|Look at the size of that BELLY! All baby in there, boy!|
I had never felt so comfortable in a relationship in my life. There was no getting to know him period, he had been a good friend for years. There was no shyness, awkwardness or uncomfortable silences. We always had something to talk about or enjoy, we always had somewhere to go or people to see. And to tell the truth it was quite intoxicating to go out with him, knowing that all we wanted to do was kiss each other ... passionately! Thrilling, to say the least, I looked forward to getting off work and bidding my time until I would see him again.
This budding romance continued for many months, both of us still giddy in finding our true feelings for one another. Thinking about it now only brings a twinge of that exhilaration back, I can actually feel the butterflies in my stomach now just as I did then. (Now that is impressive after 2 decades if I do say so myself!) Neither Bruce or I grew up with our fathers in the home, so we were rather clueless as to how couples were to keep the love alive. We knew that there would be a huge learning curve to our courtship filled with many late night talks about love, life, marriage, where we would be in 10 years and of course ... how many children we wanted traipsing through the halls of our perfect little house.
It took us by surprise, the pregnancy. Believe me, I was very careful about the birth control, after all I had already had a child that I placed for adoption. It hit me like a ton of bricks, but I was truly happy that I was pregnant with the man of my life. Then the doctor revealed that there were two babies and it changed everything. I was barely 21. Bruce was 19. We were both in the middle of our secondary education, no stable jobs, no house or apartment together (I had moved back home because I lost my roommate.) We knew we loved each other and wanted nothing more than to have a family together. But the timing was off. We were so young, and still very new to our relationship. It was not a situation that I would put anyone else into. And our biggest thought was how difficult it would be to have just one baby, but two? Twice the everything. Diapers. Food. Clothing. Space. Savings. Attention. It was all a very sinking feeling to know that we would love to have children, but were not nearly ready mentally or financially to care properly for two children. Call it selfish if you like, we thought it was a very mature and thoughtful way to look at things.
In our discussions as to what we should do, how we would handle an adoption we realized that if we were to go that route I could not stay in the State of Missouri. I had enough trouble with the system the first time and Bruce was there for all of it so he knew the emotional toll that it took on me and my family. Since I had family connections in California, that is where we decided I should go. What an anguishing thing it was to leave him. I knew he was scared shit less about what was to come, and I knew he felt bad about me going it alone. He did not want to let me go that night, the evening before my plane left for Cali. He squeezed every possible moment out of that night that he could, and even ran out to my car to hug me one more time before I drove off to go home. We were heartbroken. Not with our decision, but with the situation. I cannot stress how much being from broken families can effect the way you think about things and one thing was certain: Neither Bruce nor I wanted our children to be brought up in a broken home and we could not guarantee how our love would withstand such challenges as raising twins before we were ready to.
For months he called me everyday, faithfully, to see how things were progressing. He sat and listened as I read files to him over the phone of couples that I could meet. We chose three that sounded similar to us. We looked at their religious beliefs, lifestyles, child rearing beliefs, interests, hobbies and so on. I met them and for a week we discussed the pros and cons of each until we made a decision about who we should choose. He told me time and again how strong I was, how he admired the guts that it took for me to leave everything I knew to go and find a good life for our children. He was so supportive, so caring. He sent flowers. He sent love letters. He was an amazing rock that stood right by me, so to speak, all the while working away at home to keep up his ambitions, his dreams. When the time came, when labor started, I called so that he could hop on a plane and be there for the birth. That was one thing I wanted, for him to be there when those precious souls came into this world. This was before cell phones and because of the time difference, I missed him. He had already left for work and could not be reached in any way.
Despite the fact that it was too late for him to get there in time for the birth, he made sure he was in touch once he was home and near a phone. The twins were born and within 30 minutes I was on the phone with Bruce gushing about how gorgeous the boys were. His apologies were plenty, and my understanding was abundant as we talked quietly about how much we missed each other, wanted to be together and how we would get each other through the afterlife of walking without our children. I felt nothing but love for him, and grateful that he was so understanding and trusted me as much as he did. Our relationship had changed, but it was all for the better. We were now bound together in life and no matter what else was to come we would be stronger than the average couple because of the healing we would eventually help each other through. That healing would take years, with some twists and turns from time to time that neither of us would see coming. This story still has more, but I want your eyes to recover from all that you have ingested so far.
More to come, so keep reading as this love story continues....
Part III ...... One is Loud, One is Quiet