She really wanted to find a couple who lived in our same state. The first couple that she met and liked, the one that fell through, lived only 15 minutes away. She thought she wanted them to be close by. As she kept looking for couples on the adoption website, and kept eliminating them, she started to run out of couples from our state, that met her criteria. She didn't know what to do. She didn't think she wanted to look out of state, but finally she started to. She started emailing back and forth with couples from many states across the country. Some seemed promising at first, but somehow nothing ever came of them. Something they would say in an email would put her off, and she would decide they weren't the ones. I started thinking that maybe she was just being too picky.
One day, I was helping her look for more potential couples. There was this couple named that we had looked at briefly many weeks before. They lived in another state. She had liked a lot of things about them, but at the time she wasn't ready to reach out into other states yet. Again, she read their profile, and she liked them, but she still wasn't sure how much. As I read about them, I REALLY liked them, so I encouraged her to email them. What could it hurt? The emails went back and forth for a couple of weeks, and as she learned more about them, CJ started liking them more. Soon, she started wondering what she should do if she wanted to meet them. They lived SO far away. Could she ask them to come all this way, just to meet her? What if they paid all that money, and she didn't even like them when they got here? But, there was no way to know anything for sure unless she did meet them, so she finally got up the courage to ask them, and they said they would come. They were happy to come!
The day they flew in to meet her was Halloween. That afternoon CJ had a Halloween party at her group therapy, with moms invited, but we had to leave the party early to meet the couple at Olive Garden. My husband met us there. They walked in, found us, and we all sat down. They seemed quiet, and nervous, and it was all pretty uncomfortable at first. They had brought some cute little gifts for CJ, which she opened. There was lots of awkward small talk, and learning about each other (mostly from my hubby and I, since we hadn't been emailing them, like CJ had). We liked them, and CJ liked them, but there were no bells or whistles going off yet. They were nice. They seemed like good people. They had both grown up near where we live, but had moved out of state a few years before. They both had lots of family that still lived close by us. We talked to them for quite a long time.
The next night, CJ and I went to a ballet performance with them. Then, the night after that, CJ wanted them to meet the birthfather, whom she was no longer dating, and who had already signed away his parental rights. She had promised him she'd let him meet couples she was serious about, and she was determined to keep that promise. My husband and I weren't there that night, thank goodness, because it was a disaster! They had met again at a restaurant. After arriving and meeting them, the birthfather started acting very strangely, then suddenly got up and left. He then proceeded to start endlessly texting CJ, telling her he DIDN'T like them and that she SHOULD NOT choose them. Before this, she was starting to think that maybe she did, possibly, want choose them. Now she was very confused. Again.
When the couple had first arrived, CJ and I had come up with an idea. If she liked the couple a lot, we would have them over for a Sunday family dinner, so they could meet the rest of her siblings, and her siblings could meet them. After what the birthdad was doing to her, she wasn't sure what to do, but she went ahead and invited them over anyway. She also started to make plans to "announce" to them that she wanted them to adopt the baby, even though she was still pretty confused.
About an hour before they were supposed to arrive that Sunday, CJ was talking to us about what the birthdad was doing, and what he was saying to her in his texts. He was putting so much pressure on her, that now she didn't know what to do, or how to feel. She knew she liked this couple, but she was so torn, and so confused. Her dad sat her down, and helped her clear her head. He said a special prayer in her behalf. The prayer calmed her, and helped her focus on what she really felt. By the time the couple arrived at our house, CJ knew. She FINALLY knew what she wanted. She FINALLY knew who she wanted to raise her baby. When I asked her if she was sure, she said yes. She said she was calm, and happy, and excited to "announce" to them that she was going to place her baby with them. This was the feeling she had been waiting to feel. She had no more doubts.
They had dinner with us and our whole loud, crazy family. I kept wondering what they were really thinking of us. We can be pretty obnoxious. But they seemed to be enjoying all the loud banter back and forth. They both came from large families (larger than ours), so I'm sure that's why they were so comfortable. It was nice to see that they seemed to like us as much as we liked them. Right after dinner, they started saying they were going to leave. We started to panic, because the most important part of the evening (which they didn't know about yet) was about to come. We convinced them to stay a little longer. CJ went downstairs to her room, and started to get the things ready that she had put together for the big announcement. She wanted to do something cute and creative. Because the baby was due just before Christmas, we found some Christmas wrapping paper, and wrapped it around her big belly, then tied a ribbon around it, and then she attached a card under the ribbon.