Sonia's birthmother Jane refused to tell her younger daughters about Sonia's existence. That was her right and we respected it. Jane did not cut herself off from Sonia even though Sonia's life choices conflicted with the bigoted teachings of Jane's church.
Jane continued to stay in contact with Sonia. She lived in a city several hours drive from our home town. One weekend when her daughters were out of town, Jane decided to visit us at our home.
As a special treat, we arranged tickets for Jane and ourselves to an exclusive arts opening and star-studded after-party. Sonia and I both have a history of working in the arts and are able to get tickets like this to many events. Out-of-towners always enjoy such events, particularly since they feature gourmet food and an open bar.
Before leaving for the party Jane wanted to check in with her family. We offered her the use of a cell phone since she did not have one. Jane called her own home and those of each of her daughters. No one was home but she left cheery messages and we were on our way.
The party was a great success. Just as we were getting ready to photograph Jane with a movie star she had recognized at the next table my cell phone rang. Seeing Jane's own home phone number the caller ID screen I quickly passed her the phone.
It was her daughter. "Mom, are you at a party? It's noisy. Where are you?" Jane's daughters had arrived back in town earlier than expected. Upon receiving Jane's messages they headed to their parents' home to greet her, only to find it empty.
On the phone with them and a little tipsy, Jane did not know what to say to explain her absence. She finally said she was visiting a friend for the weekend and would be home soon to explain everything.
Jane had bought herself some time. The ride home would provide plenty of opportunity for Jane to think of an excuse for her visit to our home. It still was not the right time for her to tell her other daughters about Sonia.
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