After her nap, Kate noticed her answering machine was blinking. She had a message from Mrs. Kern. Kate had a few minutes before her friends arrived, so she called her back.
They chatted for a minute about how they were doing, and then Mrs. Kern said, “We have to clean out John’s apartment and wanted to check with you to see if we could see Sarah while we’re in town.”
Kate swallowed a lump in her throat. She had only met Mrs. Kern a couple times and she was a very nice lady. “Of course. Let me know when you’ll be here and we can pick you up at the airport.”
“That would be lovely, thank you. We’ll be there the second week of next month. My daughter-in-law Judy is coming with me and we’ll stay at John’s.” Her voice quivered when she mentioned her deceased son’s name.
Kate wiped her eyes as she heard the sadness in Lauren’s voice. “We’ll make specific plans when you get here then.”
“That would be wonderful. Thank you, Kate.”
“You’re welcome. See you soon.”
Kate disconnected the phone and leaned on the counter. How would she survive when John’s mom was here? Kate hadn’t even been to John’s place since he died. She probably should have cleaned out his refrigerator or something. She wasn’t sure who was paying his utilities. Something else to ask Spencer about. There he was again, the answer to another problem. She didn’t think she could leave Spencer alone if she tried. She sighed and then answered the knock at the door. She would worry about it all later.
“Hi, girls, come on in. It’s so good to see you!” Kate closed the door and gave each of them a hug. “Sarah’s napping, but I’ll get her up in a minute.” Kate led them to the living room.
Jen held balloons and a pink gift bag while Kelly toted a bulging plastic bag along with a gift bag suspiciously similar to Jen’s. “What is this?” Kate asked, pointing to their things.
“Oh, just a little impromptu baby shower—more like adoption shower,” Jen answered. “I hope it’s ok, but some of the other ladies in the office are on their way over, too.” She gave Kate a wicked grin.
“What? You guys shouldn’t have gone to the trouble-”
“It’s no trouble at all. I have some pink streamers here and tape, so you just sit there, and Kelly and I will just be a few minutes.” Jen pulled out the decorations from her large purse and Kelly pulled out a package of balloons and a small pump. Kelly began filling balloons while Jen stood on a chair after slipping off her shoes so she could tape up streamers in the dining room. Next she pulled out a pink paper table cloth and spread it across the table. She put a small cardboard bassinet in the center with the balloon bouquet she brought. “You know, someone should invent adoption decorations for older children. They’re not all babies.”
“Might be a money maker,” Kate agreed.
Jen stood back and slipped her shoes back on. “We have a cake in the car along with plates and napkins. I’ll be right back.”
Kate watched her two friends in stunned silence. Kelly, who was wearing a leopard print top, paused in her work briefly and glanced at her after Jen left for the rest of the shower supplies. “We knew you wouldn’t want us to go to the trouble, so we did it anyway. We figured this was the only way to get you to go along with the shower idea.”
“You got that right. You know I’m not into frills and parties.”
Kelly rolled her eyes, “We know. Don’t worry, it won’t be too frilly. And no silly games.”
Rest assured, Kate took a deep breath. “You guys are the best,” she gave Kelly a side hug. “This was really nice. I’ll go get Sarah up and tell her we’re having a party.”
“Ok, we’re almost done. The other guests should arrive in a few minutes.”
After everyone arrived, Kate looked at the assembled ladies gathered in her living room. Sarah sat on her lap. If someone had told her a few months ago that she would become an overnight mother and be the recipient of a baby shower, she would have looked at them as if they were a fairy tale character. She couldn’t believe that Jen and Kelly put all this together for her. She had a surge of pleasure and happiness that made her shiver. Her friends were talking and laughing, drinking pink punch and having a good time. Sarah looked around with excitement, thinking it was her birthday. Kate leaned toward Sarah and whispered, “This is an adoption party, Sarah, for you and me. Isn’t this fun?”
Sarah nodded her head, looking at the gifts piled on the coffee table. “These for me?”
“Yes, and some for me. We have to be sure and say thank you after we open each one, ok?” Kate whispered in her daughter’s ear.
Sarah nodded in agreement.
Kate had a lot of fun opening the gifts from her friends and coworkers. Sarah helped by bringing them to her and opening some of them. Sarah squealed when she and Kate opened new books, coloring supplies, a cute winter coat with matching mittens and hat, and more.
When Kate had opened the last gift, she said, “You guys are the best. I never would have expected this, thank you.”
“Ah, we were glad to do it.” Jen held up her punch, “To Happy Mothering,” and all the guests cheered with her.
Until next time,