The Designers – Pt. 1

Read Time: 6 mins | Serial Fiction | Drama | Part One

Judge Becky and her husband Robert, a couple in their forties, got into foster care as a last-ditch attempt to fill the void of not having children of their own. It only increased her desire, and desperation for her own family. When introduced to a mysterious private facility which offered fertility treatment to very wealthy clients, they jumped at the chance. Follow their story to see how it unfolds.


“Miss Becky took me to see the horses.” She said excitedly to my husband.

Angelique was new to our foster home, and we had just returned from an early morning walk. My husband raised a quizzical eyebrow in my direction.

I rolled my eyes in response. We lived in the city. There were no horses.

“And she took me to see the trees get a haircut.” She pulled herself up on the stool near the counter.

This time, Robert stopped what he was doing and looked at me. I added a shrug to my rolled eyes.

Angelique got out her little drawing pad and began sketching horses and trees. She has quite an imagination.

“Where did you guys see horses?” Robert whispered over my shoulder as he walked to the pantry.

“I didn’t see any horses on our walk. Or trees getting a haircut.” I gave him the girl scout salute.

I spent the rest of the day lost in chores after Robert had taken Angelique to school. Last summer we finally got approved to be foster parents, and Angelique was the latest addition. Being a foster parent was demanding and at the same time extremely rewarding. Robert and I, we really both wanted children of our own. But after many years of trying, at forty I was ready to admit defeat. I had to accept that we couldn’t have any kids. And despite many nephews and nieces on either side who would visit whenever they could, for the most part our home was always empty.

I will be the first to admit that I cried every time one of our foster kids was finally placed in a home and had to leave us. I had grown close to every one of them. Angelique, for all her quirks, and tendency to stretch the truth, was the first child I genuinely wanted to pursue adopting. Unknown to Robert, I had began asking the necessary questions.

Her case worker was honest with me. “Angelique has learning difficulties. She has come from a very troubled environment. Her mother was a known meth user with a criminal record, and probably won’t be getting paroled for at least another twelve. By then Angelique would be an adult.”

“What about her father, and other relatives?” I had a million questions.

“Angelique was found abandoned. Practically living on her own since she was four. That she’s alive is a miracle. We don’t know who her father is. And her mother has no known relatives. At least none that we have been able to track down.”

I felt guilty for hoping that social services wouldn’t find any living relatives.

“You mentioned learning difficulties?”  I asked while doodling little stick figures of a family.

“Yes. She didn’t begin schooling until a year ago, at the age of five.”

“But she already reads and writes so well. Her communication skills are quite advanced.”

“Angelique had to grow up quickly. She has been in survival mode since she came out of the womb. How many six-year-olds do you know, who can explain what turning tricks mean? Or can walk your through the process of cooking a batch?”

“I’m afraid there aren’t many adults who could explain either.” I said while making hurried notes to research later.

“It’s wonderful that you wish to do this, Judge Becky. There are many kids in need of a home. I’ll put together some information, and have it sent over to your office.” The case worker sounded more excited about the possibility than I did.

“That would be awesome. As I’ve told you many times, Robert and I have tried everything.”

“There is a special referral service, that some very wealthy friends of mine had once mentioned in passing.” She teased and waited for a response.

“What’s their success rate?”

“They are very discreet, and quite expensive. But they do claim a one hundred percent success rate.”

“Success rate or not, it’s not like Robert is suddenly going to have a sack of magic beans, if you know what I mean.” I sighed.

“I understand your frustration. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said anything. Adoption it is. I’ll send the information this evening and it should be waiting on your desk by the time you arrive tomorrow morning.”

“No. I need all the options that are out there. Send me that referral as well.”

“I’ll get that information from my friend, and you should have it within the hour. “

“Thank you.”

I had yet to discuss my thoughts and feelings with Robert. He is such a sensitive soul. We had tried every avenue to assist, and we both so desperately wanted a family. Heaven only knows how much I had to work to get Robert involved with foster care. He was just about comfortable with the entire process, as he felt needed and loved. It worked like a double-edged sword, though. On the one hand, he fell in love with the children, and on the other it reminded him that he was the one with the issue.

Robert and I had been incredibly open about things in our marriage and there was no need to keep hiding this from him. I decided to go for an afternoon walk and get my thoughts organized for what would be a dicey conversation and chose the same route I had walked earlier with Angelique.

Robert could be encouraged to see things from another perspective, but that would require some special time with him. One way or another, we were going to have this conversation tonight. I shot him a quick text message, that we would need some alone time after Angelique had gone to bed. He responded with an eggplant emoji and a question mark. He was really a forty-year-old teenager. I responded ‘maybe’ and got several happy faces in reply.

God, I hope he comes home in a great mood. Then another text message came through, but it was from the case worker. She had texted me an address, and it was literally a block from where I was standing. There was a link in the text message which I was only to activate when I got to the location. Then she called me.

“I got the message.” I confirmed.

“I know. Just another word of advice, Judge Becky.”


“The link will give you access to the building, but you will also need to attend with Robert.”

“What if I was single?”

“Costs a lot more, but the referral was for a married couple. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine. You have gone beyond my expectations as always. And thanks again.”

I decided it would not hurt to see what this place looked like. I followed the directions on my phone to a very upmarket cul-de-sac. Until today, I didn’t even know this place existed so close to where I lived. There was a small, boutique window, with several mannequins in the showcase. A tiny sign on the door said, “The Designers.” Maybe I had the wrong address. But the locations matched, and so did the name of the business.

I stood on the sidewalk, nervous like the day I had my first case. That was twelve years ago. I was a Federal Judge now. I made life altering decisions every day. Why was I so anxious about this? The only thing missing from my life was my own child, and this was a promising option. Robert and I will be returning to this place soon, and we will both be adopting Angelique. There, I made my decision.

To be continued…

15 responses to “The Designers – Pt. 1”

  1. He responded with an eggplant emoji and a question mark.

    🤣 🤣 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

      1. David…. I am trying to keep up with these kids who communicate in symbols and coded messages. I sometimes google entire messages from my nieces and nephews. I have zero clue what they’re on about most days. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m with you! My brother is twenty years younger than me – and he keeps me young 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh man…. the secret formula to stay forever young… is being around young people.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooooh! This is gonna be goooood!

    Also, I had to make an eggplant and peach reference the other day for an article on dating. Did I feel all my years… LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am happy I am not the only one who feels like they’re always playing catchup. Perhaps this is how our parents when we were teenagers…. a long time ago

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not even trying to catch up 😅 the interwebs answer my questions 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The eggplant emoji had me laughing so hard…and i can’t wait to find out what’s in the designer

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thx Mich. Will try to continue it the weekend. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  4. […] Read Time: 5 mins | Serial Fiction | Drama | Part Two | Read Part One […]


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