You lose keys, your wallet, your glasses.
You lose a job. You lose weight.
You lose money. You lose your mind.
You lose hope; you lose faith. You lose your sense of direction.
You lose track of friends.
You lose your head. You lose a tennis match. You lose a bet.
You lose a baby, or so they say.
Zoe has spent ten years trying to get pregnant, and after multiple miscarriages and infertility issues, it looks like her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events leads to a nightmare – one that takes away the baby she has already fallen for.
Zoe is forty-one. She is a music therapist, she uses music in a clinical setting to help patients alleviate pain or change their moods or engage with the world.
Music therapy is not supposed to be about the therapist, it’s supposed to be about the patient.
Music therapy is a hybrid profession. Sometimes Zoe is an entertainer, sometimes she is a healer. Sometimes she is a psychologist, and sometimes she is just a confidante. The art of her job is knowing when to be each of these things.
In music, perfect pitch is the ability to reproduce a tone without any reference to an external standard. In life, perfect pitch is the ability to know someone from the inside out, even better maybe than she knows herself.
And Zoe knows her wife Vanessa better than anyone and Vanessa knows Zoe better than herself.
“Someone real,” Zoe says. “Someone who never has to pretend, and who I never have to pretend around. Someone who’s smart, but knows how to laugh at himself. Someone who would listen to a symphony and start to cry, because he/she understands that music can be too big for words. Someone who knows me better than I know myself. Someone I want to talk to first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Someone I feel like I’ve known my whole life, even if I haven’t.”
This someone is Vanessa Shaw, a school counselor at Wilmington High.
The real difference between Zoe's marriage to Max, her ex husband, and her marriage with Vanessa has nothing to do with the sex, actually. It’s about balance.
She loves Vanessa. And she happens to be a woman. If that makes her a lesbian, now, so be it.
Vanessa believed she was born the way she is, and so she has to believe that someone straight is born that way, too. But she also believes you fall in love with a person; it stands to reason sometimes that could be a guy, and sometimes that could be a girl. She has often asked herself what she’d do if the greatest love of her life turned out to be male. Are you attracted to someone because of who they are, or what they are?
Being gay is not a choice. No one would choose to make life harder than it has to be, and no matter how confident and comfortable a gay person is, he or she can’t control the thoughts of others.
When Zoe comes to her mother Dara to tell her she is a lesbian, her mother needs a minute.
It was much for her open-mindedness.
Then she says : “she is a lesbian, not a Republican. “It’s just . . . I have to get used to it, nut I understand.”.”
Dara looks at Zoe, then she nods and says: . “I couldn’t love you any more if you told me right now that you were straight. “And I don’t love you any less because you told me you aren’t.”
Zoe and Vanessa's battle is Dara's battle.
Some medical complications have left Zoe unable to gestate her own embryos and at that point in her life, she doesn’t have the time left in her reproductive cycle to go through additional in vitro procedures to harvest more eggs. Zoe, who so desperately wants to have a baby, is being robbed of that opportunity by her ex-husband—who doesn’t even want a child.
The embryos in question were created during the marriage of Zoe and her ex-husband, Max Baxter. These embryos are property that was not divided in the divorce settlement. There are two biological progenitors of these embryos—the plaintiff and the defendant, and they have equal rights to the embryos. The difference, is that Max Baxter no longer wants to have a baby. He’s using biology as a trump card to gain an advantage, to take the embryos away from an intended parent and her legal spouse.
Max believes that the best future for these potential children is a two-parents, heterosexual, rich Christian family. And Reid and Liddy aren’t strangers. They’re genetically related to those embryos.
He’s identified his brother, Reid, a golden boy who seems to do everything right the first time around, a portfolio manager and a member of the Eternal Glory Church and his wife, Liddy—a paragon of Christian virtue in this community—as future parents for his pre-born children.
They have the perfect life. They have a beautiful home, and according to the Bible, the point of marriage is to have children.
Max was an alcoholic, he had to drop out of college because of his drinking.
He was supposed to be running a business, and then Zoe found out that he ditched his clients for the day because of some ten-foot swells.
But then, he says he has changed so much, for the better, because of his brother and his sister in law. They have taken care of him, they have loved him, they’ve believed in him. Max started going to the Eternal Glory Church and the pastor Clive Lincoln saved his life. They all prayed for him—Reid and Liddy and Pastor Clive and everyone else in the congregation.
Max has been strongly influenced by the thought of pastor Clive Lincoln. At the Eternal Glory Church they interpret the Bible literally, and there are multiple passages that state marriage is meant to be between a man and a woman, for the purpose of procreation—and many others that directly condemn homosexuality.
Vanessa doesn’t believe in God.
Zoe can’t say with certainty that she doesn't believe in some higher power.
Atheism, she realizes, is the new gay. The thing you hope no one finds out about you—because of all the negative assumptions that are sure to follow.
Zoe and Vanessa are going to raise a child to be loved and to show love; to be self-respecting and open-minded and tolerant of everyone.
It’s not gender that makes a family; it’s love. You don’t need a mother and a father; you don’t necessarily even need two parents. You just need someone who’s got your back.
Love is the right choice. Now Max knows it.