It was a Thursday morning, in mid June. I sat at my desk staring blankly at the pile of papers before me– several cases I needed to attend to, but I somehow wasn’t with it. My mother had told me several times that I push myself too hard… she even said so this morning before I left for work.
I’m the middle child between all my sisters, 5 in all including me. Jessa and Lacey are twins, they are almost 30. Allison just turned 27 last week. My name is Destiny, I am only 24. Effie is 18, and Kendal is only 13. Jessa and Lacey don’t live at home anymore, and Allie is about to move in with her boyfriend, Kent, and his daughter Payton. My mother’s name is McKelsey, and my father’s name is Paul, that’s my wonderful family.
I am a social worker, and my main focus is putting children into foster homes, or helping people with adoptions. More specifically, I gear towards children with special needs… finding homes for them. The top paper that I apparently was staring at as I was thinking was an adoption process in the works. Hanna is a four month old baby girl, being adopted by the foster family that immediately took care of her since her birth, a young couple, Hayden and Mesa. I had to start organizing her paperwork, but my mind kept wandering. I kept thinking, if only I could adopt a child, and help out with just one, of many children needing a family. Suddenly, the phone rings. It startles me out of my revery.
“Hello?” I said, breathless.
“Destiny,” the receptionist said. “Mesa is on the line, are you available to speak with her?”
“Of course,” I said. “Put her through.”
“Destiny,” Mesa said cheerfully. “How’s the process for our girl, Hanna?”
“I’m working on it now,” I said. “The paperwork will be done, and submitted by this afternoon.”
“Wonderful!” Mesa exclaimed. “I’ll call again in a few days.”
“All right,” I said. “Talk again soon.”
I hung up the phone then, staring at Hanna’s adoption documents in front of me. I suppose it’s time to get this done, I thought almost aloud. I settled down to work, filling out the sections in the paperwork I needed to fill out. Once I got into the groove of my day, I got the paperwork completed.
After lunch, I dropped off the paperwork for Hanna’s adoption. I also had a hospital appointment that afternoon for another new mother, and the baby she wants to put up for adoption. I don’t know much details besides the fact that the mother’s name is Lexis. Lexis is a teen mom, and her child has Spina Bifida. Don’t know if the child has a name yet or not.
I’m meeting up with the hospital’s maternity social worker, Nada Chaucer. She has more information on Lexis’s case, which will be very beneficial for me in finding a good home for Lexis’s child.
“Hello,” Nada said. “Are you Destiny?”
“Yes,” I said. “Thanks for meeting with me.”
“No problem,” Nada added. “So, what do you know about Lexis’s case?”
“Not a whole lot,” I admitted. “I only know that her child has Spina Bifida?”
“Yes,” Nada assured me. “She has no name presently.”
“I was wondering about that,” I added. As an afterthought, I thought if only I could adopt her.
Nada showed me to Lexis’s room, so I could discuss options with her and her family. Nada knocks on the door.
“Come in!” Lexis said.
“Hello Lexis,” Nada said. “This is Destiny, she will walk you and your family through the adoption process.”
“Nice to meet you, Destiny,” Lexis added. “By the way, this is my mother Renee, and my father Brian.”
“Nice to meet you all,” I said.
“I will leave you all with Destiny now,” Nada continued. “She’s taking over this case from here.”
“Thank you again, Nada,” Lexis’s mother said with gratitude.
“No problem,” Nada assured her.
I talked with Lexis and her family about the various homes that Lexis’s child could go into, until we found a suitable person to adopt. I filled out the papers, and Lexis and her family signed them. Lexis needed to pick a name for the forms, in case her child would be in foster care for awhile.
“I’ll name her Emilie Rose,” Lexis finally said. “Destiny, I have a question.”
“That’s what I’m here for,” I told her. “Ask away!”
“What if I want her after all?” Lexis asked hesitantly. “I don’t want to go through the adoption, and fear never seeing her again. At the same time, I’m only 16 years old.”
“Oh, Lexis,” I comforted. “I totally understand.”
“So, what should I do?” Lexis asked. “What’s your recommendation?”
I had an idea, but I knew it would probably cause issues with conflict of interest. I had the perfect idea… I just didn’t know how to go about it. My perfect idea was to adopt Emilie, and have Lexis as a parent as well, like duel custody.
“I have an idea,” I said. “What if I adopt her?”
“You’d adopt Emilie?” Lexis asked in shock. “Really?”
“I’ve still got to figure it out,” I admitted. “I will figure this out. I promise.”
“Thank you!” Lexis exclaimed with excitement.
I returned to the office with a lot more on my mind than when I left. I had to figure out, 1, how to not lose my job, and 2, to fill out the adoption paperwork for miss Emilie. I will adopt her! I thought to myself. Isabella, the receptionist startled me out of my revery, again… this time by knocking on my door.
“Des,” Isabella said from the doorway. “Annie wants you to go home, and come back tomorrow with a fresh head.”
Annie is our boss, and what she says goes.
“I’m fine, Isabella,” I said. “I’ll go tell Annie that myself if I have to.”
“No Destiny,” Isabella continued. “Go home.”
I packed up Lexis’s work to take home. I need to work on this for Lexis, I don’t care, especially now. I might as well find another job placement just in case I get fired. After this, it just may happen. Oh well.
My mother saw I was thinking when I returned home. My mom and dad owned several apartments that were rented out, all of them were rented, except one. I saw something in my mom’s eyes, she had an idea, a surprise for me.
“Dee!” my mother exclaimed.
“Yes?” I asked.
“Want to go with a drive?” My mom asked. “I have a surprise for you.”
I could tell my mother reads my mind… every, single, thought that goes through it.
“I’d love that!” I exclaimed.
We went out, and we drove to one of the many lots my family owned… this one, however, I didn’t know they had. Mom drove me to a country house in the outskirts of the city.
“Here we are!” My mom almost shouted. “Go take a look!!!”
I looked at a beautifully landscaped lot. I could tell dad worked on it. It had a ramp at the front door. I walked in, to my right was a wheelchair accessible kitchen, with cherry hardwood floors throughout, stainless steal appliances, and an open concept living room/dining room. Off of the kitchen was the living room/dining room, with a wheelchair accessible balcony. To the left of the front entrance, there was a hallway with one wheelchair accessible bathroom and what would be Emilie’s room. At the end of the hall was stairs that led up to the second floor. Up there, there was another room, and the master bedroom with master bath, and another bathroom, adjacent to the other bedroom. Out in the backyard was an awesome deck that Emilie could get off the deck and wheel around. There was also a fenced in pool for Emilie as well… absolutely gorgeous!!! The bonus, a detached three-car garage.
“It’s beautiful!” I exclaimed happily.
“Well, it’s yours,” mom said. “I see you have a tough situation on your hands, and I know you want to adopt a special needs child. So, here, you can.”
“Am I renting it from you?” I asked.
“For now, yes,” mom said. “After you get organized, you’ll own it.”
“Wow,” I said, astonished. “Thank you!!”
“You’re welcome!” Mom said, she hugged me then.
We drove home then, and I started to work on Emilie’s adoption. I filled out that Lexis would also be the mother of her. I signed on the dotted line, and when I’d go to work the next day, I’d submit it.
I woke up to my alarm which beeped at 6:30am. I hit the snooze button, and slept for 10 minutes more. Finally, I woke up at 6:40, and I got dressed in my work outfit, and went to go make breakfast for my family before I left. It’s usually something I do at least one morning during the week.
I fried up some eggs, and then I left them on the stove for when everyone else woke up. I arrived at work around 8:30, and the first thing I did was submit Emilie’s adoption papers. Isabella and Annie greeted me at my office.
“Good morning, Dee,” Isabella said. “You doing better today?”
I was irritated that Bella and Annie thought I wasn’t yesterday.
“I was fine yesterday!” I snapped. “Why would you think I’m not?”
“Your actions,” Annie added. “That’s what!”
“Yeah,” Bella agreed. “If it wasn’t for the fact that you actually do your job, Annie would have fired you by now.”
“Exactly!” Annie emphasized. “In fact, how’s Lexis’s case going? You finding a home for her daughter?”
“Uh,” I stammered. “It’s going just fine… really, it is. I submitted the paperwork this morning.”
“Hmmmm,” Annie thought aloud. “Did you submit paperwork for someone else to adopt her, or yourself?”
How on earth could they figure me out so well? I asked myself. It’s rather annoying! What do I tell them? Do I lie? Do I tell the truth?
“All right, you’re right,” I said, finally. “I would like to adopt her.”
“Well,” Bella said. “You can’t really do that.”
“Unless you’d like to be without a job,” Annie added. “The only thing, as I said that’s keeping you here is the fact you do great work, when you aren’t in a daze.”
“Well, do what you want,” I finally said. “I am adopting Lexis’s child.”
“All right,” Annie said. “You better apply for EI, because you’re fired! Go home!”
I walked out solemnly from the only workplace I knew. I always found that Bella and Annie treated everyone else better than me anyway, and the other people worked less than I did, and usually did a poorer job. I was furious!!! I went over to my new house to start working out which furniture to buy, and where to put it. As I did this, I was definitely holding back tears of fury!
I then decided to call Lexis at her house, to see if she went home yet. I hoped so, and I hoped Emilie was safe at the hospital. I then dialed her number.
“Hello?” Lexis said, breathless.
“Hey Lexis, it’s me Destiny!” I said. “How is everything?”
“Oh, Destiny!” Lexis merely shouted into the phone. “I’m so glad you called. I am well. Emilie is still in hospital till we know what’s happening, but she is growing every day!”
“Wonderful!” I exclaimed. “How would you like it if you had a room at my house, so you can spend time with Emilie?”
“Really?” Lexis asked, astonished. “You’d do that?”
“Of course!” I exclaimed. “Now I’m just waiting for the paperwork to be completed, and I know whether she’s officially my child.”
“Thank you so much for doing this!” Lexis exclaimed, appreciatively. “My mom and dad aren’t happy that I was pregnant, and they don’t think it was wise of you to adopt her, because of your job. I, however, am very grateful!”
“Would you like to come over and look at your room?” I asked. “I can come pick you up.”
“I’d love to!” Lexis exclaimed. “Will this ruin your job opportunity?”
“It already has,” I said solemnly. “I, however, did this for you.”
“Wow!” Lexis exclaimed in shock. “I’ll tell mom you’re coming over now.”
“I’ll be there soon,” I said.
We hung up then, and I drove over to Lexis’s house. I took her shopping so she could buy things for her room at my house. I never did this with any of my other clients, but Lexis was special. She really wanted Emilie, but her family said she couldn’t. I did, however, understand their side too. That’s why I thought of this compromise.
Lexis picked out a bed, dresser, and desk for her room. The delivery for those items would be delivered the next day. I also bought her sheets for her bed, and a crib and swing for Emilie. Lexis and I slept on air mattresses at the house, and the next morning, after the furniture arrived, and was put together, I went and got groceries for the house. Already, Lexis wanted to live with me, and I sincerely thought about telling her parents she could.
Days later, I got a phone call from Janie, the person who was dealing with the adoption process for Emilie. It was approved, and I just had to tell Lexis about it. I now had a daughter, and Lexis, I decided would be her Godmother. I drove over to the hospital to pick up Emilie and bring her home.
So, this is what happens when a case falls into my lap that I have to respond to on my own. I had to adopt Emilie, I had to. Even though it meant I lost my job. If this were you, what would you do? Probably what I did, and embrace the choice wholeheartedly.