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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Tense Moment

     Please revisit "I Can't Tell Her the Truth," from July 6, 2010, before reading this post.

     Bob and I had known this day was not far away, yet we never discussed which direction our decision should take. We avoided the discussion with vague utterances of inconsequence, never addressing the question but well aware of the weight, breadth, and complications to either choice. The call had come. There could be no more stalling. After a short conference we reached a consensus and decided we had to talk to TJ.

     TJ, comfortably propped up on six pillows on our bed, was deeply engrossed in late afternoon cartoons. Bob and I anxiously entered our bedroom, neither of us knowing how to approach a sensitive and difficult topic with a six year old.  "TJ," I spoke quietly,"Daddy and I need to talk to you. No. You are not in trouble, but it is important." Alarm and panic seized her replacing her carefree expression with fear.
     I placed myself cross-legged in the middle of the bed, Bob sat on the edge, while TJ remained surrounded by pillows, eyes wide open, expecting the worst. I started solemnly. "We got a call from your caseworker today. There was a court hearing. The judge decided since Melissa is in jail for a long time it would be best for you to find a family that would be your forever family with a forever mom and dad. Daddy and I were wondering if you would let us be your forever parents."
     TJ's brow furrowed, trying to comprehend what we were saying. She laid her chin in her hand, thinking, her extended index finger tapping on her cheek. "Let me think about it." While she was thinking Bob explained she would never go to another home, her last name would change to ours, and she would still see her brother - who is also being adopted by another family. She thought some more, leaving Bob and I wondering what she would choose. Finally, with a heavy sigh, nonchalant tone she gave us her answer, "OK."
     That was it? 'OK?' We expected a little more enthusiasm then that! I cocked my head and gave a quizzical look when she bounced up on her knees and lurched toward me yelling,"I'm so happy!" We hugged and laughed and talked about her new last name. Her life is changed forever


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