Stevie had made her mind up and she was more determined than ever to make it happen.
A week in Maui had been enough to convince her that she could not just wait around for someone to waltz into her life and then to hope that she would be the one in a million that was able to get pregnant against the odds. And so, as soon as she had returned to her house in Los Angeles, Stevie had asked Karen to gather information on all of the best adoption agencies in the state of California.
After entire days full of interviews and press-related meetings, Stevie would spend her evenings reading book after book about the ins and outs of adoption. However, the more prepared she wished to feel by reading up about it, the more worried she became that it might never happen.
“Karen, did you know that on average, only seventeen percent of women who are granted adoptions are not married…?” Stevie asked as Karen walked into her bedroom, her voice laced with vulnerability.
“Stevie, stop reading those statistics and think about the bigger picture here.”
“Oh you wanna talk about the bigger picture?” Stevie scoffed incredulously, standing up from her bed and striding into the centre of the room. “The bigger picture that takes into account the fact that I’m not married, that I don’t even have a significant other in my life right now, the fact that it’s common knowledge that I have a colourful history with drink, drugs and men in rock ‘n roll, and even that I’ve been to rehab?! Is that the ‘bigger picture’ you want me to think about here, Karen?!”
Stevie had become so worked up during the course of her outburst that she had basically screamed the very last of it. Karen stepped forwards and rubbed a hand up and down her arm.
“No Karen! Don’t!”
Stevie backed away and composed herself for a moment.
“Do you know how difficult this is going to be for me, Karen?” she said. “Not only am I going into this alone, but everyone knows everything about me! I can’t exactly conceal things from my past…”
“You won’t need to, Stevie.”
“What are you talking about, Karen?”
“What I mean is, you won’t need to conceal anything at all, because people will see that you want to love and care for a child more than anything else in this world. You are a different person to who you were a few years ago, Stevie. And if this is something that you truly want, then I know that you will prove it to them all.”
Karen’s calming words of encouragement spoke directly to Stevie’s heart. It was times like this that she was so grateful for how her assistant almost always knew exactly the right thing to say.
“Thank you, Karen. I needed to hear that,” Stevie breathed.
“You’re welcome. And the reason I came in here in the first place, was to tell you that you have an appointment tomorrow morning at that adoption agency that you liked.”
Stevie’s jaw hit the ground.
“ALREADY?!” she screeched, frozen to the spot in shock. “You could have started with that bombshell, Karen!”
“Hey! You’re the one who wouldn’t let me get a word in edge-ways!” Karen laughed, watching Stevie flap around her room in an excited frenzy.
A few minutes later, the doorbell rang and Karen disappeared to open it. Stevie heard the unmistakable husky cackle of her dearest friend, Christine, echo through the house and she quickly made her way downstairs to meet her.
“She lives!” Christine joked as she saw Stevie sweep into the lounge.
“It’s good to see you too, Chris!” Stevie laughed, enveloping her friend in a tight embrace.
“Well well well, what has you in such a good mood, and how do I get some of it?” Christine chuckled, a little taken aback by the smiley, upbeat nature that could not have been more different to how Stevie had been for the past few years.
“Well I, uh – I have some news!” she smiled, leading her to the couch.
“Uh oh… Who is it this time?”
Stevie laughed and smacked Christine on the arm, before smirking in a way that made Christine a little uncomfortable.
“Seriously Stevie, cut the suspense, you’re killing me here…”
“I’ve decided to adopt!” Stevie beamed, looking genuinely happier than Christine could remember her looking in a long time.
“Wow! I…” Christine stammered. “Wow, Stevie! This is – a huge decision!”
“I know Chris, but it’s what I want. I’ve wanted it for a long time now and I’m certainly not getting any younger…”
“So, you’re going to do this by yourself?”
“Well, do you see anyone else here?” Stevie asked sarcastically.
“Point taken,” Christine conceded, sitting happily in silence for a little while before continuing tentatively. “Does Lindsey know?”
“Why should that matter?” Stevie asked, genuinely confused.
“Well I don’t know, I just thought that with your history – it might have been something you mentioned to him…?”
“I haven’t actually told anyone else yet, you’re the first Chris! And besides, he walked away,” Stevie said with a heavy sigh. “None of us have heard from him in over two years. He made his decision.”
Christine nodded along understandingly, but definitely detected a deeper sadness in her friend’s voice that she would not dare to mention. She leant forward and gave her hand a squeeze.
“I am so happy for you, Stevie.”
“Thank you, Chris! I just hope it all works out.”