So, there we were — blissfully free of the adoption paperwork. Our home study was finished on a Thursday and my parents were coming into town on Friday to take us out to fancy schmancy restaurant over the weekend to celebrate. We felt relaxed and excited. We knew we had months, if not years, to read the parenting books, paint the nursery, and figure out what kind of baby gear we actually needed. So far, I hadn’t allowed myself to look at any baby stuff. It was just too painful. Sure, I had bought gifts off baby registries before. But I never thought about stuff for us and our baby. After our home study was done, I felt like maybe it was OK to kind of start looking. But I was afraid to go alone. My infinitely kind and patient parents agreed to go with me*. Armed with Baby Bargains, my Dad allowed me to lurk behind him while he asked questions. My mom ooh-ed and ahh-ed over crib sets, strollers, and pack-n-plays; she showed me it was OK to look. I felt overwhelmed by all the . . . stuff? crap? choices?And I was not impressed by my inability to remove a car seat from the stroller base. But I had time . . .
After about an hour at the baby store we headed out for lunch. We continued to talk about baby stuff. I felt like finally I had permission to say things like, “If we get a girl I’m going to get the sheets with the pink hippos on them” or “Maybe we should paint the room green — it would work for a boy or a girl.” I was feeling very pre pre-motherly. Like maybe one day I would actually be a mom. On the way home from lunch my parents wanted to stop at the store to pick up some diet sodas. As we pulled into Kroger my phone rang.
It was the adoption social worker, Brenda. And she had a “situation” she wanted to present to me. There was a Latino birth mother in Rhode Island. The bio dad was African-American and hadn’t been heard from since he was told about the baby 6 months ago. The birth mother had been getting prenatal care. She had no history of drug or alcohol use. Brenda talked and talked, telling me everything she could about the mom, the dad, the baby. I scribbled notes on the back of an envelop I found in the glove box. I had heard that when an adoptive parent is presented with ‘their’ baby they know it. And as hokey as it sounds, about half way through Brenda’s presentation, I felt a sudden jolt. For a second I couldn’t hear anything, see anything, or feel anything other than: This. Is. Our. Baby. I was so very certain that it brought tears to my eyes.
Brenda finished talking. I took a deep breath and asked two questions: When is the baby due? What is the sex of the baby? Brenda said, “It’s a girl. A little girl. And she is due in two weeks, on Mother’s Day!” I almost dropped the phone. Two weeks?!?! Not a lot of time . . .
I went to find my parents in Kroger. I imagine I looked excited and scared and frantic all at once. “We may have a baby.” My mom smiled. My dad nodded. And I started to remember everything. All the details, what we did, what we said, what we ate — all so we could tell it to our little girl.
*Demetri had to work
Demetri and me with my BFF’s baby a few months before Zoey. Do we look awkward or what?!?! Could I clutch the baby any tighter . . .?