Dottie’s Test - A Jaci and Dottie story
“I feel ... helpless!”
Dr. Adam Saintclair nodded, and gave the young girl sitting in front of him a reassuring pat on the hand.
Dorothy had come a long way in a very short time, and Dr. Saintclair was starting to get the impression that given half a chance, she could be someone quite exceptional. But recent events at the house she shared with “Tante ‘Drea” had stopped that progress in its tracks.
Her adopted sister Jaci had been expecting a visit from her birth parents, and had gotten the impression they wanted to take her home, that they could accept the girl she actually was, but instead they had ended up driving off without so much as a word to the little girl, and the whole house ached with the grief Jaci felt.
“Poor Jaci ... I should be able to .. .I should ... ” Dorothy sighed.
“What do you think you should be doing?”
“I .. I dont know, something to make her feel better. And I cant!” And like a dam bursting, the tears began to flow.
Much later, Dr. Saintclair looked over the notes he’d taken during his session with Dorothy. There was little doubt that Dorothy was more intelligent than they had thought, and a lot of her childish behavior was emotionally based, rather than because of her intellect. He made a phone call to Dorothy’s school, hoping to arrange a way to find out the truth ....
A couple of days later, Dottie came home from school in tears, and went to her room and wept on her bed. Suddenly, she started screaming, and throwing things around before collapsing on the floor like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
Andrea came into the room, and sighed. Jaci was still acting numb from her rejection by her parents, and now it seemed like it was Dottie’s turn to act up.
“What happened, Dorothy?”
“I ... I was given a test today. They said it was a special test. And ... and I couldnt finish it. I’m ... I’m a dummy!”
“Dorothy look at me. LOOK at me. You are NOT a dummy, no matter how you did on this test.”
“But they want you to come to the school, cause you’re acting for my mom. I must have done horrible!”
“Sweetie, I want you to try and calm down. I will go tomorrow and find out what’s going on."
The next morning, Drea managed to get in to see Dr. Saintclair before she was to go to the school.
“Maybe I’m the wrong person to take care of these girls. I have no idea what to do!” She cried.
“Andrea. Please listen. You are exactly the right person to look after these two girls. Can you imagine how Jaci would be treated in a group home? Or Dorothy, for that matter? You’ve been where these girls are. You know the journey they’re on. Who else would understand them as well as you?”
“That’s what my pastor says. He says God laid me in their lives, having been through what I’ve been through, so I could help them.”
“And do you think so?”
“....Yes. I love these girls. I couldnt love them more if they had come from my body.”
“Then love them. And have faith.”
Later that afternoon, ‘Drea went to Dottie’s school, and picking up both girls who had waited in the library for her, went to see Dottie’s teacher. She asked the two girls to wait while she talked to the teacher, then went into the classroom.
“Dorothy came home very upset the other day, over a test?” She asked.
“Ah. I’m sorry. Dorothy must have misunderstood how that test works. It gets progressively harder until the student cant answer the questions. Its a good way to judge where they are.”
“So what were the results?”
“That’s the interesting thing. Dorothy reading level is .... beyond exceptional. She reads and understands at a level equal to a fourth year University student.”
“I knew she was smart, but .... So what do we do about that? Do you want to advance her in grades?”
“No, because she isnt equally as good in other areas. Her handwriting is poor, and her spelling is below average at best. We were thinking that we should give Dorothy an adult library card. In her Reading class, she can read quietly instead of doing what the other students are doing, with the proviso that she do a report on whatever book she chooses.”
“Sounds good to me. Hey, Dottie. Got some good news for you!”
Later, with her brand new library card in her hand and some brand new clothes in a bag, Dottie skipped home swinging Jaci’s hand and singing. Jaci still seemed totally numb, and that worried ‘Drea a great deal, but at least her other charge seemed to be past her little crisis.
Until they got home, and Dottie saw a message waiting on the phone.
“Tante? I ... its my mom. She want to see me.”
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