I finally got Ava ready and took her over to my friend’s house. I put her car seat in the back of my friend’s little red Honda and buckled her in. I kept telling my friends “call me as soon as you know something, the INSTANT the meeting is over!” I then stood on the front lawn and watched them drive away with my little Ava girl. I kept having these nightmares that it would be the last time I saw her or something drastic like that…
The next two hours were shear torture wondering how things were going (I was prone to imagine the worst). I was basically useless as a human being. I just sat on my couch and tried to read, I had already cleaned my entire house so there was nothing for me to do but sit and wait, willing the phone to ring with any news.
True to their word, the minute they left the meeting my friends called me. Here is my recollection of what they told me:
When they first got there they met with Ava’s birth father and his mother and brother (and his brother’s girlfriend). They commented on how well Ava looked and “how well Ruth had been taking such good care of her.” They said at first everyone acted rather distant and unapproachable…. Then they gave the letter and album to Ava’s birth father. He left the group to go for a walk and to read the letter privately. My friend then gave Ava’s grandmother the picture album that I had been inspired to prepare for her.
A short while later Ava’s birth father came back and asked his mother to read the letter. My friend’s said that after they were finished reading the letter the mood and spirit of the group completely changed and everyone warmed up considerably. All of a sudden they had a million questions for my friends about us, they wanted to know about Ava, they wanted to know what kind of people we were, about her other siblings, if we were religious and everything else they could think of. They looked through the pictures I had given them (of course I gave them the most adorable pictures of Ava when she was happy and smiling), and they commented on how happy she looked.
Ava during the meeting.... sitting on the lap of her grandmother.
They took some pictures of Ava with their Polaroid camera and since a Wal-mart was conveniently located across the street from the McDonald’s, my friends went and made copies for me (I knew I sent the right people for the job, I couldn’t have asked for better advocates! I am so grateful they took the time to do this for me and my family!)
I asked my friends what they remembered of that day and this is what one of them wrote: “I remember being somewhat nervous… what if meeting [Ava’s birth father] didn’t go smooth or peaceful? But to my delight, it did! I can’t remember any of the conversation. Maybe we didn’t talk much. I remember [Ava’s birth father] laying eyes on Ava and I’m sure it was a surreal feeling for him.”
At the end of the meeting Ava’s birth father told my friends that he would consider allowing Ava to be adopted, he just needed a few days to think about it. He said he would call me in the next few days with his answer (I had left my phone number in the letter). My friends said he seemed positive and open to the possibility of allowing Ava to be part of our family….. YEAH! I started jumping around my living room after I got off the phone with my friends. Now I just had a few more days to wait for another phone call... and I had to call Ruth and tell her what happened at the meeting and about my decision to tell Ava's birth father that she was living with us...