1. legally take another’s child and bring it up as one’s own.
2. take up or start to use or follow (an idea, method, or course of action).
3. take on or assume (an attitude or position).
He was drunk, I could smell the beer and his hand was shaking when he rested it on my belly.
“ Keep the baby” He said, with a slight rise at the end, like he wasn’t sure if it was a question or not or if he had meant to say anything at all. We both knew that we weren’t a couple, he wasn’t a father and this was just an obligatory nod to ideals neither of us had.
“ What are you gonna do?” TJ asked. We were lying on my bed together, looking at the ceiling full of plastic stars.
“ I don’t know. Abort?… No. Foster?… No. Keep it?… No.” I said each choice with space in between, trying out the concepts and finding none of them fit. We had done this a few times already.
“ Well that pretty much covers all of it”
“ Yeah, maybe we should go to the diner for disco fries”
“If you’re not going to abort, what about adoption?” The blonde girl in the front office asked. I couldn’t remember her name, maybe Alicia or Alice? Definitely an A.
“I couldn’t just give a baby away and not know how that went, you know? “ I was trying to get away from this conversation, a conversation that seemed to be taking over every waking hour. I was going to be late for class.
“Yeah but there’s open adoption, my cousin went through it, you can pick the family and they send you pictures and letters about the baby”
I stopped, and re-ran that little nugget of information, saying it over in my head.
“ I’ve never heard of that kind of adoption”
“ I’ll ask her for more info and bring it in for you Monday, yeah?” She swung around in the chair as she said it and I left the tiny office feeling a little less hostile, like something might fit this time. I still can’t remember her name.
“Spence Chapin! How can I help you?”
“ I am pregnant, and I’m thinking about giving the baby up for adoption, an open adoption, but I don’t know anything about the process” I am sitting in my brightly lit kitchen on the house phone. My dog Honey, is leaning on my legs begging for attention and I am slowly wrapping and unwrapping the cord of the phone around my finger. The woman puts me on hold but comes back to take my information and connect me with a counselor. She is very eager and friendly. I am transferred and another woman picks up, she has a calmer voice, she asks me questions about being pregnant, why I am looking into adoption and if it’s okay to send me some information. I tell her that’s fine and she is sure to use my first name and keep that comforting tone.
I am inundated with pamphlets, folders and general information overload. I now have a social worker who wants to set up preliminary interviews, connect with my doctors and begin the seemingly endless process that seems very far from actually being in contact with anyone that might be a good parent for this baby. The couples I see on the foldouts are all smiling but almost none of them meet my criteria.
1) They must be a same sex couple
2) No extreme religious affiliations
3) A mixed race child must be there first choice
The first criteria is what has them confused, they just don’t have many options, and I am starting to feel like I’m drowning.
I paged through the magazines and picked up Rolling Stone. Little Plastic Castles from Ani DiFranco was being reviewed and I took it with me to a table with my books. At the back of the magazine there were ads and I read them while I drank my tea. “ Pregnant? Looking for a home and family for your baby? Call us, we are here to help you” or something like that. I ran to the bookstore to hide and I couldn’t even find some peace here, my longtime refuge. I kept reading and the ad spoke about open adoptions with same sex couples. I bought the magazine.