We’re still waiting for final news about the baby. As far as I know, he has not yet been born.
Since I last wrote about waiting for the adoption, I was able to reach the social worker by phone. She didn’t have much of an update but said she’d try again to see if the birth mom would like to talk on the phone. (For the purposes of the blog, I’ll refer to the mom as L.)
When L. selected us from a stack of prospective adoptive family profiles, she said she would like an open adoption. For her, this means exchanging pictures and letters. She has not wanted to meet in person. Up until last week, we had talked only once on the phone, in December, about a month after she first chose us.
I’d like to have more of a direct relationship with her, so I can share more about her with her child, if he becomes ours. I think it’s important that his mother not be a mystery to him. I also feel an obligation not to be shielded too much from the complicated and emotionally messy nature of adoption.
But the distance cuts both ways. I’m also relieved that we have been somewhat shielded, and that this was her choice.
I gave the social worker some days and times when Travis and I could both get on the phone. The very next morning—not one of those times—she called. “Hi, L. can talk right now. Can you?”
From what we know, L. has a lot going on in her life and planning ahead is not a simple matter. This second call came out of the blue just as the first one did, which unfortunately means Travis has not had the chance to talk to her.
Talking to a woman you barely know who has chosen you to parent her child is like no other experience I’ve known. This time, it was made more awkward and intense because it was very difficult to hear. I have a terrible cell phone, it was a three-way call, and lots of people were talking in the background at L.’s house. She was distracted by her two year old, as I was with Miles who was his usual fragile, post-nap self.
Despite the handicaps, I felt good about the call. I tried to be myself, to be casual, to talk about some issues related to the adoption without being transactional or treating her like a means to an end. I also tried to use language that didn’t make hard and fast assumptions about her decision to choose adoption. (For example, “If you decide to go through with adoption, then….)
We talked about our kids, their moods, and eating habits. We talked about how she’s feeling. We talked about the recent snowstorms. I tried to connect, even if just through small talk.
I asked her what she’d like to do about naming the baby. She didn’t seem to hesitate in saying that we can name him. I told her we don’t want to pick something she doesn’t like so asked for her opinion about the one we have in mind. She said she liked it.
I asked if we could have a picture of her with the baby, explaining that we’d like to include it in a book for him that talks about her and his adoption story. She said she hates having her picture taken, but she’d try. The social worker offered to take one. L. said she didn’t have any questions for us.
Then we said goodbye. I told her we’d be thinking about her a lot, hoping she’s feeling okay.
Her due date is Thursday, only three days away.