Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Counselor

My counselor had the same name as me.  It seemed odd to me to call up a number and ask for 'me'.  She had returned my call and wanted to talk to me about where I was in my decision making process.  I was right about the 'can we get this whole thing over with tomorrow' stage.  She asked me a bunch of questions and told me she'd send me some paperwork on the laws in Florida and information about Adoption in general.  That was helpful but I wanted to know more.  She said we'd get to it when we met.  We arranged a meeting at a coffee shop in Miami.  She was in the Orlando area so Miami was the closest thing in the middle we could think of.  The prospect of hauling my big belly and my toddler into my car for a 3 1/2 hour drive was not too appealing but my curiousity of seeing who I was talking to eased my tension into excitement.  If I met her, I'd feel like I was really doing something about this, moving forward, something, anything other than feeling like I was suckered into my situation and now I had to sit and wait until eternity for it to be over. 

The baby's father didn't know what I was doing.  He was told that I'd pursue adoption but he didn't take me seriously.  His drinking career was well underway and he was no where to be found the tiny island I lived on, not that I was looking for him.  My thoughts of what the reprocussions would be once he found out rattled around in my brain. I was anxious to have my counselor set them free.  I am a voracious consumer of information so details put my mind at ease.  I was deseperate for that. 

I knew that the drive would be long and that I'd be more refreshed and ready for the meet up if I had a good night's sleep.  I knew my daughter would be much better behaved if she also had a good night.  We booked a hotel in Miami and took our time heading up the Keys. It proved to be a great idea.  My daughter loves hotels. She calls them 'Special Building Houses'.  Riding elevators is also a favorite past time of hers.  Seeing the thrill of the trip through a toddler made me relax and I got to enjoy some of the fun things about staying away from home, namely a pool and eating out at a restaurant.  It couldn't have been a better day for her. 

The next morning we met up with the counselor for coffee.  It was a nice meeting.  She was a young, attractive woman with a welcoming face and friendly demeanor, especially to my daughter.  I like to judge people by how comfortable they are around children.  I am usually right. The kind ones like kids.  The ones that don't have too many hang-ups.  She got to coloring with my little one and engaging her in conversation right away.  I leaned back in my chair.  I could work with her, this was good.

It was a roll of endless questions about my health, the father's health, my wishes, my concerns, financial stability, all kinds of things.  I thought the page flipping in her packet would never end.  Finally, I saw the last page.  We ended with a talk about my plans. I wanted to meet the parents.  To me, it was important to know that not only were they Christians but that they were actively participating in a church and serving in some way.  I wanted to see committment to their faith.  I told my counselor that this child's salvation was more important to me than her health. I couldn't have been more serious and I knew that God was listening as I spoke.  I was ready to agree and back that up.  She'd send me 5 storybooks of couples who matched what I was looking for.  I also wanted her to either be the first child or the first daughter. She was special to me, so I wanted her to have a identifiable significance to them.  The counselor said she'd look the prospects over, verify that they were still interested in adoption and she'd let me know. 

Driving home it hit me, soon I'd be looking over pictures and stories of two people who'd be this child's future parents.  I couldn't help but try to imagine the anticipation when the counselor would call them and say, "We have an expectant mother, are you still interested? You match her profile." the thought of what that would feel like on the other end of the phone made my heart leap.  How would they deal with the waiting?  If I selected one of the first five, how would the counselor deal with telling the other four?  I couldn't bear to think of the let down of "she didn't select you".  I was crushed just thinking of the sentence, never mind it permeating my reality.  Still, I had to only pick one couple. One baby, one couple.  Could I do it?

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