One Night Adoption – Michael Sherrin
Christopher woke with a splitting headache and a piece of paper stuck to his face. He pulled the page off and rubbed his temples, trying to remember what had happened the night before. Documents were strewn about like confetti over the dining table and on the floor around him.
Then he heard a baby cry.
“What is that?” Stephen, his husband, asked while sprawled on the couch. He struggled to sit up. There was a bassinet next to him. “Is that a baby?”
Christopher grabbed at the pile of papers in front of him, crinkled them between his fingers. He cringed at the thunderous sound they made inside his head. This was the worst hangover he could remember.
His eyes focused on the tiny type: Final Judgement of Adoption.
“Did we adopt a baby last night?” Christopher asked in innocent confusion.
“Shit, I don’t remember anything after the fourth martini,” Stephen said. “Who would let two drunk guys adopt a baby? This should take years.”
The baby cried, and its high-pitched wail made Christopher remember every drop he’d drunk. “Omigod, I left the cap off my pen.” He held up his Montblanc.
“You what?” This woke Stephen enough to sit upright.
“My pen! I left the house without the cap.”
“You mean we went out and partied without protection.” Stephen pointed his index finger straight up.
“It was an accident!”
“You’re supposed to keep a spare in your jacket.”
“Oh god, this is all my fault.” Christopher smacked himself on the forehead. The documents were all around him: financial statements, medical records, recommendations, a birth certificate, everything signed and sealed and clearly delivered. All of this because of one night’s mistake. A one night adoption.
Stephen picked up the crying baby from the bassinet and bounced her on his knee. Her crying subsided. “What do we do?”
“What can we do?” Christopher said. “We have a baby now.”