08/15/2009: I’m worried about this situation. I’m worried that with Ruth and David back together, they’ll try and get Paige back. I’m worried David will visit Paige, fall in love with her – how could he not?! – and want her back despite Ruth’s threats. On the other hand, I’m worried they’ll fall off the face of the earth and Paige won’t know them.
David is released from prison in mid July, less than a month after Ruth and Payton reunify. He moves in with Carole because CPS prohibits his living with Ruth and Payton until he court-mandated services.*
Two days after Paige’s first birthday, I call David. He’s been out of prison a month.
Awkwardly I introduce myself. “This is Lynn, Paige’s, um, potential adoptive mom.” I stumble over the words: What the hell am I supposed to call myself? Tense currents of heat blaze through me. Glancing in the mirror, my face flushes a deep red the color of a whore’s lipstick. “Do you have a minute?”
“Yeah, but I’m at a meeting so it won’t be long.” A lighter flicks once, twice in the background, and then he inhales deeply. I envy his habit; it would come in handy to soothe my nerves.
The forthcoming weighted conversation causes me to pause awkwardly; however, David dives right in. “Carole said you had a birthday party for Paige the other day. How’d it go?” His question holds greater weight than mere small talk.
“It was… fun,” I falter.
Paige only recently began sitting up without support, and she still cannot crawl. However, as she gets older we’re learning it doesn’t stop her from being a spirited little imp. Payton found this out at Paige’s birthday party when she tried to take a toy from Paige, who let loose with a resounding scream and snatched it back.
“I want you to know right away that you’re Paige’s parents and she’s your daughter. We lost our rights to be her parents when we made the choices we did. We weren’t living the Christian life when Ruth was pregnant. Paige wasn’t planned and we were in the middle of a lot of crap when we found out.” His rapid speech is reassuring; he’s as nervous as I am!
“We feel bad about Paige’s problems. I think you’re great people to adopt a child you know has challenges. You and Andrew are better equipped than Ruth and I to give her what she needs.”
* Court-mandated services generally consist of supervised visits, parenting classes, drug rehab and testing, which are required before placing the child(ten) back into the parent(s) custody.