She has flawless skin. She is about six inches shorter than I am. She is blond, and so young and beautiful. This will be an adorable baby. And this baby will likely look nothing like me. No judgments…just observations.
Crystal tells us that staying with the birthfather would not be good for her 4 year-old son, the new baby, or for her. The birthfather has stopped contesting the planned placement and is willing to sign papers. She seems to go from being supremely angry with him to hopelessly in love with him…and back. We don’t press.
She says she picked us because of the love and respect we have for each other, and because we seemed a bit goofy. And because Rob is very handsome. I don’t argue.
Although Amy is supposed to facilitate the meeting, we bypass her. Crystal, Rob and I talk as if we’ve known each other for lifetimes. Only Crystal’s mother seems the voice of caution. She asks pointed questions, “Now, you plan on having open contact, right? You’ll tell the child about us, right?”
We respond: “We’ve never done this before, and we’re not sure how to do it ‘right.’ But we do want to lead with our hearts, and we think it will be best for the baby to know where he (or she) comes from and how much Crystal loves him (or her). We know that our relationship is like a see-saw…first Crystal has all the power and we just have to trust. Later, we’ll have all the power and we will want to prove trustworthy to you.”
The counselor brings up the birth. Crystal surprises us with this: “I want you guys to be there with me. You are the parents, and you’ll hold the baby first.”
All our prayers – even the ones we didn’t dare to pray – have been answered. We think. We give Crystal our cell phone number (we’ve been advised not to share last names yet) and the counselor dismisses us, continuing her session with Crystal.
The ball is in Crystal’s court. She’s given us no reason to think she may back out. She says she’ll call in a day or two to get together again – after all, the baby is due in three weeks!
(This entry. along with upcoming posts about my daughter's coming home story, were edited and published in the May/June 2007 issue of Adoptive Families magazine.)