open adoption roundtable: first meeting

This prompt from the latest Open Adoption Roundtable: “Write about a first meeting.”

I could write about the very first moment I saw my daughter, as she emerged and took her first breath.

But really the starting point was meeting Kaye — the young woman who brought her into the world — on one cold rainy Sunday afternoon in December 2008.

After corresponding with Kaye by email for a few weeks, she had asked if we wanted to meet. She lived just over an hour away, and we offered to come take her to lunch. She chose a little taqueria on the way into town, and we made plans to meet on Sunday at 1pm. It was the winter solstice.

That morning my family had planned an early brunch to celebrate the holidays and some birthdays. Though we had been looking forward to it and had gifts for the kids, we almost bailed. Not only was it in the opposite direction, about 45 minutes away, but we were so nervous. At the last minute we decided to go, figuring we could use the support and distraction. But when Mac was too anxious to eat (which is completely unheard of), we knew it was time to get on the road.

We arrived early, and I sat in the car for a minute to take some deep breaths. It was a damp grey day. We chose a round table by the window, sat and waited. We watched every car pull in the lot, every face that came through the door. Kaye had seen photos of us, but we had no idea what she looked like. It was past 1pm. I said to M, “She must be nervous too. Do you think she’s nervous?” Then, a car pulled in that I thought might be hers, based on the bumper stickers. But no one got out. A few minutes passed. Was it her?

Finally, a young woman walked through the door and there was no mistaking that it was Kaye. She came right over to us and we both stood. She had the most beautiful lucid blue eyes that looked right into you. Instinctively, I reached out to give her a hug. We each shared a strong genuine embrace with her. I was thinking that I adored her instantly. Then she said, “I’m a little nervous!” And we all laughed, because we could share how we were too, and how just minutes before we had wondered what she might be feeling.

With that out of the way, we sat down and ordered some food. We talked for three hours. We talked about Kaye and her adventures, and she asked about our families. We talked about food, travel, music, nature and activism. The conversation flowed easily. While we talked a bit about our family-building effort and our path to adoption, we didn’t really talk about the baby — her baby — at all. I think we could have kept talking too, but it was chilly and this was not a place to linger over a cup of hot tea. It was a taqueria.

At one point, we offered Kaye the materials we had prepared (a letter with photos of us and our family). Then in the most uncanny move, she pulled something out from her bag and said, “you mean this letter?” We were astounded, because we hadn’t sent it to her yet. But less than a month earlier, we had sent it to some local midwives and doulas. At Kaye’s first appointment with her midwives, she had told them she was looking for a family to adopt her baby. In an amazing coincidence (or was it synergy?), our letter had arrived the day before and they offered it to her.

As we were getting ready to go, we thanked Kaye for meeting with us, and I gave her a little bag with homemade molasses ginger cookies that I had baked the night before (it was the holiday season and baking relaxes me, plus they are delicious!), along with a small tin of herbal tea. We invited her for dinner, as well, so she could see where we lived. She said she’d be back in touch soon. And she was.

On our way home, our emotions were all over the place. We had felt a strong connection with Kaye — so many common interests and values — but we really had no idea what she felt. All we could do was wonder whether we might have just met the woman who would make us parents.

For more memories from other roundtable participants, click here.

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~ by luna on July 8, 2011.

5 Responses to “open adoption roundtable: first meeting”

  1. That was beautiful. It’s great how things work out sometimes. ❤

  2. Amazing. We actually flew to Nevada to meet Ben’s birth parents. Definetly a bit nerve racking. Actually just not knowing too much what to say to get the converstaions going. Went great, we also relly didn’t talk about the baby.

  3. I so clearly remember when you prepared then sent that letter out. I never imagined that it would serve its purpose so quickly! Clearly the letter did a good job of conveying how wonderful you are.

  4. Beautiful story! and congrats on your pregnancy!

  5. There’s nothing quite like that first meeting is there. Ours was quite different from yours but I bet the level of nerves were the same!

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