Wow! It has been forever since I've written a post. I guess it's because I can't keep up with all the ways and all the reasons that I can't believe my life. I would never accomplish anything else if I kept writing about all those events. Seriously!
Today, however, is different. I feel compelled to write, to share my story, a part I haven't shared with too many people. It's a joyful story - a story in which everything that could go wrong went wrong but, at the same time, went right - miraculously right. The only way to explain it is to say that it was meant to be. I'll start at the beginning but this is gonna take a few posts. Hang in there. It's a good story.
January 24, 2009. After nine long years, my boyfriend became my husband. Let's just say that the wedding wasn't all I had hoped for. You would never understand the reasons unless you intimately knew my husband and I. So instead of going into long, boring details, I'll keep it simple. The wedding was originally planned for April, 2009 surrounded by friends and family. For those reasons you'll never understand, things changed. Vegas. 4 guests. I almost missed my own wedding because I was so hung-over. Actually, I was probably still drunk. I barely got down the aisle without throwing up but wound up marrying a keeper. I thought I loved him, but had no idea how much more that love would grow - could grow - over the next few years.
Fast forward. April, 2009. After meeting with a few adoption agencies and being told we would NEVER get a newborn, we decided to go with an agency that just felt right. We started our PS Map classes - or as I like to call them - 12 weeks of hell. Every Wednesday night for 12 weeks we spent 3 hours in a room with people who were way too happy and too eager. You know the ones - they always raise their hand and have to contribute their life stories; the suck ups and brown nosers; the overly religious "praise the Lord-ers" every 5 seconds; the ones that are really too dumb to live, let alone adopt. Yep, there we were with the melting pot of America. All we wanted was a baby, but we had to suffer through this first. Some day I'll do a post about these classes. I left these classes every week wondering what I had done to God to make him hate me so much. I muttered under my breath, "I can't believe my life." But, it was a means to an end.
June, 2009. My 12 weeks of hell was finally over! I cried tears of joy. We spent the next few weeks preparing our home for the inspection. We needed a pool fence and other minor fixes. We got them done. A means to an end, a means to an end. It became my mantra. We passed the inspection with flying colors. My husband said he knew we would. I had been stressed out about it for days beforehand. Damn him and his calm unflappable manner!
Then, the other shoe dropped. Our agency told us that they weren't going to file our application for certification. We were told the Arizona courts would not approve our application because we hadn't been married for a full year. WHAT? I lived through hell only to be told to wait another 6 months and come back in January, 2010???? I cried again - tears of anger and frustration. I couldn't believe my life. Was I Lizzy Borden in my first life and this was just penance for my prior crimes? The agency called the court, I called the court, and we were both told the same thing: No certification would be granted until we had been married a year; it didn't matter that we had nine long years together. My husband, an attorney, told the agency to file the application anyway. Without going into all the legal issues here, I'll simply tell you my husband - my rock - said he'd handle the legal issues when the Court denied the application. So the application was filed.
June 24, 2009 - two weeks after our application was filed. I opened a letter from the court. A pink form fell out of the envelope to my feet. As I bent down to pick it up, I saw that it was signed by the Judge. I was confused. It usually takes longer than this - even for the denial, which I was certain this was - especially coming so soon after we filed. I got a little woozy. Not wanting to get my hopes up, I read it carefully. I read it again. And then one more time. Yes. It was true. We had been approved. A check mark in a box on a form on pink paper indicated our Application for Adoption Certification had been approved. I called our agency and they were in shock, too. No one could believe it - except my husband, my rock. He smiled that smirky I-told-you-so-smile.
Early July, 2009. Our agency social worker met with us to go over what seemed like a "menu." Are you willing to adopt an African American child? A Hispanic child? A child with severe mental issues? Do you have a gender preference? It was almost silly and yes, we did laugh at the absurdity of it all. "Normal parents" didn't get to make these choices; they played the hand they were dealt. Here we were ordering up a child like we were buying a new car and picking our options. We chose a Rolls Royce model - perfect in every way. We were told it would never happen. My husband smiled and said ti submit it anyway. Our choices would be placed into the State database and then we would sit and wait - maybe years - for a match.
I also called our lawyer. She is the best - the best in Arizona, maybe the country. A wonderful person and a wonderful lawyer. We told her we were certified and ready to adopt. We wanted a newborn; a boy. She laughed a little and told us not to choose a gender. What if a birth mom chose us and then 4 months into our relationship with her we found out she was having a girl? Would we reject her and the baby after putting in all that time and money? We insisted - we wanted a boy; a newborn; a perfect one. She smiled and told us it could take a long time - years maybe. We nodded and smiled, and left her office to go about our lives... for a long time... years maybe.
Still July, 2009. I was at work just like every other day. My phone rang, just like it rang a myriad of other times that day. But this one was different, it was our lawyer. Another attorney had contacted her. There was a birth mom looking for a family to adopt her baby. The baby was due in 2 1/2 months; it was a boy. Could she give our profile and "letter to birth parents" to this attorney to provide to her client? "Of course, of course!" I was told not to get too excited. Several profiles would be sent to the birth mom. She could choose to meet all the families or none; the ball was in her court. She could decide in an hour or not until she was in the hospital giving birth. Continue to live our lives normally. I cried again and called my husband, my rock, with the news. I could tell he was smiling. Was this really happening so soon?
Well, we did continue to live as normally as possible. We even went on a mini vacation. My husband had to go to San Francisco for work so we turned it into a long weekend to visit our dear friends. On Friday, day 2, of our trip, my husband was dressing to go to a big meeting with his client. I was still in bed. My cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and it was our lawyer. I looked at my husband and we smiled, until I started to cry - happy tears. The birth mom had chosen our profile. Was it okay to give her my cell number so we could talk? "Of course, of course!" I was given pointers of things to talk about, things to avoid talking about, how to plan a meeting if the mom wanted one, where to go... Was I hearing any of this? Would I remember it all if/when the mom called? She wished us luck and told me to let her know how it went.
My husband, the techno-phobe, promised to keep his cell phone turned on. He went to his big meeting and I went to our friends' house. My cell phone remained glued to my hand. I checked it every 30 seconds. Did I have enough battery? Did I have enough bars? Can you hear me now? How about now? 3:00 pm. My phone rang. It was a number I didn't recognize. I answered, my voice quivering. From that moment on, my life would never be the same. "Hi. This is *D*. Do you know who I am?" "Of course, of course!" After a few awkward starts and pregnant pauses (pun totally intended), we laughed about how awkward we both felt and that changed everything. I hardly had to say a word; she talked enough for both of us. We made plans to meet for lunch on Sunday. We hung up. I cried. I called my husband and told him every detail of the conversation. He told his client and she got a little weepy, too. We had dinner with his client and I am happy to call her a friend now. When someone shares such a special part of your life with you, they become your friend. It just happens that way.
We spent Saturday with our friends but couldn't really think of anything other than lunch the next day. We flew home, still in a fog. Do we remember the admonitions of our lawyer? What did she tell us NOT to talk about? Where should we go? What if she is hideously ugly? I don't want an ugly baby! What if she hates us? What if she likes my husband but hates me? I was Lizzy Borden in my first life... what if she figures that out?
Sunday arrived. What do I wear? What if she's ugly? What if she doesn't like us or me? We pulled up to her mother's apartment where *D* was living and I started to cry. My husband, my rock, hugged me and reminded me... it's just a means to an end, a means to an end. He grabbed my hand and we walked to the door and knocked. The door was opened by a very pregnant young woman - and she wasn't hideous. She was kind of cute. I smiled. Take that, Lizzy Borden!