Chapter 3 – Wondering Why

He watched her closely every time they met.  For some reason Emily Richardson had made a choice that he knew she did not want to make.  While the choice was completely hers he wondered why she had made the choices that she did.

Brian Douglas had been a family lawyer in private practice with his Grandfather’s firm for three years.  He was extremely good at his job and he had never seen a birth mother make the wrong choice before.  He knew instinctively that Emily was making the wrong choice.  He also knew that she was making the choice for the wrong reason.  But there was nothing he could do about that now.

He had come here to pick up Sarah.  He also needed to have Emily re-sign some papers.  He hoped that in that time, that very short space in time, that something would trigger Emily into changing her mind.  While he knew that would work against his clients, he knew that there was something wrong with what Emily was doing.

Brian watched her across the room.  He had checked on the baby when he came into the apartment just because she was one gorgeous child and he loved to look at her.  Every time he saw the baby he fell more and more in love with her.  She had such a happy disposition and whenever he saw her she would put on this smile that would knock your socks off.  She did not know how much her life was about to change.  Brian did not know who he felt more for, the adoptive parents waiting anxiously on the other side of town for their new baby, or the birth mother whose heart he felt like he was ripping out.  When he looked at Sarah once again he saw that the baby was sleeping soundly in her car seat without a care in the world.

The mother on the other hand looked like she was on her last leg; a strong puff of wind could blow her over.  She had lost so much weight in the last month that it would be impossible to tell that she had just had a baby a few months before.  Her clothes hung on her like tents and she had such dark rings under her eyes that a person would never be able to tell that she had once worked on Broadway and was well known in New York for the type of acting that she did.  She could become any type of character she wanted from an old hag to a runway model with just a change of facial expressions.  Brian was having a hard time seeing that ability in her in this moment.

“Emily, are you sure that you want to do this?”

“Yes, let’s just get this over with.  Please you must not try to talk me out of this.  I have made my decision and I have to go through with it.”

Brian was becoming concerned with Emily’s demeanor.  She did not look like she really wanted to sign the papers that he was handing her.  Her eyes were haunted and they were not completely focused on what she was doing.

“Okay then.  Here are the papers I need for you to sign.  Please look them over carefully.”

“I know what to do!”

“If you have any questions about any of the paperwork please ask.  I don’t want to leave here today and not have answered all your questions.”

“I don’t have any questions.  Now please, would you leave me alone so that I can do this?”

He watched her as she slowly took one paper after another and pretended to read them then sign her name.  She was doing it all on autopilot.  He knew that she would never question anything about the paperwork.  She would also let him leave there today without a second thought.  He knew that what he was feeling was not right.  Brian felt that he was not being fair to his clients, but he wished that there were something more that he could do to help her through this.

He had only known Emily a month and he knew that she had something painful and distressing that happened to her.  It was something connected to the baby, but he did not want to press her in anyway, to reveal private matters; especially since he was the adoptive parents’ lawyer.  Brian also knew that even though the legalities of their meeting today were going to be over, he still wanted to be able to see Emily.

There was something about her eyes that kept drawing him to her.  He couldn’t decide which it was, the deep sadness, or the strength, that he saw buried deep within.  He had to find a way to keep in touch with Emily and he thought he knew how to do that.

“I need to ask you one more question.  Are you sure that you don’t want to know the adoptive parents names?  This is an open adoption and they have said that they would keep in touch with you if you wanted.  They have agreed that they would send you pictures once a year with updates on Sarah if you would like.”

“No, I want to keep this simple.  Just knowing where Sarah will be growing up, is enough for me.”

“Very well.  Now Emily, there is just one more paper that I want you to sign.  This paper has nothing to do with the adoption.  I just want an address or something from you so that my office can contact you if we have any type of legal matter to clear up.”

“I see.  Well, why don’t you leave that paper with me and when I finally find a new apartment I will mail it to you with the address.”

Brian watched the emotions play across her face.  He knew that once he left here he might never see Emily again.  He just had to take that chance.

“Okay.  My address or my office address is on the top of the form.  Mail it back as soon as you can.  It is very important to me that you do this.  I could have to reach you regarding adoption matters and until I receive that form I will be left in legal limbo.  I don’t want to walk out that door and not have any type of contact with you.”

“I told you I would mail it and I will.  Now can we please get this over with?  I don’t want you to think that I don’t care, but this is tearing me apart.  I just want this whole thing to be over.”

Brian watched as all of Emily’s emotions began to shut down.  He could see that she was almost as low as a human could get in the emotions department without going over the edge.  So he did the only thing that he could do.  He began packing up the paperwork and preparing to leave.

“I can give you five more minutes with her.  Then I need to go.”  Brian watched as she glanced at her daughter with tears streaming down her face.  Then she slowly looked at him and shook her head no.  He knew then that there was nothing he could do to change her mind.  So he went over to the baby, carefully picked her up in the car seat, picked up her diaper bag, and left.

The adoptive parents were waiting at his office.  This was the easiest and fastest adoption he had performed in his career.  He knew that Megan and Michael Daniels would make great parents.  They had seen the baby a few weeks earlier but it had been in the privacy of his office with Emily in another room.  Neither party had seen the other.  While he had not looked forward to taking Sarah away from her mother, he did look forward to the happiness that he was about to bring to another family.

It took Brian about 20 minutes to get to his office from Emily’s apartment.  In that time Sarah had woken up and decided that it was time to be either fed or changed.  Brian was going to leave that special bit of pleasure for her new parents.  Why not, they needed the experience anyway.  What better way to become new parents then to have to take care of personal business right off?

As he walked into his office he asked his secretary with a glance where the Daniels were.  He knew that they had to be waiting anxiously for his arrival.  When she nodded towards his office all he could do was quickly take Sarah to them.

“Well Mr. and Mrs. Daniels, here we are.  Mom and Dad I hope you are ready for the new life that you are going to begin right here, right now.  Guess what you get to do?”  Brian watched as Megan drank in the sight of the little girl.  When she caught a whiff of the odor she looked at Brian with a dawning recognition.  “You guessed it Mom, here you go, there are diapers and a bottle in here, go for it.”

Brian watched as Megan’s eyes welled with tears.  He knew he had made the right decision.  While Megan was busy taking care of the baby, Brian had Michael begin filling out the rest of the paperwork that needed to be complete.  When the last form was complete they would soon become an official family.

“Michael, now you can decide to do two things.  One you can leave Sarah’s name as it is now, or you can change it.  If you decide to change it, I need you to sign these additional papers and then I will need to file them with the state.  Right now, her name is Sarah Elizabeth Richardson.  We know that her last name will automatically become Daniels as soon as the adoption becomes final.  You need to decide if you are going to change any part or all of the rest of her name.”

Michael looked over at Megan in private communications.  When she shook her head yes, he slowly picked up the pen and filled out the paperwork.  In place of Sarah, he changed the name to Christy.  He knew that as soon as he heard her middle name, that the baby was destined to be theirs.  Elizabeth was Megan’s middle name as well.

When all the forms were complete Brian looked over at the happy parents.  The adoption would be final as soon as all the forms had been filed with all the required agencies.  These parents would not have to wait the entire 90-day waiting period for the formalities; they just had to wait for a judge to finalize the process.  Brian knew that Emily would not change her mind and that she had shut the door on a part of her past.

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