Do you know what DOESN’T GET part five written?
Looking at Pinterest and commenting on Facebook posts.
Also? Those two things don’t get the laundry washed around here, and someone who lives in this house who has ZERO-POINT-ZERO interest in Pinterest, Facebook and Baby Gap online has announced, “I am capable of blocking those sites. I can shut them down faster than you can blink, and they’ll be so password protected, you’ll never have to worry about not getting the jeans washed ever again.”
I love Hubs, even though he can tighten down the security on our home computers better than anything NASA can ever hope to achieve.
So do you know what I said in reply? I said, “Facebook isn’t my problem. Pinterest is my problem. I like to look at crockpot recipes that I’ll never make and gray rugs that I can only dream about having in my living room, and yellow, Chevron-striped pillows that I covet in a way that makes Jesus frown. Maybe you SHOULD block Pinterest at this house.”
And then tonight, I was able to successfully kill another 35 minutes, because OH, MY WORD! Maybe I want NAVY Chevron-striped pillows on the sofa instead of yellow! I hadn’t thought of navy before, but NAVY PILLOWS AND A GRAY RUG? Well, thank you very much; I’ll take six.
Or maybe four navy pillows and two yellow ones AND the gray rug.
Because SWOON! And ADORE!
(I live in a place of first world problems, obviously.)
And do you know what else? We need a picture tonight. There have been too many words and too few snapshots around here lately, and that’s a combination that can give me a headache.
So here’s Thing 2 and the boy. They adore each other. Thing 2 thinks he’s twelve; the boy thinks he’s one of Thing 2′s parents. The boy says things like, “Mom! I think that bite is TOO BIG for Thing 2! I’m afraid he’ll choke!” and “Is he buckled in tight, Mom? I mean, extra tight? Because I wouldn’t want anything to happen to him.” And Thing 2 says, “If a twelve-year-old can do it, I can do it, too; I’m tough!”
Or at least that’s what we’re pretty sure he’s saying.
Now. Where were we?
We spent the few days AFTER Christmas putting a profile letter together. And when I say WE, I mean ME, and that’s because one of us types and one of us doesn’t. I know that it will come as an absolute shock to all y’all, but I wrote a rather long-winded letter, telling our potential birth mama about our little family of three. I had no idea what I was doing; I simply typed and typed, and then I typed some more, straight from the heart, and I ended up with this gigantic letter.
And I emailed it to Deb.
Deb was at a cabin, skiing, with no internet connections, so she didn’t get it right away.
(And? Skiing? HATE. IT. I think it’s because I get too cold skiing, and because I never graduated past SNOW PLOW. I am a skiing failure, and I just don’t care. But sitting in the lodge? Sipping hot cocoa? Oh, I’m a WINNER-WINNER there!)
On January 3rd, when the working world was coming back together and skiers were coming off the mountain, thawing their toes out, and trading their fur-hooded parkas for power suits, the law offices opened back up.
And Peggy called me on the morning of January 3rd and shouted, “I just found your letter on the computer! Everyone has been gone for Christmas, and listen! It’s wrong! It’s all wrong! We have to get it re-done!”
Because do you know what a PROFILE is? Well, it IS NOT a rambling LETTER! A profile is a scrapbook compilation of pictures of your family and short paragraphs explaining who you are, and it’s all put into a plastic binder, so that a birth mom is actually reading something closer to a BOOK, rather than a letter that’s roughly the size of a bill entering Congress for the first time.
I had no idea. I was new to this.
So, Peggy called me back into the law office, and she showed me what a profile looked like. And I went back home on January 3rd, and I became a scrapper.
(Which reminds me of Blanche in New in Town. “Are you a scrapper? I’m a scrapper.”)
(I told you that Peggy and I have seen that show more than once.)
(More than twice, probably.)
I spent that entire afternoon working at a speed that our good Air Force only WISHES they could achieve with a jet. I retyped. I resized photos of our family. I compiled them all together in book-format. I rushed to Walmart, bought a binder, and shoved it all into said binder. And then I flew like the wind to get it back to Deb late that afternoon, because she was scheduled to meet with B for the first time the following morning.
Had Peggy not been paying attention, I don’t know if our little birth mom would have taken the time to read through a long-winded letter. I simply had no idea that profiles weren’t letters; they are VISUAL representations of your family. Pictures, pictures, pictures. And paragraphs about each person. A profile is a story book; it’s not an essay the size of War and Peace that introduces yourself.
The following day, Deb and B met in person for the first time.
When my cell phone rang late that afternoon and I saw that it was Deb calling, I almost peed down my leg with nerves when I answered it. I was out of breath; I felt like there was no oxygen for me to breathe when I said, “Hello?”
And the voice on the other end of the line — Deb’s voice — simply said, “She wants to meet you and Hubs and the boy.”
Suddenly there was too much oxygen in the room, and I was gasping, trying to suck it all in.
Deb went on to explain a few things. She said, “B and I had a lovely meeting, and I told her that I had some profiles for her to look at. She immediately said that she ONLY wanted to consider families who already had children, because she didn’t want to take the risk of her baby being an only child. She was quite firm that she wanted brothers and sisters already in place.”
We had jumped Hurdle One and landed on our feet.
“And then, she wanted to make sure that she was only shown profiles from families who would be excited to have a bi-racial baby. Her baby is going to be one-fourth black, and she wanted to make sure that the families she was considering were perfectly open and welcoming to that. I told her that you and Hubs were fine in that area.”
Hurdle Two. Completed. We were still in the running.
“And then… she took a few profiles into the conference room, where she and her dad looked at them together. He came with her for support. And I have to tell you, I wasn’t sure things were going to go in your favor for a bit. I told you that I WOULD NOT and COULD NOT choose you for B; she had to do the choosing of the family for her baby herself. One of the first profiles she looked at was from a good family we know in another state, and they already have an adopted bi-racial little girl, who is two. B came into my office and said that she liked THAT family, because her baby would match the two-year-old in skin coloring. This family would have TWO bi-racial children, if she chose them, and she liked that idea. So I told her that this was indeed a fantastic Christian family, and that they would make great parents to her child, but I encouraged her to look at other profiles, just to make sure. She hadn’t seen yours yet.”
And then do you know what Deb said? Well, she said this:
“So I gave her a couple more profiles to look at — one being yours — and then I ran to Tony’s office and shrieked, ‘SHE ISN’T GOING TO CHOOSE HUBS AND MAMA!’ So, I just started praying for you. I prayed and prayed and prayed.”
(Yes, I was crying on the phone at this time.)
“And then B came back into my office, with your profile in her hand. She said, ‘THIS is the family! THIS is who I choose! The boy is meant to be my baby’s older brother!’ So, Mama, no offense, but she chose your family based on the boy.”
Which? When it’s all said and done? Well, it makes perfect sense, because the boy had started this entire thing with his prayers.
“So, B wants to meet you guys, and she’ll be in town again on January 9th. Can you meet with us that day?”
Hubs and I could. We would, in fact, have cancelled anything ON our calendars to meet with B that day.
I hung up the phone from Deb, and I was speechless. Because miracles? Well. God split the Red Sea, and Jesus healed a lot of sick people, but those things had happened an incredibly long time ago. It was hard to process the fact that we seemed to be on the proverbial DRY GROUND, with the walls of Red Sea saltwater rising up on either side of us.
So. We had five days to get through.
And… I’ve debated even putting this next part INTO the story, because it’s hard for me to admit, but then… it’s part of the story. It’s what really and truly happened.
On January 8th, the day before we were to meet with Deb and B, I got a bit sick. And by a bit sick, I mean that I thought I was having a full-on heart attack. My skin went ice cold. My skin went fiery hot. I can’t explain why those two things happened at once, but they did. Have you ever felt freezing and burning up AT THE EXACT SAME MOMENT IN TIME? I did. My skin HURT. I wanted to claw it all off; it felt like it was on fire, while I was freezing to death. My heart was racing so hard, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t focus my attention on anything. I was shaking so hard, I couldn’t hold anything without dropping it. And we were in the Suburban, driving.
The boy’s friend, Ben, had come up from Small Ranching Community to spend the weekend with us. We had all had a FABULOUS couple of days with our little house guest, because Ben can amp the fun up to OVERLOAD. We adore that boy. At the end of the weekend, we were meeting his parents in Smaller Town, which was almost the halfway point, to return him. The boys were chattering in the back and laughing like hyenas. Hubs was driving. And I honestly thought my heart was going to explode right out of my chest in the passenger seat.
I finally told Hubs, “I can’t breathe, and I think I’m having a heart attack.”
When Hubs looked at me, I guess he realized that HOLY SNOT, BATMAN! MAMA AIN’T JOKING AROUND HERE! I told him, “I need to go to the hospital when we get to Smaller Town. I think I might be going to die right now.”
And yes. I was fairly certain death was imminent.
Hubs kept asking, “What’s wrong? WHAT? IS? WRONG?”
And I said, “My heart is beating way too fast. It’s going to blow up. I can’t feel my arms; they’re on fire and they’re freezing at the same time. I can’t breathe.”
We drove a little fast. And by a little fast, I mean that Hubs decided that he was going to get me to the hospital in record time.
I called my mom from my cell phone, and I told her what was happening.
And, do you know what that very wise woman said to me? She said, “Honey, I think you have given yourself a panic attack.”
A what? A panic attack? But my heart was going to BLOW UP!! It was beating a million beats per minute, and I couldn’t breathe, and FIRE AND ICE! FIRE! AND! ICE!
My mom went on to say, “You’ve had so much this week. You’ve just had surgery, and you’re about to meet a birth mom for the first time, and I honestly think this is a panic attack brought on by stress.”
So, we dropped Ben off with his parents, and they invited us to join them for a pizza dinner. I was shaking so hard, I could barely speak, and I LIED TO MY FRIEND, BRIDGET. Bridget… Ben’s sweet, dear mother. Bridget… who is one of my favorite friends. I looked at her and said, “I got really carsick on the trip over here, and I need to go back home.”
Because who wants to say, “I think I’m having a heart attack, but it might be a panic attack, but either way, I don’t expect to be alive tonight, because my skin is on fire with ice cubes all over it, and my heart is going to explode like a nuclear bomb”?
And then we headed for home. I had to have Hubs pull the Suburban over so that I could puke and puke and puke.
And then I puked some more.
And then… I felt so much better! My heart slowed down. My breathing evened out. The fire and ice feeling went away. I was simply left with a screaming headache, but I was back to normal.
Heart attack avoided.
(And yes. A few weeks later, I called Bridget and said, “Um… yeah. So… I wasn’t carsick that day…” I confessed it all to her, and I’m pretty sure Bridget forgave me and still loves me, because she’s one fine girlfriend.)
People, in my nervous anticipation of wanting this baby so, SO badly, and hoping beyond hope that B would take a liking to us and give her baby to us, I had been a bit stressed out. Plus, I’d just had some out-patient surgery for something else entirely two weeks earlier. Stress? Yes. And it all manifested itself in one giant panic attack, the likes of which I never wanted to repeat again.
Except, I DID repeat it, because, as embarrassed as I am to admit it on the World Wide Web, I had another one on Monday morning… January 9th. Our meeting was scheduled for 1:00 PM, and at 9:00 that morning, everything happened all over again. My mom came over. My sister came over. And after I threw up like a college student on a Saturday night again, I was fine.
I have never been so afraid that someone wouldn’t like me before in my entire life. I wanted B to like me. I wanted her baby. I was, in fact, already IN LOVE WITH her baby.
In. Love. With. The baby.
I was fine. FINE. I was calm. My heart was beating normally. My breathing was great. Hubs and I had pulled the boy out of school to meet with Deb and B.
When we got to Deb’s office, Peggy showed us to the conference room. She said, “I have prayed over this entire room. I have prayed for you. I have prayed for this entire meeting, nonstop. I have been talking to Jesus all morning. I love you guys.”
(People, get a Peggy in your life. Having her as a friend has plum done me a world of good.)
And then we waited at that big conference table… Hubs, the boy and me.
And we waited some more.
Deb was still in her office, meeting privately with B.
And then the door to the conference room opened, and a little, adorable blonde girl, who was very clearly pregnant, with feathery earrings dangling to her shoulders and a diamond stud in her cheek, walked right up to me without hesitating. She never even paused in her approach to me. She never slowed down when her eyes met mine for the first time. She marched across that conference room, straight for me. She threw her arms around me, burst into sobbing tears, and said, “I’m going to have a baby for you.”