I have never loved my husband as much as I did in that moment in the alley behind the pizza place in Costa Rica. He comforted me as I wailed about having lost a child.
Yes, it was only about an hour in which we were able to picture our family of four before the choice was thrust upon us to select only one of the kids. But during that hour not only had we planned, I had already dreamed and imagined enough that I was already in love with both of them, or at least the idea. And it was the most painful grief to have that ripped away.
Though we had to decide that night, Michael suggested that we go back in to celebrate the pre-wedding night dinner with our friends and then he and I would get apart afterwards to talk it all out and make our decision. He then suggested I go to the restroom and clean myself up and while I was in there he'd inform the table what had happened and tell the group that we weren't going to be talking about it anymore, that there was a wedding to celebrate.
Before I returned to the table a few people gave some input on the decision. More than one suggested something like "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush--take the child that is already waiting when you return."
Everyone was respectfully quiet when I returned to the table.
After dinner and the drive back up the mountain, Michael and I changed into our swimsuits and went to the pool before anyone else did. There we talked it out.
And for us the decision wasn't as difficult to make as the very idea of making a decision was. We were already well into the process with Sebastian. We had already spent weeks dreaming and planning for him. We were going to be there the day he was born, in the delivery room even, whereas that was not the case with the girl in Iowa. We had already named him. Plus, his mom was not working with an agency, we were the people she had chosen, whereas the mom in Iowa had a second choice if we couldn't or wouldn't do it. Plus, Michael pointed out, the signs seemed pretty evident. "We were out of the country when the call came and the airport was closed due to a volcanic eruption, I don't know if it could get any clearer than that."
And so I got out of the pool and e-mailed the agency our choice.
The next morning over coffee everyone asked, "So?"
"It's Sebastian," I answered.