Heart of the Mommy
| Scott and Bethany were breathless as they reached the door.
"Let's just go in to get some juice," Bethany suggested. Kennan had allowed momentary smiles as the other two children played. He followed after the wheelchair and walker, determined not to be left behind. Bethany and Scott raced to the door to see who could push the button first. Bethany reached the automatic door opener, and they rolled backward slightly so the door wouldn't get caught on their wheels as it opened. Bethany seemed to have it timed; as she knew exactly when the door was completely open, though the automatic opener didn't make a sound. Scott could see, so he didn't have to rely on estimation. He turned around to tell Kennan it was time to enter. However, Bethany stopped in the doorway, and Scot couldn't stop in time. Thus, his footrests connected with Beth's rear wheel assembly. Unfortunately, the untentional movement of Beth's walker caused her to lose her balance. This time, Scott was able to reach out to her so she wouldn't fall. Kennan, who was oblivious to the whole thing, plowed into Scott's wheelchair with his own. The children were so engrossed in getting themselves and their walking aids untangled that they didn't see and/or hear Heidi hastily leave the room.
Bethany handed Scott a box of juice, and she helped Kennan open hos own cardboard box. She quickly finished hers before announcing, "I have to go potty. Don't leave without me!" However, her trip to the potty was interrupted when she heard her parents talking. She didn't mean to eavesdrop; she knew it was wrong. It wa just that the way her mommy spoke was so weird. She sounded scared and unhappy. She spoke in that tone of voice she used when she scolded Bethany. At the same time, she sounded like she might cry. What was wrong with Mommy? And Daddy's voice was strange, too. Then she heard the words. Daddy was saying, "I know it's hard to see this, Corrine, but it is a closed adoption for a reason."
"I know Heidi can never get Bethany back, and I'm glad...but only in a way. Do you think we should see if the judge will grant Heidi visitation rights? I mean, I know that, with a closed adoption, contact with the parents can not be initiated. Closed adoptions are designed for children's safety, and obviously, the parents didn't have a good track record. There was much evidence that they didn't intend to change their destructive behaviors. They made that choice, and now they have to live with the consequences. I know that makes me sound harsh, and maybe it is. It's just that...well, I just keep thinking about what her life would have been like if she had lived with them. Would they have loved her? Would they have told her about Jesus? Would they have just ignored her health needs?"
"Wait a second. How did she find out where Bethany was, anyway? How could she get that information?" Jamison interrupted.
"Do you think anyone at the DSS could have told her? If that's so--" Bethany couldn't listen anymore. Her mother had raised her voice, and Bethany was afraid. Mommy didn't even do that when she was terribly angry with Bethany. Oh no! Now she really had to get to the potty! She rushed toward the bathroom, but she didn't make it that far. She fell with a resounding crash! No wonder Mommy always told her not to run! Scott quickly propelled his wheelchair toward where he thought he heard the sound.
"Mommy!" Bethany screamed, confirming Scott's suspicion. At the same time Scott was mmoving in her direction, her parents came running. They all stopped at once. Bethany lay sprawled on the floor with her legs oddly twisted, and the walker had flipped over and now rested on the brace bats with the wheels pointed toward the ceiling.
"Oh no!" Scott exclaimed.
"Are you hurt?" Jamison asked, just as Corrine went to examine her daughter. Yes, Bethany was her daughter, no matter how and where she was created.
"No," Bethany said in a tiny voice, and then she began to cry. "I was going to the bathroom, and...and..." she tried to explain through her sobs. By this time, Corrine had scooped her up off the floor, and she sat in her mother's lap, trembling in fear. "I couldn't get to the potty in time. I know you tell me not to run, but I didn't want to go potty in my clothes! I...I'm sorry, Mommy...I know it's yucky...and I'm a big girl!"
"Let's get changed," Corrine said softly, as she helped her daughter to her feet. Jamison picked up the walker and rolled it toward Bethany. As Corrine helped Bethany get cleaned up and changed, she wondered how Heidi would have handled the same situation. Would she have been angry because Bethany went "potty in her clothes?" would she have taken into account the effort the child made, and would she have considered the cerebral palsy? Once again, she thanked God for giving her such amazing gifts. Sure, she had her share of negative emotions and experiences while raising children with special needs. However, when she thought of the omes God brought Kennan and Bethany out of, she was thankful for the seemingly unimportant and sometimes annoying problems. She was grateful for the opportunity to change Beth's soiled clothes and for Kennan's diapers, for chipped pain on the walls due to Bethany's walker and collisions with walls and for Kennan's synthesized speech, for Bethany's braces corrine was forever picking up and for Kennan's food thickeners. She remembered reading some of the reports: Heidi and Beth's father had been drug addicts when Beth was born. The father had antisocial personality disorder, and he showed no remorse for his actions, both with his use of drugs and his irresponsible behavior regarding Bethany's birth. It was odd, though, her mother hadn't showed any remorse either...until two days ago, when Kennan went to live with her. It was strange: Bethany and Kennan had the same birth mother. Was it by God's design that they both ended up in the same home? Hadn't she read something about how Heidi had borderline personality disorder? corrine knew that people with antisocial personality disorder were pathological liars, and they could be consumate theatrical performers. She didn't trust Heidi and her confessions and expression of remorse. Still, what if it was true? She didn't want to be hasty in her judgments, for her interest was Bethany. She would do whatever she had to do to protect Bethany from the effects of her father's antisocial and mother's borderline.
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