Posts Tagged ‘Birthfather’
It’s funny how at the beginning of the pregnancy, time seemed to stretch out vast before me, like it would never be time for my son to arrive and now that April is almost over I can’t believe that in just over a month he should be here. I also can’t believe that I went from the girl that no one could believe was pregnant to this awkward, waddling woman! I think my son and I are both having problems getting comfortable lately. I don’t think he has much room to move in there and at night I seem to be having my own problems getting comfortable.
I’m also having a hard time finding peace and comfort in my relationship with Rob, we haven’t talked since the fiasco went down with his family. When we broke up while I had no delusions that we were “friends” – I did believe that with a little time and space, we might actually be able to be civil towards one another, but the pregnancy didn’t seem to give us much time or space to heal.
I’ve often tried to put myself in Rob’s shoes, to try to figure out where he’s coming from, but I have to admit that this man that I thought I knew so well, that I had planned a life with seems like a stranger to me. There’s a time when I thought I could’ve trusted him with anything in the world and now the three pregnancy promises he made are just three more promises in a long string of promises that he made and broke. Still though, I wondered if he’s going to miss his son. I wondered if he worries about what he’ll say the day he meets him. Though mostly I just wondered what’s going on in that head of his!
Ask and you shall receive.
Rob called me, after our extended silence, and asked the usual questions but then he lingered on the phone.
“Would you like to go out to dinner tomorrow?” he asked.
“Um, sure,” I said, recognizing that an olive branch was being offered and knowing that peace needed to be made between us.
We met at a barbecue place that we used to frequent, (Rob was often on the Atkins Diet so a place where he could get heaping plates of meat was just what the doctor ordered!) and spent several minutes trying to make idle chit chat. I wondered when this had gotten so complicated, when we were together we never seemed to run out of things to talk about, and now we couldn’t even seem to make small talk.
“I need your advice,” he finally said, while digging into a pile of smoked pork.
“Okay,” I said skeptically.
“I’m having problems with Emily,” he said and he launched into a laundry list of concerns that was developing. For example, Emily cried when she opened canned biscuits, because she was anticipating the ‘pop’ which always scared her. He offered to buy her a gun because he was concerned for her safety and she said that she would rather he spend that kind of money on something sparkly for her. She had a meltdown when they went horseback riding and they encountered wildlife on the trails.
As he kept going down the laundry list I was surprised to note that I didn’t feel anything. There is a time that even hearing her name was enough to set my teeth on edge but instead I felt nothing at all. Is this what it’s like to be friends with an ex? I listened as I would listen to any girlfriend talking about their relationship woes. I asked intelligent and insightful questions, meant to make him really reflect and consider what he was feeling, and where the relationship was going. I was so proud of myself, I could do this – I could be his friend.
“Maybe she’s just not the girl for you,” I said after listening to him give me reason upon reason for why they just weren’t a good match.
“I knew it,” he said, sitting up and dropping his fork to his plate with a clatter, “you’re jealous.”
And just like that, it all went out the window.
“Jealous of what?” I asked, my face growing hot with embarrassment that I had let my guard down around him for one minute.
“Of my relationship with Emily.”
“You know what Rob, you are the man who made a career in the military, while we were together you taught me how to string and shoot a long bow, your living room is decorated with medieval weapons, and you have an extensive collection of guns that you shoot, frequently. I don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to see that perhaps your interests don’t mesh well with a girl who has a minor meltdown every time she opens a can of biscuits. Pointing that out to you doesn’t make me jealous, it makes me a good friend.”
I rose to my feet ready to leave.
“I’m moving,” he called after me.
“When?” I asked turning back to look at him.
“In two weeks,” he said.
“Will you be back?” I asked, and the unspoken part of that question was – for the birth of our son.
“I’m not planning on it,” responded.
I nodded, in understanding and I looked at him. When I met Rob, I thought he looked like a superhero – tall, broad shouldered, and square jawed. I thought that he was fearless and that together we could take on anything. He radiated strength and fearlessness to me than and now he just seemed so full of fear.
“Thanks for dinner,” I said and I turned my back on him and I left.
I had wanted a picture of Rob and our son for his baby book, so that one day when I told our son his story that would be a part of it. That we loved him from the minute, we knew he was there. However, as I drove away from the barbecue place I realized that story I painted in my head was a lie – I loved my son from the moment I knew he was there; through the vomiting, the indecision, the worry, the doubts, the hard decisions, the dreams, the wishes – I loved him, Rob did not. To Rob, this wasn’t a baby or even a part of him, it was the last thread that bound us together, a thread that he was ready to have cut. It was a hard truth to swallow, but there it was.
I contacted Mary at the attorney’s office the next day to make sure that they knew Rob was leaving the state, and to make sure that he kept in touch with them, so they knew where to send his paperwork.
Our son wasn’t born yet, but the thread was severed – the chapter in my life about Rob was over and closed.
Rob and I don’t talk very often. I can honestly say that he does make an effort to call every ten to fourteen days to see how I am doing and once I say I’m fine, he gets off the phone as quickly as possible. Emily has come and gone, he was going to be moving, so he was staying busy. Frankly, I’ve been a little relieved because it’s hard to get on with your life and move forward when your past keeps popping up over and over again.
I mention this because Sunday while I was standing at a gas station, putting the gas cap back on my car but basking in the sunshine and thinking about how lucky I am to live in the South in the Spring, my phone rang and it was Rob. He was about a week early for his check in phone call but I still answered, I don’t know what I was expecting but I was unprepared for what I got.
After the expected pleasantries (you know “hey, how’s it going?” “good, you?” “good.”) were exchanged, Rob blurted out with “I just got off the phone with my parents and we’ve made some decisions about the adoption.”
I felt the world start spinning and I got in my car and pulled it away from the pump and out of the way. I was confused for many reasons, the first being that we had agreed that he wasn’t going to tell his parents about this whole pregnancy situation. It was the last of three agreements that we made that had been unbroken. I could tell by the tone of his voice, that I was not going to like what was coming.
“What decisions have you made about my son?” I asked, with as much calm and quiet as I could muster.
“Well, my Dad doesn’t think that I should give the baby to strangers to raise, especially since my brother and his wife are currently going through the process to adopt a baby.”
“I see,” I said. Rob’s brother, John was the proverbial Black Sheep of the family he had an addiction problem, had stolen from his parents and been kicked out of the house, gone to jail, and Rob and his Father thought I was going to hand my son over to him to raise on the promise that he had turned his life around. The world around me was still spinning but everything was awash in shades of red.
“That way Elizabeth could get pictures and updates, and maybe my daughter could even be a part of the baby’s life.” He said.
“Excuse me?” I asked, breathing deeply and trying to focus and make my anger go away, trying not to lose my temper. Elizabeth was his ex-wife why was she going to need pictures and updates?
“Well when I told her about this whole adoption thing earlier this week she got upset that our daughter wouldn’t get to know her half-brother. She wants to know how and where the baby is, and how he’s doing.”
I have always known I have a rotten temper. I have always prided myself on the amount of self-control that I have that I don’t lose my temper more. However, the people closest to me know that when I am really angry and really calm – it’s probably best to head for the hills. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being minor annoyance and 10 being postal – I was about 15, nuclear and ready to explode.
“Rob, I can’t talk to you about this right now,” I said “obviously you’ve had time to prepare yourself for this conversation, I haven’t. I need some time to digest.”
“No Joy, we’re going to talk about his right now,” he said loudly.
“I assure you, we’re not. I’ll call you later.” I said and then I hung up the phone.
I don’t think I was ever as angry in my whole life, as I was right that minute. My hands were shaking and my son was shifting from one side of my swollen belly to the other, I suspect that he was getting a flood of emotions from me at that minute, and I was ashamed that none of them were very good. I hugged my belly and I thought of Beth and John, my son’s parents, because I really believed with my whole heart that they were meant to be my son’s parents, so what was I going to do about this? I certainly wasn’t going to let Rob’s Father control what I did with my baby.
I called Rob back a few hours later but only to tell him that I would call him tomorrow so we could discuss things. I simply told him I had a few things I needed to work out. In actuality I had a plan, and that was to offer him a counter proposal, one that would hit Rob where it hurt most.
When I arrived at work on Monday, I had two emails from Rob’s family. I had one from his Father telling me I was a slut and a whore and he was glad my plan to “trap his son” had blown up in my face and that he was going to make sure some good came out of my selfishness. (Quite honestly the email was much longer than that, but that was the gist of it. To this day it is still the cruelest email I have ever received.) The second email was from Rob’s sister, who I had met once – we stayed at her house for a weekend, telling me how hurt and disappointed she was my behavior. I did not respond to the sister from Rob’s sister but I did take the time to point out that I had moved out and come up with my adoption plan all without his son, I never, not once suggested we get back together let alone try to get married. I assured him I would pray for him, because with so much hatred in his heart clearly that’s what he needed – prayers. What the heck had Rob told these people?
I called Mary at the attorney’s office to let her know what was going on and to put my mind at ease that really the only people who could stop Beth and John from getting my son were Rob and myself. She assured me that was the case. I also told her that Rob’s ex-wife wanted “updates” and she said it was highly unlikely but really that was up to Beth and John. I told her that I would let Rob sort that out. (Frankly, I still thought that one was a little over the top.)
That evening, I got myself into the safest place I could think of and braced myself to do battle. In my heart I was fighting for my son’s future and for his happiness. I sat down on the floor with my back against the sofa, Ben snuggled next to me so I could pet his soft fur. (I found petting Ben to be very calming.) Then I called Rob.
“Hey,” I said brightly, “I’m ready to talk.”
“Okay,” he said and I could tell he was suspicious.
“I think you and your parents are right, I don’t think a stranger should raise my son, so I talked to Cathy today at work, and she said that at the end of the month I was going to be getting that raise she’s been talking about.”
“That’s great,” he said and I could tell suspicion was giving way to confusion.
“Well, with that raise and what you would be legally obligated to give me in support, I can keep the baby.” I finished.
Between you and me, I was bluffing. The raise was still a carrot dangling over my head, I was still not interested or equipped to raise my son by myself but I refused to be back into a corner by this man and his family.
There was silence.
“So you better tell your family to play nicely since I’m going to be around for a long time.” I added, in a voice that sounded so sweet and so bright my teeth ached. If he had seen the fury on my face, he would’ve known it was a bluff but since he had wanted to do this over the phone, it had helped me out tremendously.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“Oh I got some emails from your Father and sister today, they seem unimpressed by my choices. You really should encourage them to be nice to the mother of your child since obviously I’m not going to let my son visit people that call me a whore or talk badly about me. We’re going to have to work together to parent him.”
If I hadn’t had him when I mentioned the money – I had him now. I could almost hear him blanch over the phone.
“Now Joy, wait, you don’t really want to keep the baby do you?” He said, I could practically hear the back-peddling.
“I have always loved my baby and wanted what’s best for him, you and your Father made me realize it might be me.” I said.
Rob spent the next half an hour “convincing me” that Beth and John were the right parents for our son. I pretended to put up and admirable fight because I didn’t want him to know that he had just played right into my hands, but by the end of the call we were back on track. He also agreed to talk to his family and get them to refrain from any future emails. I told him I would appreciate it greatly. I told him if he wanted updates for his ex-wife he was going to have to call the attorney and see if Beth and John would be interested in doing that. (He never did.)
If I had thought, for one minute that any Rob’s Family’s plans for the baby had anything to do with love for my child – I might have been more receptive but I suspected that really it was more of pride. My suspicions were confirmed and my doubts were put at ease the next morning when I got the last email I would ever receive from Rob’s Dad. It was sent before Rob and I had reached our agreement so I never bothered to tell him about it, but the highlight was -
“Just because you are pregnant with my son’s child doesn’t mean you are anything to this family. The only thing you will accomplish in this life is giving birth to a child from someone of my son’s caliber who you preyed upon when he was emotionally weak.”
Yes, my behavior was not entirely on the up and up, but when I looked at that email I knew that at least I was making decisions from a place of love. I don’t think Rob’s Father could say the same.
Ben and I are getting to know each other. I can’t say yet that he seems completely happy and adjusted to his new life but he seems less sad. He is still pining for his other family, not showing too much interest in food. I learned that if I gave him a few pieces of food, the same way I give him treats, from my hand he would eat the eagerly enough, so I started by feeding him by hand for the first few days. Now I have him eating from his bowl, as long as I sit next to him while he eats. I’m happy to see him eating and I’ll be thrilled when I can see less of his ribs, but it makes me a little sad to think of what his family did to get him to this state.
Russ came over to meet Ben, and declared him to be a good dog. I thought Russ was being quite generous since Ben seemed relatively unimpressed by Russ, preferring instead to stay seated on his big pillow watching cautiously. (Though Ben did seem to warm when Russ sat next to him and started to pet him.)
“Joy, do you remember that man you were talking to at the bar on our date?” he asked, looking intently at Ben, which made something in my stomach drop.
“Yes,” I said bracing myself.
“So you know that he’s an instructor at the base?”
“Of course, my ex is also an instructor,” I said “Russ, I think you’re getting ready to tell me something you’re scared that I’m not going to like, but you can tell me. I’m little but I’m scrappy.”
“Your ex, Rob, he’s been telling people about the decision you guys made. Everyone at his squadron knows, and so of course it’s drifting over into my squadron too.”
“Oh,” I said, but I knew that. On some level the minute the familiar face approached me at the restaurant I knew that everyone knew. My cheeks felt hot with embarrassment.
“I guess I really need to talk to Rob, don’t I?” I said, smiling weakly.
“It would probably be a good idea. You know, better to grab the bull by the horns?” he said, patting Ben and standing up.
“Sure,” I agreed and I hugged Russ good bye, and tried to determine the best way to approach Rob about all of this.
Rob called the very next day and asked if he could stop by to meet Ben after he got together with his friends for their weekly basketball game in the park. I told him he was more than welcome, and then I fretted and worried about how to gently approach the subject of the broken promise to Rob.
Rob was in my apartment for about fifteen minutes extolling the virtues of my decision to get a dog, all the health benefits, the mental health benefits, etc. etc. before I gestured to the sofa asking him to sit down.
“Rob, when we talked about this baby, we agreed to a few small things to try to eliminate any excessive amount of stress, do you remember that?”
Rob exhaled sharply, “who told you?”
“Who told me isn’t really the issue,” I started but he cut me off.
“Look Emily is my girlfriend and this pregnancy situation is very difficult for her, so next month she’s coming to stay for two weeks and really that seems like the least I can do for her.”
“Oh,” I said weakly, “that wasn’t really what I was talking about.”
Emotions flashed through me, hurt, anger, sadness, confusion and back to hurt. The emotions were coming so fast and that I burst into tears. Rob looked suspicious.
“I wasn’t talking about Emily,” I said as I got control over my emotions and his look changed from suspicion to confusion, “I was talking about the fact that half of the base seems to know that I’m pregnant and that ‘we’ decided on an adoption plan.”
“Oh that,” he said.
“Yes that.” I said, tears spent, anger was starting to become the dominant emotion.
“Well I just told Tex, and he told someone else, and they told someone else, and you know how these things go.” He said dismissively.
“Yes, I do know how these things go, which is why we agreed that you weren’t going to talk about it with people from the base,” I said coldly, “do you know how embarrassed I was when I was approached on my date by someone telling me they knew all about such personal details about my life?”
“You had a date?” he asked.
“That’s not really the point,” I said.
“I think it is,” he said starting to sound angry which made me the confused one, “you shouldn’t be dating while you’re pregnant!”
“I won’t date while I’m pregnant if you don’t date while I’m pregnant,” I said with a chuckle.
“I can tell you this, my ex-wife didn’t date while she was pregnant.” He said indignantly and I burst out laughing.
“Well I should hope not, I believe she was married to you while she was pregnant.” I said, still laughing.
“Joy, this isn’t funny, you need to be home taking care of yourself and the baby. You don’t need to be out on the town.”
“I think you need to leave,” I said feeling the laughter fade and the anger flashing back with a vengeance.
“I am not going to leave until we resolve this,” he said stubbornly.
“There is nothing to resolve. I am pregnant and I am doing everything within my power to make sure that the baby has what it needs to happy and healthy, but I have a life, one that I hope to get back to when this is all over, and one that you seem hell bent on ruining. What do you think is worse for my health and the health of the baby – having a nice man take me out to dinner for Valentine’s day or knowing that for the next few years whenever I encounter your instructor friends they will be thinking of me as ‘the girl you knocked up who then gave her baby away’?”
“I don’t think it’s appropriate,” he started again, but I cut him off.
“Well, that’s funny because a couple of months ago you were the one who thought it wasn’t appropriate to have Emily come visit while I was pregnant and might need you for ‘moral support’ but you’ve proven to be pretty flexible on what’s appropriate and what’s not.”
He glared at me and stomped out of my apartment , slamming the door behind him so hard that my whole little world seemed to rattle.
“And this is exactly why we couldn’t keep the baby, and try to co-parent it,” I said outloud to no one in particular, but Ben’s wise eyes seemed to agree with me.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m going to go ahead and tell you that the date with Russ was almost over before it even began. I had a fashion crisis going through my closet, which is highly unusual for me. Nothing seemed to fit or fit right, and the maternity clothes that I knew would fit made me look pregnant (something I didn’t want Russ to figure out on his own – I wanted to tell him first). After my fashion meltdown, that did involve me in a puddle on the ground crying, I found a lovely nondescript charcoal gray dress to wear. It was loose in all the right places and yet I still felt good in it, so I was able to pull myself together. In fact by the time Russ got there I was feeling pretty good about myself.
Russ was wearing a navy blue suit, he looked so handsome that it took my breath away. His eyes were sparkling and his smile was so bright when he looked at me, that I blushed. I was touched when he offered me his arm and escorted me to the car, opening my door for me and everything! (I couldn’t help but think how pleased my parents would be at those gestures.)
“I hope you’re hungry,” Russ said as he slid behind the steering wheel.
“I could eat,” I said smiling at him, but I silently prayed that he wasn’t planning on taking me out for sushi.
Russ and I talked the whole way to the restaurant, in fact I was so engrossed in the conversation that I didn’t notice where we were going, so when I realized we were in front of one of the nicest restaurants in town (well definitely the one with the nicest view) I was surprised and excited! I had been there several times with my family but never on a date before.
Nancy’s Restaurant on the Bay had a reputation for wonderful food, excellent service, and a beautiful setting and for Valentine’s day they pulled out all the stops. As Russ and I walked in the door, I was handed a red rose, which I guess could’ve seemed cheesy but somehow it added to the magic. Ever, the gentlman, Russ seated me at the bar and after we ordered drinks (a diet coke for him and a ginger ale for me to try to make sure my stomach behaved itself) he went to check on our reservations.
I was sitting at the bar, marveling that I had never seen Nancy’s so crowded before when I heard a voice call out to me.
“Joy, I knew that was you,” a tall lanky man said as he patted me on the back.
I recognized his face as someone that worked with Rob, but I couldn’t remember his name. I smiled at him, while I looked past him for some sign that Russ was coming back. I didn’t want Russ to think I was trying to pick up some random guy on our date.
“Joy, I just wanted you to know that Rob told me about your situation and the decision that you guys made, and I want you to know that I’m really impressed,” them man said which immediately focused my attention back on him.
I felt like a glass of ice water had just been poured down my back, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” I asked.
“Rob told us about the baby and the adoption and everything, and I think it’s really admirable what you guys have decided.”
Everything seemed to start spinning, isn’t this exactly one of the things Rob and I agreed that he was not going to do? Isn’t this exactly the reason why?
“I, um” I couldn’t think of anything to say, and I felt my face flush and my eyes dangerously close to filling up with tears. Then to add to my stress I saw Russ looking at me, smiling while he made his way across the room towards me.
Rob’s friend saw where I was looking and still completely oblivious to the shock and upset that he caused he smiled at me, “well I can see that you have plans for dinner, I just wanted to tell you how great I think what you’re doing is,” and with that he disappeared into the throng of people waiting for their tables.
“Everything Russ okay?” Russ said as he took his seat next to mine.
“Absolutely,” I said, trying to sound more confident than I felt, “that was a friend on my ex-boyfriends.”
“Ah,” Russ said and he smiled reassuringly at me, and for the time being that friendly reassuring smile seemed to make everything else fade away.
Russ had the best laugh, it lit up his whole face and brightened his eyes. I found myself trying to think of the funniest stories I had just to see the way his eyes lit up when he laughed. I told him about the guys I worked with, he said I sounded like a proud Mother Hen, which made me blush.
It was a wonderful date, and Nancy’s lived up to it’s reputation. The food was amazing, we split the crab cake appetizer, I had a fish with artichokes and balsamic vinegar and Russ had steak. The server was silently attentive, always sliding in to refill glasses but never intruding on conversation. The conversation was great, we talked and laughed, the stars twinkled over the view of the bay, and everything seemed perfect and then it hit.
The check had been paid, we were sitting there talking, when I started to feel green around the gills. I guess I really hadn’t eaten anything as acidic as the Balsamic Vinegar that had been on the fish, and my stomach was not impressed.
“Oh please, no, not here,” I silently prayed.
The lull in our conversation brought Russ to his feet, “shall we go?”
“Yes,” I said, smiling tentatively, still praying inwardly that I was not going to be sick.
As we were driving back to my apartment, I was still praying and still fighting against the waves of nausea. If I could just make it inside my own apartment to be sick in the privacy of my own bathroom, everything would be okay.
“Hey, let’s get ice cream,” Russ said excitedly, turning into the Circle K where we met.
“Sure,” I said trying to smile brightly at him, I wondered if I looked as green as I felt, silently, inwardly praying not to be sick and ruin this date.
We ventured into Circle K, where he got a drumstick and I got an orange sherbet push-up pop. He was grinning like a kid as he started his drumstick while we drove on to my apartment. We talked a little but he was preoccupied with his ice cream and I was preoccupied trying to keep from being sick.
Ever the gentleman, Russ walked me to the door, he was saying all the right things to assure me that this had been a good date, indicating he would like to see me again soon. I smiled and told him how nice that would be, and then after unlocking my door, I turned and gave him a big hug and I dashed inside.
I just barely made it to the bathroom, where I was sick, sick like I hadn’t been since early on in my pregnancy. Clearly fish and Balsamic vinegar were not a good mix for me while I was pregnant. I had just brushed my teeth, splashed some cold water on my face, and come back into the living room. I was trying to decide how badly I had mucked up the end of the date, and while I was standing there I heard a surprising noise outside my door.
“Um, Joy,” a voice said, followed by a soft knock.
I opened the door and there was Russ, covered in ice cream that had leaked out from the bottom of his drumstick. There were so many thoughts running through my head that I couldn’t get a handle on them, I opened the door invited him in and then I burst into tears.
“Joy, what’s wrong?” Russ said, looking alarmed.
I went into the kitchen and grabbed him some paper towels and tried to get ahold of myself. Russ followed right behind me, still looking alarmed but looking like he felt helpless covered in ice cream.
“Russ, there’s something I have to tell you,” I said and the words came out in a rush, “I’m pregnant, and maybe I should’ve told you alraedy, but I liked you so much and I didn’t want to ruin everything but now you took me out on this wonderful date, and I ruined it by getting sick and leaving you on the front porch covered in ice cream. I’m so sorry.”
The words all ran together and at the end, the tears were sliding down my face, and Russ walked over to my sink where he dropped the drumstick, he wiped his hands clean, and then he gave me a hug. We stood there for a long moment, me crying and him holding me in his tight grasp. I couldn’t believe how could it felt just to be hugged. I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I had been hugged.
“Not a great time to start dating?” he asked.
“Probably not,” I agreed.
“But maybe a good time for new friends?”
“That would be nice,” I agreed, and with that our date, and any thoughts of dating while I was pregnant were over.
While Russ didn’t run screaming from my apartment, a few minutes later, I was curled up in bed thinking that for now dating was just not for me. However, I was at peace with my decision. I filed it under “lessons learned” and at least I had a new friend and Russ had not run screaming from the apartment. That was something.
I know that I’ve gone back and forth on this, but my situation with Russ is no longer just a hypothetical situation – he asked me out (for Valentine’s Day no less) and I said yes. It didn’t happen completely out of the blue, he called me a few times and we talked on the phone like high schoolers! We talked about everything, our families, our hopes and dreams for the future, everything but the one thing I’m wondering if I should’ve brought up – the baby. I love talking to him and the more I talk to him the more I like him.
I’ve been full of doubt and concerns about this situation. Sometimes it seems unfair that while I am pregnant and my life is all about the baby, Rob has moved on with his love life, shouldn’t I get the same opportunity? Should the baby really keep me from going out on a date with this man that is funny, kind and caring – he’s educated, gainfully employed, and seems to have so many of the traits that I’m looking for in a life partner.
Ever my own worst enemy, I can’t help but look down the road and play “what if” which makes everything seem to take on new importance. What if we really hit it off, when do I tell him about the baby? What if we fall in love and he wants to keep BOTH of us, would I let that affect my adoption plan? What if I tell him about the baby and he runs screaming in the other direction – am I really ready to deal with that? I keep telling myself that all of this playing “what if” is really borrowing trouble from tomorrow, especially since those were all things that might never come to pass, but then in the back of my mind “what if” would whisper again. I know I’m being silly, I know that a new and handsome man is not really going to change anything in my life, let alone my adoption plan, but still my brain shifts through all the options. It’s my greatest strength and weakness all at the same time.
Beth and John have purchased plane tickets to come visit in a month! Her email bringing this news to me also brought about a minor panic attack on my part, what if they reject me? What if they meet me (and presumably Rob) and decide that they wouldn’t want any child that came from the two of us. My panic attack lead me to sit down and with tear filled eyes write a big email to Beth laying out any and all potential problems that this baby could’ve inherited from Rob and me. I started with the normal things like our cat allergies, but I delved into the more serious problems. My struggles with school which lead to being diagnosed with Dyslexia and Rob “allegedly” having ADD, the alcoholism that Rob’s family brings to the table. I shook every genetic skeleton I could think of out of the closet and laid them out on the table for Beth’s inspection.
The email I got back brought even more tears. Beth treated each of my confessions seriously, she did not just send me back a dismissive letter assuring me that they just wanted a baby and would love it. She told me that John doesn’t drink because alcoholism is prominent in his family and that they would make sure that the baby grew up as John did, knowing the dangers of alcohol. She treated each concern seriously and laid out a plan of attack for how she thought she would handle that situation if it happened, and after each fear had been addressed then she assured me that they already loved the baby and that nothing so trite as dyslexia or ADD would make them not love the baby.
Her email brought tears to my eyes but it also brought me peace of mind. My fears had been addressed and assuaged. Beth and John would love the baby, if it wasn’t pink and perfect forever – it was theirs and for them, that was more than enough.