I sigh and rub at my eyes. Damn, I’ve been staring at the screen for way too long. This story on the latest city council meeting is brutal to write. The information is dry and boring. After all, what normal reader wants to read about the budget? But, somehow, I have to report it in an interesting manner in the hopes someone would read it. The only upshot is I think it’s finally done. I would just have to do a quick edit before sending it off.
I’m about halfway through when my cell phone rings. I, still reading, blindly reach over and accept the call without looking at the display. It’s probably Steve anyway. I am late leaving…
“Hello,” I say, distracted, wanting to get home.
My heart stops as I hear the voice of our social worker. I stop staring at the screen and lean back in my chair. It’s been almost two months since Steve and I finished the paperwork to be foster parents. Could this be the end of the waiting?
“I think we may have found a baby for you and Steve.”
My eyes fill with tears as I lift a hand to my mouth. Could this be happening? Could today actually be the day I become a father?
“We would need you both to come down to the hospital,” Margie continues. “I can explain the entire situation there.”
“Have you called Steve,” I ask, still trying to get my tears under control.
“No, I thought you might want to do that.”
“We’ll be there in twenty.”
I barely wait for a response before hanging up the phone and dialing Steve. Unable to focus on work, I send in my article as the phone rings. It should be relatively typo-free anyway.
That done, I power down my computer and grab my coat just as Steve picks up.
“Hey. You’re late. On your way home?”
“Margie called,” I say, not having the patience for small talk. “She says they have a baby for us.”
At first, Steve doesn’t say anything. The only thing I hear is a soft gasp coming through the speaker.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. She said we need to meet her at the hospital. Can you meet me there?”
“I’m on my way,” Steve says. I can hear rustling on the other end and I know he’s getting his stuff. “Are you okay?”
“I…I don’t even know. I think I may be in shock.”
“Well, then be careful. I know it’s a short drive, but be careful.”
“I will. I love you.”
“Love you too. See you in a bit. I’ll meet you in the lobby.”
I make it to the car in record time and start up the engine. I am really careful driving, making sure to focus on the road and not crashing.
It feels like an eternity by the time I park the car in the parking garage and make my way inside. I don’t see Steve, but he has a longer way to go so that doesn’t shock me. I feel like an idiot standing in the lobby. There aren’t too many people there in the small sitting area, so me standing the middle of the space is making me feel awkward. But I don’t know where to go. I don’t even know where Margie is…
I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief as Margie comes over, dressed in jeans and a suit jacket.
“How are you,” she says smiling.
“I don’t know.”
“I know. This is a bit of a shock. But it will all be fine.”
“You have a baby. For us.”
Margie gives me a small smile. “Yes. A newborn baby boy. He was abandoned at a fire house.”
“Just like that,” I ask, shocked.
“Yes. It’s actually not so bad. Safe haven rules say any parents can give up their child.”
“But doesn’t that mean they can take him back?”
“No. If you use the safe haven law, you give up all rights. So he is a ward of the state.”
I look up and see Steve running towards me. I open my arms as he runs into me, holding me tight. Squeezing him back, I sigh. Having him here already makes me feel better.
“Nice to see you Steve,” Margie says.
“What’s going on? Joey said you have a baby for us?”
“Yes. A baby boy was abandoned outside a fire house. He falls under the safe haven laws so he is a ward of the state.”
“Is he healthy,” Steve asks, his medical training coming to the forefront.
“Relatively. He was abandoned when he was only a few hours old, but it seems to have been a healthy birth. He was a little chilled so the doctors want to keep him for a day or two. But there’s no reason to think he won’t be a perfectly healthy child.”
“Does he have a name?”
“Not yet. But maybe you can have a say in that,” Margie says, a twinkle in her eye.
“Can we see him,” I ask, pushing off Steve’s chest a little.
“Of course,” Margie says with a smile. “Come on.”
I clutch Steve’s hand as we head up to the third floor of the hospital. I hear Steve saying hi to a couple people as we pass by, but I’m too focused on what’s waiting for us.
Finally, we reach the nursery area. Margie shows us to an area where we put on soft, disposable robes that cover our clothes.
Finally, we’re led into a small room off the nursery where there’s a rocking chair and some other pieces of furniture.
Margie goes to get a nurse so the baby can be brought to us.
I, a little shaky on my legs, sit in the chair.
“Are you okay,” Steve whispers.
“I don’t know. I…I can’t believe there’s a baby here who could be ours.”
Steve comes over and kisses the top of my head. “I know. But this is what we want, right? A baby to call our own.”
“Yeah. More than anything. I just can’t wrap my head around it.”
Steve opens his mouth to respond, but the door opens behind him, interrupting. A large woman in scrubs walks in, a baby bundle in her arms.
I can’t breathe as she comes up and places the small bundle in my arms. My first reaction is to panic. I’ve never held a baby before.
But as soon as I look into the baby’s face, I relax. He must be the cutest baby in the history of the world. He is pale white with chubby little cheeks that I just want to rub. He squirms a little in my embrace, but soon relaxes into my arms.
And in that moment, I know. This is MY son. The child I am going to raise with Steve. The missing piece of my family.
And there’s Part 18. I’m hoping to have the next part for you guys by next week, but it might not happen because of the holiday. But regardless, there will be a new story on the 28th. Have a good week everyone!