Friday, February 11, 2011

Back Story: Part 3

Part 3: Katie and Greg
It turned out I only needed to wait a little longer to meet the perfect parents. I was five months along and still not really showing. I could tell and anyone who saw me naked would be able to tell, but to the general public I still looked normal. I was still working in Monterey because it was good money (for a college student anyway), so every week for 3 or 4 days I would drive to Monterey and back. One day after work I was walking back to my car and I received a phone call from Natty.

Natalie, who we call Natty for short, is a really good family friend. She's an aesthetician and does my mom's, Sarah's, and my eyebrows and sometimes facials. My mom has been going to her for as long as I can remember and I help her out with some charity work during christmas time. She's a really sweet woman, very down to earth, honest, speaks her mind, and talks about her kids, Katie and Scotty, all the time. I know Natty really well and love her, but she's never called me before. So I was confused as to why she was calling me.
"Hello, how may I help you?" (My mom taught us to say that when we answer the phone when we were little and it just always stuck with me)
"Hi honey, it's Natalie."
"Oh, Hi Natty!" . . . insert small talk here. . .
. . . . "Honey, I just want to tell you, your mom told me you were pregnant and that your giving the baby up for adoption"
"Yeeaahh" (trust me, thats really all you can say to a statement like that. Especially considering at that time my mom wasn't telling people, or so I thought.)
"Well, I just wanted to say that I really admire you and that your doing a really selfless thing and the family your going to give the baby to is going to be so happy."
"Thank you"
"I was just wondering, how are you looking for parents? Are you using an agency?"
"Yeah, me and Victor are using an agency, but were also looking outside of the agency as well"
"Well, I was wondering if you would consider my daughter, Katie and her husband. They have been married for about 6 years and they've been trying to get pregnant, but for some reason its just not happening. I told them about you and they were curious if you would consider them to be parents."
"Well, were not saying no to anyone right now. They need to know that I want a really open adoption though."
"Oh yes of course, your mom told me that, and you know that anytime that I had the baby you could come see him and Katie and Greg know that too."

Now me knowing Natty, I knew that she was a good person and very likely a good parent. I had never met Katie before, I've met Scotty, Natty's son, but Katie was 10 years older than me and out of the house by the time I met Natty. Natty wouldn't let me down though, so I told her to text me or email me Katie's email and I would write to them. She was just so appreciative that I just CONSIDERING Katie and Greg as potential parents. We said our goodbyes and hung up. I called my mom right after and had a stern talk about how she has to tell me who she is about me so I don't get random phone calls like that again. Later I told Victor about everything.

A few days later Natty sent me Katie's email. I wrote this long letter to Katie and Greg explaining who Victor and I were, what our situation was, our current adoption plan, what we were looking for in parents, what kind of adoption we wanted, and how to contact us. A few days later I got a reply and they  sounded so nice and so honest. Katie, Greg, Victor and I talked via email for a while. Katie and Greg sent us a bio about them selves and pictures of their life. Victor and I liked what we saw and decided we wanted to meet them. They agreed and we set up a time and a place.

To me this was exciting, because I was really happy with them and because I would interview them. The agency, and most agencies, don't let birth parents interview adoptive parents. You have to pick the parents first and then you get to meet them, which is understandable, but I hated it. You can't have a connection with a person by looking at a picture, its a physical thing. So the fact that I could meet these people, interview them, see if there's a connection, and still say "No, I'm sorry, your not what were looking for" made me happy. It seems cruel, but this was my kid we were dealing with. If I didn't feel anything with these people or I didn't like them, then they weren't getting the baby. I wasn't going to just give him to anyone.

We met at a Starbucks in Los Gatos on a Saturday afternoon a few weeks later. We talked about our lives, our interest, what we were looking for in the adoption and Victor and I talked about our medical history. Medical history is really important in the adoption world. Potential are aloud to be picky when picking children. Some what a certain gender, race, some want only healthy babies, while others are comfortable with taking disabled babies. Not only that but, the baby you would be raising would have a different medical history than you, so it was important to know how they differ from you. We talked for a little over an hour. Victor and I told them we would talk about it and let them know what we think, but I knew that they were perfect. Victor and I went into the Petco next door after they left and talked about it. We both wanted them as our baby's parents. Victor told me we should wait the weekend and sleep on it to make sure. I can't even imagine how awful those few days must have been for them. A few days later, we still wanted them as our parents, so I sent Katie an email saying we would love it if they were our baby's parents.

She was so happy, after she was done crying about it all, she started working on finding a lawyer. We talked a lot and I kept her updated on all baby related stuff. We found a great lawyer and she helped us get all of our legal stuff. We all met together and hashed out the terms of our open adoption and she told me and Victor our rights. Every once in a while Katie would come to San Jose and we would hang out together.

The next few months just kinda went by. I went to doctors appointments (found out the baby was a boy), took online classes, tried to find ways to make money, dealt with drama of all sorts, and was trying to deal with my emotional state one day at a time. Victor and I met with a social worker who told us our rights and had us fill out paper work.

My third trimester was all about the birth. I was so nervous about the whole thing, and when I get nervous about things I either bite my nails or plan; I did both. I made a birth plan, a calling list (in order of who to call first to last), a to-do list of things that need to be done before I went to the hospital, and anything else I could possibly plan. I dragged Victor to an all day Lamaze class and we played along with all the things the teacher told us to do. We laughed most of the way threw, but it was still good we went. It gave us peace of mind. I was huge by my third trimester, I was fat and my stomach was the size of a beach ball. EVERYTHING was in some kind of pain, my ankles swelled up, I couldn't sleep, I had to pee all the time, and I waddled. Needless to say I was REALLY pregnant. I started to notice the baby more by the beginning of my third trimester. Where he liked to kick (the ribs), his sleeping and awake moments, what songs he responded too and what his favorite one was (The Only Exception by Paramore), and his favorite foods. I started developing patterns with food, I had frozen waffles every morning (sometimes twice a day) for my last 4 months, I drank a lot of soda, pasta and quesadillas were a steeple, and bananas were eaten often. I would talk to him and sometimes sing to him if a good song was on. This is when it hit me, I loved my son. I don't know how it happened, but it did. I knew it was going to make things even more difficult, but I also knew giving him up was the right thing to do and I couldn't disappoint Katie and Greg.

By the time I was 39 weeks  along it was October, unbearably hot and I was done being pregnant. Emotionally, physically, mentally, I was just done. Victor was going to school again, Sarah was back at school, I was taking online classes, and the world got back into it's out-of-summer patterns. I was going to the doctors office every week now and would talk to Katie and Greg often. Katie, I imagine, was just waiting by the phone everyday. Turns out October 15th, 2010 was her day.

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