The sitter arrives and we leave immediately after I’ve finished working.
Visitors are required to check in 30 minutes early so the staff can pull the inmate. We aren’t familiar with the area and I clutch the directions in my clammy hand.
I’m relieved when we finally arrive with plenty of time for check-in. We walk inside and show our licenses to the officer behind the thick, bulletproof glass. Noticing my purse and Andrew’s soda can, she says, “You can’t bring anything in the visiting area.” We must be oozing jail virgin vibes because she adds, “If you leave the visiting area after going inside, you forfeit the visit.”
I drop my purse in the car and Andrew chugs his soda. We are buzzed into the visiting area, the heavy door sliding shut behind us. Sitting down in the hard, sturdy waiting room chairs, we are both silent. The room is cream colored, and much nicer and newer than I expected. Glass windows separated by telephones and bolted stools are on both sides of the room. A counter runs along the row of windows. I’m curious – will Ruth and David wear the stereotypical orange jumpsuits?
Andrew turns to me. “I think we need to make sure we’re on the same page if Ruth or David talk about anything… sensitive.”
“And asking them if they want us to adopt her, assuming they realize they aren’t getting her back.”
“No,” Andrew says firmly. I lower my eyebrows and purse my lips. “Whether they want us to adopt her or not isn’t their choice. If we ask and they say no, well, we’re going to do it anyway. I think we need to stay away from the topic of Payton as much as possible.”
Further conversation is cut off by a loud buzz.