Laura Hope was taken out of our life with a phone call on September 13th, 2007. The dreaded phone call no parent wants to get. I wanted to believe it was a wrong number, a mistake or a prank! The caller ID showing Laura's phone number disallowed all wanted explanations. The friend, who was the last friend to see her alive, was using Laura's phone to connect us with the ER Dr. who made the pronouncement that took the breath out of me, "She's gone, Mrs Smith".
There was another phone call I got 18 yrs previous to this one. "There is a little girl who needs a home. She is being abused, physically and emotionally. I wish I could take her" said my friend, "but I am in the middle of an adoption myself". "The adoptive parents are giving her back to DSS because they don't want her any more". Laura was 4 yrs old when I got this phone call. Although I never met Laura, I knew the family from a former church (yes, Christians) I attended. They were odd, but I never thought them capable of what I was hearing, abusing a child? They had adopted 4 children first and then had 2 natural children. Surely, this was a family that loved and wanted children!
My heart went out to this child. Already having 2 sets of parents by age 4 and they, wanting to pass her on again. Like a piece of used furniture that doesn't go with the decor anymore....put it on the curb! Next please!
Of course I would take her! I can't let this happen to an innocent child that I never knew. Yes, I would drive down to her city 6 hrs south of me and bring her home. On arriving at the home, Laura's mother let me in.
The home was emptied of occupants for the occasion. Father and 3 siblings were taken out to lunch to avoid the giving away of their beloved sister! They weren't told of Laura's departure until they returned to their slightly quieter home. They got no chance to say good-bye. More on the consequences of this action to the family later. They were grievous!
My heart was broken for this little girl. It wasn't till I arrived in her home that I wondered how she would react when I took her away. Would she cling to her mother's legs, as I imagined my own children doing, should anyone try to take them from me. Would she scream and cry!!?? I wouldn't have to wait long....I was truly shocked at Laura's reaction.
to be continued....