For the moment, Kate continued to work like a robot and took little notice of what was going on around her. She knew that there was a little girl several states away waiting for her to pick her up. But she just couldn’t deal with it. Every time she thought about it, it made her insides quake like Jell-O.
At home, after each shift, she took out pictures of her and John and wiped away tears at what could have been. She thought about all the times John looked like he had something to say or had a secret. Now she knew what it was. And it made her so sick, she couldn’t think straight.
Spencer had been gone on his TDY for several days already and Kate was used to being alone. Kelly had tried talking to her one day, but she blew her off. Kate had no desire to discuss the situation. Jen worked in supply and their schedules hardly coincided. Kate had a week of night duty coming up and she was looking forward to it. Most nights were pretty quiet until the weekend when some partied too hard and did stupid things.
Kate knew that this motherhood thing was nibbling at her, making her almost physically sick. She slept more and did less when she wasn’t working. The idea of parenting alone plagued her like a sore molar.
After her last night shift several days later, Kate drove to the mall and was stopped by a crowd of children with their parents in line for a short train ride. She spotted a little girl who might be close to Sarah’s age and wondered what Sarah looked like. Kate nearly froze in place but forced herself to move on to the store she was looking for. The little girl she noticed wore a sundress and sandals and gave Kate a huge smile.
Later that evening, the little girl from the mall came to mind. Kate couldn’t stand it any longer. She collapsed against her bedroom wall and wailed, “I can’t do it! I can’t, I can’t!”
Kate looked around to see who spoke. “Who’s there?”
Kate’s eyes opened wide. She’d heard that phrase before. A long time ago. She had been a child when she had gone to church with her parents. A memory, a warm and comforting one, rose up to remind her she was not alone and never had been. Events from her childhood came to mind, one after another of happy times and being with her parents and grandparents before her mother left. She had forgotten those over the years. Her mother leaving had put normal life behind her and God had been forgotten.
“Oh, God! Are you still there?” Kate wailed.
The still small voice spoke volumes to Kate’s weary spirit. “God, I need your help,” Kate whispered in the darkness. “I can’t do this alone.”
I know. I am here.
Kate’s anxiety lessened when she realized God would help her with the impossible. Her knowledge of God was only what she gained as a child, but she remembered God helping David with a giant, and Moses with the Egyptian slaves. Surely, he could help her with an adopted child.
Immediately upon that realization, Kate had another thought. Though Sarah wasn’t her daughter by blood, by not going to get her, Kate was doing what she vowed she would never do and that was to leave a child behind. Kate nearly choked when she realized that’s exactly what she was doing. Sarah needed her. Kate had no choice but to pick up the pieces and care for Sarah as if she were her own flesh and blood.
Kate nearly gagged as the tears came and her throat constricted while these thoughts tormented her. She had to get Sarah and she had to get her now.
Buttons tried to get in Kate’s lap, but she picked him up gently and put him on the bed. She wiped tears from her face and stood up. She had to find her phone.
Until next time,