Wednesday, April 9, 2008

And for dessert, raspberry SURPRISE!

So this was the big weekend. Since we started seriously pursuing Project Baby, we've only told a few people. As far as the family is concerned, that was my cousin Charlie and his wife Michelle, and my sister Tricia and her husband Keith. We slowly let the cat out of the bag to a few friends, and then to Gregg's brother Bryan, but that was about it. We didn't want to go too fast because we're both afraid of the Big Bad Jinx. On the other hand, the family, especially Gregg's mom and my parents, needed to be told.

We wanted to tell them well in advance of Little Finster's arrival for a few reasons. First, we had no idea how they'd react and we wanted to give them plenty of time to digest the whole thing. If there are going to be any issues, we want to address them now. We're coming up on our eleventh anniversary as a couple, but even so we really don't discuss the whole "gay" thing with them. Actually, we've never had THE conversation with either one of them. My parents have been to our parties with all of our gay friends, and they have no issues as far as I know, but it's a great Heptig tradition to take anything out of the ordinary and never talk about it again, EVER. So my love affair with Cher, affinity for dance music, and unnatural obsession with dead movie actresses from the 1940's is especially off limits. Second, in the normal course of events, you get preggers, wait nine months, and then burp out a kid. In the meantime everyone gets to plan and anticipate the little bundle of joy's arrival. We didn't want to deprive anyone of the usual "we can't wait to see the baby" rituals. Lastly, we have both been a little nervous to see what kind of reaction we were going to get, so better to get it over with and move on from there.

Gregg's mom Bertha and her husband Cleo arrived Saturday from San Antonio. Our plan was to tell them first, and my parents could wait for another time. We don't get to see them much and telling them in person was the best way to go. We had no idea we had so much chicken in this house, and I'm not talking about the kind that comes with biscuits. We passed up numerous opportunities to tell her on Saturday. Gregg and I, like many couples that have been together for a long time, have the ability to communicate entire paragraphs with nothing more than a look. That's what we did all weekend. An outsider would have thought we were both stroke victims with the contortions our faces were being stretched into with "You tell her", "No, YOU tell her" looks being traded all day long. It went on all day until I finally had to text Charlie not to mention it when we went out to dinner at D-Vine later that night. I'm sure he was thinking "You wussies!". Well there's always Sunday right?

SUNDAY, April 6th, 2008. It's like in the movie Titanic, where you're going along enjoying the film and then the screen goes black and the date of the collision with the iceberg flashes into view. You have a shortness of breath and think OK, this is it. This is the part where it all goes down. That's what it felt like when I got up that morning. What the hell was she gonna think? Good, bad, what? Maybe she'll get the granddaughter she always wanted. Maybe she'll be overcome with happiness. Maybe she'll cry tears of joy. Maybe she'll kill us in our sleep. What??

I got dressed and took Ripley and Chase to the dog park. I like to do things with The Boys when I'm stressed because watching them have fun relaxes me. I fully expected we'd have our sit down when I got back. So of course, I took my time. When I got home, Gregg was preparing dinner. We were having my parents and Charlie and Michelle over tonight. We only had a few moments to talk and Gregg was thinking it might be better to tell all of them together. At dinner. While we were eating. With like, knives and stuff.

Well the parents arrived. I made the usual small talk, fully knowing they might be so upset later they might not want to talk. I realize this was silly, but I just had a feeling something was going to go wrong. We spent the time before dinner doing our face contorting act, but in the end had a nice meal. As usual Gregg out did himself, the food was fantastic. And the dessert! Individual raspberry tira misus. Charlie and Michelle brought a Boston cream pie. Fantastic! Coffee all around. And then my father said "OK Gail you ready?". They're leaving. It's now or never. We went into facial spasms. Gregg at one end of the table, next to my parents, me on the other. I had conveniently positioned Charlie and Michelle on either side of me as a buffer. This time everyone was watching us thinking we had gone nuts. As my eyes bulged "We decided you'd tell them" across the table he said it. He just blurted it out.
"Before you go, we have something to tell you."
My mother and Bertha locked eyes. What was coming next?
"Bobby and I are adopting a kid."
Silence. Looks. Raspberry tira misu anyone?
My mom was trying not to cry. "Really?" Then it hit me--she was happy. My dad didn't say anything. Bertha was looking right at me. "Boy or girl?" she asked.
"This is going to be a newborn," Gregg said. Now my mom was tearing. This was making her very happy. She stood up and gave Gregg a huge hug. "I'm so happy!" she said. My dad was still sitting there not looking at me. Gregg started explaining what we were doing, and how open adoption worked. I just sat there staring at my dad while he spoke. "Well Bob always said he wanted another grandchild to make it nine, enough for a baseball team!" was my mom's response. She was beaming. Gregg pretty much summed up where we were in the process, and that was it. No real response from my dad or Gregg's mom. As my parents left, they hugged us both again. We didn't talk about it again for the rest of the night or the next day. We knew Bertha and Cleo would come around soon enough. As it happened my dad left his camera at the house, and when they got home my mom called to make sure that's where it was. She told me again on the phone how great she thought all this was. Phew. Relief there. I was sure my dad would come around eventually. On Tuesday morning, as they left, Bertha wished us good luck on Project Baby. By the way she said it, I knew she'd be OK.

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