January 12 – Meeting Uncle Nick | Mae’s Adoption Journey
I have to admit that having a slow day that wasn’t full of texts, secret meetings, and big decisions was kind of nice. But after what seemed like a slight pause in a crazy fast race, we were back on the path. A baby was up for adoption. We were first in line to be her parents. And a meeting needed to happen.
We had agreed to meet the uncle, Nick, a few days earlier when we got Scott’s call that adoption was underway. What we couldn’t decide was if we were comfortable meeting the baby yet.
Part of us wanted him to bring her. Something about meeting her in person would make everything feel real.
Yet at the same time, we weren’t ready for that and wanted to wait.
What if this still fell through?
What if we didn’t “hit it off” when we met the uncle?
What if he didn’t like us?
So, fitting our typical pattern – we initially said no, we didn’t want the baby to be at the meeting.
And then we changed our minds, and said OK.
We wanted to meet her.
Trying to Make it Through the Workday
There’s nothing like trying to stay focused with a big meeting planned for the afternoon. And this wasn’t just any meeting. I mean I’d worked in advertising and was used to anticipated afternoon pitches. But this was in a whole new league. This wasn’t a potential client at hand. It was the possibility of a new family. And my opportunity to be a mother.
I had transitioned jobs a few years earlier and worked for our church which allowed me the freedom to process everything happening while “on the clock.” I dabbled in getting a few tasks done but most of the morning was spent talking to my coworkers Jeff and Orion, and getting them caught up with what all had happened the previous three days. It was the first time out of many I would see eyes open wide and jaws drop at the timing and craziness of the story.
Perfect Timing for Activation Papers
The morning actually seemed to go pretty fast and just a few hours before our scheduled meeting time I noticed an email come through from our adoption agency. I hadn’t heard from them in a few weeks and last I knew all of our papers were being processed and we were waiting to go “active.”
Well, as luck would have it, those activation papers arrived just a few hours before our meeting with the uncle. As I opened the email and realized what had just happened, I couldn’t help but laugh. “Good timing, God. Wouldn’t you know that we’d get these papers just hours before we would be meeting a baby who needed a home.” I still wasn’t sure if this was a sign that things would or wouldn’t work out, but I huffed at the irony.
A Memorable First Meeting
Scott & Patti offered up their house as a neutral meeting place. We wanted them there to introduce us to their friend. As I left work, I confirmed with Scott about the meeting and he informed me the baby wouldn’t be there. She had a cold and Nick didn’t want to drag her out into the snow. Slightly bummed initially, I soon became relieved. It was probably best. Emotions from seeing a little baby wouldn’t get in the way of getting some important facts.
Luckily for us, Uncle Nick also tended to run late. Even to life-changing meetings like this one. Mike was coming straight from work, so he arrived as soon as he could. I blamed my getting lost and missing the exit on my uneasiness, yet arrived in time to hug Mike and gather my thoughts before Nick got there.
I heard the rumbles of a big SUV pull up and soon Nick and his daughter were stomping off snow and standing in Scott & Patti’s entryway. His daughter ran off to play with the Simmons’ son, and we were left to begin the awkward introductions. We didn’t leave much time for small talk. Nick slid an ottoman to the middle of the living room and sat right in front of Mike and I who were seated on a love seat, trying to appear madly in love and desperate to be parents. As Scott & Patti tiptoed to the back of the room, we got down to business.
Nick began to tell us about the baby and that he’d been taking care of her for several weeks. He loved her with all of his heart but he knew adoption was going to be the best option for her. He assured us she had been well taken care of and loved since the day she was born.
Although it ran the risk of feeling like a sales pitch, the compassion in Nick’s eyes let us know that this was for real. Scott had already told Nick about us before the meeting so after Nick explained the situation, he asked if we had any questions. And finally I was able to ask about the birth mom.
Big Questions, Surprising Answers
I didn’t waste any time and immediately asked about guardianship and legal custody. Nick explained that his sister (the birth mom) was unable to care for the baby and wanted her to be with Nick. And while he loved this little girl, he knew it wasn’t ultimately best for her, nor for him. He was convinced that she needed an adoptive family. And while he needed to have a conversation with his sister to see if she agreed, he was confident that it would all work out.
Signal: Tires Screech Sound
“Have a conversation with her?” That changed up the game a bit.
Up until this point, we didn’t realize that Nick really didn’t have any legal say-so in the baby’s adoption. Sure, he thought his sister would agree with him and be okay with it – but that didn’t guarantee anything. Suddenly this story had taken a twist.
Although relieved to understand the full picture, I began to dread that once again we’d headed down a road that would ultimately lead in disappointment, just like the other opportunities in the past. And part of me wondered if we should close it all down now and head home to sign the activation papers with our agency waiting for us in my inbox.
As we slipped on our coats and scarves, Nick asked if we wanted to see more pictures of the baby. I was so torn, see more pictures of a kid that could or could not be mine? At this point I was so emotionally overwhelmed, I had no idea what I thought. But, not wanting to be rude, I leaned over to see a few more photos of a beautiful baby girl.
Mike and I weren’t sure what to think after this meeting. It hadn’t exactly gone as planned, yet not in a bad way. We realized that the final decision to put this baby up for adoption hadn’t yet been made. The decision maker hadn’t met us, she didn’t even really know about us. And although we were tempted to pass it up before we got too attached and keep things “safe,” we decided to hold out and wait to see what happened with an upcoming conversation Nick was about to have with his sister.
Entry filed under: Biracial Adoption, Burgess Adoption, Maeby, Memoir. Tags: ackward introductions, adoption after cancer, adoption decisions, adoption journey, adoption story, biracial adoption, fast adoption, perfect timing.