Note: This post is just in time for November, National Adoption Month.
I was reminded the other day of just what lengths some of us must go through….
choose to go through..
in order to create our families.
A client of mine was sharing her story about her desire to be a mother and how she and her husband had finally decided to go the route of in vitro fertilization. The cost was astronomical as was the emotional toll it took on her entire family.But after years of failed attempts, up and downs and much much faith, their twins were born and their family feels complete.
We began the discussion after overhearing another woman telling her stylist how she and her husband were not even trying to get pregnant…how a baby right now was not exactly in the plan but, hey, they’d figure it out. Her thoughts about pregnancy were so nonchalant, so matter of fact and so, well, simple.
Simple was certainly not how our son came to us, nor how my client’s twins came to them either. Some of us have to make it a life mission. I’m not complaining..just stating a fact.
I remembered a specific day on our journey to fatherhood that brought us both to tears. Not painful tears, but tears of laughter. At the time the event was not funny but now in retrospect I find it so surreal that I have to laugh.
Here’s what happened.
I was heading over to pick up our sons birth mother. She has suffered for a very long time with addiction but I’m happy to say now, is working towards a healthier way of life. So that day I was heading over to her apartment to take her for a sonogram appointment. I was in the habit of texting her when I arrived at her home since she lived in a very undesirable neighborhood and I always felt better with her coming out to me. So on this one day I text that I had arrived and she responds for me to come in.
If you know me you know I have a very creative imagination…so creative that I decide then and there that I was about to be set up and robbed by either her roommate, a very squirrely skinny guy that I happen to know deals in a less than desirable substance, or by one of the crazy characters that came in and out of that place.
I call my husband and tell him my fear and he says that I should not go in. I text her again that I’d rather wait for her outside, but her response is, “I don’t feel well, need you to come in.”
Oh, genius I think to myself, brilliant, she knows that concern over our yet unborn son will surely get me in there. I also think: I’m definetly getting robbed but I have to take that chance. I decide to leave my wallet, cash and keys in the car. I also leave my iPhone in the car so I can crawl back to my car after the attack and get help (I told you I had a very creative imagination), and I slowly head to her door.
I knock again..
still no reply..
I go back to the car and text again, she responds, “the door’s open, come in.”
Here it comes..
my first mugging ever.. but hey, she’s carrying our soon to be baby, I gotta do what I gotta do right?
I slowly open the door to a very dark apartment. I call out her name and find her lying in bed…alone. No big plot, no masked men – just her, sick in bed.
Whew, I’m so crazy I start telling myself. What a crazy mind I have! Until I hear a knock on her door. “Joe?” (the roomie), the knocker asks… “Joe, you in there?” Mom yells from her bed, “go away!”
“I’m looking for Joe!” the voice yells back.
“I said get the F**k away from my house!” she screams back.
Now imagine if you would, me, sitting on a dirty couch, watching this exchange going back and forth wondering, where am I? What am I doing here? Is this really my life? When suddenly he opens the door (I had not locked it since I was being robbed). He steps in looking like a character from that old prison show OZ: no shirt, tattoos all over his chest, neck and arms (I have nothing against tattoos, I have a bunch, but these were different..you know..very different).
He glances in and sees me on the couch. Ah, I think to myself, now it’s robbery time! This was the plan all along, get me in first, no witnesses, they got me! I start to get up to prepare to defend myself when he looks over at birth mom and says, “are you ok? I don’t know if you know but there’s a strange dude in your apartment.” As if protecting her…from me! As if I was the dangerous element in this equation. Completely surreal, and now in retrospect, hysterical!
There was no robbery that day. Roomie Joe was MIA so there was no drug deal.Mom was sick so there was no sonogram. And I was “cool” so mom didn’t need any protecting that day.
I realized two very big things that day. First, that when you step out of your world and in to another’s, you have to accept that you are the outsider, that you are the block that does not fit, you are the stranger they warn their kids about. And second, when you want a baby and can’t just have a baby, you will find yourself doing things you never thought you would do, stepping through doors that terrify you, and accepting all the unknown risks that may come your way, truly dangerous or imagined. And hopefully, when that day comes that you hold your baby(s)in your arms you can look back at all you had to go through……and laugh!
Henry Amador is the author of the DADsquared blog, where he writes about his experiences as a Gay Dad. Along with his husband, Joel, he also runs the DADsquared Facebook page, where they are devoted to building a community of loving fathers: gay, straight, black, white, and everything in between.