On Thursday, October 6th, everything changed.
I was at work and received a text that read "Can you call me right now?" from my sweet neighbor friend, Rachel. Normally, her "emergency" texts are regarding the latest bullshit antics of our bullshit HOA president, who also happens to be the devil. And, that part aint bullshit.
She is the actual devil.
So naturally, I didn't think too much of the text.
My week days are usually pretty crazy - filled with meetings, emails, calls, stuck in the worst traffic ever created, refilling my coffee to stay alive, emails, calls, meetings, emails, calls and more god-awful traffic. However, on this particular Thursday I was sitting at my desk at a stand still - pausing on life and giving my brain a break. My ringer was on silent, but at that very moment I happened to look down at my phone to see the text come in.
I read the text and thought - a good vent sesh about the HOA devil is exactly what I needed to break up my day!
I gave her a ring.
With a trembling-squeaky-on the verge of crying-voice she says "Vic, I am literally shaking right now and need to tell you something, I just don't know how to tell you."
Okay, tell me.
"But can I call you back in one minute, I promise I'll call you back. Okay, bye, I'll call you back"
Oh, HELL NO! What the f*ck just happened here? Did she really just tell me to call HER and then hang up on me? Who does that? Really??
I've never heard her speak like this. Something was VERY wrong.
I sat there for exactly 57 seconds staring at my phone...
Conceptualizing all the worst possible scenarios...
- My dog was hit by a car and she found him in the driveway.
- My house had burned to the ground.
- A strange woman was leaving my house with my husband.
- My husband was hit by a car and she found him in the driveway.
Luckily she called in under a minute, 58 seconds to be exact (worst 58 seconds of my life).
And so she proceeds...
"So, I really feel the need to tell you something, but I don't want to overstep. I just know that if I don't tell you this, I'll regret it."
Okay, tell me.
"I really don't want to overstep, so please understand that I just feel this is the right thing."
OKAY. TELL ME.
And then the rambling began...
"So, my best friend's, family friend is an adoption attorney and she just called me. Apparently there is an urgent situation with a baby, and I'm not exactly sure of the details, but she called me asking me if I knew anyone looking to adopt a baby, and I don't know if you guys have even thought about adopting, and I really hope I'm not overstepping by calling you about this, I just knew that if I didn't tell you I wouldn't be able to live with myself, but I wanted to at least give you the information and let you decide if it's something you'd want to pursue."
HOOOLLLLDDDD ON Rachel! Pursue what? Are you saying she has a baby that needs a home?
"Yes, yes, but she needs to know right away if you want it. I can give you her number, but don't feel obligated to call her or anything, I just really felt like I needed to tell you about this, and it's super urgent, I think she needs to know in the next 30 minutes"
Text me her number NOW. K, bye.
At this point, my head is spinning. Rachel was right, we hadn't yet dipped our toes in the adoption waters. We had discussed it a few times, but it seemed so foreign to us, and the process seemed pretty overwhelming.
But, my instincts said GO!
I called my husband.
No answer. UGH!!! Now, what do I do? Now, I only have 29 minutes.
I called him again. Nothing.
I sat there for one minute desperately staring at my phone waiting for him to call me back. I really need to talk to him first. Why won't he answer!!?!? Doesn't he know the psycho dial means, serious shit??
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
F*ck him, I'm calling the attorney.
She answered on the first ring. I introduced myself and she got straight to the point.
"Ok, so here's the deal. There was a 6 lb. baby boy born this morning in Orange County and the mother is giving him up for adoption. The father left her as soon as he found out she was pregnant and is now engaged to a new woman. This is good for you though, because you won't have to get into a legal deal with him, because he most likely won't even be on the birth certificate. She tells us there were no drugs or alcohol used while pregnant, however, she did smoke, which is likely why he's on the smaller side. The birth mother did say that she'd prefer to have two caucasian parents, and your neighbor told me that your husband is Colombian, but I wouldn't worry too much about this."
Shit. Shit. Shit.
I haven't even talked to that Colombian husband yet!
"And if you are interested, I will need you to email me a profile about you and your husband and attach some photos of the two of you. I will then print it out and drive it down to the hospital to present to her, with a few other profiles. But you only have 20 minutes to do this."
Okay. Okay. 20 minutes. Okay.
So, if she picks us, when would we get the baby?
"As early as tomorrow."
I sat there for about 30 seconds with the largest perma-grin I think I've ever had. This kinda happiness was so real. And soooooo right. Is this what mother's feel like when they find out they are pregnant? Is this it? Is this our baby? Is this OUR guy????
I let her know that I still needed to talk to my husband, and if it was a "go" I'd be in touch via email within the time limit provided. She quickly went through the costs with me, but honestly in that moment I wasn't thinking about money, this was the closest I have EVER been to being a mom. This was the first time I could visualize this happening for us.
I sent him a text - CALL ME NOW!!!
He called right away. Apparently he was "busy" when I called earlier. Whatever.
"What's going on?" he says.
(Deep breath. Deep breath.)
Ok, so I just got the craziest call from our neighbor Rachel, and.....
(and then the crying came fast and hard)
"What did she say love? Is everything ok? Are you okay?"
Yes, yes, everything is okay. I'm okay. I can't believe I'm crying so hard like this, I can't even speak. Just bear with me. (Breathe) Okay, so there was a 6 pound baby boy born this morning that needs a home. And if we get picked, we could bring him home tomorrow. We just have to write a profile description of us and send a few photos over to the attorney and she is going to present them to the birth mom. Oh, and it's actually not as expensive as I thought it would be. What do you think?
A this point I braced myself for my excitement to be crushed. My husband is a very rational, analytical man. He typically needs a lot more time on processing things before making decisions. He's a good balance for me because I'm easily excitable and will make decisions on a whim. I gave him a few seconds (about 3) to process this information and waited for his response.
"Wow, he's a little guy" he says.
Oh, and by the way, we have like 20 minutes to make a decision and email her the profile. What do you think?
"GO write the email!"
Wait. Are you serious? Are you sure?
"100% sure. Get writing!"
I ran back to my desk and put my fingers to the keyboard.
The adrenaline pumping through my body had me shaking all over. My damn fingers were even shaking. A co-worker tried to engage with me, but her voice just sounded like drowned out background noise. I couldn't make out what she was saying at all. I'm pretty sure I completely ignored her.
I enjoy writing, I feel like I'm pretty good at expressing myself with words. I also work best under pressure. When she gave me 20 minutes to complete it, I was extra fired up. I'll get this shit done in 18. Time me!
But as I sat down to start writing I didn't even know where to start. How do you write a letter to a young woman you have never met and explain to her why she should let me mother her child. Lord help me.
I tried to put myself in her shoes. What would I want to know if I were her? That we love each other, that we have a strong support group around us and that we are financially stable. So that's what I did. I told her all of that. I felt like I was writing a resume of our life together. I wanted her to know that we are more than qualified for the job!
I also wanted her to know that we aren't perfect, but we promise to do our absolute best. And that we promise to love the shit out of that little boy, no matter what. Well, not exactly in those words.
The words just started flowing, I had to have been typing at least 300+ words per minute. I was pretty happy with how it turned out and was about to hit send. OH wait, the photos! I jumped on Facebook to find a few photos of us. It was almost impossible to find one of us without a drink in our hands or wearing some sort of ridiculous costume. The photo part was even harder than the writing part!
I settled on a wedding photo, one of us on vacation in Cabo, and one of us celebrating with champagne. A little bit of love, travel and fun. They were all pretty good depictions of who we are (minus the most recent theme party costume, football tailgate and Vegas pool party).
I hit send in 18 minutes. WINNING!
I called the attorney to make sure she got it and waited on the phone as she printed it before heading out the door. Her last words to me were, "I'll be in touch later today with an update"!
After hanging up I hear my boss yell "Victoria, can you come in here please?"
I went in to her office and cried my eyes out. She was completely supportive, as she always is with my struggles to become a mom. I was so overwhelmed with emotions, but happiness was the strongest feeling of all. We talked about my immediate maternity leave and how she would help organize an emergency baby shower, IF this all worked out.
I texted my parents and sister to let them know that there was a good chance we could be bringing home a baby TOMORROW. My sister was eager to help me prepare overnight and my mom was already on expedia.com looking for a flight out.
See! I wasn't lying about my amazing support group!
As always, I knew that I probably shouldn't get "too" excited, but this time I didn't give a F@CK! We've been managing our levels of hope for far too long, we have earned the right to be 100% hopeful and 100% excited.
I imagined walking into the hospital and laying eyes on our little man for the first time. I couldn't wait to hold him and tell him that I loved him and that I'd never leave him.
I did love him. I loved him BAD.
For the next 2 hours I was planning for him. I called my husband and we talked about what we needed to get done. We even talked about names for the first time ever. Jonathan was excited to put together a crib while watching the football game, and I was excited to start filling up my Amazon Prime shopping cart.
Pop the bubbly! We're having a baby!
And then I got the call.
And immediately, I knew what was coming.
"Hi Victoria. I'm here at the hospital, and unfortunately the birth mom decided to pick another family. I'm so sorry, I really wanted it to be you." She is good at getting right to the point.
I felt an immediate dagger to the heart, and a strong twist. My heart was literally broken. Why not us?
(insert ugly cry)
I really thought this was it. I really thought this was our time. I really thought this was our baby boy. I was so ready to be his mom. In a total of two hours I had managed to fall in love and have my heart broken by a man I've never met.
And it was so f@cking worth it.
To feel that kind of love was such a blessing. To be that close to motherhood was exactly what I needed. NOW I know I'm ready. I'm soooo ready. We are soooo ready. I'm so grateful that that my neighbor, Rachel, thought of us. I'm grateful that this babe came into our life. He graced us with a new kind of love. A one-day-old, six pound, baby boy opened up a completely new door of possibility for us. He opened a new door of hope and happiness. He might not have been our guy, but he is still very much a part of our journey.
Thank you Rachel, you are a true friend. Thank you for giving us a new vision to dream and an even stronger desire to become parents. I love you boo.
And thank YOU for the sympathy cupcakes and vodka you left on our doorstep.
I made those cupcakes my bitch.