Sighing, Juniper flicked through some of the adoption files.
She hadn’t thought so many people wanted to adopt, especially not in the city. When she called the adoption agency, they had asked her what she would be looking for in adoptive parents and all she could think of was a married couple, but that had a few hundred results so she had to refine it down.
She had tried to whittle it down as far as she could, giving more wanted features (such as financially stable and one parent being willing to give up work when the baby’s still young) but there was still a lot. It was starting to panic her because part of her felt like she was running out of time, even though there was months still to go.
“You’re still up? It’s like two in the morning. I think you should be going to bed soon.” Nick asked, walking into the living room. “All the files will still be here in the morning.”
“Can’t sleep. I tried but I just kept thinking about stuff.” She excused, opening another file as she mumbled. “I didn’t realise so many people wanted a baby.”
“I know, and it’s not like you’re being vague anymore either.” Sitting down next to her, he glanced too at all the files. “What have you put down for again?” He asked, knowing that she had gone really specific about the kind of couple she wanted now.
“A wealthy couple in a house with at least two stories who have been married or in a civil partnership for over five years, non smokers, no other children, experience with children though and who have a family pet. One of the parents must have a respectable career and the other must be willing to give up or greatly minimise their job for the baby, I don’t want to give him or her away just for a nanny to raise them.” She clarified that last point. “As well as that, I want them to live in a wealthy area with a good range of schools nearby and also for the parents to have trustworthy family members, meaning family members with no criminal records whatsoever, in the local vicinity. As well as that, being relatively close to here, but not too close. Just so it won’t take hours and hours to meet them but also so they’re far away enough so it’s not awkward.”
“And there’s still this many?” He asked, looking at all the files around them.
She nodded in response. “These are only some of them, some of the older ones on the system.”
She stayed quiet for a while before mumbling. “Am I doing the right thing? Sometimes I feel like I am but sometimes… I dunno. I told some of my friends from work and they didn’t get why I was going through all the trouble if I’m not actually going to keep it.”
“I guess that’s something you’ve got to think about. It’s going to be difficult no matter what you choose, it’s just whether or not another baby is a good idea right now.” Nick mumbled, glancing over at her. “I mean, keeping it would mean either Lainey and I moving out so you’ve got my room, or all of us finding a new place, and then I don’t know. It’s not going to be easy either way, it’s just what’s best for you and the baby. Personally, I think you’re doing the right thing. I don’t want my opinion to sway your feelings because it’s not my choice to make, but I can tell that you don’t really want another baby right now.”
She smiled slightly at him. “Thanks, I think I needed to hear that.” Sighing heavily, she then grumbled. “My friends at work think it’s weird because, well, I’m not sixteen and I already have one child and I could if I really wanted to, keep it and manage.” Looking at the floor, she then mumbled to herself. “I don’t think I’m being selfish, despite what they think. They probably think I’m doing it because I’m selfish, but I’m doing it because I know he or she or whatever pronoun it wants to go by will be happier with someone who can properly look after them and who have their lives thought out better than I do. I mean, the only stable thing I’ve had since moving here is you, and I know it’ll have both of us who’ll love it if we do keep it, but you’re right. I don’t want another baby and I know even though you’d be more than willing to, it’s not fair on you. I know I’d be able to love him or her, but so would other people. And, honest to honest, I know you get paid a fair amount but I make peanuts and I don’t want us to be worrying about money and stuff, and I know you’d be willing to pitch in money-wise, but if I’ve got to ask you for money all the time… I just think this is the best option; giving the baby to parents who can actually manage a kid right now.”
“You shouldn’t pay too much attention to what your coworkers say.” Sighing slightly, he mumbled. “I think it’s probably best to go to bed soon, look over some of these in the morning.” He stood up, knocking one of the files off of the sofa.
“Careful, I want to keep these neat.” She chided him, picking up the contents of the fallen folder, and standing up again as she looked it over. Reading what was written, she tilted her head and smiled slightly as she read the file.
“What’s that smile about?” He asked, curious as to what was on the piece of paper.
“I think I’ve found a couple I like.” She mumbled, handing him the piece of paper which outlined the family who wanted to adopt
“Anthony and Lukas, hmm?” He hummed, reading it over.
“They’ve been in a civil partnership for ten years, four of those years they’ve been married for. Anthony is a lawyer and Lukas works in the media and is willing to go part time if they get picked. Neither of them smoke, and they don’t have another child, but they have fostered before. They have a dog called Pebbles and they’re open to an open adoption.” Juniper smiled, reciting what it said.
“They’ve also been on the records for quite a while.” Nick mumbled, pointing out the only negative thing there.
“That might not be their fault, you never know. People can be arseholes.” Juniper defended them. In all honesty, she had started to picture how her baby would fit in with them, and she thinks that the baby would like them. She liked them.
“If you want, we can phone up the agency tomorrow and ask to meet with them, but don’t become set on them because you never know what they might be like.” Nick pointed out, rather warily as he looked over it again. They seemed like good people, but he didn’t want her getting her hopes up if they weren’t who she was expecting.
“They live on the other side of the bridge, right?” Nick asked, starting up the car. When Juniper called the agency at a more reasonable hour, they managed to get a meeting with the couple at their place pretty quickly. Roisin and Lainey were being watched by Sarah (they knew what the two of them could be like in new places: either over excited or upset by the unfamiliar place, and either reaction wasn’t the best attitude for this kind of trip).
Nodding, Juniper grinned. The larger, more expensive, houses were on the other side of the bridge. “I told you they seemed good.” Gasping slightly, she then asked. “Do you think they live near any celebrities?”
“I know what you’re thinking, and no we’re not touring around trying to spot celebrities doing ordinary things.” Nick grumbled, starting the car. “We’re going to focus on meeting them, and who they are as people and not get swayed by a pretty house or fancy jobs or celebrities nearby or anything.”
“Do you think she’ll like us?”
“Why wouldn’t she? We’re good people, educated good people with a lot to offer.”
“I know but what if she gets put off by us for the same reason a few others did?”
“Then we’ll just have to keep trying.”
“I know but-“
“It’ll be fine. We’ll just be ourselves and hope for the best. I have a good feeling about this time anyway.”
“I feel kinda weird ringing the doorbell, I mean, I don’t know them.” Juniper mumbled, hesitating before ringing the doorbell. Rolling his eyes in response, Nick had no such anxiety and just pressed it. “Well, that solved that.” She mumbled, glancing at him and raising an eyebrow.
“If you’re going to be willing to give them your kid, you’ve got to at least learn to ring the doorbell.” He pointed out, giving her a look in response to which she just rolled her eyes.”That and it’s pissing it down. I’m not going to stand out here and wait for you to get the courage to ring a damn doorbell.”
“I’m nervous, okay? This is the first time meeting them and if they aren’t right then it’s back to the drawing board when it comes to couples who want to adopt. And it’s not like I can keep putting it off because there’s a pretty strict time limit on this issue.” She pointed out, and then shushed him when she heard people coming to the door.
Juniper wasn’t all too sure what to expect when the couple opened the door. She expected… Well. She didn’t know at all. She had no idea. All she knew was what she had read about them. She hadn’t seen a picture or anything.
“Hi, it’s nice to meet you. I’m Lukas and my husband Anthony is somewhere inside. You’re Jennifer, right?” The man who answered the door both was and wasn’t what she was expecting. She was expecting to see someone of a similar age to Nick, and expected him to be well dressed, but she didn’t picture him like this. Both she and Nick stepped inside the house as he opened the door wider for the two of them.
“Yeah, I’m Jen and this is my friend Nick, he’s here for like moral support.” She explained as she smiled in return. She didn’t want to admit that Nick mostly came along just in case it was some elaborate set up to kill her and sell her organs on the black market (his theory, not hers). “Do you mind if I use your bathroom? I’ve been holding it in since like the bridge.” Smiling rather sheepishly, she hated the lack of service stations in Bridgeport (and Nick’s refusal to stop at them. She didn’t care if she had already stopped at three, she needed to stop at them to get food, and then the next one because the first one didn’t have the magazine in stock she liked, and then the third one was because they were advertising a really cool coffee shop with pretty awesome looking donuts, and a large drink and long car ride don’t mix well.).
“Sure, it’s upstairs and turn right. The second door on the left.” Lukas explained, smiling as he did so.
“Thanks.” And with that, she headed upstairs rather quickly.
There was a short silence before Lukas asked rather nervously. “So, are you the child’s-“
“No, I’m not the dad.” Nick responded rather quickly, anticipating where the question was going. “The dad’s some hotshot business man, he owns a lot of the buildings around town and he was pretty much only using Jen as something pretty to show off, but then she got pregnant and things went south from there, south meaning cutting all ties from her and pretending like all this never happened.” Explaining the circumstances rather briefly, he then gave a small smile. “Luckily, she doesn’t seem all to beat up about everything. I’m not so sure how much she actually liked him, but she’s good at hiding how she’s feeling so.” He shrugged. “But still, I don’t think she’s too broken-hearted.”
“So, she wouldn’t mind if either me or my husband asked any questions about him?” Lukas asked, and then quickly followed up with. “Nothing personal, it’s just things so we know, you know?”
“As long as you’re fine with her doing the same thing, but also get that there’s some things she might not want to talk about.” He stated clearly, not wanting Juniper to get upset even more by all this.
“Understood.” Lukas nodded as the two of them walked into the adjacent living room. “You’ll have to excuse if there are any pawprints anywhere, our dog likes bringing in the mud from outside.”
The photograph above the mantle had caught Nick’s eye, mostly because he recognised it as his own. In college, to make money, he ended up selling quite a lot of the photos he had taken, and some of them went for quite a lot, like the one on the mantle did. “It’s a nice picture.”
“It’s one of the first pieces we bought.” It was a different male voice, presumably Lukas’ husband Anthony. “I’m Anthony, it’s nice to meet you.” He held his hand out for a handshake. Just by looking at him, it was pretty clear he was a lawyer. He had that aura about him – one where he seemed like a nice guy now but in a court room? Not the same story.
“I’m Nick, I’m Jen’s friend and roommate.” Shaking his hand in response, he gave a small smile. “So, anyway, about the picture, where’d you get it from?”
“We went to an auction at the university here, and when we saw this picture, we knew we wanted it, so we put a bid large enough so that no one else could get it.” Lukas explained, smiling as he did so. “We thought it looked good enough for a professional, not just some uni student. That being said though, they’re probably not a uni student anymore. I do hope they’re still doing something like that.”
Nick stayed quiet at that, not quite wanting to announce that it was his work, mostly because he wasn’t doing that kind of photography anymore, but that kind of photography only just paid the bills .
“Sorry about that, oh, you must be Anthony.” Juniper noticed another person as she entered the living room. “I’m Jen, it’s nice to meet you.” She smiled, and couldn’t help but feel a similar feeling meeting him as to when she was with Sam. Maybe it was that whole power thing making her feel slightly nervous, but it was different, she knew that he worked with a lot of charities in his spare time and helped them fight for what was right. He was one of the good guys, unlike Sam.
“It’s nice to meet you also.” He smiled warmly at her, and then the four of them sat down in the living room.
“Not gonna lie, I don’t really know how these things work.” Smiling rather sheepishly, Juniper confessed this. “Do we just ask questions and stuff? Because I’ve got quite a few I’ve been thinking of.”
“I think there’s a few things we’ve been thinking of too. You can ask what you want to, and then we’ll do ours?” Anthony suggested, smiling at her.
“Sure, that sounds good.” Grinning, Juniper agreed with them and then asked. “So, I know you stated in your application that one of you, specifically Lukas, would be willing to give up work to look after a baby full time, is that still the case? I’m asking because when I was little, I always had my dad around and I think it’s important to be bonding with your parents, and not random babysitters, you know?”
“That’s still the case. I’d still be willing to give up work for a baby and only going back part time when the baby’s at school age.” He confirmed, nodding as he did so.
“Okay, and this is more of a medical one. There’s no hereditary issues or anything, right? And you both live healthy lives and stuff, right?” She asked, figuring that she’d want them to be around for her baby for a long time.
“Nothing of concern.” Anthony answered, and then mentioned. “While we’re on the topic of medical related things, if you do choose us, we’d be willing to pay for all baby related medical expenses. We were going to ask you something similar and I think it’d probably be best now. So, anything medically to be aware of?”
“I have kinda bad eyesight and I think that’s about it on my side. That, and the only other thing is that babies in my family tend to be born after the due date, but that’s about it.” It’s nothing that could be proven or anything, but she figured that was probably something hereditary. Roisin was late, Melody’s baby Chloe was late, and she could recall that Benji was late too, and she’s pretty sure that her dad mentioned at some point or another that she was late as well, so it seemed like a common theme. She decided against mentioning the whole psychic thing, mostly because they’ll probably think she’s lost it if she brought it up. “I don’t know much about the dad’s side.”
“When you say bad eyesight…” Lukas started, seeming rather concerned. “How bad?”
“Not that bad. I mean, I need to wear glasses or contacts full time, but it’s not that bad. I can still drive and stuff.” She clarified, and then took a moment before asking. “You also mentioned about possibly doing an open adoption, I was wondering if that would still be okay? I’m not talking overly open, I more mean things like on his or her birthday and near Christmas being able to see him or her.” She spoke in a small voice, not sure if having an open adoption would be a smart idea as it might just only cause her more heartbreak, but it’s what she wanted.
“We’re still fine with it being open. Obviously there’s a limit to how open, coming over every day is too much obviously, but we’d be more than happy to send pictures and keep in as much contact as we find comfortable.” Anthony explained, smiling slightly as he did so.
“I think that’s understandable.” Juniper agreed, as she tried to remember all the other things she wanted to ask.
“I really like them.” Juniper grinned as she and Nick were back in the car on the way home. They had been in silence for a while before she said this. “I think they’re sweet and I think the baby will be happy with them, and it seems like they will really care about him or her.”
“Yeah.” Nick answered shortly.
“Is everything alright? You’ve been acting weird since we left.” She pointed out, frowning at him.
“It’s nothing.” He excused, not especially wanting to talk about it.
“It’s obviously not nothing. You can’t play that game with me.” Raising an eyebrow, she then asked. “What’s going on?”
Sighing heavily, he mumbled. “You saw that picture they had, right? That picture above the mantle.”
“Yeah, it was pretty. It looked kinda similar to the things you take and edit, the editing it similar to your style.” She noted. Since seeing some of his work, she’s noticed that he has a specific way of editing things, and so did a lot of photographers, they all had their distinct style.
“It was mine. It was one I did way back in university, in my third year.” He pointed out, and mumbled. “I dunno, I guess seeing it kinda got to me today. It made me think about when I used to take pictures of whatever I wanted to and I’d edit them and sell them, and how I’ve not done that in ages. I usually take pictures for things, like people will ask me to get specific pictures for travel guides or for adverts or whatever.” Sighing again, he spoke quietly. “I guess I just kinda feel like a sellout, not really doing it because I love it, but more because it earns more.”
“Why don’t you do it more often?” She asked, looking over at him. “Taking pictures for the sake of taking them I mean.”
“In what time?” He asked rather bluntly. “I’ve got other stuff I need to do June. There’s Roisin and Lainey to look after while you’re at college-” He started but was cut off.
“Yeah, but I’m stopping this year soon and joining back again in September. Because they aren’t really capable of giving so much time off before and after having the baby, I’ve been told I’ll need to repeat the year next year, so I’ve essentially got from about next month to the next academic year off.” She pointed out. She found it rather unfair, but at the same time, if she was missing so many lessons and classes and assignments, then it kinda makes sense that she’d have to repeat the year. At least it means that she’ll be able to relax a lot more than what she thought she would be able to. It was hard on her feet standing up for so long at college anyway, let alone when pregnant.
Smiling slightly in response, he muttered. “I’ll think about it.”
why is that one spelt wrong but the first one isn’t?
google chrome what you been smokin’?
I could use this space to talk about all the stuff I’ve done recently, but nah
If you wanna know about my personal life at least take me out to dinner first 😉 or just seem intrigued in the comments idk whatever
♪I just wanna be part of your syyyymphonnnnyyyyyyyy symphooonnnnyyyyyyyyyyyyyy♪
So some of the stuff I have done recently, gosh where do I start? I went to Auschwitz about a month ago and that was an eye opener. I went with this project thing that school had a link with. It’s a very haunting place to be, both in the museum and the actual place. I think I expected it to be in black and white with fog on the ground and hear distant train sounds, but it was a sunny day in Poland, no fog, all in colour, no trains. It’s just weird to think about what had happened and how it all happened in that place. It was massive too. Like, if you were stood in the middle, you couldn’t see the end of the fence to the left nor to the right, and you couldn’t see the chambers really either (mostly because they were destroyed to hide the evidence late in the war).
I think what stood out most was little things in the museum. There was a pair of nice red shoes, and someone probably brought them figuring in case they ever went out, not knowing what would happen. As well as that, there were videos before the war of people in their villages and I was just stood in that room, watching all the happy people who soon became victims of the world’s greatest tragedy, crying my eyes out at how unjust it was.
I think the scariest thing was that there was a book with names in of all the victims, and me being me I tried to find my last name (I have a very unusual last name. Never met anyone with it who isn’t related to me) and I saw someone in there with my last name (I’m Jewish on one side of my family so it’s not like it’s completely random) and I think it just threw me off because, well, y’know.
I think it’s something everyone needs to see, definitely, especially the museum place in Auschwitz I, mostly because it humanised the experience. Hearing that 6 million Jewish people got murdered is sad, but you can’t picture it. If you imagine one person having a pair of pretty shoes taken off from them and then being sent unknowingly to their death, having all their hair shaved off and then burned… It becomes more human I think and I think that’s what’s important. Move away from the statistics.