Thursday, February 2, 2012

Satan's Sister

This is a continuation of the last post ....

Have you ever had someone tell you what to do? Have you ever had someone tell you what to do in a rude and inconsiderate way? Yeah. It is not pleasant, not in the least. This was me sitting in the office of the new social worker that I had only heard of two days before. She called me and said, very sweetly I might add, that she was assigned my case and I should come to see her just to finalize some paperwork regarding the adoption. I was asked to go to Clayton, where the courts of St. Louis are located, and report to her office at precisely 3 pm. It was a hot day. I wore the nicest mumu I could find to cover my large shape. I did my hair to no avail because of the blanket of humidity, thank you Mighty Mississippi.

My mother drove me and it was a normal ride to the busy area, nothing out of the ordinary. The office was small and we had very hard folding chairs to sit on. Social worker comes out and introduces herself to my mother, and then myself. Petite, pale and blank face she had cold hands that felt a bit rough. Her hair was pulled up in a tight bun, and her glasses framed her dark eyes. She asked me to come into her office, and told my mother to stay in the waiting room.I told her that I did not mind if my mother came with me, but she told me that since I was an adult she needed to speak to me alone. I was not happy about this, and I became uncomfortable with her and the building I was in.

I stepped into her dimly lit closet of an office and she told me to take a seat. What followed was nothing short of terrorism. Her face changed immediately and there was no mistaking that I had somehow pissed her off. She began to speak at me, not to me. She started off telling me that the State of Missouri knew what I was up to and that they were going to take the case from the lawyer that I had retained. I was informed that I had done everything illegally, I was not going to be allowed to place my child with the family that I chose and I would have no say in what I knew about my child. This dragon explained to me that all I had done in my adoption process so far was wrong. I could not know the family, where they lived, what they would name her, AND by no means would it be an open adoption. Let's. Be. Clear. About. That.

She went on and on. Her tone was condescending. Her demeanor was frigid. She was rude in her commands. I was shocked. I tried to contemplate what was happening, and it hit me that she could care less about me or this baby. She was like a robot going on about how awful I was, that I had no right to ever think I could KNOW my child as she grew. I began to ask myself questions in my head. Is she serious? How can this be happening? Who from the State made the decision to do all of this so close to the due date? I wonder if she has children? How could another mother talk to me this way, treat me like this knowing I was trying to do what is best for my child? I asked her out loud. She ignored me. I asked again. She kept yapping. I raised my voice a little and demanded: 

"Do you have any children?" 
She stopped, looked over her glasses and replied, "No, I do not." 
Without missing a second I said, "Then who the hell are you to tell me what I can or cannot do with my baby? You don't know what this is like, do you? How can you possibly understand the loss that I am about to face? What gives you the right to talk to me like a child, like I have not thought about this ... researched this ... ached over this decision for months? All I am doing is asking for help, trying to do what I think is right by my daughter, that child you keep talking about is a girl not a thing. I don't want to be in this position, but I am..."
She did not let me finish. With a red face and clearly irate she shot back, "Well then you should have kept your legs closed."

I looked at her. She then said a few more things and then quickly told me that she would be in touch. As she rose from her evil throne, I noticed that my legs weighed 200 lbs a piece. Nausea washed over me, I could feel the cold sweat forming on my forehead and at the base of my back. I wanted to get up, but felt like I had just been punched in the face. Should I throw up on her pointy witch shoes? Think I might. My tongue swelled and did not allow me to say one word. I could not take a deep breath because of the 1,000 pound weight that was just slammed into my chest. I do remember that. I finally got up, swayed a little as I reached down for my purse next to the chair. It was then that I noticed the walls of her office were green.

She opened the door and did not walk me out. She said she would call, and then closed the door. My mother looked up from her magazine and was immediately alarmed. I wore it on my face. I just stood there for a minute, still reeling from the comments that Satan's sister spewed at me for the last 45 minutes. I looked at the clock again. Really? It was 45 minutes? Did I miss something? What just happened? I told my mother that we had to go, we needed to leave right then and there. She said nothing and walked with me to the elevator. On the way down I think I was hyperventilating but can't be sure because I was trying to stay upright and not pass out. Once we were in our car, I spilled it all. I told her everything and left not one detail out. I was hysterical and inconsolable. As I explained the look that the social workers face, I saw my mother's face become still. Red. Squinting eyes. Absolute anger. This was not over, not nearly over. I wasn't too sure who would be the bigger thorn in Missouri's side, me or my mother. One thing I did know, this was not at all acceptable.

To be continued ...