Chapter 2 – Life Continues

Emily thought she could do it all on her own.If Jack were still here she wouldn’t be having any of these stupid problems.But there was just no way she could keep this baby that she loved so much.She would always remember September 5, 1986 as the day her world ended.

The baby is three months old today.Her name is Sarah Elizabeth.When she was born she looked just like her father.She still does.She has his eyes and Emily could see his freckles beginning to peek through on Sarah’s little chubby cheeks and dainty nose.She has his face, everything about her reminded Emily of him.The only thing that Emily could see of her in the baby was her hair.Sarah’s hair is going to be strawberry blond just like her own.This child was going to be a gorgeous knockout, an extremely beautiful young lady when she grew up.

Oh how she wished she could be there for her.Emily had moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico from New York after the accident to get away from the memories.Jack had died 9 months before and Emily still missed him like it was yesterday.The people here all thought that Emily was a widow.They didn’t know that Emily and Jack were only engaged when he had died.Emily just could not tell them that.

She had met so many wonderful people here.They had pitched in to help when Emily needed it and she just couldn’t repay all of their kindness.That is what made this decision so difficult.There were so many friends that were willing to offer help that Emily felt like she was being tied in knots.If it wasn’t one person offering advice it was another.She just didn’t know if she could handle one more person offering her advice on what she should do.As she looked around the room one more time she realized that her friends had done a lot for her.They had helped her set up the apartment and moved her furniture whenever she needed it.They had even helped arrange thing so that the baby’s things would not make it look so crowded.

Now all the baby’s things were packed and standing in a corner and she had the baby ready to go.Emily had even taken down her crib and everything on the walls.The only things Emily kept, as reminders were Sarah’s baby pictures, a lock of her hair, and the clothes she came home from the hospital in.If that lawyer did not get there soon she just didn’t know if she could go through with this.He was already twenty minutes late and the agony of waiting was beginning to take its toll on her.For there was one major problem, Emily loved Sarah so much.It felt like she was tearing out her heart and leaving only empty space behind.But she had to do this.She just couldn’t afford to take care of Sarah anymore.

The hospital bills and all the expenses had just about wiped her out.Emily never expected Sarah to have the types of problems that she did.Unfortunately, the accident had affected her as well.When she was born the discovered that her leg was hurt similar to the way Emily’s had been.It has been broken in the accident and no one knew until she was examined after her birth.When the leg healed it didn’t heal properly.The doctor’s had to do several different operations just to try to reset it properly.Sarah’s leg was still in a cast and would be for another three weeks.After the last operation they finally told Emily that Sarah’s leg would grow normally and no one would ever know that she had ever broken it.That was a blessing.But the Saluda program did not cover that type of specialized surgery.Emily just didn’t know what to do.The bills were just piling up and she had no way to pay them.

She still had not told her parents anything about Jack so they had no way to know about the baby.Emily could never go to them anyway, they were still angry that she had not gone to law school or become a doctor like everyone else in the family.When Emily had graduated from high school at age 16 at the top of her class her parents just knew that she would follow in one or the others footsteps.Instead she had gone into acting and by taking extra courses every year she had graduated in three years.She became the black sheep of the family so to speak.Emily knew that if she went to her brother or sister they would just look at her with disappointment.

They still did not understand her no matter how close they had been as children.Besides that then they would have gone to Emily’s parents and Emily definitely did not want that to happen.She just wanted to make it on her own, just her and the baby.She knew that they would just try to talk her out of this decision.And although she knew that she would let them if they did, her options were so limited that she could not bring herself to even think about contacting them.

Besides the agony of waiting for the adoption, waiting for everything, was taking its toll.The adoption should have taken place two weeks ago.It has been put on hold because of an illness in the adoptive parents’ family.They had asked if they could have a two-week extension on the date because they did not want to bring a little baby into a contagious house.Emily had jumped at the chance to keep Sarah those extra two weeks.

Oh God, there’s the doorbell.Emily knew that after today she would never see her beautiful baby girl again.She slowly put the sleeping baby in her car seat and went to answer the door.After a slight hesitation, she miserably opened the door and let the lawyer in.Mr. Brian Douglas was very distinguished looking.He stood at 6’2” and had dark wavy hair.He was also very concerned about Emily, which she could see in his eyes.She knew that he had watched her waste away for the last month as the plans for the adoption were underway.

“Hello Mr. Douglas.I expected you to be here twenty minutes ago,” Emily said with a touch of anger and misery in her voice.

“I’m very sorry Emily; there was an accident on I-40 that had the lanes closed for 40 minutes.Otherwise, I would have been here a little bit earlier.Are you ready for this?Have you had any change of plans?”

“No, I’m not ready, but I have no choice.I have thought of and tried everything I could think of to be able to keep Sarah and I just don’t have any more options.Short of selling my own body, I don’t see any way that I can afford to keep her.”The despair in Emily’s voice cut to the bone.

She was having an open adoption, in a way.She knew what the family looked like but she did not want to know their names.This was by choice.Emily knew that if she knew their names she would be at their house constantly monitoring Sarah’s growth.Emily felt that if she was going to do this there had to be a clean break.She also knew that after today Sarah Elizabeth Richardson would exist no more, the lawyer had told her that as far as he knew the adoptive family had plans to change the baby’s name.The only connection that Emily would have with her child was the knowledge that she was to be growing up in Tyler, Texas.That was the one concession that she gave into.She had to know a little bit about her daughter’s prospective new life.As Emily sat in the living room of that small dingy apartment she knew that her life would never be the same.

“Now then, Emily, here are all the papers I need you to finalize.I realize that you signed some of these at our last meeting; however, due to the change in the dates of the adoption, you will need to resign a couple documents.Mr. Douglas carefully took out a folder from his briefcase that contained her last parental rights.There was still time to change her mind if she wanted too.“You will need to sign everywhere that there is an X and date all the appropriate places.”

In a daze she slowly signed all the papers that were given to her, releasing all parental rights to said baby.She signed the agreement that she would not try to locate her child until she was 21 and that there would not be the need for the 90-day waiting period for the adoption to be final, which was required by most states.The adoption would be final as soon as the adoptive parents received the said child, signed their forms, and a judge granted the adoption petition.Then neither party would make any further contact for any reason.Emily had insisted that they not keep in touch.She did not want any type of reminder or any pictures of Sarah as she grew up.She knew that she would never be able to heal if she did that.

Emily watched as the lawyer collected the last piece of paper and put it away in his briefcase.She could tell that he was very curious about her decision but she knew that he would not ask any questions.He had been very courteous in that respect for the last month and a half.Slowly as the tears fell down her cheeks she watched him take one last look at her and then reach down and pick up Sarah’s car seat.

“Do you want to take some time and say one last good-bye?I can give you five more minutes with her.Then I need to go.Her adoptive parents are waiting for us and as you know I am already late.”

Sadly Emily shook her head no.There was nothing she could do nothing but sit there in a daze, as her baby daughter was taken out the door.She didn’t even get up to get one last look through the window.Her heart was breaking as she crumpled into a tight ball of misery humming the nursery rhyme that she sang to Sarah every night, knowing that she would never come out of the misery.For Emily had discovered in that time, that this was a sadness that would always be with her.

Then she took one last look around her apartment.She packed what she could in her suitcase, grabbed her purse and what little money she had left, and the mementos that she had kept of Sarah and Jack.She left everything else behind.She didn’t care anymore; the landlord could take care of it.Emily was running away again.This time, like last, she had no idea where she was running to, just that when she got there she would know if it was right for her.

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