I paced the living room nervously and worried my lower lip between my teeth.
“Camille, would you relax?” Shirley said from the couch.
I huffed and dropped down onto it. “How can I relax? He’s going to be here soon.” I was strung as tight as a bow. Relax! “What if he doesn’t like us?” He’d been in foster homes since he was three; it had to be hard to connect with people.
Shirley moved over next to me and pulled me into her arms. “It’s going to be fine, love. You remember what Macy said. He’s a little shy at first, but he’ll warm up to us.”
I sighed softly. “I know. But still…” It had been seven months since we had sat Loralee down to talk about the adoption. Seven months of paperwork, interviews, and long talks with our social worker, Macy Flannigan. We had read Luc’s file, and Macy had told us about him. We knew about his French immigrant parents and how his father had returned to Champs Les Sims before Luc was born. We knew his mother died in a car accident when he was three, and then his father signed away his rights. But this would be our first time meeting actually the boy who would hopefully become our son. If everything clicked, finalizing the adoption would be easy. I prayed to the Watcher that everything went well.
When the doorbell rang, I bolted to my feet. “He’s here!”
Shirley laughed quietly and stood up. “Camille, breathe.”
“Right. Breathe.” I forced myself to take a few deep breaths before we went over to the door and opened it. On the sidewalk, giving us our space, was Macy…and here on our doorstep was six-year-old Luc Marchand. I smiled at him. “Hi, Luc. I’m Camille – “ Or should I have him call me Mama? “And this is Shirley.” Am I supposed to feel this awkward?
Shirley pulled the door open wider. “Come in, Luc, please. We’re so happy that you’re here now.”
He looked shyly between us and glanced back over his shoulder at Macy before slowly edging into the house. “Hi,” he said quietly.
“Are you hungry, Luc? Camille is a heck of a cook.” When he shook his head, Shirley just kept smiling, unfazed. “How about some ice cream, then? We can do any flavor you can think of!”
A little smile crept over his face. “Strawberry?”
She beamed and held out her hand to him. “You bet. Come on. We’ll all have a bowl and then show you around. You’ve got a lot to explore.”
I went with them into the kitchen, but I was still worried. Even though we shared a French heritage, I didn’t feel particularly connected to him. I didn’t know how to talk to him. Surely it would come in time? We’d just met, after all.
I sat at the bar with my bowl of ice cream, watching Shirley talk to Luc and couldn’t help but envy her. It was so easy for her. He was going to love her, I was sure. But whether or not he’d love me, that wasn’t so clear.