I’m kind of freaking out. Last night, I was watching Setup Squad, a show about a matchmaking company in New York City, and I started to understand Lauretta a little more. She’s Black and British and is my automatic favourite, but she can also be a bully, which I don’t like. In the episode I caught last night, we see her at home with her husband and infant daughter. She wants to have another baby; they had decided to have one naturally and to adopt a second child when they were ready. She brought this up with such enthusiasm until he said he didn’t know if he could love an adopted baby. Shock. You could see the terror in Lauretta’s face. She spent the rest of the episode getting counsel from her colleagues on what to do. She wouldn’t want to bring it up again, she said, because she’s afraid of losing her husband, but adoption is very important to her. What should she do?
At one point, she decided not to have another child, just close the matter entirely. Then she decided adoption was still important enough to her that she would try to talk to him again. They talked. He admitted that he was so in love with his daughter that he could not imagine what it would be like to have an adopted child and that he fears he might someday have a preference. In the end, Lauretta is unable to convince her husband and she concedes to having a baby naturally. Just thinking about it all over again makes me sad.
There were so many things especially heartbreaking about the episode. 1) Lauretta and her husband were not on the same page on this really important issue and when she found out, it disturbed her. That is one of the worst feelings in the world — when the person you love is out of sync with you and you didn’t notice when the missteps were taken. 2) Her husband was so afraid that he might not be able to love an adopted baby that he couldn’t possibly bring himself to let him see. I think when anyone holds a baby — natural or adopted — you must fall in love with the baby and more room is made in your heart for that baby. His fear was strong enough to stop him. 3) Lauretta considered not saying anything more on the topic because she was afraid of losing her husband. This is a fear that is both unbearable and unimaginable: losing someone on a decision that requires both of them for the sake of adding to their family. 4) Her colleagues were afraid of what Lauretta’s decision might do to their work dynamic.
For some reason, last night I could understand how hurt Lauretta was, and what a terrible situation she found herself in. I want children, but I didn’t realise I wanted them bad enough to understand in a very real way how upsetting this discussion can be to have with your spouse: adoption or natural birth. I have to adopt (most likely) and would see no problem in loving a child and building a family by adoption, and I had no idea some people would see adoption as a risk. What I also had no idea of until the last two weeks is that there is a void in my life. Since Maurice has gotten here I have felt more alone than ever. His company is great — he is funny and considerate and a great cook — but his very presence tells me how far and long away from my family I’ve been. I also feel good to have someone to take care of, look after, make a safe home for until he goes back. Then I realise he has to go back, and when he does, a quiet, wide reality will set in.
I don’t know if men have biological clocks, but if we do, I think mine is ticking. Of course, it’s not in the same sense as women’s clocks, but something inside my body is urging me to become more than who I am now. If we don’t, there may be something wrong with me, which is something I have never said about myself. I guess I’ll just have to listen more closely.