*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*
After one of my best friends Terry and his husband Doug had finally been legally married in our state, something that was very important to them and they waited for a very long time, they decided that it was time to bring a child into their family.
Adoption is an incredibly hard and costly process even when things go well. If a couple is paired with a child out of the country, it’s up to the couple to come up with travel expenses to go pick up their child and bring them home. There are fees that range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Background checks, home checks, and interviews of friends and family members to see if the couple is “fit” to adopt.
It just so happened that we were all friends with a woman named Angela who was a local birth doula as well as a mother in town. We all attended the local Unitarian Universalist church and were sitting together at a luncheon one day when Terry and Doug started talking about how they were thinking hard about starting the adoption process.
“Have you thought about a surrogate?” Angela asked them.
Terry shook his head, “We can’t afford a surrogate, it’s much more costly than adoption.”
Angela waived him off. “I’d do it completely for free. I assume you’d somehow have to cover my medical costs, but I wouldn’t charge you anything extra to carry your baby,” she swore to them.
Terry and Doug thought it over and shortly came to the conclusion that they absolutely wanted to take Angela up on her offer. The first round of IVF worked and Terry and Doug’s baby began growing in her belly.
It was no secret to their friends, family, and church community what Angela was doing for them. In fact, it was mostly celebrated as a generous, selfless gift that Angela was giving to this loving couple.
When Angela was getting closer to her due date, they rented out the recreational room at the U.U. church to hold a baby shower, and everyone in the congregation was invited to attend as well as friends and family.
Everything was going well at the shower I helped to plan. There were maybe closet one hundred people there to shower the couple with everything they needed to start their baby’s life. Diapers, clothing, toys, blankets, bottles, and formula were towering up on the table set behind where the three of them were sitting at the front of the room.
I was sitting off to the side, as it was my job to keep track of what everyone gave to the couple so that they could later send thank you cards.
At one point, a woman that none of us recognized walked up and dropped a thick, heavy Bible into Doug’s lap. The woman raised her hand and started shaking her pointed finger at them.
“You shouldn’t be allowed to have a baby,” she said, then reached down and poked at the Bible with her finger.
“You’ll see. Read that! It’s all in there!” Then she walked away, out the door, and we never saw her again or even knew who she was.
Terry and Doug just stared at each other nervously and then Doug tossed the Bible onto the table behind him before turning back to the other guests.
Besides a few comments later of “Can you believe that woman did that?” We didn’t let her rude, inappropriate behavior ruin the day.
How would you have reacted to that woman?
Hi, I hope you enjoyed this story! I am a freelance writing single mom trying to create a better life for me and my daughter through words. If you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a small donation: https://ko-fi.com/maryduncan
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