I feel like I’ve picked on my big sister a lot in this blog. But at the same time, it’s not my fault she’s given me so much material, is it? That sounded a bit more mercenary than I intended. I digress. I’m not done picking on her yet. Mostly because of how she picked on me. I got e-mail from her (the day after H’s letter) that made me cry.
I know she meant well. I know she loves me. But my sister is just … I don’t know. I think a tactful way of putting it would be to say that sometimes she says (or types) things without stopping to consider how her words might be taken.
Most of the e-mail was the sort of things I’d expected – have faith in the Lord and His plan, get a priesthood blessing, remember that eternity is a long time, she supported me no matter what … blah blah blah. The kicker was at the end, and I quote:
"Not that you should go back and deal with the LDSSS people, but might there be another couple that you passed over, or just decided to adopt that you might consider? No couple would be perfect, but at least they could give your baby a family to be sealed to."
In other words, it doesn’t matter if you actually like them. Anyone would be better parents than you. I pity my mother; I’m sure I had nothing good to say about my sister after that, and my mom was the only person to whom I could vent.
I had arranged to meet S for dinner. I had a copy of H’s e-mail with me. As she read it, she reacted just as I had hoped, with plenty of eye rolling and a "Who does he think he is?" here and there for good measure.
"And he’s so messed up," I said. "He thinks he’s still got rights after he ignored his paperwork. He doesn’t have any rights!"
S nodded emphatically. "Well," she said between sips of Sierra Mist, "unless you decide to single parent."
I choked on my own beverage.
It turns out, S had inadvertently misinformed my mother on the phone. Adoption, H had nothing to do with. But he did indeed have rights if I kept my baby. The thought chilled me to the bone. I cried, I lost my appetite.
"That’s not what you told my mother," I said, upset and confused. "You told her H has no rights anymore."
"I thought she was talking about adoption," S said. "Your mother must have misunderstood."
Now I was cheesed. My mother may have her shortcomings, but I knew she hadn’t misunderstood. I had made my mom go over her conversation with S in detail, and my mother assured me that twice she had made sure that S understood my mom was talking about me single parenting.
I left dinner early and got slightly hysterical on the way home. I told my mom what had happened. She let me cry as I spoke, and remained preternaturally calm. She told me not to worry about things, and to just tell H that I was going with adoption, since he’d been so eager for a response. I did just that. It was a very short e-mail.
I hated knowing that H had rights. I felt like my hand was being forced, like adoption was my only recourse, my only way of keeping my baby safe. And I didn’t want to place my baby for adoption! I wanted more than ever to be her mommy. My own mommy said that no one could force me to do anything, and she’s send me and my baby out of the country if she had to. That she would never let anyone take my baby away. For my part, I just hoped that H would leave me alone now that I’d given him a decision that didn’t involve him.