In 2005, I peed on a stick on December 7. Two lines appeared but, being that it was only two and a half weeks until Christmas, we told no one. Because I had been a fertility patient, I was seen for an internal ultrasound right away. I've never seen an ultrasound picture with a younger embryo in it. Garrett was seven weeks "old" and he looked just like an itty bitty bean. There was positively no distinguishing between the bean's head and the bean's butt. It kind of looked like a microscopic acorn had taken residence in my womb. But we had a picture.
I went out and bought two tiny picture frames. I placed the picture inside of each frame and wrapped them up. Then I placed them under my tree. I worked with my mom and, while I was never especially ill, there were days when I was feeling extremely under the weather. Keeping the BIGGEST SECRET EVER IN THE HISTORY OF SECRETS from her was nearly impossible.
When we lived in California, we always spent Christmas Eve with Troy's family and Christmas night with mine. We also saw my extended family on the 23rd. We really wanted to tell our parents for Christmas but couldn't think of a reason for my parents to crash the Doozleberry family Christmas Eve or Troy's parents to crash my family's Christmas Day festivities. We considered telling them at church during our Christmas Eve service but we had no intention of telling anyone but our immediate families until the second trimester and we figured that announcing it to our parents at church would be way too risky. So we concocted this ridiculous story...
After driving with my parents and seeing my extended family on the 23rd, we'd stop at his parents on the way home. We told my parents that Gary and DeDe wanted us to come over so that they could give my parents their gift for them. We told Gary and DeDe that my parents wanted us to stop by so that they could give them their gift. In actuality, no one wanted anyone stopping by. Well, I mean, it's not like they had a problem with it, it's just that we were totally the teenagers who tell one friend's parents that they're spending the night at the Smith's and they tell the Smith's that they're spending the night at the Brown's and really they go camping or drive to Vegas or something.
On the night of the 23rd we visited with my extended family. And the night dragged on and on. Normally I love long evenings with family but I just wanted it to end so that our plans weren't foiled. That night I don't even think we left my aunt's until almost ten. My parents suggested that they exchange gifts with the Doozleberry's at another time.
"Oh no," replied Troy, "my parents are really looking forward to seeing you. Tonight." My parents replied with a weary, "okay."
We pulled into the Doozleberry driveway and walked up to the door. I was super nervous. We'd managed to keep the secret for just over two weeks and I felt butterflies just thinking about the fact that it was all about to come out. Or maybe that was just the nausea talking. When we knocked on the door, Troy's parents looked slightly surprised to see us. Then his mom said something about how she was going to wrap their present and then she'd be right back.
We were so about to get caught in our web of lies.
My mom looked really confused.
Troy said something about how really we had planned the whole thing because we needed to give them something. Then I pulled out the two identical picture frames and handed one to his parents and one to mine.
I'll never forget the look on my mom's face when she saw the picture. In that one instant, I had made a grandmother. My father-in-law was stunned. They'd been praying for months and months and months for this and then they all latched on to the idea of adoption and I think it kind of came out of left field. He didn't speak for several minutes. When he did it was to say something about how it was the best Christmas present he had ever received. "Well dang," I thought, "I guess I won't ever be able to top this one then."
The gift of Garrett was the best present I've ever been given and it was certainly fun to give him to others.