“Sometimes this happens,” said the Director.  Sometimes they make other arrangements; sometimes they change agencies; sometimes they change their minds.  It was so early that we didn’t have that much vested.  I think we were disappointed but it palled in comparison to other disappointments we have lived through.  Then suddenly she reappeared.  In fact she hadn’t really disappeared at all.  There was some mix up, somebody didn’t tell somebody, somebody forgot a prior engagement, somebody did or didn’t do something, or something like that.  The arrangements were made to meet again.

We waited to hear.  The appointment time and then the day passed with no word.  After dinner we read the little one his customary three books then he was bunked for the night.  As we stood in the kitchen pondering the phone call we were about to make, the phone rang. 

On speaker phone we exchanged pleasantries with the Director before he began to tell us the news.  After seeing our book, the mom made it clear that she wanted us to adopt her child.  There was a great deal of certainty about the whole thing.  As he talked about the meeting, he seemed a little incredulous about her resolve, both parents in fact.  I think he felt it necessary to caution us, that sometimes even the surest things in the process don’t work out.  I wondered if it all seemed a little too easy to the Director.  Did he see some gleam of promise in our eyes, some sense that we too easily might be seduced into this false notion of certainty?  He spent a long time articulating the potential problems that could arise.  We knew—we knew them all; we continue to face the shifting sands of the foster care system.  If anyone understands the unpredictability of human nature, it is Darrow and I.

Afterwards we looked at each other.  I think I sort of shrugged my shoulders.  It all seemed sort of transactional.  I don’t know what I thought this moment would be like—the matching with the birth mother day—but it certainly wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I remember reading through her questionnaire and realizing that this, if it were to happen would be a totally closed adoption—no meeting, no photos, no contact whatsoever.  I had always thought that that was what I wanted.  With all of the complexities of adoption, it seemed like it might make our lives simpler.  But now it felt like I was losing something in the deal.  I wanted to meet the mother of the child we would be raising.  I wondered if it might help me to understand her and to tell her child one day a little about her. 

But these were the conditions upon which we agreed.  We are now matched and have our marching orders from the Director—get the home study done.  Somehow I thought there would be more—more time, more interaction, more of the something that would make it seem like we are about to have a baby.  But I suppose that is to come.  For now we wait.

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