I am terrible with secrets. Seriously, I am the worst. If you say to me, “I have to tell you something but you have to promise not to tell anyone else,” I will immediately develop diarrhea of the mouth. The phrase just between the two of us sends me into a texting frenzy. Confidence is a something you have, not a something you share. Understand that I don’t mean to be a gossip, it’s just I don’t like to be burdened. So if you need to confess, find a priest.
As of noon today I have managed to keep a secret for a record almost-48 hours…but my resolve is weakening. Also, Chris knows and if there is one person in this world who is a bigger gossip than me, it would be my son. Chris will tell you what your birthday gift is going to be six months before he has me buy it for you. He routinely begins a story with, “Dad told me not tell you this because it was a secret…” If you ask him how his day at school was he will tell you all the things that everyone else did as if the goings-on at Liberty Elementary were worthy of a subplot on Scandal.
Forty-nine hours and three minutes.
This past Monday we found out that we have been matched with an adorable five year-old boy. I won’t say much except that he is very short and because of that I have code-named him The Hobbit. Of course there is a catch. We are one of two families being considered. So while you could say there is a 50/50 chance that we will have the privilege of being the hobbit’s parents, I need to think more along the lines of 99/1 with 99 being the likelihood that it will NOT happen and 1 being the chance that everything in the universe will align and despite a billion to one odds we will get to be parents a second time.
We meet with the hobbit’s caseworker in two weeks. They will ask us a bunch of questions and then I imagine we will engage in some sort of Hunger Games-esque battle with the other couple. I’ll be a sexier Jennifer Lawrence and Todd is whichever character has the most ridiculous wig. Or maybe it’s more like Mad Max and whoever emerges first from the Thunderdome wearing a Tina Turner mask gets the kid. I have no idea.
I hate to think of it as a competition, but isn’t that exactly what it is? Because someone is going to win which means someone else is going to lose. Of course there is more to it than that. After all the questions and all the paperwork and all the follow-up visits, one couple will just be a better match. One set of parents will have the skills and resources that best meets the hobbit’s needs. But even then it won’t be about who is best, it will be about who in this situation is better. Truly, it was an honor just to be nominated.
So that’s my secret. And yes, I know that announcing this — making it real — is like telling everyone that you’re pregnant the day after your period is late. The truth is we just had sex — not literally. Metaphorically we’ve done all the work. We’ve taken temperatures, charted our respective ovulation cycles and now I’ve got my legs up in the air letting nature take its course. We hope that someone got knocked up, but we won’t know for a few weeks.