Back in early September when we were presented to the mother that we were eventually matched with, it seemed a bit too quick and a little too easy. The agency director even seemed a little skeptical about the parents’ resolve. I told him at the time and have told others as well as myself, that if a mother suddenly changed her mind and decided to keep her baby, it was a good thing. I don’t want a kid growing up without his or her birth parents even if those parents decide at the last moment to keep them. The decision to voluntarily give up your parental rights and entrust your child to someone else’s care is immense. It resonates through your whole life; it’s irreversible and life-long. It’s a remarkable conclusion to arrive at and in my head I applaud anyone able to make this choice. You see, that is what I told myself—a very adult response, a very healthy attitude. But that information left me sitting on the train home feeling agitated and angry and wanting to stop the madness.
Last week we received an e-mail from our agency saying that the mother was wavering—something about another relative discovering the pregnancy and the ensuing family drama. She was supposed to get back to the agency but there has been no further contact. I do not applaud her—or her relative—or the decision—or the way it is being handled—or the fact that we are—once again—in limbo. This time instead of foster care limbo we are dealing with private adoption, which has a very special kind of limbo just for same-sex couples. I mean let’s be real, it isn’t every mother who says to an agency, “yes, put my baby into the hands of two men” even if they were the best parents in the world.
But then this isn’t about whether or if we will ever get a placement. I know lots of other male couples who are chosen. And this isn’t about the mother and her decision or her complicated life. This is about me, expecting for once, a smooth and easy process and discovering like everything else in life—in our life—that there are rough patches along the way. I think I am just exhausted by the disappointments of our venture into daddy-hood. No more disappointments please.
We waited around for a week before contacting the agency again. We knew they would have called us had there been any further contact. Nothing. And we later discovered that the mother’s phone had been disconnected. Then yesterday the typical e-mail arrives from the agency which simply says, call me! It is the agency director and he already has Darrow on the phone. None of us has the time to talk. I have a group of people in my office furiously working on a project that is due in forty-five minutes. I believe I gave some kind of growl and then muttered, “I don’t have time for this.” There were a few looks around my office, but no one asked. Coming late into the phone conversation I started asking questions about material already covered. I was given the bare bones and then Darrow had to bail. So the Director continued. No, the original mother that we had been placed with had not reappeared again, but there was another mother, a baby, some potential legal complications and virtually no other information. The director had to get off the phone but indicated he would send us the mother’s intake information, some background on the legal issues and the discharge summary for the baby.
“Yes…the baby is born. He is seven days old.”