Part one, part two
My conversation with the agency social worker was on a Friday. She asked us to write a short letter introducing our family and our values around openness and send it to her by Monday, when she'd be meeting next with the couple.
Over the weekend I stole away to our bedroom for a few hours to write the letter and put together some photos of our family more recent than the ones the agency had on file. This is a strange exercise even under the usual circumstances, trying to capture honestly in one page what is unique and true about your family without "selling" or veering into cliche, all to an unknown reader. Writing it in one day instead of mulling over every word for weeks made it all more more weird.
I emailed the pictures and letter to the agency on Sunday evening and settled in for the expected few days' wait to hear the couple's decision. Monday went by. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. The longer the week went on the more swiftly I drifted from being interested but still fairly aloof to being emotionally invested in the outcome, hoping that by some small chance we were the right family for this particular couple. By Friday I was in that ridiculous emotional place of trying to will the phone to ring ring please just ring already before the weekend started. I just wanted to know, one way or the other.
I thought a lot about this couple I didn't know, in impossibly hard circumstances, trying to make what I imagined must be a strange and difficult choice. I didn't begrudge them taking all the time they needed. But, oh, was I ever distracted over the weekend.
The next Monday, in the middle of a conference call for work, I saw the agency's phone number pop up on my cell phone. I debated letting it go to voice mail for a ring or two, until my overwhelming need to know made me excuse myself from the meeting.
After perfunctory pleasantries, the social worker got to the point. Through their different contacts, the agency had pulled together five potential adoptive families for the expectant parents to consider. Out of those five, they had decided they wanted to meet Todd and me.
They had picked us.