She covered her mouth. “Oh my God.”
“I’ve seen her, Evangeline. Only from the back. She has long, black hair—just like you—except she’s a little pudgy and precious. It’s her. I just know it is. Your mother must have been giving them money for her all this time.”
“I can’t believe this.”
I started to pack up our things. “I have to think about what I’m gonna do.”
“What do you mean? There is nothing you can do. She’s legally theirs.”
“She’s still my daughter.”
I told Evangeline it was best if she moved in with Addy and Luke for a while until we could figure things out. It was too soon after her dropping that bombshell to think about repairing our relationship. I was still in shock and trying to figure out how to proceed. I wanted to be armed with as much legal information as possible before confronting anyone.
Unfortunately, everything I read basically stated that it wasn’t cut and dry. I could legally challenge the adoption, claiming parental rights, but it wouldn’t be an easy process, and nothing was guaranteed. Was it even fair to put my little girl through that?
My little girl.
It still hadn’t sunk in completely.
So much was uncertain, except for the fact that I knew I needed to see her. The one time since finding out the news that I returned to church, she wasn’t there.
Only one person knew where to find her. It was time to confront Olga.
It was the middle of the afternoon. I checked to make sure Lance was at Sutton Provisions and that Emily was gone before heading over to the main house.
Olga was holding a laundry basket when she opened the door. Looking surprised to see me at that time of day, she tilted her head. “Sevin.”
Maybe it was the look on my face. Or maybe it was the fact that I said nothing at all in response. The smile on her face quickly faded.
I gritted my teeth. “Where is she?”
“My daughter. Where does she live?”
Olga dropped the laundry basket, and her face turned white. With her head down, she moved aside to let me enter.
“When did she tell you?”
“Several days ago.”
“You can’t do anything, Sevin.”
I repeated, “Where does she live?”
“Promise me you will not try to make trouble for that little girl.”
“Who are these people?”
“Robert and Genia Simonsen. They’re good people.”
“You chose them?”
“The adoption agent found them. I helped select the family based on the one I felt had the best values and the fact that they were local.”
“You give them money?”
“They’re hard working, but they’re not well off. I just give them a little extra to make ends meet.”
“Why didn’t you tell Evangeline that you were in on all of this?”
“It was best that she not be involved. She was too vulnerable back then. We both know that it had to happen this way, Sevin. Imagine if Elle—God rest her soul—were to have found out what you two did…”
“Don’t say that like we committed a crime. We didn’t do anything but fall in love. I’m pretty sure I made up for my sins when it came to Elle, and you know it. I didn’t see you helping her wipe her ass as much I did.” Immediately regretting that comment, I said, “I’m sorry, Olga. But you need to understand why this is wrong.”
“Lance can’t find out I kept this from him. This family has been through enough.”
“So, I’m just supposed to forget she exists…shut up about it…so Lance doesn’t get upset? This is about me and my child. This has nothing to do with you or Lance or even Evangeline at this point. What’s their address?”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. But I need to know where to find her. You gave me their names. If you don’t tell me, I’ll find them anyway.”
“Ten Lowell Lane in Spearville.”
“What’s her name?”
How could that be?
“That’s my mother’s name.”
“I know, Sevin.”
“Who gave her that name?”
“I don’t understand. Why did she want to name the baby Rose if she was just going to give her away?”
“She wouldn’t sign the papers unless they agreed to keep the name. It was a verbal agreement. She has no way of really knowing whether they followed through. They weren’t obligated to. The Simonsens didn’t know the significance of the name. Evangeline felt incredibly guilty, and I think she wanted to believe that if the baby were named Rose, that maybe a part of you would somehow always be with her.”
With my baseball cap on, I sat at the far end of the bleachers on the highest row. You could say I blended in. No one ever questioned me. I could have been anyone’s father, brother or uncle. A fixture at these T-ball games every Tuesday and Thursday at Greenbush Field, I never missed one.
After Olga had given me the Simonsens’ address, I’d held onto it for several days before doing anything with it. My initial plan was to knock on their door and explain who I was, demanding they let me see my child.