The next time I spoke with Aubrey’s birth father (“D”) was in January. Our attorney had been trying to contact he and Ruth for months to set up a time to go to court, but was unsuccessful. I hadn’t received any feedback from the letter I sent him in September, nor had he tried to contact me or ask for Aubrey to come back and live with them again.
A court date was set for December 18th, 2007, and my attorney tried unsuccessfully to contact Ruth or “D” to offer them a ride to court but neither Ruth nor “D” showed. I had no idea what I would do if they changed their minds again about wanting Aubrey back, I couldn’t let her go. I was still in contact with Ruth and I reminded her of the court date but to no avail, she told me that “she didn’t have a chance to get back with our attorney before the hearing.” I tried not to let the worry seep in, but I was restless about our future with Aubrey nonetheless.
I also knew that Ruth was still looking for her own place to live and on December 23, she told me she had found a place close to her work, yet she hadn’t completely moved in.
The children all wanted to see Ruth so we asked if she would like to meet us for dinner the next day on Christmas Eve. There was a raging snowstorm on our way to Salt Lake but we were determined to meet with Ruth that night. She was working in down town and we planned to meet after she finished work, her choice was to meet at Olive Garden. The restaurant was almost completely empty. As we walked in the front doors another group of people came in directly behind us. There were two pilots and a stewardess from back east staying in Salt Lake for a layover. They asked us “are these ALL you children?” I told them “yes” and we exchanged small-talk for a bit. I really wanted to say “we are meeting our children’s birth mother here tonight” but they were already shocked by the number of children we had so I didn’t want to put them over the edge with that revelation!
Ruth was a little late so we were all seated when she arrived. Dinner was fun and the kids had Ruth laughing quite a bit, she has braces so she would try not to smile with her teeth but then she almost couldn’t help it. I loved to see them all interact with each other, Aubrey was a little shy at first but then she warmed right up at the end and let Ruth hold her and feed her, it was an amazing evening to be a part of. The boys also brought a small Christmas tree for her and decorated it with mini-ornaments; they were so excited to give it to her!
After dinner the boys walked with Ruth and I back to her car while Mykel took the girls to get our vehicle. The snow was really thick and had already covered her windshield and all of her windows. The boys went to work cleaning off her car and loading up the presents and little tree they had brought for her (careful not to lose any of the tiny ornaments). Cole was so concerned about Ruth’s wellbeing so he asked her “are you lonely?” Each of the boys gave her a hug before they got in our van to leave. It was such a touching moment watching them talk, smile and hug each other. I was hoping I could be invisible at that moment so they could just act natural and not worry about me being there.
Ruth had parked a few blocks from the restaurant, so by the time Mykel pulled up behind her car to pick us up we were just finishing our goodbyes. When I got in the car I told Mykel what had just transpired and then I said “how different it is that we get to drive away with her five beautiful children and she is left alone…” my heart just ached for her, here I was sitting in a warm car with my husband, surrounded by my children, going home on Christmas Eve to a nice home filled with food and presents waiting for “Santa to arrive” yet Ruth didn’t even have a bed to sleep in. I wanted to just call her back and take her home with us, but that wasn’t the solution either. I wanted to make everyone happy in this scenario, but that was out of my control.