I made it to that meeting with Kobe.
He said he didn’t want to take care of a kid. He said he wasn’t ready for this.
Neither am I…so I agreed. Though I imagined me, holding my baby, and it gave me this… warm feeling. I had to smile at the scene I painted for myself…
…But no. I can’t possibly be ready.
I know enough about kids to know it isn’t that easy. A kid will rely on me, spend a whole bunch of time with me too. He or she’ll be stuck whether they like it or not.
But he brought up the subject of adoption… I agreed to look into that too. It could work.
I’d already thought about whether it’ll like me when it’s older. I sat there for ages and just stared at the ceiling and thought about a future…that might not even happen, if I give the kid up.
At some point, it’ll be able to accurately judge me for whatever the fuck I’ll be by then.
Probably won’t be anything worth…well, I can be better, right?
What’s the point? I snapped at myself.
It wasn’t messy, or dramatic. But I had a lot to think about.
I felt a little pain in my chest at the thought of giving my child up, but…isn’t it the right thing to do? I have no idea how to be a parent. It was hard to admit but…I’m not good enough to be a parent to this child.
I got pregnant due to a mistake, sure but I care a damn lot for the kid. Half the time I’m thinking about how I can make sure they grow up loved, and safe, and happy…
But I don’t think I can do that for them. No, I know I can’t. I’m way too much of a fuck-up, a mess, a bitch – whatever I or anyone else wants to call it. Just too damn awful.
Why would anyone, including my actual child, when they can actually think for his or herself, want to stick around?
And I don’t know how to be a mom! The only example I ever had was…Clarissa. And she…I’d break something or get below a B in at test or talk back too much, and she’d scream, go fucking mental. I was ungrateful and defiant and disappointing Kendra. All I would do was cower and cry, shrinking into the corner…
No, I wouldn’t be like that. I wanted him or her to feel loved, and appreciated. They wouldn’t be a disappointment! Just a happy accident. I would love my kid. I want to, at least…but I don’t know if I could…
I’m not heartless, I’m sure of it, but I haven’t really ever loved anyone. Just hopped from relationship to relationship, roommate to roommate. Parentless, without family whom I loved…how did I make it twenty-three years without loving someone? I’d cared for people plenty of times, a few of my flings, or boyfriends, or whatever I called them, and I liked a couple housemates…
But love? Somehow I’d missed out on all of that.
Not somehow, I immediately said to myself. You know how. It’s because you’re a cowardly bitch, you’re not worth them sticking around. You drive everyone away before you have the chance to ever love or be loved, and you deserve it!
And what kind of example for a kid is that?
So I called the adoption agency. They put me on hold. While I waited, I looked down at my stomach. This is for you, I thought. It doesn’t matter if you’re my kid, it doesn’t matter what I feel – it’s the same as it is with everyone else; you’ll be hell of a lot better off without me.
A couple weeks after our meeting, Kobe and I headed to the office of Myra, an adoption counsellor working for a nearby agency. I’d done a little research and decided that this was…well, it would work.
She talked a bit about my medical history (clean, I haven’t had a sick day since I was eleven), and the state of the pregnancy (also looking good, though it’s too early to really tell anything). And then she laid out three files, which contained reports about different families.
“These are families that have been checked already.” she said, very officious. “They are middle-to-high income, we’ve assessed them, they’re suitable to adopt – take a look.”
There were statistics that looked impressive. Every couple listed would all be able to physically look after my child. “It looks…good.” I fudged, looking up at Myra.
“Yeah.” Kobe agreed. “This is…really what’s best, isn’t it?”
Myra nodded a couple times, her expression remaining serious. Then she said that I was supposed to make the choice!
For a while I didn’t even know what to say.
“I don’t know.” I ended up mumbling, like an ignorant child. “They can all look after it…but how do I know what’s best?” I don’t know shit about any of this, but it’s the most important decision I’ve ever made. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if my child ended up unhappy…
She gave me a small smile. “It’s what you two think is best. What do you value in a family?”
I tried to think of an answer, any answer…all I came up with is speaking nicely. I don’t want my child to grow up being snapped at for every single mistake…not sure it did me much good. And the files didn’t say shit about any of that.
Kobe simply shrugged. “Everyone here would be…fine, I guess, but…I’m not sure. What do you think?” He turned to me.
“I don’t know.” I mumbled.
There was another long, uncomfortable silence.
An idea sprang to mind. “Can I visit them?” I asked her.
“If that’s what you want.” Myra gave me a small smile. She pushed one of the files towards us. “These two are Sarah and Kevin Nichols. I can put you in contact with them, arrange a visit, whenever suits-”
This is really happening…and for one wild second I wanted to end it all. Cancel all my appointments and work out something else. I realised that I’d wrapped an arm around my stomach. Like I was protectively keeping the baby close to me. It was ironic. In about six and a half months…he or she would be far, far away.
I got unexpectedly choked-up at the thought.
I had to remind myself that this is for the best and you know it.
A:N: Please excuse the shirt. I had to go back and retake that and I forgot to change his outfit.