…she looked at us and exclaimed that God had preordained this match.
Two days after our initial meeting, the agency called to say that Sierra and her dad liked us and would like us to meet Sierra’s mother, Carmen, and the birthdad, Kyle. A number of scheduling conflicts meant we could not meet for another two weeks, which put the baby’s due date at six weeks away!
During those agonizing two weeks, we kept thinking, “I hope Carmen likes us!” She would have her daughter’s best interests at heart and the power to veto us if we didn’t measure up. But really, all we could do was cross our fingers and be ourselves.
On meeting-day, Carmen blew into the room like a tornado. Here was a woman who made her presence known! Dressed in bright yellows and blues, scarves and large jewelry, she looked at us and exclaimed that God had preordained this match, and it was it just meant to be. She hugged me effusively handing me a yellow dahlia plant and told us that she had nearly turned back as the whole situation was simply to traumatic to handle. But she caught a glimpse of us and decided we were IT. Mark and I were stunned. She was the yang to her husband’s (and daughter’s) yin. A “personality” who wore her heart on her sleeve and whose enthusiasm and warmth infused the room. She ferociously threw her support behind us and filled in a few more details about her daughter, who was a high scholastic achiever, which had made this turn of events extremely shocking to the family.
About 45 minutes into our meeting, the birthfather arrived with his athletics bag having left a school event using multiple forms of public transit to get there. Kyle entered the room and was met by five sets of eyeballs. He shyly said hello, sat down and said very little. He was easily one of the most beautiful teenage boys we’d ever seen. Again we found ourselves staring at him drop-jawed thinking things like: “Will our baby be that gorgeous and smart?” and “How did this happen to them?” “How is this happening to us?” We also thought how brave he was to face everyone given that fingers of blame were clearly pointed in his direction. Other than Carmen, we were still all a little shell-shocked. We wound up by exchanging numbers and email addresses. We were a go; they were serious about placing their baby with us.
A week later, we met Carmen, dressed in a flamboyant array of pinks and blues, and Sierra, wearing a subdued grey cotton Lululemon outfit and looking like a million bucks. We ate ice cream and learned more about how Sierra’s siblings and their fascinating family story.
The following week, we met Sierra and Kyle (birthdad) for a movie and dinner, which was an unforgettable comedy of errors. We were going to see Ice Age 3-D , a movie that was too young for all of us but appeared innocuous. Through a series of confused text messages, we arrived at one theatre, and they arrived at another. We returned the tickets, drove over to the other theatre, which was not playing the movie. Adding to the absurdity, Sierra and Kyle were sitting in front of the adoption agency, which was around the corner from the movie theatre happily chatting away. We then returned to the original theatre to re-buy the tickets. The movie was full of mixed messages about motherhood. Here a sloth that feels lonely “adopts” three baby dinosaurs (although it looked like she was stealing them) that appear to have been abandoned. In the end she gives them back to the birthmother. I asked them what they thought of the movie, and they confessed that they’d really wanted to see Borat!
After the movie, we went out for dinner and were asked to leave, as you had to be over 19 to be in the restaurant. I looked at our smooth-skinned dinner companions and it hit home how young they were: We could be their parents. At restaurant number two, we finally settled into our meals and had a wonderful time. We learned so much about each of them, and we laughed a lot. It was a magical summer night. We were one month away from the baby’s due date, and I think we all returned that night knowing we’d made the right decision: this partnership was going to work out just fine.