Odd Girl In

How do I fit in?

For Father's Day: My Dad's Story About Adopting Me

Soon after adopting me, my father wrote down his feelings.

My father wrote this soon after my parents adopted me. I love it! I left in the hyphens and all caps.  My Dad was a CPA, not a writer but I think he could have been one.

I don't know exactly what to call this story, or really where to begin. Suppose that I start near the end which is a new beginning,- for Marion and me.

The phone rang at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, November l5th. It was our caseworker. We were waiting 4 years for this call. At last it came. She told Marion that there is a little baby girl, who is ready for adoption. Marion gripped the phone tighter,her heart beat faster,- she let out a soft "oh", I gathered what the call was about, we had to sit down to control ourselves.

Marion whispered "It's a girl." We smiled at each other, and words were non-existent. But we both knew that we were glad that it was a girl. As a matter of fact, we realized right then and there that we really preferred a girl. The agency had asked us several times, at different interviews, whether we preferred a boy or a girl but we never gave a definite preference.

The caseworker told us that the baby is about 3~2 months old, weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces at birth, and had fair features. She asked us if we would like to meet the baby and get acquainted with her. We readily agreed, and arranged to meet the caseworker, tomorrow at 10 a.m., at the New Rochelle office. The whole conversation lasted a minute, her voice sounded as if she was very pleased in giving us this news.

That night sleep was out of the question. We knew that something great was going to happen to us. Our thoughts were about the baby. The night dragged on and on it seemed endless.

Several times before, during our married life, we had important events happening the following day, parties, weddings, our wedding, examinations, vacations, funerals but somehow, this event appeared most exciting and called for more meditation. Marion and I were married for 11 years. We have been very, very, happy with each other and, have felt that we will always remain that way. Now, we were in the process of adding another to us.

What could this baby add to our happiness? Could there be more happiness than we have experienced? Perhaps we are inviting heartaches or aggravation! Do we really want a baby? We did not have one of our own - so we applied to a child adoption agency. This was almost 4 years ago.

After filing applications, having many interviews, and having our home life studied by a caseworker, we have finally been accepted as suitable people to adopt a child. The phone call told us that they have selected s possible baby for us. Now,,, that the process of waiting and interviewing has ended, and the adoption appears close to reality - the question on our minds, was do we really want to go through with it? This question and others kept us tossing from side to side all during the night.

Morning finally came. It was a bright, sunny, fresh, Indian summer day. We had breakfast in a hurry. We stopped at the drug store, and bought a large rattle for the baby we felt that we just had to bring something for the little girl. Our car ride to New Rochelle was slow and thoughtful at one moment glad, and another doubtful. Question marks began to fill our minds again. What kind of a baby is she? Fat, skinny, funny looking, good looking? Will we like her? Will she like us?? How will we be introduced to each other? Where is she kept now? Perhaps in a hospital or in an institution. When will we have to make up our minds whether or not to accept her?

We arrived at the office promptly at 10. The caseworker greeted us pleasantly and made us comfortable in a small room. She brought in a file, and using its contents as a guide, told us more details about the baby's background.

Some of the physical and educational details of the baby's father and mother were told us. Also, some information about the grandparents, and the brothers and sisters of the parents. Then, we were told about the baby.

The baby is in good health, lively, completely bald, blue eyes, chubbyish, very fair skinned, and a special comment was made that on back of the baby's head, is a large birthmark which may go away completely, or be covered by her hair. She informed us that the baby has been kept in a private home since birth, and was kept by a very capable woman, who has two teen-age children of her own. We listened intently. We felt fine hearing all this, - and our anxiety to see the baby was reaching the point of impatience.

Marion, I and the caseworker left the office at about 11, and in 15 minutes we arrived by cab in front of the house. It was an old, large, pleasant looking wooden house, situated back on a beautiful lawn of grass and trees. There was a porch along the whole length of the house. Marion and I always liked a porch on a house.

The woman of the house came to the door and invited us in. The caseworker introduced us to her and the usual formal greetings were exchanged. The house was well kept and clean. It was really homey, neatly furnished with pretty curtains. The large foyer had a stairway leading upstairs, and a spacious living room adjoined the foyer. The foster mother went upstairs to prepare the baby while the caseworker ushered us into the living room.

The seconds seemed like years, our hearts began to beat fast. We were excited. The question marks began to haunt us again. What will we say to the baby? Will we meet her in the crib? What could we see through the bars? Is she asleep? Will she cry? smile? What should we do?

Our mental gymnastics were interrupted by the footsteps of the foster mother coming down the steps - and as she came into view - we saw her carrying the baby. She was walking towards us. Our hearts stood still....Nothing in us moved....we were frozen-the baby was starring at us.............Her caseworker broke the silence, telling us to take the baby. We dazedly looked at each other Marion took the baby in her arms. The caseworker ad foster mother left the room.............................

We were alone.--She was a beautiful baby, - her blue eyes pierced our hearts.., she seemed like such a good baby. We loved her immediately. We were thrilled by her. She smiled at us, - and we cried inwardly. Such joy we have never experienced, or ever anticipated. The baby was in complete command of the situation, and was at ease. She kept on smiling, kicking, and gooing. WE were frozen with happiness afraid that anything we may say or do will melt some of it........ She finally made us smile back at her, coo to her, and play with her.

We were warming up to each other and a little more at ease. I took the baby from Marion and held her in my arms an exquisite sensation went through my body. She was so warm, easy to handle, so Clean, so smooth, so very good. We talked and played with her and she seemed so pleased,., she smiled continuously. We remembered the rattle, and gave it to her. She looked at it, but was not able to grasp it. We realized that it was too large for her that she was only a little baby. We laughed heartily, and, she laughed with us. We were having such a good time. We were enjoying each other immensely we held her on our laps, then over our shoulders, then we held her together, we patted her, we squeezed her, she was so wonderfully cooperative. She knew that we were inexperienced.... but, she tolerated us. We were positively sure that she approved of us.

Time appeared to have reversed itself, the minutes seemed like seconds.

We kept on admiring the baby, What a good little baby] What a nice little baby What a wonderful little baby. Finally, after half an hour, the caseworker and foster mother entered the room, and they seemed pleased that the 3 of us were absorbed in each other. We told them what a wonderful time we were having. The foster mother took the baby, and we squeezed and patted the baby good-bye -- our eyes followed the baby up the stairs.

The caseworker asked us what we thought.of the baby, and, in no uncertain terms we said, that we liked her very, very much... that she was a cutie-pie. She suggested that we go back to the office. We took the rattle and left.

All the way back to the office we were remarking over and over again, what a happy baby she was, and that she seemed like such a good baby, also, that she was such a pretty baby even without any hair - simply a picture of a doll. The caseworker asked us what we thought of the birthmark on the baby's head. We admitted that we did not even look for it. It seemed so unimportant, and that we were so busy playing with the baby.

Back at the office we were asked if we would like to see the baby again, so that we could get better acquainted; and thereby, help us decide whether she is the baby we want...... Marion and I answered at the same time "We only want that is baby, and we feel that she wants us."

The caseworker asked us if we are sure of it - and in a chorus we gave a definite "YES", and that we want her as soon as possible. She wanted to know if we could be prepared to have things ready for the baby over the week-end.

We replied "That we were impatient and would prefer taking the baby the next day, if possible." "That we would spend the next 2h hours concentrating on getting things for her."

The caseworker smilingly agreed, we could have the baby tomorrow- at 10 a.m.

We left for home at 12 o'clock noon,- we were happily excited.

The next hours were spent in making room for the baby, for her crib, chest of drawers, bathenette, carriage. We also, had to run around buying these things, for immediate delivery. All of this getting ready and buying things gave us a lot of pleasure. Our friends and family gave us excellent cooperation. Everything and everybody was wonderful.

All night long we kept thinking of the baby we talked about her into the night,. What a happy baby. What a good baby. Such a nice baby.

Friday was a brighter and sunnier day,, the weather was beautiful, Our breakfast consisted of orange juice, and thoughts of the baby-- that was nourishment enough. We took the suggested things for the baby,, clothes, blanket, and bottles for formula. We also took along a new, pretty little rattle.

Our car ride to New Rochelle was fast and impatient we were anxious to see the baby to hold her again to smile at her- to pat her. Oh just to be with her again.............We wondered! Will she "be the same as yesterday, will she smile at us, maybe she will cry, babies do cry! We could not imagine her crying.

We arrived at the office again promptly at 10. She had us sign some papers and went with us in our car to the baby. We , arrived at the same time as the doctor did. When Marion and I entered the house and saw the baby again,-- the thrills came back, - she gave us a broad smile, raised her eyebrows,- kicked her feet, - and, waved to her hands excitedly,-- she hypnotized us.

The foster mother undressed the baby and the doctor examined her. She took the examination so well, cooperated so beautifully, not a whimper out of her,- it was a pleasure to watch. Everything was all right with her. The doctor showed us the birthmark, and told us that it should go away in time. It was really a very insignificant mark. After the examination the foster mother dressed the baby and wrapped her in a blanket. Marion took the baby,--- and,--- such a thrill could not be explained.- it seemed like a dream.

The ride home was one of ecstasy. The sun was shining its brightest on November 17th, 19^0 -- it will so be recorded in our diary..... The baby lay quietly on Marion's lap, all bundled up,- with her little face peering at us.........Slowly and peacefully, she fell asleep. We rode very slowly. Such pleasure, we felt should not be hurried. We were both pleased, contented, and very, very happy. Everything around us appeared calm and beautiful,- we spoke in quiet tones, the baby was sleeping.

We discussed a name for her, and, decided to to name her after/our fathers P and T. We felt so proud. All the way home we kept saying "She is such a good little baby" "Such a nice little baby" - "Such a wonderful little baby" - ............... "When we arrived home, ----we were a family of 3, - Max, Marion, and PIA TANI SAVAGE.

© 2011 Pia Savage

Pia Savage is a writer, journalist, and former social worker diagnosed with Non Verbal Learning Disorder.

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