April, 2003, our 2 weeks of $10,000 worth of newspaper ads began. These ads went into local papers and pennysavers, not major metropolitan newspapers. There was no response for the first 4 days. Some of the ads went into weekly publications so we were told they would sit in peoples house’s for a week and extend the possibility of responses out for a 3rd week. Finally someone answered. An ex-stripper with a daughter with diabetes? Someone who needed money for medical stuff right away? It was a tough call but we hung in with this one and the other two birth mothers that responded.
Then, on the Jewish holiday of Passover, my dear friend, Marion, and her husband, were driving Peter and I to my parents house for the 1st Seder. The phone rang in the car and I hushed everyone up. I was told the day before this girl had answered the ad and I should overnight a packet with our story detailing our love of kids and the picture book I spoke of earlier. All calls were forwarded from the extra phone line we set up so we were available 24 hours a day and would not be interrupted by our regular house hold calls.
I had a lengthy conversation with this young woman as Peter and our friends listened in. She sounded great, she was pregnant with a baby not by her husband, they had been on a break, and she had given up her 3rd child for adoption several years back. I was told that she was a perfect candidate for going through with the process, she was busy with the twins she had with her current husband after all.
She had our info and was going to send us her pictures. I was flirtatious, supportive, friendly, all the things I was told to be. She was in Arizona.
That afternoon the other girl (the one with the diabetic daughter) called to tell us her sonogram said she was carrying a girl. She got upset that I didn’t sound happy enough, I was not fully trusting this one anyway, she called a week later to say she miscarried, so that was finished, we will never know the truth. We were also working with one other person who could not afford another child, we were not sure of her because her spouse had not agreed to anything. Also, they were in Colorado and I would have to hire an adoption agency to handle the details, adoption law is state by state rule.
We had to work with everyone as if they were are only hope because you do not know who will pan out. Did I mention they all got an 800 number to reach us anytime, day or night? You have to bear that expense and it is well worth it. You have to try really hard to keep your expectations low and keep hopeful, there are sometimes twists and turns along the way that you do not expect. We had a woman helping us who behaved like a trusting social worker and our lawyer on the other side saying don’t trust anyone. It is confusing but while one is overly positive, the lawyer kept us grounded. I was hoping my prayers would be answered and I had to trust the process, that I had done all I could do, and just move forward.
We spoke to the Arizona woman a few times and then there was a communication blackout for almost 2 weeks: we were disappointed because we did not know this would be the one. Then she called from a pay phone, her twins had destroyed the cell phone. Phew. I had been buying her minutes for her cell phone so we could talk and now she needed money for dentistry and we confirmed that it was legit so we were starting to invest some money here: you have to know you could lose it all. She had sent us a pic of the sonogram and explained she was having a boy. We tried not to get too excited, as she was turning out to be the best candidate.
She did send us her pictures and the next phone call was super easy for me – I told her we didn’t care what she looked like but were quite surprised when we saw how pretty she was – she ate it up, but like I said, it was easy, she was a very good looking woman.
This girl had had 5 kids and 3 other pregnancies that did not make it to term. We were told she might have answered an ad before us but missed that boat. She tried to have a procedure this go around as well (I can’t type the word), but didn’t have the money for it and couldn’t get it from the birth father. THANK GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! ( I am not pro the procedure but I am for a woman’s right to choose). It seemed like the Universe was working with us on this one.
Her husband did mistake me for the birth father during one phone call and was angry, but they worked it out. Since they were married he would have to sign some papers at some point as well, so we tried to stay positive with him.There were some harrowing times, full of worry, scared this was not going to work out, trying to think where the next $10,00 would come from, but we forged ahead. All in all the signs seemed to add up for us, I felt that God was working on this for us.
Well, here we are working with 2 birth mothers, it is heading into mid-May and we are told by Miss Arizona that a c-section has been set-up for June 11, 2003. I promptly booked a round trip on American Airlines using frequent flier miles (40,000 each) and had enough for 1 st class. That becomes significant later. We were a little in shock and still praying that this pans out. We are told by an expert that this is going exactly the way a successful situation would go but you can never get your hopes up to high. And DO NOT have a baby shower, our friends had been burned when they jumped the gun.
Did I mention God? I had been praying my tushy off, as I have said before, yes, gay people pray! I prayed all the time anyway since I found spirituality, I prayed even harder through this whole process.
May 28, 2003 the phone rang at 5 a.m. The prospective birth mother calls to say there was a little bleeding and we should be aware she will go to the Dr first thing in the morning and we should be prepared. I can’t remember how we got such an early call from Arizona with the time difference but the Dr told us he would do the c-section the next day and could we fly out. Are you kidding? She wanted us in the room for the delivery and we were thrilled at the thought and we would do everything to get there! Peter had gone to work and was told to be ready to leave at a moments notice, disconnecting his computer for the trip (it as supposed to act as a lap top, it didn’t really work too well with technology from 11 years ago!). Having first class tickets meant we could change them at any time for free, we got an afternoon flight to Phoenix with a switch in Detroit. My friend from college worked at Southwest airlines and her coworker lived near Phoenix so shehelped arrange a reasonable car rental. Peter came home, we packed, we headed to the airport in a zombie state and shotinto the sky.
When we landed in Detroit there was a several hour layover and for some reason I thought to check the schedule and there was a flight continuing on in 20 minutes. We had to race through the airport and luckily the airlines automatically move your luggage to an earlier flight and we got on! We had separate seats and they were not 1 st class but we were saving 3 hours! I never thought of the luggage but I am glad it was there when we landed!
Upon arrival at Phoenix airport we got our car and headed out into the Arizona desert for a 3 hour drive. The sign outside the major prison that you pass is quite funny, it advises you not to pick up hitchhikers! We also saw a real live roadrunner. We tell Paul that story all the time, he is an animal lover!
We arrive at the hospital at 9 p.m., exhausted but anxious as we are about to meet our birth mother! She did not look as good as the pictures she sent but after all she was 12 hours away from giving birth! We met her husband, we met her mother-in-law and her twins, it was quite weird all over the place! We left to check into the hotel and our brains were completely fried from the days journey and the thoughts running through our heads. Would we soon be dads? Was this really happening? Was our biggest dream just around the corner?
I am not sure how we fell asleep that evening, but we headed to the hospital the next morning. We were told there was no c-section on the calendar so we were thrown for a loop but hung around until we could talk to the Dr. ourselves. I of course was worried about how we were going to book another trip for the June 11 c-section.
In the meantime I of course had us check out the cafeteria when we got a call. Where were we? I said there was nothing on the schedule. It was explained that it was a last minute thing, that’s why it wasn’t on the schedule. We raced over to maternity………………