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Voices From the Heart

a collection of writings from those touched by adoption

"The Call"
by SST, Managing Editor

It was a day like any other day. And, like most days that had gone before, I was busy at work and on the phone solving other people's problems and concerns. My client was quite upset. Something about the promotional mailing which had gone awry. It was best to let this client have her say and I gazed out the window as I continued to listen. The first touches of Spring were arriving. The sun was trying its best to come out and finally bring an end to our soggy winter. I returned my thoughts to my work and began reassuring my client that I would resolve this unfortunate situation. As I hung up the phone I sighed deeply. It was late in the afternoon and I was low on energy, but I knew it was only the beginning of many phone calls that would be needed to find a workable solution to my client's situation. Which other client's mailings had also gone awry? I waited for the next call to come in.

Well, actually, the next call didn't come in, it went straight to my voicemail. I remember looking at the blinking light and thinking one more thing to resolve in a life that was desperately seeking resolution, desperately waiting for the promise of parenthood. The message was brief and the social worker sounded irritated as though she were angry that she had not gotten a live person. I wasn't surprised that the agency was calling and it wasn't the first time they had called. Since beginning our wait almost 10 months before, there were calls about homestudy appointments, the monthly support group meetings, and screening calls involving special circumstances. And just two short months before there had been a call about being selected by a birthmother. But that hope was short lived as there were problems with the pregnancy leading the birthmother not to make an adoption plan. In that case we had not even had the opportunity to meet the birthmother.

I was fiddling with another project on my desk as I listened, not really giving my full attention to the message. Suddenly my jaw dropped open. My heart began beating quickly. I had to take deep breaths to stop myself from hyperventilating. All I could repeat under my breath was, "Oh my God, Oh my God." I fluttered my shaking hands like fans to give myself some air. Tears began to well up in my eyes and I could hardly contain myself. Think, think, think, I told myself. Thinking was now impossible. The social worker finished with, "I'll try reaching your husband." Immediately I called his office. The line was busy. I paced my cage-like cubicle. I sat back in my chair and began semi-bouncing in my seat and tapping my hands anxiously against my thighs. I moved to tapping my fingers. I kept willing the phone to ring. Five minutes went by. Ten minutes went by. What could be taking so long? Finally the phone rang and I pounced on it like a hungry animal. "So?" I asked trying to stay calm. My husband began talking in the slow, methodical voice he uses when he is nervous, "Well, it's a baby girl. She was born last week. The birthmother wants to meet us on Monday." Today was Friday. A whole weekend to sit in panic, joy, fear, and anticipation. My palms began to sweat as he continued, "Both the baby and birthmother are doing well. The baby is in private foster care. We will meet with the birthmother's social worker on Monday afternoon followed by a meeting with the birthmother. If all goes well and she likes us. . .," his voice trailed off as he became choked up. Tears were now streaming down my face. A baby girl. Already here. We could actually become parents this time. He finished with, "You'd better go tell 'em you're leaving early on Monday." Yes, I thought, and perhaps this time I would be telling them that I was leaving for good. Leaving to finally pursue the dream of motherhood. Before hanging up I asked him how he felt, "Wow, a baby girl. . . It's hard to believe this is The Call. I mean, we could be parents by next week," he whispered in disbelief.

We met with the birthmother as scheduled on Monday. On Tuesday, shortly after 5:00 p.m., she called from her agency's office (of course I had left my office, so again my husband took the call) and told him she wanted us to be the parents of her daughter. On Thursday the birthmother's rights were terminated to be followed by the birthfather's rights a few days later. On Monday evening, only one week after meeting us, our daughter's birthmother and her family had a goodbye visit with her at the foster home. On Tuesday afternoon we met our daughter for the first time. My husband fed her, changed her and we oohed and ahhed over her. We had great difficulty leaving her, but all the legal paperwork would not be complete until the following day. That evening we had dinner with our daughter's birthmother, birthgrandmother, and her agency social worker. It was just the beginning of many warm moments and celebrations we would all share together. On Wednesday morning just after 10:00 am we took our beautiful fourteen day old baby girl home with us forever.

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