It was a cold Saturday morning in the small town, deep in the heart of rural Georgia. As the trees danced in the wind on either side of the deserted highway, the old Chevy sedan raced down the asphalt, carrying a very pregnant mother by the name “Mary”. Just a few short, tense hours later, a child’s cries would be heard through the darkened halls of the hospital. They had arrived a week early but were a very healthy infant.
It was March 8th, 1986.
Later that year, the child, their sibling and mother would find themselves in a relationship that worked best for the mother. The child was very active and often loud. Mary was young and ill-equipped for motherhood and had fallen victim to drug addiction. She was dating an older man at the time, who was a semi-dependable source of income. John, the child’s father, was on disability after an accident at work, which had taken his hand, leaving a claw in it’s place. The relationship was a turbulent one and the child and sibling were often caught in the crossfire.
Over the next two years, the child and sibling became very close, as the sibling often took the responsibility of changing and feeding the child. Reports about the small family were made by concerned neighbors and the child was removed from the home by social services. After a short time, the child was returned home to their sibling and reluctant mother.
In the third year of the child’s life, their mother Mary made a life-changing decision that would affect the child and sibling forever. After two failed attempts, a new home was found for the child. This new home would be for the child alone and they would be cut off from their sibling until they became an adult.
It was a bright Friday afternoon when the shiny red Honda pulled into the trailer home’s driveway. Out of it stepped a young woman with flowing blonde hair and a smart suit ensemble. She walked with a smile towards the home as Mary walked out the front door to welcome her inside. The child watched from their play-mat, interested in the new arrival and completely unaware of what was about to happen to them.
The blonde woman walked over to the child and kneeled down to explain that they would be taking the child to their new “home” Now, the child had heard this before so they knew enough to be prepared to spend some time away from their sibling. The child suddenly jumped up from the mat and ran straight into their sister’s room, only to find that their sibling was still at school. Moments later, the woman and Mary ushered the child to the car, buckled them in and they were on their way to a new place. The child never got to say goodbye to their sibling.
The journey was a long one that left the child fast asleep after a long, loud fit of tears. The woman, the child’s new sibling, was a very patient and caring woman. She drove them all the way up from Georgia to Clinton, Maryland that day. Upon pulling up to the new house, the child’s eyes opened wide. This was not a trailer, it was a mansion!
Immediately the child withdrew, in fear of what was to come.
The prior “homes” the child had been sent to were not happy ones. The first home was starkly decorated and came full with a complement of foster siblings. The neglect of the others was apparent and by the child’s second social services check in, they were removed from the home. The other home was quite a bit nicer. The young asian couple came to the decision after several weeks that the child was too active and mischievous for their expectations. The child was not expecting much from this new “home”.
What was going to be different? How long would the child stay this time? Could their sibling visit? Where’s Mommy? The questions were endless in the child’s mind as the women unbuckled their seatbelt and led them inside the front doors of the large house.
The child’s eyes shot open as they passed the threshold of the old, sturdy doorway. A grand staircase winded up the left side of the entry room. At the base of the staircase there was a small table with a large statue of “Mary, Mother of Jesus”, which drew the child’s attention first. It was struck out of bronze and portrayed the woman crying over empty cloth. The child wondered what this meant but then quickly moved down the long dark hallway after their new sibling.