My Gay Adoption Day 452 :: Status Update
What a week it’s been; no doubt many of my readers have been wondering how things went last weekend, when Kevin and I traveled to upstate New York to meet our potential birth mother. Fear not, friend: it is a story of emotional turbulence set amidst blizzards, massive quantities of Italian food, and purple paint. It is a tale of three cities, families beyond count, the excessive biting of cuticles, and car rides filled with joy and despair. In short, just your average week in the life of a couple awaiting adoption.
And now that Downton Abbey has wrapped Season Two, I finally have time to write about it. Seriously. One has to have priorities in life, n’est pas?
We learned that Kevin’s great-aunt had passed on mere hours before beginning our trek to upstate New York; her battle with pulmonary fibrosis was difficult and prolonged, and as life abhors imbalance, the timing of her death was complicit in the evolution of a single drive over a weekend into a five-day affair that saw us cross four state lines. It makes sense, we thought: the anticipated happy circumstances of bringing a new life into our family would naturally be offset with the ending of another.
Nonetheless, the drive was largely uneventful, save for our frustration that it’s incredibly difficult to eat healthily along major highways when one is under any sort of time pressure. Seriously, Mrs. President; if you want to fight the scourge of American obesity, you might start with the atrocious, monopolistic fare along our highways, where McDonalds is waging an all-out war against human longevity one McNugget at a time. Or if we must survive the capitalism of fat, perhaps Congress could consider easing our energy crisis by harnessing the inevitable result: the most natural gas on Earth as generated by that most unfortunate of inventions, the modern fryolater.
But I digress.
I could regale you with the five-hour drive, during which the crooning of Adele alternated with readings from the book of "What to Expect the First Year" according to Some People Who May or May Not Know What the Hell They’re Talking About. But honestly - five hours of anything is a snore. Except Downton Abbey, of course.
Anyway, we arrived at our destination and checked in at the resident Doubletree, then went to dinner and learned that clearly, there’s something eminently wondrous about the adoption process at the common human level. We opted to brave the snow - which we nearly didn’t recognize thanks to an almost completely freeze-free winter in Boston - and drive into the city to frequent a restaurant recommended to us. This lovely restaurant, though I cannot spill their name, upon learning our story (even to the small degree as reported to the bartender), they eagerly revised their three-hour wait and set us up an impromptu table in an otherwise unutilized corner of the restaurant.
The following morning, we wondered if our luck had changed. The brisk snowfall of the prior evening had turned into what looked to be an all-out blizzard, at least to those who don’t live in upstate New York. Evidently, snow is so much the norm there in winter that plow owners just hunker down to wait out the worst, and only then put their machines in gear. The result was a nail-biting drive to the local Ruby Tuesdays, where we arrived to ponder if our Friends In Adoption social worker and our potential birth mother would both arrive safely.
We needn’t have worried; they did. And the rest, as they say, is baby history.
I must now pause and alert my readers that from this point forward, you can expect names to be changed to protect the innocent, and also a level of discretion regarding details. Making an adoption plan is a courageous and often emotionally-difficult thing for any woman, and she needn’t be burdened with the details of her life being spilled onto the digital pages of this publication, no matter how honorable my intentions thereof. I shall call her Jayne, and shall tell you about her honestly, excitedly... but sensitively at all points.
Jayne is a funny, warm-hearted, engaging woman; and we loved her within minutes. That was somewhat difficult for Kevin and I, since FIA had advised us to move cautiously due to the fact that we’d not at that time been privy to pertinent medical details regarding the baby she is carrying. We were all nervous - after all, in a substantive way, we are all potentially going to become family thanks to this wonderful gift in our lives. And Jayne had felt so "connected" to us that she wanted to move right to a personal meeting, rather than beginning a relationship with a phone call. We were oddly grateful for that; many couples have told us that the initial phone calls with potential matches are challenging - sans non-verbal language, it can emotionally treacherous navigating such an important introduction. None of us needed have worried; Kevin, Jayne and I learned not only that we liked each other rapidly, but that despite differences in geography and sex, we had more in common than we could have thought possible.
Truly, that should not have been a surprise, I suppose. After all, I’ll wager the somewhat exclusive club of individuals participating in the adoption (and for that matter, the fostering) process is largely peopled by those unafraid of the unconventional. Still, the stereotype of the less cosmopolitan remains that of those stuttering along politically unchanged by the progressions of the LGBT community. If Jayne is any example, that is simply not so. I don’t believe that Jayne is fast friends with a significant number of out gay individuals; nonetheless, she eagerly chose a gay couple to potentially parent her child, eschewing heterosexual couples and lesbians because, as she told us, she wanted to gift this child to a couple who were biologically unable to conceive. And when we asked how she came to be so flexible in her considerations, she said simply, "It’s how I was brought up."
You’ll want to know these details, no doubt: Jayne is very pretty, with beautiful brown hair, bright, intelligent eyes and a penchant for easy laughter. I think all of us found the conversation easy and free-wheeling, our connection further forged by a desire to consider the child’s welfare first. Which brings me to a bone of contention shared by adoptive families everywhere. Jayne is not "giving up" her baby. For reasons that should remain private with her, unexplored and un-judged by the world at large, she has decided to make an adoption plan so that another couple may parent the child she carries. For, one week after we first met Jayne, we have all chosen each other formally as the right blend of souls with whom to walk this path. This is not a process of surrendering or abandoning; it is a journey of love that, if more challenging than the norm, is all the more striking for it.
Dear reader, there is much to write now. We have matched officially - our bio is now missing from FIA’s list of waiting families. The countdown now begins to when we hope a baby girl enters our lives; she will be born on or around April 29th. I will say more, and write often. But despite the long car rides, the funerals and trials that continued to evolve this past week (more on that later), we are desperately happy to have had the opportunity to welcome Jayne into our lives, and for us to be welcomed into hers.
Why, I bet we’re even happier than Lady Mary. But only by a scootch.