A Time Of Joy In Shifting Sand

What do I do with the baby?

The most difficult question for me … and the most often asked by others.   Some encouraged me that single motherhood could be done, others pressed pamphlets for adoption agencies into my hands during well-meaning conversations, and still more emailed or called to tell me of families they knew who were looking to adopt and might be interested in the child I carried.

Around me were women who had been blessed in single parenthood (while admitting to the difficulties of such an undertaking) and families who had been blessed in and through adoption. As I began to talk to people on both sides of the decision – the “keepers” and the “adopters” – it became increasingly clear to me that this was deeply personal and with a few very circumstantial exceptions (inappropriate home environment, no role models, no assistance – all in the case of single parenthood) there was no right or wrong decision.

I was (and am still) very thankful for my parents – during these days they were an almost constant sounding board for me. We talked through everything, and as I started to think through adoption, they were particularly encouraging and supportive. They also provided a bit of a buffer between me and my sisters.

My sisters and I have always been close and the news of my pregnancy had been an emotional and mental blow to them. …as well it should have been. In complete shock, it was taking us months to repair and rebuild our relationships and for me to regain the trust I’d lost.

So, there I stood, staring down the holiday season with major decisions weighing on me and estranged relationships to repair, my job still in jeopardy… and the actual physical pregnancy too. It was a little like trying to stay balanced on shifting sand. Everything always changing …

But then, a wonderful moment in the midst of the sandy chaos … my 20 week ultrasound.

It was a Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving and I’d invited both of my parents to join me – we needed a moment of “normal”; a moment of joy.

There are moments in my memory that I pray I never forget and seeing my first baby on the ultrasound monitor is one of those times. The baby was beautiful and perfect. The tech asked if I’d like to know the gender and on hearing my affirmative, told me that the baby was a girl. At which point, my dad (a father of four daughters) snorted and said “Another girl?! Ha! Just what I need!” in such a sarcastic way that I’m sure the tech thought he was the most sexist man in the world. But he couldn’t have known … this is just my dad … he cracks inappropriate jokes … some at the worst possible moments.

And so we laughed. And it felt wonderful. Dad was cracking dumb jokes, my mom was crying happy tears at the sight of the baby, and we were all normal in that moment.

But what do I do with the baby? Knowing that it was a girl and seeing the miracle of her on the ultrasound only made the decision ahead of me that much more complicated.

And though none of us knew it on that chilly, wonderful Wednesday, my parents were about to leave town for several months …

  • Tricia Richardson

    Don’t stop THERE!! It’s a cliffhanger!

    • http://www.bobewoldt.com Ellie

      Thank you, Tricia! It was slightly suspenseful as I wrote it and I KNOW what happens. :) …more soon, I promise.