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Roberta Collier pulled into the driveway of the Porter-Kennard home in West Hollywood. She stood outside the car for several minutes observing the neighborhood, the houses, the types of cars parked on the street, the pedestrian traffic, the landscaping, the cleanliness etc. In her line of work, she was super sensitive to the environment. Ever alert to safety hazards, she didn’t find anything apparent in this quaint family community.
Having done research on the demographics, the area got A+ ratings for diversity, schools, parks, churches, shopping, amenities; a child growing up in these surroundings would be privileged.
Roberta’s 3:00pm appointment with Bette Porter was the last home visit of the day. Anxious to start heading back to Los Angeles before the rush hour traffic, she stopped dawdling and made her way up the front steps and rang the doorbell.
The door was answered by a beautiful mocha skinned woman with a brilliant smile. Behind her stood an equally stunning blonde holding a baby girl. The child had the blonde’s features and the darker woman’s hair and skin tone reflecting both their heritages. They made an attractive family, but good looks had no place in Roberta’s world. Her job was to evaluate the suitability of the woman who had petitioned for second parent adoption of the baby; Angelica Marie Kennard-Porter.
“Good afternoon I’m Roberta Collier from Social Services. I believe you are expecting me?”
“Yes, of course. Please come in. I’m Bette Porter.” Bette extended her hand to shake the other woman’s. Stepping aside she introduced her family. “This is my wife Tina Kennard and our daughter Angelica.”
Tina too extended her hand to shake, then held up the baby so the woman could see her. Roberta smiled politely but didn’t make any effort to engage the child.
“Would you care for something to drink?” Bette offered.
“No thank you. I’d like to get right to it, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course. Where do we start?”
“A tour of the home would be appropriate.” Roberta said leading the way into the living room, not bothering to wait for the homeowners to show her around.
Bette and Tina gave each other a look that said they weren’t getting good vibes. Tina excused herself and took Angie to the kitchen. There was no point in the three of them following the woman through the house.