24 hours ago my husband races up the stairs to fling open the bathroom door eyes looking a little wild. I'm standing there in a towel having just stepped out of the shower. He asks in a husky, shaking voice, "Have you seen the e-mail from T [our adoption rep]?"
No. I haven't.
"L changed her mind and she's decided to keep the baby."
We hurry to the living room and my laptop so that I can see T's words for myself. And there they are "...unfortunately..." "...bad news...." "...disappointment..." "...so sorry..."
For a few minutes nothing seems real. Chris sits next to me on the couch. We hold hands both feeling a bit numb. Actually, very numb.
Eventually we start talking again.
"We always knew this was a possibility..."
Lame attempt at some humor.
"Well, at least now we can go see the Paula Poundstone concert..."
"I'll have time e-Bay all of that crap in the basement..."
Putting a positive spin on things.
"Now at least we're really READY for when we do eventually get a baby..."
Chris calls his parents. I call mine. I have to get ready for my day and get to an early meeting. No sense in sitting at home weeping all day. That's not going to change anything. Be a grown up. Just go to work like it's any other day. Chris lets me know that he'll stay home for a bit to cancel the airline tickets, the apartment we had reserved in AZ, and make some other calls to deal with arrangements that will no longer be needed.
We hug a lot before I go. Tell each other "I love you" a lot. Try to reassure each other through the numb feeling that we'll be parents someday soon. And hope that we both believe it.
Once at my office I tell the HR Director that I won't be heading out on maternity leave next week and give her the bare bones of the story. She is lovely and offers her support. Same with my supervisor.
"I'm OK," I tell them both. "I'll be OK. Really."
I smile what I am sure is a very wan and pitiful smile.
Next I compose an e-mail for the staff since just about everyone at my office knows of my impending maternity leave. I explain briefly that we just found out this morning that the adoption has fallen through, that my husband and I are hopeful that we'll still become parents soon, that I'll be happy to answer questions in a few days when the news isn't so fresh, etc. I thank them all for their support of the last few years while we've been trying to adopt. And I hit "send."
Replies to my e-mail start trickling in. Lovely replies filled with "I'm so sorry" and "keeping you and your husband in my thoughts." My supervisor sends an e-mail letting me know that if I need some personal time I should take it.
I sit at my desk for another hour trying to focus. And fail miserably.
Chris and I text each other making little stabs at humor. Checking in. Connecting.
And then one of my colleagues comes to my cube. She looks so sad and gives me a big hug. It's all I can do not to burst into loud sobs right then and there.
Everyone's kindness....it's just too much.
I thought I could just get through the day by working, but it's all just too much. So I pound out an e-mail to my supervisor saying, "You know that personal time you offered, I'm taking it..."
And I flee my office.
To the darkness of a movie theater.
Two hours where I don't have to think about a disrupted adoption, the possibility of another two years of waiting to become a mom, the sadness my husband is experiencing, my job, the numbness.
Ironically I've opted to see a kids' movie, "Tangled" at the cheap theater and so here I am with three moms and their infants and toddlers. This makes me chuckle a bitter little chuckle. I realize as I'm sitting here that while I might enjoy the refuge of the theater right now, that I'll probably never be able to watch this particular movie again as it will always be associated with The Day That We Found Out We Weren't Going to be Parents.
But for now I just don't care and settle into my seat to enjoy some Disney silliness.
After the movie I head home to retreat to the comfort of my loveseat in the basement to numb myself even further with whatever happens to be on the television. Thank God for Animal Planet and The Food Network. And Cecil who plants herself in my lap and begins purring. She has no idea why I'm home early. And she doesn't particularly care. She's just pleased to have a warm lap in which to snuggle and one of Her People at home to adore her.
Chris, despite his intentions to come home early, gets stuck at work for a while. When he finally makes it home we engage in Round 2 of phone calls to friends and family to break the news. More sympathy. Lots more, "when one door closes another door opens" and "this happened for a reason, I'm sure of it" and "I'm so sorry."
We hug a lot before Chris sits down for his dinner and I make my way once again downstairs to fill my brain with "Iron Chef America."
Eventually I head up to bed leaving Chris to write a blog post (If you have a few minutes, you should read it. He provides more details than what I've provided here and he's an amazing writer...)
And here I am today. 24 hours later sitting in the very same spot I sat in to read the news of our disrupted adoption. Somehow I managed to sleep last night. Chris, too. And strangely I feel OK this morning - not quite refreshed, but OK. We'll see how long that lasts today.
Here's the thing...what happened is hard for us, but ultimately I just cannot be sad about it. Really. Because a young woman - L - who thought she was going to have to give up her baby forever, found the resources within herself and from her family to be able to keep and parent her own child.
This is a good thing.
A really good and excellent thing.
And I am happy for L and her family. Truly, I am.
I needed to be really sad for Chris and myself yesterday. And probably in the coming days the sadness will persist, but I don't want anyone to think for even one second that I'm angry at L or that I feel anything negative about her. Because I simply don't. I can't. That would be so very, very wrong. She's a mom who is going to parent her own kid. And that is an awesome thing. I wish her only the very best.
And now Chris and I move forward.
We start again.
We wait and we hope.