After Jack and I got married, my MIL began dropping some not-so-subtle hints about wanting grandchildren. The year after we got married, while having Easter dinner with my in-laws and some extended relatives, MIL suddenly interrupted everyone at the dinner table to loudly announce:
“I set up a crib in the lower level bedroom!”
As everyone stopped talking, she turned to look at me with a big smile on her face. So naturally, everyone else turned to look at me, too.
I looked at my MIL, confused. I wasn’t pregnant. Then I looked over to my husband’s aunt, uncle, and cousins, to see if maybe they knew something I didn’t know. Everyone else was doing the same, looking around at each other with looks of confusion, no one speaking a word.
During all of this, MIL’s smile got bigger and bigger. She was reveling in the confusion she had caused. She occasionally glanced at everyone else to take in their confusion, and then resumed staring at me with a twinkle in her eye.
Finally, I broke the ice. “Are you… adopting a baby?” I asked hesitatingly.
Everyone began to laugh and one of my cousin-in-laws exclaimed, “Thank you, Emily! I was wondering what was going on here!”
My MIL’s smile fell.
“No,” she responded with a touch of irritation. “Our church sponsors babies from unwed mothers who have given their babies up for adoption. Some of the ladies from church are taking the babies into their homes to care for them until they can go to their adoptive parents. I offered to be a back-up. I set up the crib in case one of the ladies has an emergency situation and is unable to handle baby care.”
“Oh!” I exclaimed, “Okay, that makes sense.”
Dinner resumed and the conversation moved on.