than the adoptive parents.
Finally, Rob seemed out of questions and there was a pause.
“Would you like to exchange email addresses?” Beth asked softly.
“No thanks, have a good evening,” Rob said and hung up.
“I would!” I said at the same time, and then repeated it after Rob hung up, “I would really like that Beth.”
So we exchanged email addresses and said our good-byes. I hung up the phone feeling happy and hopeful.
I left Rob’s house that night a few minutes later. I had nothing to say about his interrogation, because I tried to remind myself that what we needed to feel confident in our decision was different and as long as he felt comfortable and at ease with our decision, it should ultimately make the whole process easier on all parties involved and who was I to say what should be important to him in this process?