As you may recall from last time, we received a request from the lawyer’s office to prepare a resume for the birth mother. So how do you write a resume for a position that so many people are vying for? I was thinking we would need to distinguish ourselves somehow from the hundreds of folks who would want to adopt these precious twins, but I felt utterly at a loss as I sat down at our electric typewriter in our Roswell home that winter of 1988.
Should we stand out, but not too much? Should we blend in while standing out, or stand out while blending in? As the Wicked Witch told her henchmen, these things must be done delicately. Or so I thought. I was so nervous that I would inadvertently say the wrong thing that would kick us out of the competition, but now I see how silly that was. Back then, as now, I believed in the sovereignty of God, that He has a plan and we cannot mess it up (try as we might). However looking back 24 years later, I know I can say I believe that with bold type. Before, I believed it in theory…I wanted to believe it.
So after some prayer and reflection, I did what seemed the most sensible at time. I typed up a one page un-effusive description of us…one page because back in the day (I am over 30 so I can say that), we were told that a resume is a one page document, and un-effusive because I wanted to be real. We were not the most wonderful parents that the world had ever known, we were not rich with tons of stocks and money in the bank, and we were not the best and brightest couple, or the two people who loved each other more than others. We were two sinful, but redeemed people who loved God, loved each other, and enjoyed being parents, our friends at Perimeter Church, funny people, classic movies, and our work with students at Georgia Tech. Not the most shining resume you say. Agreed. I was determined not to write one of those disgusting brag letters that one gets at Christmas. You know the ones I am talking about.
Wes is enjoying his promotion but our big problem now is trying to book our fabulous Hawaii vacation, what with his job, my travel to exotic locations for my charity work, and our triplets’ Harvard graduations coming up soon. If you think of us, be a dear and lift us up would you? And oops, almost forgot…
Merry Christmas from the Fabulous Fantastic Family! If your coming year is even half as blessed as ours, why we’ll be tickled pink!
(By the way, if you can read the preceding text like Elaine May, that would be just perfect.)
No, I wanted to keep it short, simple and real, so I handed in what I thought was heartfelt, but what the lawyer described as unimpressive. The birth mother’s family and lawyer were getting nervous because the twins’ arrival was about 6 weeks away, and she still had not settled on a family.
Later we were told that the lawyer had read all the other couples’ resumes, (or books in some cases) and that they were quite impressive. The others had written pages and pages about how wonderful they were, and would continue to be. However the birth mother did not connect with any of them, and was left feeling dissatisfied by all these shining exemplars. What in the world are you looking for?” asked her lawyer. “I don’t know,” came the reply, “but I will know it when I hear it, and none of these are the one.”
Finally, he came to ours. The birth mother was lying down as he read each one, and he introduced our letter with the following flourish: “Well, I have one last one here, but I have to tell you, I would never pick these people. It is not at all impressive, but here goes.”
Apparently I wrote something that turned out to be quite significant. Though I did not keep a copy of this important letter, either because I ran out of carbon paper, or because I did not think we had a chance, I do recall writing the following sentence and can reproduce it from memory:
“But the most important thing to know about Joe is that he is a twin, and that he thinks being a twin is so wonderful that he feels sorry for the rest of us who are not twins.”
And now for the part that told me God’s hand was upon us…the part that gave me chills when I first heard about it 24 years ago. Upon hearing this line, the birth mother sat up and exclaimed with great joy “That’s it! That’s the couple I want to adopt my babies!” The lawyer sat back stunned. “This couple?! Are you kidding me? I would not recommend them; you have many far better ones to pick from.” But she was adamant. Joe and Liz were to be the parents of her twin babies. And we were told she was finally satisfied (even if the lawyer was not). She found what she was looking for. And she was happy. And we were happy. And it was good. Oh so very, very good.
So we got a phone call to let us know that the birth mother had picked us! We were thrilled, and stunned. And then a few more weeks passed and another phone call came to tell us the sex of the babies. We would be having twin boys. I recall being in our Roswell kitchen and replying only “Boys…hmm…ok.” to the voice on the other end. I somehow had pictured twin girls probably because we had a daughter and I felt at ease raising my own sex. I hung up the phone and was alone in the kitchen since Natalie was napping. I said aloud, to no one in particular, “Twin boys!” not in a loud voice, just in a voice that was full of awe and wonder. And I smiled, and could not wait to break the news to Joe when he got home from work that evening (no cell phones or computers back then).
I knew he would be thrilled to have twin boys, as he was one of such a set. Not only did Joe feel sorry for us non-twins (even though we somehow manage to enjoy life), but he also felt sorry for the boy/girl twin set. No, if you’re going to be a twin, same sex twins is the way to go, as far as he was concerned. That way you can share a room, and clothes, and secrets, and dates, and fool your teachers, and the list just goes on and on.
I kept that smile on my face all day, and told Natalie and Joe the good news later that night. Joe was ecstatic, and Natalie was happy but a bit more stoic. ‘We prayed for one baby boy…and got two.” was how she would explain it to people.
We had just 4 short weeks to get ready for the arrival of the two most wonderful boys I ever met, whom I still refer to as “my baby boys” even though they are now grown men. Soon we would go from a small family of three to a busy family of five. We couldn’t wait!
That night as we lay in bed thinking about our baby boys, we did wonder about one thing and asked ourselves this question aloud:
How would we ever love these baby boys as much as we loved our precious Natalie Love?