Pieces of the Child

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Chapter 79: Real Life
(by NativeRose, added on 13 November 2007 12:01 AM)

This thing with Heidi was like a fairy tale. In a sense, Corrine wanted to let Heidi be a part of Kennan's life. But what if this thing was just a mask? What if Heidi wasn't sincere. She remembered watching the Hansen family's struggles. Jason and Corrine had worked in the same building. She had seen the changes in Lynne and the many relapses. She saw how it affected Jason and Autumn, and it was more painful each time. Thus, Corrine and Kennan would proceed with this relationship cautiously. Corrine wanted to trust Heidi implicitly, to believe she was sincere, but she just couldn't be sure. She didn't want to judge Heidi, but she also had to employ wisdom in this situation. I have to initiate the next meeting, she thought. This was yet another walk, just like the one yesterday, where Kennan had touched leaves for the first time. She noted the signs that Kennan was hungry, and he needed a nap. Here goes nothing, Corrine thought as she prepared to speak..
"Kennan, do you want some playtime with Miss Heidi another day?" Kennan nodded, then began to whimper.
"Look! I brought graham crackers for you." Corrine watched Heidi intently, as she continued to help Kennan eat his snack.
"Look what I have done!" Heidi whispered. Her eyes filled with tears, and her anguish was clearly displayed on her face.
"You asked if he wanted some playtime later, and he cried!"
"This is about the time of day when he gets a little crabby. He has had a busy day at school, and we take walks after school to help him relax. This is about the time he needs a snack and a nap. It's not your fault; it's his way to communicate. You know that, when you have a baby, you have to interpret his cries and untangle the mystery. It's the same here. Kennan is working on speech, but it happens slowly. It will take even more time for Kennan than with a baby, because the speech therapist has to teach him how to swallow, eat and make sounds. Soon, the screams and cries can turn into babbling as he learns how to make sounds."
"In a sense, I'm glad Kennan will live with you. You work so well with him, and I know the adoption can't be undone. That is the price I must pay, but I would be honored if you would let me play some role in his life."
"It will have to be done a little at a time. You'll have to gain his trust, just like the rest of us. That will take a long time." Kennan's eyes began to close, and he lost interest in the graham cracker and apple juice.
"Maybe we should schedule some time on the weekend so he'll have more energy," Heidi suggested as they separated. Heidi intently watched Corrine slowly push Kennan to the door. As she waited for the automatic door opener to do its job, she spoke softly in language that Kennan could understand. Heidi was intimidaded, and she wasn't sure if she could take on this new challenge. She truly wanted to, and she knew she'd have to gain the parents' trust as well as Kennan's, and perhaps that would be harder than connecting with Kennan. Once again, she knew that was the price she had to pay. Even forgiven sin had consequences, and she had to live with them. However, she was thankful Jamison and Corrine would at least allow her to be a part of his life. Although the adoption decision couldn't be reversed, she could still look to the future with some hope.

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