Head First or Heart Felt?: A Not So Fictional Conversation
Sarah passed through the hallway to the back bedroom where she knew her book and slippers awaited her. This had been a particular difficult day with 2 children getting very sick in her preschool class. It wasn’t the throwing up that made her so exhausted, as it was keeping the entire classroom under control and getting help with the clean up. She loved children, but this was not one of her better days.
She passed by the open door to a child’s room and glanced inside. The bed, dresser, desk and toy shelf all made of maple and arranged perfectly for a little one to play in. The curtains and bedspreads matched and the pillows had the same coloring as a beautiful bear tapestry hanging over the headboard. Sarah had come in here often in the early days, just to gaze at its arrangement and readiness for what was sure to be a home for her and her husband’s little child. Adopting seemed like the perfect way to start a family.
“Hi Honey. Daydreaming again?” Sarah turned to see her husband leaning in the doorway. Chris was tall and handsome and Sarah had fallen in love easily when she spotted him some eight years prior. A smile on Sarah’s lips caused Chris to speak again.
“What is so amusing, Sarah? Why are you in here again??”
“I’m just looking. I always wanted this room to be used, not empty like this. I was smiling because you are home and I was just thinking how perfect some shelving would look right above the toy shelf. It would be great for the other toys I’d bought the other day. What do you think?”
“Oh Sarah… you know how much I want there to be a kid here too, but we cannot keep preparing a room for someone who we have no guarantee is coming. It’s been five years now since we applied to children’s aid. Be realistic.”
“Be realistic? I am being realistic.” Sarah’s heart pounded, she could feel her face getting hot. “You keep telling me that we don’t have the money to continue this adoption and I’m so frustrated. I would give anything to have this child; but I feel alone here. I have done all the paperwork and effort and got this room ready. If it weren’t for me we would never have come this far. “
“This room could be utilized for other things. It could be our library. We still haven’t unpacked books because we don’t have the room. Now listen I was thinking, can we have this half of the room be a guest area and this half we can put up all the bookshelves from the basement. We can use this rocking chair or move in the small love seat. It would be comfortable and usable.”
“No! We have to have this ready for our child. Don’t you want one? “ Sarah folded her arms and pushed away any conflicting thoughts of giving up adopting a child. She secretly couldn’t bear to see what closing the door to Chris being a Daddy would do to him. She knew what he really wanted.
“Of course I want one. We can put things in order when the time comes. I know that we need a great miracle in our finances if we can even be ready to receive a child. You keep buying things we don’t need and spending money. Some things just have to happen first.”
“You don’t even care. You say you want to be a Dad but you are not willing to sacrifice for it. I can’t believe you would just throw it all away. Don’t you realize that we could be on our last chance? We both are not getting any younger if we are not ready now. When will we be ready?” Sarah felt the hopelessness settle in the pit of her stomach and rising to her throat. Half way through her response she was sobbing.
Chris winced. His pain was not aimed at the issue at hand, but that he’d managed to upset his wife once again having the same conversation. It always managed to be his fault. It always ended with Sarah in tears and Chris wondering what happened. It was always about this room and the long wait for adoption. He wasn’t sure how much more he and she could take.
“Sarah…calm down. Come here.” Chris had figured out many arguments ago that the best way to handle these moments is to stop the disagreement, and just hold her. The tears really troubled him, but he didn’t have much else he could do. Inside he was broken too.