Melodies of the Heart : The Birthday Wish (2)

Sunday afternoon, after services, was the time set aside for the women of the foster home to sit down and enjoy a little afternoon tea and unwind from the week and get ready for another one. Sunday was considered a day of rest in the Forest Home, some of the children attend services either at the local Catholic, Episcopal or Methodist Churches. It was those three that supported the foster home with donations of either money or canned goods, but mostly money as cold hard cash was the sinew that kept the house running day to day, month to month and year to year. And while attending services was encouraged, it was never required. The children where quite free to find there own way.

Only two of the three main women were attending this meeting, one of them was away, taking a group of children to visit one of there sisters at the hospital. It was a fact of life, that children get sick, and sick children needed to tend too. It seemed once a quarter somebody was always getting sent to Hospital, either for a bug that developed into something too much for the doctor on staff to handle, or a broken bone and in those rare cases, an operation. But even with one of there number missing the two remaining women, Lavender and Josephine decided to go ahead and host there weekly meeting. After all, they had planned, one of the children would having a birthday party soon.

“So, did you talk to the boy?” Lavender said as she peered toward Josephine over her cup of tea. “He has been acting a tiny bit odd around me, shy as a church mouse on the Sabbath he has been. While we were doing our shopping, he barely raised a fuss about being dragged away from that video game of his. Right helpful he has been too. Even helped me bring the goods in and put the stuff up. And when I reached into my purse, to give the boy a fiver for helping me, cause you know, their teens and always in need of pocket money, he right refused. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, never know a boy to turn down a fiver.”

Josephine waited for Lavender to finish her rant as she set her cup of tea down and peered over at Lavender who was peering at. She cleared her throat and closed her eyes before starting to speak.

“I talked to him, he wanted to become a girl for the day. I’ve been browsing through his records, nothing there indicates any signs of ‘Gender Disorder’ or even hints he might be ‘Transgender’. His past caretakers have noted nothing even hitting at such request. Only thing I could find that hinted at such desires, was that at one time he owned an Arial doll, a plush doll. That he treasured, but oddly enough, when we checked his belonging in.. we could not find such a doll.” Josephine said setting her cup down upon the table.

“That because it was taken from him,” Lavender said in a quiet tone of voice. “His last group home was a hell-hole. He did three months there. The lot that had him were not fit to foster a kitten, much less a child. Damn sure not a child like him, you will pardon me swearing. But it the truth girl. Sorriest collection of people I’ve ever laid eyes on. Praise God that place is shut down and all those children are in safer hands, though I pray the rosary every night for there healing. Lord knows they're going to need it.”

Josephine blinked.


“They took that doll from him and threw it in the trash bin girl. That doll was the only gift from the last people that had fostered him. He loved that thing. He loved it more than life, I think, part of him was shut down that day. My personal theory is this, is he’s always been a bit on the soft side, nothing wrong with that, and the folks before last seem to treasure that side of him. But when he went to that other house, those people saw his gentleness as weakness. And they wanted to work that out of him. And came close to it, when we picked him, he looked like some poster child for the abused.”

Josephine nodded her head as she soaked in the story.

“Now, my personal theory is this, in order to cope with that, to cope with that hell-hole he had to dig deep and find his inner strength. Maybe that inner strength to the form of a girl, a princess maybe. I don’t know, I don’t know a lot about the mind and brain or how it works. I’m the P.E instructor here. But I do know, I know from my time in the Royal Navy, that sometimes when people go through traumatic experiences. It awakens something in them and helps them understand what really matters in life. What I’m saying is this, the boy has been through hell. And maybe him wishing to be a girl for the day was him saying more. I say we grant his wish. And what did the boy ask for.”

“To be adopted, hand-held with the newest pokemon game a princess birthday.”

Lavender sighed and leaned back.

“It takes a mighty long time to adopt a child, took me three months to legally claim my three here. Don’t know anybody who's in the market to take on a child, adopting a child is always tricky, It gives a child special statues. Mind you we treat each child the same, I don’t show favor to my three, Nah. Would a crime and insult. The Forest’s don’t show favor either. They take on the ones that fall through the cracks. But he has been here almost a year, and though the issue been brought up before in our little meeting. Its always gone cold. I feel for the boy or girl... But I can’t take on any more. It's not the issue of money, between my wages here and my pension from the crown. I could care for another easy enough. But its an emotional issue, don’t want to overtax me, burn myself would not be fair for anybody.” Lavender reached up and placed her hands over her eyes.

Josephine bit down upon her lips.

“Hey, when does the Disney store close?” Asked.

“I’ll say in another two hours. Its Sunday, the mall closes early today. Why do you ask?” Lavender said dropping her hands from her eyes.

“I’m going to get that boy that doll, that Arial doll, we could say the hand-held is a gift from the whole family. Have each child chip in a few dollars. Have them then sign a birthday card. But, the doll. I’ll make that a gift from myself.”

Lavender nodded her head.

“Sounds like a solid enough plan. I’ll muster the troops and get the party going. The Hand-held and pokemon game will be a gift from all of us. And you’ll get the Arial doll and Maggie, she’ll buy the dress and shoes. As for adaptation .. We gotta wait on that one. Somebody here would take the boy.” Lavender said sighing.

“Just not now, but we can get the ball rolling on that one. Let's face it, two weeks is not enough time.” Josephine said sighing as she placed her cup of tea down.

“You and Robert still talking about that, or are you waiting till he ties the knot with you,” Lavender said as she also placed her cup down.

“You know, I had a hysterectomy when I was twelve. And I want to a child, don’t really like babies, so like a preteen would a good choice. But, James.. I don’t know. I don’t know how I’ll deal with a boy like him. I feel a connection with him. Like when we read, or those rare times he wants just to snuggle while we watch a movie. And a few months ago, when he had the flu, and I was nursing him. He let a ‘Mommy’ slip.” Josephine said.

“And how did that make you feel?”

“I just wanted to hold the boy, he was burning up with fever, his face was so red and puffy. And when he called me ‘Mommy’ I just wanted to take the boy into my arms and hug him to death. He gets along great with Robert. I’m sure Robert will love him either way, boy or girl. I just don’t know. I just want him or her to be safe and sound never have to suffer like that again.”

Lavender pushed her seat back, walked over and wrapped her arms around Josephine.

“Its okay honey, but let me tell you a little secret. A baby grows in the mother's tummy. A child that adopted grows in the mother's heart. Let James grow in your heart a bit and see what the results are.”

Josephine nodded her head, she understood all too well what Lavender was getting at.

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