There are so many different variables and people involved with the adoption of my daughter Ava that I am having a hard time knowing where to begin. In my last post (Our Story, Part 26) I mentioned that Ruth had contacted me about the first week of January 2003, and asked me if I would be interested in adopting the baby if things didn’t work out with her husband (she was due at the end of February 2003). The next week she called and said that things weren’t going well and that she needed to move out that day ~ before her husband came back from work.
Mykel and I made the trip to her apartment in Salt Lake City (40-50 minute drive one-way) and helped Ruth load everything she owned and headed back up to Ogden (even though I had no idea where she was going to go). When we got to Ogden I dropped Mykel off at our home so he could go pick up the boys from my friend's house.
Ruth and I went to the Women’s Shelter to see if that was a viable option for the night. We went to intake and registration and got the information we needed and looked around at what would be Ruth’s bed and where she would stay (I can’t imagine being eight months pregnant, displaced from my home and staying there without any privacy, it was so cold), the somber feeling there was almost palpable. I still remember walking through the “kitchen” and seeing several women and children eating, looking at the bunkbed where Ruth would sleep, looking at the bathroom, and talking about security so she would be safe… it was almost surreal.
After the “tour” we both couldn’t envision Ruth staying there, especially if there were any other options. There was the possibility that she could stay at my house, but I had no idea what I would tell the boys, and besides, our house was so small that I think she would have even less privacy than at the Women’s Shelter. We finally opted to have her go to Logan (another 45-60 minute drive one-way) and stay with her mom, which was her last resort. By this time it was already around 8-9 p.m. I was extremely tired (I had already worked that morning and went to school before going to Salt Lake) and I couldn't wait to get home.
I think somewhere in between all of this we ate some food, but my memory is foggy about those facts. I remember details about the Women’s shelter and the memories it evokes (the moldy smell, the low ceilings, the low-pile industrial gray-blue carpet and white walls) but I can’t remember what Ruth and I talked about, or if much was said at all besides niceties and plans to find her an apartment.
I finally made it home around 11 p.m. that night, my head full of thoughts of adding another child to our family, how to approach the boys with the possibility of a little sister, finding an apatment for Ruth and a long list of what I needed to do the following morning (besides school, work and family). This was the beginning of the longest (and possibly hardest) month of my life.