It was a blind profile, where we might not hear about it until after the fact, but I called the agency yesterday with a bunch of questions unrelated to opportunities, and I was met with this at the end of the call,
"So, since I have you on the phone...you are being blind profiled now. The expectant mother is in labor...I'll call you when we hear anything."
Um, okay. Are they all going to be like this now? Last minute pulls on the heartstrings, a possibility of a sudden end to our wait for parenthood, but then a greater possibility of being considered, and passed by?
I didn't ask for more information. As a blind profile, our book is one of anywhere from 3-9 books chosen to be in front of the expectant mother, and when she chooses the family she feels most comfortable with for whatever reason, we'd get a call about her circumstance and then decide if we were okay with the information...and then find out we were already chosen. Except in this case we knew we were being considered but had absolutely no information about the case.
And I didn't ask, honestly. Because after the last whirlwind, I didn't want to know ANYTHING. I wanted to be distanced a bit from the possibility of a match that could become a placement so quickly. Just in case.
So I kept it close. I got this information at 3:00 yesterday. And told very few people anything at all. Because I can't afford to get to excited anymore. If I get excited, the probable fall from possibility becomes too steep, too deep into the pit. Better to keep it shallow, especially if it's last minute.
Except today I had to let a few people know that if my phone rang I was running out of the room. Like, literally, since in some rooms where I teach there is virtually no service whatsoever because my middle school is situated in a valley and parts are pretty much underground. Should I need a bomb shelter (which I hope I don't), this school would be awesome. For cell signal, it's not great.
When I told my English coteacher, he just sort of looked at me and said,
"I feel like your situation is like that quote from "The Miracle Worker," you know, where Captain Keller is asking his wife, Katie, how she can bear more hope in the possibility of doctors for Helen:
'How many times are you going to let them break your heart?' He asks his wife, and she says, 'Any number of times.'
I can't imagine how hard this is for you."
Um, I would like an award of some kind for not bursting into tears and somehow managing to keep my emotions in a sort of robotic check for the next few moments.
And then I got the call in 8th period, and ran out of the room, and didn't catch it in time, and had to call back while in the main office vestibule. God I hate the signal sucking nature of our building.
It was a no. She picked someone else. There was no feedback on why.
So, in a way, it was better than the last time, because we wouldn't have known this was happening and we knew nothing about the situation at all. I could distance myself a bit. I could toughen my skin up against the hurt of not being chosen, again, because I couldn't picture this baby.
I didn't know if it was a girl or a boy. I didn't know where the hospital was. I didn't know any history or information about either birthparent. So it was a sort of amorphous baby opportunity.
But, it still hurt. How can it not? I fear I will develop a complex about not being pickable, thus far. Why not us? I feel like Sally in When Harry Met Sally when she finds out her ex-boyfriend, Joe, has found his wife-to-be. "Why not meeeee?" she wails. "What's wrong with meeeee?"
That's sort of how I feel. Why don't we connect? I know when it's right it's right, but it feels a little like something's off with us. I know this isn't totally logical, but we're 5/6 on this one. Once we were picked, in a blind profile, but then the expectant/birth mother decided to parent before we were notified, so does that count at all? (Yes, yes it does.) It feels like we aren't being picked until last for dodgeball teams in middle school PE. It feels like we are somehow less-than.
I chose to tell the few people who knew we were in the running for something, "Well, always a bridesmaid..." People were understandably sad or mad on our behalf. My English co-teacher kicked a desk in frustration. I won't lie, it felt good to have others feel a fraction of what we feel in terms of disappointment when we aren't picked, again.
So, I asked Bryce to take me out to dinner tonight. And we had a lovely fancy dinner out to celebrate in some way how awesome we are and that hopefully we will get picked, sooner than later, and in the meantime we can have oysters and tenderloin and wine as a consolation prize.
These last-minute calls, two in a row, are taking a toll.
How many times can we let them break our heart?
Oh, countless times.
But each time takes a little something from us that fancy dinners can't quite replace.
I hope we get a call that is our call soon... as thick as I try to make my skin, the hurt still seeps through.