Read Part I here.
After a few minutes of celebration, my cell phone rang. I ran to the kitchen to answer it. The caller ID displayed “Claire,” the name of our caseworker.
“How did your phone call go?” she asked.
I told her how it went and how great it felt. I thought it was really sweet of her to follow up on our call.
“The reason why I’m really calling is that there’s a family here that’s selected you.”
I thought she was talking about the girl in Alabama we’d just talked to. Well, that was quick.
Claire straightened me out. “A family in Boise, with A New Beginning. I don’t know all the details, but here’s what I do know. They came to the agency in tears on Sunday. They looked through all the profiles and when they came back, they had your profile memorized. We told them that you guys might not be available and that they should choose a second choice in case. They refuse to choose a back-up family. They say you’re it.
“And I just looked at the date. I promise this isn’t an April Fool’s Day joke. It seems like you’re already lined up with this other birth mom, but I felt like I should share this situation with you anyway. Let me know what you want to do.”
“What are my options?” I asked.
“The ball is in your court. We can find out more about this situation if you want, or you can just focus on the situation in Alabama.”
I told Claire I would like all the information about this situation too. More information makes for a better, decision, right?
She promised to call the headquarters in Boise and call me back right away.
I snapped my phone shut and stood stunned for a moment. I slowly walked back to the bedroom just staring at my phone.
“That was Claire.”
“That’s really nice of her to call,” Justin said.
“Yeah, about that…she called to tell us a family in Boise has selected us as well.”
“A family in Boise has selected us as well.”
We stood there in stunned silence. We were both just shocked. Totally shocked.
I repeated all the details to Justin and told him I’d call him as soon as Claire called me back with the rest of the information.
As I hurried out the door to go back to work, Justin said, “If it’s a girl, I have my mind made up.”
(It really wasn’t a secret to anyone that we wanted a girl.)
The drive between my home and my work takes me eight minutes. Claire called me about halfway through my drive and told me everything the agency knew. I was trying to hard to remember everything, because I couldn’t write things down as I was driving.
As soon as I peeled into a parking space at my office, I grabbed the pen from my checkbook and the biggest piece of paper I could find—my visiting teaching lesson from a few days before—and I scribbled down everyone’s ages, medical history, pregnancy history, and other details.
After the call, I reread the notes. Two things really jumped out at me.
Due May 8.
I went back into my office and shut the door before calling Justin. I was sure he would just be so sold on the idea of a girl that he might not think about much else. And we needed to be open to both of these situations; we needed to find the baby that was meant for us.
But Justin was very objective about the news. He listened carefully and then we decided that we wouldn’t talk about our feelings of either situation for 24 hours. Each of us would pray and ponder the situations independently so we couldn’t influence the other, then we’d talk about our feelings the next evening.
I was so thrilled that I had to tell someone. I told my closest friends at work about what happened. Two situations. Didn’t know which we’d go with yet, but we were getting a baby either way.
So there was a lot of thinking to do…
These situations had many opposing factors.
One would be a boy. The other a girl.
One was in Idaho. One was in Alabama.
The fees were very different.
The drug uses of the mothers during pregnancy were different.
The health histories of the families were different.
The involvement of a birth father was different.
The degrees of openness were different.
But in the end, it really seemed like we would have a baby in May!!!
That evening, we celebrated with a shopping trip. It was time to get a bag together. We bought a diaper bag, some bottles, and pacifiers, a “Baby on Board” sign, those mesh things that go on your car windows to block out sun, a bottle warmer for the car, diaper crème, baby powder, a gender-neutral sleeper, and all those other essentials.
But when it really hit us was in the formula aisle in Target. Do you know how many types of formula are in the formula aisle in Target? Too many. We stood there, shell-shocked. Regular? Soy? Lipids? This formula promised easier digestion and a less fussy baby. But this formula had magical ingredients for a healthier brain, smarter baby, and therefore more scholarships to an Ivy League College. And this one was closest to breast milk.
We read EVERY LABEL.
Of EVERY BRAND.
And then we stood there empty handed. Overwhelmed. We didn’t know what we were doing. We couldn’t do this. We could be parents in less than two months. What were these crazy birth moms thinking, picking us? This was too big for us.
And finally, we just laughed. Because when you feel like crying, the better option is to just laugh. And then I realized that the FDA regulates formula and it all had to be safe and fairly similar. So, we grabbed a can of *gasp!* generic brand formula and hit the checkout line.
To be continued...read Parta III here.