Sunday, October 11, 2009

Meeting the Birthmother

James and I met with our birthmother yesterday. As someone who’s watched entirely too many Lifetime made-for-TV movies, I was a little wary of how this was going to go. I don’t know very much about the birthfather except that he has a history of being violent and that he’s not super crazy about this whole adoption thing. Leading up to this weekend, BM had made it pretty clear that she wanted BF to be there when we finally met in person because she’s trying to get him more involved in this process. But they’ve been so on-again-off-again lately that I wasn’t sure what to expect from him, but I told her that whatever she wanted to do would be fine.

We took Piper to the dog park yesterday morning to wear her out so we could leave her in the hotel when we went to meet BM and BF. When I was finally able to get her on the phone, I made the suggestion that we meet somewhere for coffee or that we take them out to dinner (you know, somewhere out in public with lots of witnesses around). She’d spent the day at her mother’s house and sounded like she wasn’t in the best of moods. She went on to say that she’s just a “homebody” and really didn’t feel like going anywhere because the weather’s been so dreary lately and she’s feeling kinda low. She suggested that we just come over to her house (big red flag there), but tempered it with saying that she hadn’t heard from BF in two days and that he wasn’t there at the moment. I wasn't super crazy about the idea of going to her home for our very first meeting, but I agreed.

But I’ve also seen a lot of episodes of Law and Order. I’m not stupid. And being the super paranoid person that I am, I immediately called a friend and told her where we were going. I instructed her to send me a text message in about two hours just to make sure everything was okay. If I didn’t respond, she was to text me again every 30 minutes until I responded… and if I still didn’t respond, to call the police (I know, I know… a bit much but I'd rather be safe than sorry). I also left an open Word document on my laptop giving the name, phone number, and address for BM, left information about our next of kin, described our vehicle, and left instructions to please feed Piper and give her to my parents. It seems crazy, but if BF had shown up and chopped us up into little bits to feed to the gators, I’m sure the police would’ve found all that information very helpful during the investigation of our mysterious disappearance and/or gruesome murder.

We got ready to leave the hotel room and Piper started barking as soon as we closed the door. We hung around the hallway for a minute or two to see if she’d quiet down, but she didn’t. Not wanting to get kicked out of the hotel, we opted to take her with us and leave her in the car. She’d make a good excuse for why we could only stay for so long and she’s a great traveler/car sleeper.

So off we go to meet BM. To say I was nervous was an understatement. I spent most of the drive briefing James on things to say or not say and issues to mention or not mention. Don’t bring up BF. Don’t talk about the stabbing incident. Downplay the sometimes dangerous nature of your job. Play up how excited you are about the baby. Be funny. Be yourself. Relax. NO PRESSURE. Quite surprisingly, it didn’t feel awkward and weird at all when we first drove up and went inside the house. BM had brewed a pot of coffee for us, even though she doesn’t drink coffee right now, because we’d mentioned getting coffee earlier. I thought that was sweet.

But no sooner had we sat down in the kitchen to chat, and she starts to cry. Apparently she and BF had a really big fight a few days ago and he’d threatened to break up with her (that solves the mystery of whether or not they’re together) if she goes through the with adoption. She hadn’t heard from him for two days, had called the jails and hospitals, and had no idea where he’d gone. She talked a little bit about how hard it’d been for her without anyone there to support her. Her mother still wasn’t in support and she’s not in contact with her sisters. She can’t get through to BF and has been feeling really depressed lately. But I reminded her that we are here for her and that we’re here to help her in any way that we can, even if she just needs someone to listen while she rants about everything that’s been frustrating her. And I reminded her that, at the end of the day, all she can really do is whatever she can to take care of herself and her other daughter. And she agreed.

After that, we spent the next three hours or so just talking about this and that. I think meeting both of us together seemed to really put her at ease about the decision she’d made. Her mood seemed to pick up and brighten a little during the course of our visit. My friend texted right on schedule and I texted back that everything was fine and BF still hadn’t shown up. Although I did notice that BM kept looking out the window whenever a car drove by, expecting (hoping?) that it would be him. It was actually really hard to watch how disappointed she was every time it was someone else.

After we left, James and I were talking about it in the car and apparently we were both going over worst-case-scenarios in our heads about how it might go down if BF showed up all pissed off and crazy. He’d been thinking over submission holds in his head and had noted the location of the kitchen knives. I’d been noting which windows were open or closed, where the exits were, and thinking about how to place the kitchen island between myself/BM and BF. I don’t know if that’s a sign that we’re perfectly matched because we were both right on the same wavelength, or if it just makes us both totally crazy.

But I think the visit went really well overall. I definitely feel much better about it than I did two days ago. She’s at 39 weeks and 1 day now, so she could go into labor any time. James left to go back to his training school and my dad is on his way down from home. As long as BM doesn’t go into labor in the next 7 hours, I should be good to go (knock on wood).

Thank you for all your prayers and all the messages you’ve sent to me. I haven’t had a chance to thank everyone individually, but please know how much I appreciate it. I have the best family and friends in the world and I love you all.

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