Andrew and I sit on the couch. He flips through television channels and I fight the urge to grab the remote. With Paige and Eli in bed, I spring Charise’s request on him.
Andrew drops the remote. “What?!” I nod and reiterate my conversation with Charise.
Andrew swallows and pauses a few minutes. His eyes are far away and he stares blankly at an invisible spot on the wall. “I don’t think it’s a good idea,” he says, finally. “Ruth and David’s parental rights for Paige haven’t been legally removed and I don’t want anything to jeopardize that. What if they see Paige during a visit with Payton and change their mind?” Andrew pauses and I remain silent. “I mean, if there’re issues and Payton HAS to be removed, we can talk about it more. And we’ll definitely adopt Payton if she doesn’t go back to Ruth.”
I’m glad he made the choice. I want to help but we have enough on our plate with Paige, and Eli starts kindergarten in a few months. Ninety-nine percent of the time I rule with my heart; however, having a practical husband comes in handy when my heart and head play tug-of-war.
The following day I call Charise and give her our decision. She understands and promises to keep us posted.
I hang up the phone and guilt floods my heart. I feel disappointed in myself despite knowing Andrew’s reasoning is sound and we’re making the best choice for our family, “Crappy situation,” I mutter, angry for being pulled in the middle.*
CPS Report: To minimize trauma to the child, the undersigned conceded to returning the child to the mother in July 2009.**
* What would you have done if faced with this situation?
** Please note that this chapter does not contain all of Charise’s concerns; however, they are addressed in the book.