Pieces of the Child

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Chapter 1: Farewell to Summer
(by NativeRose, added on 28 April 2004 05:12 PM)

Anela Peterson stepped into her classroom. This was the first day of school, and she wanted to make final preparations for the day's students to arrive. Anela was a young, first-year teacher, nervous about what was to come. She had attended Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD. She had taken a job at the local elementary school as a special education teacher. She knew this was what she wanted to do; she wanted to make a difference, to show these students that they could be loved, that they could learn despite their obstacles. She smiled as she heard the first student arrive.

Chapter 2: The Challenge
(by NativeRose, added on 28 April 2004 06:24 PM)

Anela had eight students in her class, all with different abilities. The challenge would be figuring out how to teach her class but address each child's individual needs. The first student to arrive was a boy, about eight years old. His name was Scott, and he was in a wheelchair. He smiled brightly and waved, unaware that his teacher couldn't see him. Anela walked toward the sound of the wheels squeaking on the tile floor.
"Hi!" she said cheerfully.
"I'm Miss Peterson. What's your name?"
"Scott," he replied, in a shaky voice.
"I'm glad to have you in my class this year, Scott."
Next to arrive was a girl about six years of age, whose name was Jenna. She was completely blind. Her mother guided her into the classroom, straight for Anela.
"Hi. I'm Jenna. My mom says you're blind like me. Is that true? Wow! That would be neat, I mean, to have a teacher who is blind just like me. Neat! Hey, Scott!"
"I'm sure you've discovered rather quickly that she is not shy at all. She'll talk a mile a minute." Her mother laughed.
Third to arrive was a Native American girl named Rosalyn. She was about ten years old, and she had Down's Syndrome.
"Good morning!" Anela greeted her latest arrival.
"Hi! Who are you?"
"I'm your new teacher, Miss Peterson."
"Oh, okay." She went to a desk in the corner.
Fourth, a boy of about five shuffled into the room. His name was Shane. He had cerebral palsy and used a walker. He also had vision problems due to his CP.
"Hi, Shane!" Anela said as she guided him to his desk.
"Is this your first year of school?"
"Yes," Shane whispered.
"I can see that you're a little scared."
"Yeah," a tear rolled down his cheek.
"Well, we'll show you that school is a friendly place," she whispered, as she gave him a hug.
Next, a nine-year-old named Nequenta rolled in. Her mother pushed her toward Anela.
"Hi, I'm Rose Anderson, and this is Nequenta," she indicated the girl in the wheelchair.
"You've seen her medical information?"
"Yes Mrs. Anderson."
"She is completely nonverbal and paralyzed from the chest down due to meningitis when she was eighteen months old." She handed Anela a box of diapers and a communication book.
Sixth, a seven-year-old boy named Isaac ran into the room.
"Hi. Are you the new teacher? What are we going to learn in school today? Yay! Yay! Yay!" He jumped up and down.
"I see you have lots of energy," she said fondly, as she indicated a desk.
"Yeah. What's your name? You're the teacher, right?" he asked questions faster then she could think of answers. As he talked, he tapped a pencil on the desk. I'll have to ask if he takes any medication for his hyperactivity and attention deficit
disorder, she thought.
Seventh, a boy of five was led into the room. His mother spoke to the teacher.
"Hi, I'm Anne Nelson. This is my son Zack. He is severely autistic and is nonverbal."
"Yes, I saw his evaluations." His mother handed over a box of diapers and a communication book before she ran out the door.
"Late for work," she explained appologetically.
Last to arrive was Sierra. She was ten, and had a severe seizure disorder. She took several medications that made her very drowsy. Therefore, she was permitted to take naps throughout the day.

As Anela surveyed her class, she could see that this was going to be a challenge. She had students with so many different needs and abilities. How could she teach her class, yet attend to their individual needs? She knew this wouldn't be easy, but she would give it everything, simply because she loved her students as they were.

Chapter 3: Tamara
(by NativeRose, added on 6 May 2004 08:56 PM)

Tamara walked into the classroom. She was dreading another year with this class. The teacher was unkind to the students, which in turn made the students unhappy, and that made Tamara's job more difficult. At the end of a day with screaming, crying, children...well, she was tired. She hoped this year would be much different. She looked at the new teacher. She was a young thing, soft-spoken with a bright smile. and she spoke gently to the students. Maybe this one would be different. She seemed to genuinely care for the students as people. She had no idea what she was in for, but little did Tamara know the strength of this young woman.

Chapter 4: Zachary's Language
(by NativeRose, added on 6 May 2004 09:03 PM)

"First, I want to know who you all are. Can you tell me your name??" She indicated the girl next to her.
"I'm Jenna. I'm so excited, glad you're the new teacher this year, and my mommy said..."
She was interrupted by a scream.
"Well, hello Zachary," the teacher responded. He chewed on a rubber ball. When Anela spoke to him, he kicked his legs and screamed all the more.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jenna asked.
"He's just telling me that he's happy to be here."
"Why doesn't he talk?"
"He needs someone to teach him to talk." All the while, Zachary smiled and waved his hand at Anela.
"He's noisy."
"Make him shut up."
"Too loud." The grumbles from her students took her by surprise.
"You opened your mouth and spoke. Can Zachary do that?"
"Okay, so how do you think he should talk?"
"I don't know."
"That's the only way he has of communicating with us." When Zack heard the students' annoyed voices, he began to cry, loudly.
"that's his way of telling us that he's upset." She told Tamara to take him out of the classroom for a moment, until she could get control of her class.
Tamara did as she was instructed, but...what next? What was she to do with him?

Chapter 5: Anela to the Rescue
(by NativeRose, added on 7 May 2004 03:27 PM)

Tamara stood, silently looking at Zachary. What was she to do? She looked up as Summer, Anela's other aide, walked into the classroom.
"Tamara?" she heard Anela's voice behid her.
"You may return to the classroom and help Summer give the students their first assignment."
Anela knelt down to talk to Zachary on his level. She spoke gently to him, and gave him a hug. Tamara marveled at the way she interacted with him. He began to calm down immediately. when his tears had subsided, Anela took his hand and led him i to the classroom. There, she helped him get started with his coloring project. When he started drawing on his own, she circulated among the other students to see where they needed assistance.
Tamara knew she would never make it as the teacher in this classroom. It was a good thing she was simply an aide. Still, Summer, the other instructional assistant interacted with the students much like Anela did. Why was it so hard for Tamara to do so?

Chapter 6: Tamara and Isaac
(by Caitlin, added on 9 May 2004 04:58 AM)

Tamara wandered among the students, feeling rather glum. She passed Jenna, scribbling upon her paper and humming cheerily to herself. She passed Scott, sitting in his wheelchair, crayon in hand, not drawing, but letting his eyes roam the room. Then she came upon Isaac. The boy was sitting straight up in his seat, kicking his heels incessently on the bar beneath his chair.
"What are you drawing, Isaac?" Tamara asked tentatively.
"I don't know what to draw," the boy answered frankly, tapping his forehead with his purple crayon.
"Why don't you draw a picture of yourself?" Tamara suggested.
"Naw." Isaac scrutinized Tamara baldly, with his open and honest blue eyes. "You want me to draw a picture of you?"
"I would love that," Tamara told him earnestly.
So Isaac began to draw. Though he fidgeted and often strayed from his task, Tamara would gently and timidly say something along the lines of, "My, what a talent you have for drawing faces, Isaac!" or "Look at the beautiful sky you've drawn," and he would snap to attention, hastily scribbling another detail. Behind his uncontrolably energetic facade, she saw a blossoming artist, just waiting for the right person to help him along.
Anela drifted past, and Tamara told Isaac she would be right back. Isaac smiled at her and kept scrawling.
Tamara took Anela aside.
"I'm really getting to know Isaac," she said, 'he really is quite the sweetie."
"Yes," Anela said with a gracious smile. "He seems to be quite the little gentlemen, if a bit too talkative. I would love it if you would try to give him a little one-on-one attention. That would be great for him."
With a cheerful smile, Tamara said, "I would be honored to do that for Isaac. ... I'd better go see how he's doing." And she returned to her new friend, to view the glories of his picture, and to drink in his radiant smile.

Chapter 7: Scott's Story
(by NativeRose, added on 11 May 2004 08:36 PM)

Anela walked around her classroom, observing her students' interactions. She noticed Scott sitting alone in a corner. He seemed kind of glum; he looked as if he might cry. Maybe he was just nervous about the first day of school, but Anela decided she should find out what was going on.

"Hi, Scott," she approached him.
"Hi," he mumbled in a monotone.
"What are you drawing today?"
"Nothing. I don't know what to draw."
"Maybe you could draw a picture of your family."
"No!" Scott started to cry.
She was startled by his sudden outburst.
"Do you need to talk?"
"No, I don't want to talk about it! Just leave me alone!"
"I see that you enjoy writing" she said, as she looked at his paper. He hadn't drawn a picture; he had written a poem.
"Why don't you write how you're feeling today."

Miss Peterson just doesn't understand. She doesn't know what happened two years ago. I hope she never mentions my family again. Maybe...perhaps this is a good way to tell her.

It was a Sunday in July. I had just turned six, and we were going on a picnic to celebrate. My mom and dad were there, along with my sister Sariah, who was ten. Everything was going great; Sariah and I were drawing. My mom was singing away as she looked through a baby book. Yes, another child was on the way. Then, it all happened so fast. My dad dropped something and reached down to pick it up. I don't know what happened after that. The next thing I remember was the hospital room with all those bright lights and noisy monitors. Then they told me that I had been involved in a car accident, and I was thrown from the vehicle. I wasn't really sure what that was all about, until they told me I was paralyzed from the waste down. I had never heard that word before, so when they told me that meant I wouldn't be able to move...I didn't know what to think. That, however, was nothing compared to what my dad told me next. My mom and Sariah were dead.

Chapter 8: What to Do
(by Caitlin, added on 12 May 2004 04:54 AM)

Anela was shocked after reading Scott's narritive. She didn't know what to do next. Should she talk to Scott? But he didn't want to talk about it. Contact an agency to get him counciling? No, he would never trust her again.
She finally decided she just had to cheer him up.
The recess bell rang.
Anela came up with an idea. She turned around and grabbed the intrepid Jenna by the hand.
"Jenna," she said, "would you mind playing with Scott today?"
"He seems kinda sad today," Jenna said, her sweet little face turning cloudy, her unseeing eyes roaming the room uncontrolably.
"I know he is, sweetie, that's why I want you to cheer him up," Anela said.
"I can do that," Jenna said.
Anela waited, listening fondly to Jenna's childish prattle as she pranced after scott's wheelchair, walking down the hall towards recess. She could see the beginnings of a smile lingering on Scott's face already.

Chapter 9: Expressions of Love
(by NativeRose, added on 26 May 2004 06:06 PM)

Rosalyn walked toward Anela, a crayon in her mouth. She gave Anela a hug as a huge smile spread across her face.
"What's your name?" Rosalyn asked.
"Anela. Let me see your picture."
"I don't know what to draw!" she sang, as she waved her crayon in the air.
"Look outside at all the pretty flowers. Can you tell me what colors they are?"
"Yellow, blue, purple, pink, red."
"Maybe you could draw a flower." Anela escorted Rosalyn back to her desk, and helped her choose colors and begin to draw.
"Miss Anela!" Rosalyn's silvery voice rang above the general hum of her students.
"This is for you!" She placed the picture into Anela's hand, then ran out for recess.

Chapter 10: Saving Three Syllables
(by NativeRose, added on 27 May 2004 01:30 AM)

Summer approached Nequenta uncertainly.
"Tamara, how are we supposed to get her to the bathroom?" In response, Anela handed her a box of diapers.
"Let's wheel her in there." She indicated a room with sufficient changing facilities."
I wonder what she's thinking. Summer thought as she helped Anela change Nequenta. She didn't have to wait long to find out.
Using a mouthstick and special computer software, Nequenta shared this story:

When I was fifteen months old, I was really sick. I coughed all the time, and I couldn't breathe. Then something else happened. It was called meningitis. My mom told me that's where the things around my brain, called meninges, got inflamed. I'm not really sure what that means, but they say I almost died. My mom said she prayed to Jehovah constantly for my health and safety. When the doctors told her that I wouldn't be able to walk, she was just thankful that I was alive. So when I pray, I thank God that I'm alive, and that my mom loves me for who I am.

Chapter 11: A Different Kind of Sight
(by NativeRose, added on 27 May 2004 10:40 PM)

Jenna ran into the classroom after recess.
"Anela! Guess what! Scott and I went to the swings during recess! Summer helped put Scott in the adaptabable one so we could play together!"
"You mean, the accessible swing?"
"Yeah, that one!" She danced around the room, waving her cane.
"You know your cane is not a toy. It could very easily hurt someone."
"Yeah, you're right. So...do you use a cane like me?"
"Yes. Have you been blind all your life?"
"Yeah, yeah. I have something called retrolental fibroplasia. I think that's what my mom called it."
"Actually, it's called ROP. I have it, too."
"Oh, yeah, and my mom said I have something called nystagmus." She enunciated the word slowly and carefully to be sure she said it correctly.
"Have you started learning Braille?"
"Yeah. I'm reading grade II."
"Do you know all the contractions?"
"Yeah! I'm going to go talk to Nequenta." She raced toward Nequenta's wheelchair. She gently touched her hand.
"Hi, Nequenta. How are you doing today? Hey, can you talk? Oh, I guess not. Well, anyway, how old are you? Are you having fun on your first day of school? What color shirt are you wearing today?" Anela smiled as the child chattered on, not aware that Nequenta couldn't speak to her in return. She wondered if Jenna knew Nequenta had her very own unique language.

Chapter 12: There's a Hole in My Heart!
(by NativeRose, added on 27 May 2004 11:03 PM)

Shane sat at his desk, tapping his blue crayon on the blank paper. Anela walked toward him, wondering what was up.
"Hi Shane!" she said cheerily.
"Hi," he mumbled without looking up.
"How are you today?"
"May I see what you have drawn?" He handed her the blank paper.
"There is nothing on the page."
"Yes there is."
"Oh? What is it?"
"It's my heart. It's the way I feel today."
"Why do you feel blank today?"
"There's a hole in my heart."
"Well Shane, maybe there is a way we can fix it."
"No," he said flatly.
"Will you let me try?"
"I guess." Anela went to the other side of the room to find Summer and Tamara.
"I'm going to take Shane for a few minutes. Can you handle things here?"

Anela and Shane stepped out into the sunshine.
"It's a lovely day," she said.
"Yeah," in a monotone.
"Can you tell me what's wrong?"
"My daddy hit my mommy again last night, and I think it had something to do with me."
"Shane, I want to tell you something. Listen to me, okay? The things that happen between your mommy and daddy are not your fault. Do you understand that?"
"Yes." His bottom lip started to tremble as he fought back tears. She put her arms around his tiny body, and he just couldn't control five years of pent-up emotion. He felt safe here with this lady, somehow he knew he could trust her. He wasn't quite sure how, but he knew she wouldn't hurt him, she would protect him.

Chapter 13: Good Night, Sleep Tight
(by NativeRose, added on 27 May 2004 11:33 PM)

Jenna tripped over a foot.
"Hey, what was that all about?"
"Sierra fell asleep at her desk about two minutes ago, and her foot ended up to the left of her chair."
"Why is she allowed to sleep in school?"
"She takes lots of medications that make her sleepy. Anela," This last word was directed at the teacher, who had just entered the room with Shane.
"Oh, I'll take Sierra to the next room." She roused Sierra enough so she could walk with her to the adjacent classroom. Sierra looked up, startled.
"Oh no! I fell asleep again. I'm sorry, I promise it won't happen again."
"No, you're fine," Anela smiled.
"Miss Grayson always got angry with me when I fell asleep in class, and I tried so hard not to, but...sometimes I just couldn't help it."
"That's understandable. Let's go for a little power nap. That's just fine."

They didn't get that far, however. Sierra collapsed in midsentence. Anela knew what signs to look for in someone with a seizure disorder. Summer walked up behind her.
"Do you want Isaac to...Oh my gosh! Her face is blue!" she shrieked.
"She'll be fine." Anela said calmly, as she rolled Sierra onto her left side. She made sure she wasn't wearing any tight clothing that would restrict breathing when she regained consciousness.
"Summer, I need you to move those chairs and that desk, so she doesn't hurt herself when she moves."
"She's unconscious, but she's going to move? What if she hurts you?"
"No, she can't do that. I'll keep one hand on her back at all times, so I know where she is, but I need to let her move freely. You see, she has a lot of excess energy due to the electrical impulses in her brain, so she needs to release that. She does that through movement during a seizure." The seizure lasted about thirty seconds, but a lot can take place in that amount of time. Sierra stirred, and Anela spoke softly to her.
"Sierra." In response, Sierra started to breathe normally again.
"You'll be just fine. Everything will be all right." She waited another two minutes before she spoke once more.
"Can you tell me your name?"
"How old are you?"
"I don't know....eight...ten..yeah, I'm ten."
"Do you know where you are?"
"You're at school with Miss Anela, your teacher. You just had a seizure."
"Oh. I'm sleepy."
"Do you need to change your pants?"
"Yes." She started to cry, and her face reddened. Anela helped her to her feet, and took her to change.
"No need to feel embarrassed, Sierra. You can't control what happens during a seizure."
"I know, but Miss Grayson always got angry with me when I wet my pants."
"There's no need for that, you can't control what you do during a seizure. No worries." Anela changed Sierra, and took her to a quiet room for a nap. Before she left, Sierra spoke once more.
"Thanks for understanding me, and not laughing at me."
"I have something to share with you, Sierra. Did you know that you're loved, despite your seizure disorder?" Sierra was so overcome with emotion that all she could do was smile before she drifted off to sleep.

Chapter 14: the dance
(by Jamin Peace, added on 28 May 2004 12:28 AM)

Now that Miss Anela knew all the kids in her class, she needed to create an environment where they felt comfortable with each other. The question was how to do that... She thought and thought, and finally, it came to her, maybe they should have a small classroom dance. She could bring in taped music, and the kids could dance to it, that way, they could get to know each other, and have fun doing it.

Anela was so excited with this idea, she began to make permission slips for the kids to take home to their parents. She attached a sheet so the parents could add a few lines about what kind of music the child liked, and maybe a particular song.

When Nequenta brought her permission slip to her mother, Rose's eyes flashed with an idea.

Rose had grown up in Portland Oregon, her brother Don, was a dj, he was also multiply disabled. Rose thought perhaps, instead of taped music, played out of a tape recorder, Don could bring his equipment, and give them a real show. Besides, maybe Don could inspire the kids and show them what was possible even though they're disabled.

Rose quickly grabbed the phone, and called Miss Anela, to see what she thought of the idea.
"hey, anala, I have a great idea, Naquenta just gave me her permission slip, and well..." she went on to explain her idea to Miss Anela. The teacher was so thrilled by the idea, that she concented to it right there on the phone.

Don got home just in time to race to the phone and pick it up.
"Hello?" Don said breathlessly. "Oh, gosh, Hi rose, how are you? haven't heard from you in quite a while."
"Hi Don, yeah, I'm sorry I haven't called lately, how are you and Bethany?... good good, and lucy and barty? that's good too. Hey listen, I had an idea, Rose has started school and her teacher Miss Anela, wanted to throw the kids a party, so they can get to know each other, she was gonna used taped music, but I thought..."
"Say no more." Don interrupted. "I'll be happy to dj for them."

Rose gave her brother the teacher's phone number so the details could be worked out, she knew that seeing her brother just might inspire the kids, showing them that disability did not mean dependence and being an involid. She was so happy and excited for the kids in the class, she hoped they'd have a good time.

Chapter 15: As the Morning Glories Bloom
(by NativeRose, added on 28 May 2004 02:43 AM)

Scott rolled into class two weeks after school started. Yesterday, Miss Anela had told them about the dance, and had given them permission slips.
"Scott, I need help with something." Anela could see that he was kind of glum on this particular morning.
"I can't do this without you. You're very important in making this work. Would you do that for me?"
"Okay, we need some more helpers for the dance, you know, people to help serve food and that kind of thing. Could you ask your dad if he would help us?"
"I don't know if he can but...I'll check."

When Kyle Smith came to pick up his son after school, Anela told her aides to make sure everyone got on the bus, so she could have a conference with Scott's father.

"Scott has really been having a hard time in school." She surveyed his countenance. He was tall, with blonde hair and kind, gentle, brown eyes. The lines in his face told her he smiled a lot, or used to smile, that is. All this she gathered from Summer, her aide.
"I am just wondering how I can help him."
"Do you know why he is in a wheelchair?"
"Yes, he wrote it in his journal for me. How can I help him, Mr. Smith?"
"That's really kind of you, Miss Peterson. His other teachers didn't seem to care whether he came in smiling or not. I've noticed something different about you. You always send a smile in the morning, and give each of your students a hug before they leave for the day. The other teacher never did that. It seems you actually care about your students. Scott really enjoys your class. I can't tell you what a difference you've made! He used to dread going to school, and now he loves it."
"Well, thank you Mr. Smith. It's nothing really. I believe that each person is someone special whether they have a disability or not. I'm willing to change this generation, one child at a time. I love each and every one of them in a different way."
"That's obvious in the way you approach your students."
"Would you be willing to help us with a project we have coming up? We're having a dance so the students and their parents can get to know the others in the class. Would you be willing to chaperone?"
"Sure, when is it?"
"It's two weeks from today. It's on Friday, September 14 at 1:00 PM. I'll provide everything, we just need parents."
"Sure, I'll gladly help."
"I asked Scott to ask you if you would help with the dance? He needs to know that he plays an important role in school and at home. I thought this little task would help in raising his self-esteem."
"I really think you're doing a great job with your students, Miss Peterson."
"Thank you, Mr. Smith. If there is anything I can do to help you and Scott, don't hesitate to call." She extended her hand and slipped a small slip of paper into his outstretched one. . She had no way of knowing this, but he smiled at her as he looked at her phone number, , something he hadn't done in two years

Chapter 16: Can I Make a Difference?
(by NativeRose, added on 28 May 2004 07:26 PM)

Don and Bethany Anderson arrived at the school with Mariah, their granddaughter, and her best friend Jaren in tow.
"I think you'll really be able to make a difference for these students, Don," Bethany smiled, as she watched Jaren push Mariah's wheelchair through the door.

Anela walked toward her visitors. It was recess for her class, and she had asked Don and Bethany to come early to set things up. Kyle had also arrived early to assist in food preparation and setup.
"I'm so glad you could come, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson!" Anela gushed.
"You'll add a special touch to our festivities today."
When Scott entered the classroom, he saw Mariah instantly. His face lit up! She's someone who would understand...and she can talk to me!

"Hi, you're Mariah, right? Nequenta's mom told us you were coming."
"Yeah, this is my best friend Jaren." Just then, they were interrupted by the sound of loud music.
"That's my grandpa!" Mariah said cheerily.
"Hi kids! How are you doing on this beautiful day?"
"Terrific! I'm glad to hear it. Are you ready to have some fun?"
"Well...what are we waiting for?" With that, the fun and games began.

Chapter 17: The Rumble of Romance
(by NativeRose, added on 28 May 2004 07:35 PM)

Kyle Smith stood in Anela's classroom, surveying all the remains of their party two hours before. Anela had been working hard all afternoon to make sure this was a day they wouldn't forget, and now she was left to clean up what was left behind from their mess. All the students had gone home, and Don, Bethany, Mariah, and Jaren had followed not long after.
"They had a great time today! I wish you could have seen their faces, Anela. They were all aglow, and they smiled nonstop!"
"Thank you for describing that to me! I was going to ask Tamara after school, but I was busy getting Nequenta loaded onto the bus, and she was gone when I returned to the classroom." She grabbed her cane and teacher bag in preparation to leave the room.
"Would you like me to give you a ride home, Anela? As you can hear, it's really raining out there."
"No, it's only three blocks. Thank you for the offer." She opened the door, and a blast of wind and rain assailed her.
"On second thought..." He smiled as he offered his arm.

Chapter 18: She's More than Just the Teacher
(by NativeRose, added on 29 May 2004 05:25 AM)

The next day, Anela stepped out of the lashing rain into her apartment. She was cold, hungry and tired...talk about tired. What a day! Sierra had two seizures, Zachary was sent home with the flu, Jenna ran into a desk and would have a bruised eye for awhile, and Isaac and Rosalyn fought over a blue crayon. Now she was home...wherever that was. Anela's parents refused to speak to her; they weren't happy with her choice of career. The fact that their daughter would even think about working with students with disabilities was beyond them. They didn't want anything to do with her. She had been excluded throughout high school, and all of her college acquaintances had moved on, and they were just that, acquaintances. She was alone, except for her students. Just then, the phone rang, and a welcome voice met her greeting.
"Hi, Anela. Are you available this evening?" Kyle asked when she picked up the phone.
"Yes, I don't have anything going on."
"Okay, I have a surprise for you. I'll pick you up around 6:30. Don't worry about dressing up, you're fine in your teacher outfit."
"Okay, I'll see you then." Anela smiled as she prepared for the evening festivities, whatever they might be. She had no idea what was in store; all she could do was wait for Kyle to arrive.

Chapter 19: The surprise
(by Caitlin, added on 29 May 2004 08:36 PM)

Kyle smith drove through the wind and rain to Anela's house. he couldn't seem to get the teacher's cheerful face out of his mind.
"She'll love this, won't she, scott?" he asked, not taking his eyes from he road. (He had a fear of removing his eyes from the road, now.)
"Yes," Scott said shyly.
Kyle Smith reached over and patted his son's small shoulder. Scott looked puzzled, but didn't say anything.
"You really enjoy her, don't you, Scott? Anela, I mean."
"Yes, I do," Scott said, "I think she'll have fun tonight."
Kyle paused.
"Do you ..." He swallowed. 'Do you think a lot about the ... the accident, Scott?"
Scott's lip trembled. "Yeah, I guess I do," Scott said.
Kyle held back his own feelings and said, "Well, I'm sorry about that. But there's not much we can do about it. ... But we'll have fun tonight, won't we."
"Yeah, Dad."
"Well, what are we waiting for?" asked kyle cheerily. he cut off the engine and leapt from the car. 'Come on! Let's go get ANela!"
Scott pranced behind him, and together, the two knocked on Anela's door.

Chapter 20: Healing Begins
(by NativeRose, added on 30 May 2004 10:35 PM)

Anela saw the wheelchair van pull into her driveway. She wondered what was in store for them tonight.
"Hi Scott!" She ran to him to give him a hug.
"How are you doing tonight?"
"I'm good! Guess where we're going!"
"Tell me," as she strapped his wheelchair into place.
"No, I can't!" He laughed cheerily.
"Oh, man, that's not fair." She pretended to be sad.
"Oh, don't cry, Miss Anela."
"Well, I guess I'll just have to wait until we get there!" Kyle found a parking spot in front of one of her favorite restaurants.
"I'm sure you'll be able to tell where we are just by the smell."
"Oh, Italian food! That's my favorite!"
"I know," Kyle smiled, "Summer told me."
"Oh wow. This is great!"
As Kyle read the menu to Anela, Scott stared, his thoughts wandering.
I think my dad really likes her, but no one can replace my mommy. Still, she would be a neat stepmommy...I think.

Chapter 21: Glitter and Gold
(by NativeRose, added on 8 June 2004 02:37 AM)

Kyle walked Anela to har front door.
"I've had a lovely time tonight, Kyle," she smiled.
"As did I," he agreed.
"We'll have to do this again."
"Yes, I would truly enjoy that."
"You're a wonderful person, Anela. I saw the way you interacted with my son tonight, as I do every day. You were definitely cut out to be a teacher."
"Thank you for giving me this opportunity, Kyle. You are showing me that I am worth something."
Kyle had seen this in her; the lack of self-esteem. He had also noticed that she lived alone, in a run-down neighborhood, in a part of town that wasn't exactly safe. When he picked up his son at school, he had often wondered if she would be at school the next day. Kyle knew she didn't choose to live here, but she didn't have sufficient funds...still, what other lovely treasures did this young woman's heart hold?

Chapter 22: Scott's Observation
(by Caitlin, added on 8 June 2004 07:28 AM)

A few days later, scott hummed into the classroom in his wheelchair.
"Miss Anela," he said softly.
"Yes, Scott?" Anela said, patting sierra on the shoulder as she turned away from her, and faced Scott. She had been chatting to Sierra about the composition she had managed to compose, before drifting ot sleep.
"Sierra is so sweet, it's really a pity the meds don't work better," Anela thought, "she works so hard when she can, and it's as though she thinks I will shout at her and scold her when she has a seizure, falls asleep or needs to be changed. ..."
"I have a secret to tell you." Scott's eager words broke into her thoughts about Sierra.
"What is it, scott?" she whispered, leaning down towards his wheelchair.
"My daddy says you're very nice and he wants to take you and me out to eat again," he chirped excitedly.
Anela's smile nearly cracked her pale face. "I'm so glad to hear that, Scott!" she said earnestly.
"I know," he said, his personality showing clearly in his voice. "I was, too. Oh and he also says that you are a wonderful person. He thinks you're a angel."
"Does he?" Anela said graciously. "Well, you tel your dad you have a secret for him. Tell him I think he's the best father you could ever hope to meet, and that he is an angel, too!"
"I will tell him that!" Scott said, and excitedly wheeled over to join Jenna in the corner, where she was constructing a structure out of Duploes.

Chapter 23: Communication is the Key
(by NativeRose, added on 8 June 2004 07:24 PM)

Zachary ran toward the door, screaming and flailing his arms.
"What does that mean? asked inquisitive Jenna.
"He just wants to go out for recess. He speaks to me in his own way." He grabbed Anela's hand, and tugged her toward the playground.
Zack had been going to a speech/language pathologist. Jenna thought he did fun stuff, like suck pudding through a straw. Miss Anela said that was to help him use his muscles.
"Do you want to swing?" He babbled at her.
"Use your words,"
"Yeah," he said hesitantly. This was the first word he learned to speak.
"Very good! Oh, I'm so proud of you!" Zachary had learned so much in the first month of school. He now babbled using baby talk like syllables. This was the first step in learning to speak. He was discovering what sounds he could make using his tongue, teeth, and lips. He was just beginning to explore different sounds, and Anela hoped this would continue throughout the year. She loved to see his little face brighten when he learned a new sound.

Chapter 24: Mr. Hyper
(by Caitlin, added on 9 June 2004 02:23 AM)

Isaac started and looked up from his composition as the bell broke into his thoughts.
He looked up to see the students wheeling, shufling, limping and racing for hte door, Anela hugging each tenderly and calling cheerfully, "See you tomorrow!"
Isaac watched as Anela went to each desk, and began to pick up paperwork from each student.
"I want to help," he blurted out, springing from his chair, and helping Anela gather the papers.
"I'd be glad to have your help, Isaac, thank you," Anela said cheerfully.
Just then, Jena came clattering back into the room, her cane whizzing wildly in front of her.
"Let's use our mobility skills, Jenna," Anela said, chuckling, as Jenna's cane upset the trash basket.
"Miss Peterson," Jenna said, "my mommy isnt' here yet."
"Well, why don't you help Isaac and i clean up?" Anela suggested.
"Yeah, come on, Jenna, help me clear up this paint that Rosalin and I accidentally spilled over by the counter," Isaac called from where he stood, armed with an old rag and turpentine.
"Man, you're Mister Hyper today, aren't you?" Jenna said, and went into gales of laughter.
Anela rose from Sierra's desk, where she had been sitting and brushing off the pencil shavings, took Jenna by the hand and let her out the door.
"Jenna, please don't tease Isaac," she said.
"I wasn't, I was just calling him hyper."
"He can't help the way he is."
"I know but--"
"I know you know, sweetie, but he's very sensitive about it. He really tries to calm down."
"I'm sorry," Jenna said, and began to cry.
"I'm sorry, too, Jena," Anela said, hugging her. "I know I was a bit cross with you just now."
"No, it wasn't your fault, I shouldnt' have teased him," Jenna sid, "but I didn't mean to be mean."
"Well, you weren't mean at all, I just wanted to tell you because Isaac sees you as a true friend."
"I think he's my best friend in this class," Jenna confided.
"That's great!" ANela said. "Let's og back in and help him clean up!"

Chapter 25: Nequenta's Friend
(by NativeRose, added on 9 June 2004 05:41 AM)

Anela surveyed her class the next morning. She saw Scott wheel into the classroom, a small smile on his face. Next, Isaac and Jenna raced in together. Third, Sierra trudged into class, trying to keep her eyes open. Zacary and Shane followed and quietly went to their desks. Next, she saw Rosalyn bouncing along behind Nequenta's wheelchair, holding the push handles and chattering excitedly.
"How are you today, Nequenta? Want to know something? I like you, you're my best friend!" She hugged Nequenta before she skipped to her desk. This is interesting, Anela thought, I'm glad Rosalyn has found anew friend.
"Miss Anela," Rosalyn said when Anela was helping her with her coloring project.
"How can I talk to Nequenta? She can't talk back to me!" Her lower lip trembled.
"She isn't ignoring you, she just can't speak to you. However, she can use special things to help her talk to you." Anela showed her an alphabet board, a communication book, and a mouthstick with special software on her computer.
"Hi, what's your name?" Rosalyn approached Nequenta.
She took her dynomite out of her bag and pressed buttons on corresponding pictures.
"Nequenta," said a robotic voice.
"She uses that to talk to people too," Anela said.
"That sounds funny," Rosalyn laughed.
"But I'm glad she can talk to me!" She hugged Nequenta, and grabbed the blue crayon to finish her picture, for Nequenta, she told her teacher.

Chapter 26: Monkey Bars
(by Caitlin, added on 9 June 2004 03:10 PM)

Anela followed her students as they went to the playground. Jenna nad Isaac moved directly to the swings. sierra sat under a tree, with a book. Zackery sat down near the baseball diamond to watch some birds.
Shane, meanwhile, shuffled with his walker to the base of the structure, as Scot, Noquenta and Rosalin all hurried off towards a game of Tetherball.
There was no ramp on the structure, so Shane abandoned his walker and, clinging to the balistrades, managed to hoist himself to the top of the structure, where there was a slide. His near-sighted eyes left the slide, though, and fastened on the monkey-bars. How he would like to do them, and he had good muscle strength in his arms.
Sierra looked groggily up from her book, just in time to see Shane, his limp legs dangling, finish a spectacular round on the swinging monkeybars. Then, he couldn't get down, because his legs couldn't reach the platform. She got up and ran as fast as her tiredness would let her. Reaching up, she snatched Shane's little body out of the air and brought him to safety.

Chapter 27: Heroes and Heroines
(by NativeRose, added on 10 June 2004 12:18 AM)

Sierra went back to her tree with her book. She had delivered Shane safely to his walker, and he hugged her before going to the swings.
"Thank you, Sierra. I love you!"
Now she was back under her tree trying to read her book. She was so tired, and her head hurt, she saw bright lights, and...oh no! She was going to have another seizure! She didn't have time to tell her teacher, she frantically tried to get Anela's attention. Tamara saw her wave her hand, and looked at hier face. She knew exactly what was going on. Tamara raced to Sierra, but she had already slipped into unconsciousness. What was Tamara to do next?

Chapter 28: Frights
(by Caitlin, added on 11 June 2004 06:36 AM)

Tamara did what came naturally.
"Anela! Anela, come, Anela! She's having a seizure!"
Anela came running, swinging her cane wildly before her, her face frantic.
"Put her in the position i showed you," she called, as Shane came tripping over on his walker. Unfortanutely, he was moving too quickly. He stumbled and fell on his face.
Summer happened to be nearby. She ran to Shane, scooped up the walker, put it up against a tree and picked Shane up (being so small, it was not dificult for her to do.).
"SIerra," SHane cried, "Sierra!..."
"She'll be fine," Summer soothed him, and carried him off toward the classroom.
Anela knelt by Sierra, holding hte child's small hand in hers.
"This isn't good, she's not moving, she isn't releasing all that energy," she muttered. "We need an ambulance. Now, or we may lose her. Hurry, Tamara, and call. Please. i'll stay with her." And she tightened her hold on the thin, hot hand in hers.

Chapter 29: A Different Kind of Sight
(by NativeRose, added on 12 June 2004 05:16 AM)

Anela sat tensely beside Sierra's lifeless body. She didn't hear Shane kneel down beside her.
I hope this is simply a seizure and nothing more, she thought.
"Hey, that hurt!" Shane's cry startled her. "She kicked me!"
Well, I'm glad she's begun to move, her thoughts raced on. Her seizure lasted about thirty seconds, and then she regained consciousness, but only for a second. She started seizing again.
"I think this is status epilepticus. Did someone call an ambulance?"
"I did, and they're on the way!" Summer jogged toward Sierra. When the paramedics arrived, they confirmed Anela's suspicions before rushing Sierra to the nearest hospital.

Chapter 30: A Team Effort
(by Caitlin, added on 12 June 2004 05:21 PM)

"Miss Anela, how is Sierra?"
Anela looked up from her desk as the students began filing into school the next day. It was Shane who stood before her, his walker propped before him.
"She'll be fine, Shane," Anela said, rising and giving him a small hug. "She just had a seizure, and she is now recovering. She's very weak."
"You know," Jenna commented, "I've always liked Sierra. Even if she does sleep all the time. She doesn't say much, but when she does, it's always nice. I've never heard her fight with anyone ever."
"You're very much correct, Jenna," said Anela, smiling.
"I think," said Isaac boldly, "we should go to the hospital and see Sierra."
"We should bring her presents," Shane chirped.
"That would be fun, we could cheer her up," Scott chimed in.
"It would be a team effort, and I think it's a great idea," Anela said.
As the class began their first activty for the day, Anela telephoned the principal, who seemed to think it was a genuinely ingenius idea. So Anela had the students make cards for Sierra, and told them to each either make or purchase a small present for Sierra. The next day, they would all go to the hospital, to see their friend.

Chapter 31: Angel of Mercy
(by NativeRose, added on 13 June 2004 05:21 AM)

The next morning, seven students and two instructional assistants, and one teacher piled into a school bus headed for the hospital. They came bearing gifts, cards, and well wishes.
Anela was the first to enter her hospital room.
"Hello," she said softly, as she touched Sierra's hand.
"We have a surprise for you." The others filed in behind her.
"Shane!" Sierra said excitedly. Shane looked worried, as if her excitement would harm her in some way.
"Hi, Sierra," he said hesitantly.
"Hi, Sierra! How are you doing? What does it feel like to have a seizure? I've never stayed overnight in the hospital. Is it scary? Wow, that's different!" Jenna chattered on. Zachary waved and smiled at her from his place beside Nequenta, who nodded in Sierra's direction.
"Hi," Rosalyn said simply. Scott approached in his wheelchair, bearing a card signed by all.
"I hope you feel better soon," he said sincerely.
Anela decided this was a good experience for the students. They were able to reach out to one of their own; they could express their love for her. Most importantly, they learned that they could make a difference, despite their disabilities.

Chapter 32: The Phonecall
(by Caitlin, added on 13 June 2004 08:46 PM)

Anela was sitting on her couch, while classical music played softly behind her. She sipped a cup of Twining English Breakfast tea, dappled with sweet, golden honey and flavored with lemon. As she sipped her tea, relaxed on the couch and let the piano, string and wind sounds overwhelm her, she realized how blessed she was to be with such loving and caring children, who got along with their peers. They were so sweet to one another, and they loved and were loved unconditionally by their classmates.
The phone rang, jarring her from her wistful thoughts.
She put the cup down, and picked up the receiver.
"Hello? ... Oh yes, hello, Doctor Atrop. ... Sierra? How is she? ... Oh I see. ... Yes. ... Well, that's too bad ... what can i do for her? ... I see. ... okay, well, please keep me informed. Thank you. GOodbye, now."
She hung up.
After fighting with her confidence for a moment, she picked up the receiver again and dialed Kyle Smith's number.
"Hello?" Scott's voice answered.
"Hi, Scott, it's Mrs. Peterson," Anela said.
"Oh, hi," he said, "my daddy and I are going out to pizza! Can you come?"
"I'll ask your dad," she said, a smile rushing across her face. "May I please speak to him?"
"Sure!" Scott said, "here he is."
And Scott handed over the phone.
"Hello? Anela?" Kyle's warm voice reached her and soothed her pounding heart.
"Kyle, hi," Anela said.
"Is something wrong?" he asked.
"NOt really, it's just that Sierra is going to be released from hospital, but the doctors say that these seizures may do her serious harm, in the future, if a cure is not found. We have to watch her very closely from now on, lest we don't catch the symptoms of a seizuare in time to alert the police."
"That's dreadful," Kyle said softly, "things young children have to live with. ... How about you come on out to pizza with us, Anela? Scott and I would both love it. ANd afterwords, I'll put Scott to bed, and we can have a cup of coffee, and talk about this. And about other things."
"I'd like that very much, scott," Anela said sincerely.

Chapter 33: A Fairy Tale Gone Wrong
(by NativeRose, added on 17 June 2004 11:37 PM)

Kyle picked Anela up at 12:30 PM on that rainy Saturday afternoon.
"We're going to the hospital first, right?" he asked.
When they arrived, they were escorted to Sierra's room.
"She's been in the hospital for a week," Anela explained. "The first day, they gave her some Dilantin, as she was taking Tegretol, and it wasn't working for her. She's been taking Dilantin for the last week, but that hasn't stopped the seizures."
They stepped into Sierra's room.
"Hi, how's it going?" Anela said softly, as she touched Sierra's hand.
"Yuck! She has a big needle in her right hand!" Scott exclaimed.
"They're giving her a medication called Adavan. When she's not having actual seizures, sometimes she has tremors, where her body shakes uncontrollably. Adavan helps control the tremors."
"Oh, does it taste good?"
"I can't taste it," Sierra laughed.
"When they give it to her through a needle, she can't taste it, like she can when they give it to her by mouth." Anela explained.
"Hey, I have an idea!" exclaimed the head nurse, who had just walked into the room.
"There's a girl on the ninth floor, the cancer ward, named Autumn! She could use some company!"
"Yeah, she's my cousin," Scott said softly.
"Sierra's neurologist has ordered an EEG for next Tuesday. She'll have to stay up all night, and have the test the next day. She may be released next Friday." Sariah Golden explained to Anela.
"We're looking forward to having her back in class," Anela smiled, as they left the room.

Chapter 34: Scott Speaks to Autumn
(by Caitlin, added on 19 June 2004 12:22 AM)

"Hi, Autumn!" Scott cried, as he wheeled himself into her room.
"Scott!" she cried, and smiled benignly. "My favorite cousin! How are ya doin', buddy?"
"Pretty good!" scott answered.
"What brings you here?" Autumn wanted to know.
"Well, there's a girl in my class at school, Sierra, who's sick. she in the seizure ward," scott explained.
"Oh, that's too bad," Autumn sympathized. "I'll maybe go down and visit her on my walks through the hospital. What's she like?"
"She's nice, she saved a boy in our class' life!" Scott told Autumn.
"Really? How?" Autumn asked.
"Well, he has CP and he was on the bars and Sierra saved him, and now they're good friends," Scott answered.
"That's really cool," Autumn said, 'I bet she was proud of herself."
"Nah, she's not like that," Scott replied.
Autumn smiled. "I didn't mean bragging, I just meant she was probably happy to make a new friend."
"Yep, I bet she was!" Scott said.
"Is she happy, Scott?" Autumn asked softly.
"Yeah, she is, but Miss Anela ... my teacher ... she's worried about her, I think," Scott said tentatively.
"Well, as long as Sierra's happy and confident, I'm not worried," Autumn assured her cousin.
Just then, Kyle entered.
"Hiya, Autumn, how are you?"
"Oh I"m doing well, thanks. Just having a little chat with Scott," Autumn answered him.
"Well, we've gotta go for now, I'm sorry to say, but we'll be back," Kyle said, wheeling Scott out the doorway.
"Bye, Autumn!" Scott called happily, waving from his chair.
"See you soon, I'm sure," Kyle told Autumn as they departed.
Autumn waved farewell, peace in her heart, and formulating a plan about what she should say to Sierra, what advice she could give. Being an experienced seizure victim herself, she wanted to pass on some wisdom. As she drifted off to sleep, several thoughts and ideas blew around her mind, like leaves, fluttering in an autumn wind.

Chapter 35: Returning Moon
(by NativeRose, added on 21 June 2004 07:02 PM)

Anna Kalor walked into Autumn's room.
"I know I haven't come to see you in a long time. I've been so busy, we'r eworking on the school musical, can you believe it's that time again? This year it is Paint Your Wagon. Wish you could be in it, it's just not the same without you!" she rushed to explain. She didn't stop for a breath, Autumn mused.
"Hey, Anna," she said.
"We have a place to go today, you know, like we used to do all the time. Let's go have some fun!"
"What? You can't leave the hospital."
"No, but I have a friend to visit."
Anna pushed Autumn's wheelchair down the hall towards the elevator.
"Where are we going?"
"There is a girl here who also has seizures. She's been in the hospital for a week, and she's beeing released today. I just want you to meet her, and I need to say goodbye."
Sierra's mom was helping her pack her things, and Sierra stopped when she saw Autumn wheel into the room.
"Is that your new friend?" her mother asked.
"Yeah, her name is Autumn! She is so awesome!"
"Hey, I just came to introduce my friend Anna Kalor. We've been best friends for as long as I can remember. And...I just wanted to say goodbye!" The nurse, Doris, who wasn't as nice as Sariah, bustled in.
"Okay, break up the party! It's time for Sierra to go!"
"Can I at least see her to the door?" Autumn asked.
"No!" Doris shot back.
"You may," Sariah's calm voice broke through the pandemonium. Autumn wheeled to the door with Sierra, and gave her a big hug before she left.
"Tell your teacher Anela I think she's lucky to have grabbed Kyle's interest. And I think you're lucky to have her as a teacher. Get well, and don't forget to take your tegretol and lamectol. Hope it works for you. See you soon!"
"Yeah, laters, Autumn," Sierra said tearfully, as she was wheeled out the door.

Chapter 36: Keep in Touch!
(by Caitlin, added on 22 June 2004 03:30 AM)

Sierra sat in her room, eyes puffy, face swollen. She couldn't help herself, she couldn't stop crying. she had loved dear Autumn so much in so little time. Autumn understood her. Autumn never got upset when Sierra drifted off to sleep while they were chatting, or needed to change after a seizure. Autumn knew about these things.
One thing Sierra was exceptional at was working with her computer. As soon as she got home, she switched it on, eager to catch up on her E-Mail and to meet some of her friends on Instant Messenger.
To her delight, she got an Instant Message from none other but Autumn herself!
AutumnWind12: Hi there, Sierra! Home already?
SierraStarlit: Yep, sure am! I wanted to check on my E-Mail and stuff.
AutumnWind12: Cool! Well I've got your address right here! I'm IMing you from my cell phone!
SierraStarlit: You got a cell?
AutumnWind12: Yeah! My mom just got it for me a few days ago! I'm really excited. Plus you know how my friend Jamison lives at my house now, so she said I get my own phone as a "thanks for finding Jamison" treat. Haha she's interesting ...
SierraStarlit: Wild! You can IM on there?
AutumnWind12: Yep, sure can! Anyway, I'll let you go check your E-Mail. I'll E-Mail you in a few minutes. I'm gonna take a nap now. I'm pooped out! Missing you already!
SierraStarlit: Yeah, me too! I'll E-Mail you soon, too! Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoox byebye for now!
AutumnWind12: Hi to Anela! Lovya Sierra! Keep in touch!

Sierra signed off Messenger and began loading her E-Mails. With a happy heart, she realized that she would never lose Autumn could never lose her. Even They would E-Mail, IM and even get together, Sierra felt sure of it. And even if they ewren't physically together, Autumn would always bein Sierra's heart.

Chapter 37: Love is a Gentle Rain
(by NativeRose, added on 25 June 2004 04:30 AM)

Anela sat in her kitchen, thinking about what her class could do to welcome Sierra back to school on Monday. Shane will be so excited to see her; he's really missed her a lot, Anela mused. The phone scattered her thoughts.
"Anela," Kyle's calming voice greeted her.
"Are you free this evening?"
"Yes," she answered hesitantly.
"It seems to me you could use a little time to unwind, let loose, as you're always under so much pressure. I found a sitter for Scott, you remember my friends Marybeth and Shane Lambert, with the teenage daughter, Ingrid?"
"Oh yes. What a tragic story!"
"That it is," Kyle agreed quietly.
"Ingrid's parents were abusive, then the foster parents were killed, and now she's with the Lamberts. I hope she's doing all right."
"Rest assured, my friend, she is in good hands. Remember, God is with her always."
Anela smiled, she was glad a love for God burned within Kyle's heart as well as her own. She was growing extremely fond of him, and...
"Oh, sorry about that. My thoughts drifted off to...who knows where?"
"I asked if you want to go to Bambinos this evening. I know how you love Italian food."
"Oh, yes, that would be great."
"Promise me one thing, Anela."
"That is?"
"Try to relax. Leave all of your worries at the door."
"I'll do my best," she smiled as she hung up the phone.

Chapter 38: Sierra's Proposal
(by Caitlin, added on 29 June 2004 11:56 PM)

"But there's one thing I have to do before I put my worries aside," Anela suddenly thought to herself.
Hastily, she got dressed. Then she found Sierra's telephone number and dialed it.
"Hello?" Sierra's light voice sounded cheerful when she answered the call.
"Hi, Sierra, it's Anela Peterson!" Anela said, trying to sound cheery. "How are you, sweetie?"
"Oh, i'm pretty good! I just talked to Autumn!" Sierra said excitedly.
"Did you? That's so wonderful, Sierra!"
"I know. We had fun," Sierra told her.
"I bet you did," Anela answered. "Listen, Sierra, I was wondering if you wanted to do anything special tomorrow, to celebrate your returning."
"Nah," Sierra said solemnly. "It's no big deal."
"No, really," Anela said, "I want to do something for you."
"You don't have to do that," Sierra told her sincerely.
"Honestly, Sierra, please," ANela said, "anything. ANything at all coming to mind?"
"No, not really," Sierra said truthfully.
"I have to do something for you, Sierra. I love you so much, I want this day to be special for you," Anela explained.
"Aw, well, I love you, too, a lot," Sierra replied with feeling.
"Oh, Sierra. Thank you," Anela said, "that was a very sweet thing to say."
"Well, i do." A pause followed. "Well, if you want to do something, why don't we just have a cake, and then the rest of the day can be normal."
"That sounds great, we'll do that," Anela said gratefully.
"Can it be chocolate on chocolate? Completely chocolate?" asked Sierra hopefully.
"Yes," Anela said, "definitely. Well, see you tomorrow, Sierra."
"Good night," Sierra said happily. "Thanks for calling!"
"Bye," Anela said, and hung up.
She ordered the cake--a Dark Chooclate Tort, without rasberies or anything else. just pure chocolate. It was one of her favorites. THen, she walked outside, to wait for Kyle, and a wonderful night at Bambinos, for she would not have to forget her worries. For now, she had no worries.

Chapter 39: Joy in the Morning
(by NativeRose, added on 30 June 2004 04:08 AM)

Rosalyn and Nequenta entered class together, Rosalyn bouncing along behind Nequenta's wheelchair. Next, Jenna and Isaac ran through the doorway, Jenna's cane waving wildly before her. Scott rolled in, looking tired. He had had a great time the previous weekend. They had gone to Bambinos with Miss Peterson, and had a blast! Now he was feeling the effects of his busy weekend. Last, Shane entered, went directly to his desk in the corner, and sat down, staring glumly at the blank table before him. The general hum of her students stopped suddenly when Sierra entered. Shane's little face lit up; it was like the difference between night and day, Summer thought, as she watched his changing countenance. He walked to Sierra, left his walker standing before him, and flung his small arms around the older girl's thin shoulders.
"I'm so glad you're back! I missed you so much!" the child chattered on, tapping incessantly on his walker handgrip.
"Yeah, I'm glad to be back, too," Sierra smiled shyly.
"Today is a special day for our class," Anela said, as her class quieted.
"As you can see, Sierra is back with us. We're all glad you're back in school, Sierra."
"Yeah! I missed you!" Shane spoke up.
"Me too," said Jenna.
"Yeah! Yeah!" Isaac chimed in, waving his pencil in the air.
The morning's activities proceeded as they normally would. After coloring, alphabet and numbers, the recess bell rang. Shane immediately shuffled toward Sierra.
"Let's play!" They sauntered to the playground, escorted by their teacher, and went straight for the swings. Shane watched Sierra's face, looking for any sign of lasting effects. He had been so worried about his friend. She was his best friend, and he didn't want to lose her.
After recess, Anela spoke to the class before snack.
"We're going to have something special for snack today. We're celebrating Sierra's return to class, so we are having one of her favorite foods for snack."
"Chocolate cake!" Sierra's excited cry shattered the silence that followed. As Shane and Sierra ate their cake, he found himself looking at her peaceful countenance. He was comforted to find that she, Sierra, hadn't changed, despite her difficult medical condition.

Chapter 40: Play Date
(by Caitlin, added on 30 June 2004 07:16 PM)

As the bell for school ended, Shane and Sierra's mothers entered the room.
"Oh, Sierra's back!" Shane's mom cried, smiling at Sierra's mother. "Shane was missing her so very much."
"Sierra talked of missing Shane, as well," said Sierra's mother, also smiling, as they watched their children playing on the playground, trying to avoid their mothers' seeing htem and breaking up their fun.
"Shal we schedule a little playdate for the two of them?" asked Sierra's mother.
"Sure, that would be absolutely wonderful," Shane's mother replied with energy. "How's this next weekend?" SHe lowered her voice. "You know, SHane's never had a friend like Sierra, someone he can truly relate to."
"It's the same with sierra, she's had friends, but none have stuck with her this long, they don't like it that she has to sleep sometimes, because of her meds," Sierra's mother replied. "This weekend will be great."
"You can drop her off at my place whenever," said Shane's mother. "How's 8:30? Shane says she's generally a little more energetic in the mornings?"
"That will be perfect," Sierra's mother consented cheerfully. "Let's go tell those two rascals about it. They'll be so excited!"
And htey did, and Shane and Sierra were over the moon. As the two children, accompanied by their parents walked ot their cars, smiles lighting each of their faces, Sierra and Shane were concocting plans for their playdate in hushed, excited voices.

Chapter 41: The Bestest Friend
(by NativeRose, added on 9 July 2004 01:05 AM)

Sierra's mother dropped her off at Shane's home promptly at 8:30 on Saturday morning.
Shane ran out to meet her, as fast as his walker would allow.
"Sierra! I'm so glad you're here!" He jumped up and down, lost his balance, and fell.
"Oh, that's not good," Sierra muttered sleepily. She reached down, helped him stand up, and examined his bloody knees. Shane's mother had arrived on the sceen to see his new friend holding him upright, so he wouldn't pull another imbalance act. Hand in hand, they walked into his house.
"Hey, that's cool!" Sierra exclaimed, as Shane pushed a button, and the door automatically opened.
"Yeah," he replied.

Sierra's mom handed over several labeled medication cups along with written instructions.
"She needs to take her Tegretol and Lamectol at 10:00 this morning. She needs to eat before she takes the meds, and she should take them with milk or water. This is her rescue inhaler and spacer. It is all assembled, so no need to worry about putting it all together, and she knows how to administer the medication. Please allow for short nap periods."
"Absolutely, that's not a problem." She turned, waved, and ran in to the house after the two children.

Shane and Sierra ran into his room and had a mountain of blocks on the floor when his mother appeared.
"It looks like you're already at it," she said.
"Sierra," Shane whispered.
"Sierra?...Mom!" At this, Shane's mom came running.
"What is it?"
"I thought she just fell asleep, and then I saw her legs move...I think she's having a seizure!"
"Okay, calm down. Remember, Mommy is a nurse, and she sees things like this all the time."
"Oh...oh yeah." Ebony Shields, with the help of her husband, Caleb, moved all furniture out of Sierra's path. ?An hour later, Sierra had her last seizure...for the time being. She had had nine in that time period. Caleb put Sierra in Shane's sister's bed to sleep.
"Hi, Natalie. This is Ebony Shields, Shane's mom. Sierra just had several seizures...Oh, don't worry. I don't know if you remember, but I am a nurse, and I see things like that all the time. My own son has seizures, though not nearly as many as Sierra...Oh yes, she's fine, she's sleeping. I'll get her in time for breakfast and medications...Don't worry, she'll be fine. I just wanted to let you know." When Ebony returned to Sierra, she saw something that surprised her, although she should have known it all along. Shane sat beside Sierra, watching her face intently.
"What are you looking for?" Ebony whispered.
"Well, I know that when her face turns blue, then she's in trouble. I don't want her to go to hostible again. That was scary for me, I'm sure she was really scared."
"She'll be fine. You know, after she sleeps this morning, she'll be ready to play this afternoon. I think playing with your blocks was a good idea. Maybe you can do that when she wakes up."
"Yeah!" he smiled, then returned to his vigilent watch on her peaceful countenance sleeping before him.

Chapter 42: Awakening
(by Caitlin, added on 10 July 2004 01:15 AM)

Sierra awoke from her nap, and saw Shane sitting beside her in a small, blow-up chair, his kitten, Tara, nestled in his small lap.
"Shane? What happened?" she asked, raising herself on one elbow and looking around the strange room.
"Nothin', you just had a seizure," Shane said.
"Oh. Well, I'm sorry. This was supposed to be a playdate! I mean--"
"Oh Sierra. It's okay, don't be sorry! You can't help it! i don't mind! Really!"
Sierra looked, with amused affection, at Shane's little face.
"Let's go play," she said, changing the subject, and giving Shane a rather weak smile.
"Okay, blocks?" Shane grabbed his walker and laid the cat on the soft bedside rug.
"Yeah, we were having fun," Sierra said.
And they hurried back into Shane's room to continue their game.
Meanwhile, across town, little Jenna, also from Anela's class, was making one of her first phonecalls to a child her own age.

Chapter 43: Jenna's Phonecall
(by Caitlin, added on 10 July 2004 01:51 AM)

Jenna stood, poised by the phone niche in the hall. In her hand was the cordless phone, and a piece of braille paper on which Isaac's phone number was brailled. She'd asked for it in class. She didnt' quite understand it, but she felt at home with Isaac. Though he was hyper beyond control, at times, she liked his sense of humor, his energy, his zest for living life to the fullest extent. She wanted to have a playdate with him.
She turned the phone on.
Dialed the number.
Laid the paper on the kitchen table.
Plopped into a chair.
Hopped back up.
Tapped her bare toes on the wooden floor.
Waiting for a response.
The machine clicked on, and Isaac's voice filled her right ear.
"Hi! We're not home right now so leave us a message with your name and number and we'll call you back as soon as we can. Thanks bye!"
Jenna smiled, as the beep deafened her ear. Isaac was even hyper on the message machine!
"Hi, Isaac," she said eagerly, "it's me, Jenna. I was wondering if you'd wanna get together! So give me a call if you can. My number's 887-1235. Thanks! Bye!"
She hung up, heart racing excitedly.
Would Isaac call back, and would he want to get together sometime?

Chapter 44: Pieces of the Puzzle
(by NativeRose, added on 11 July 2004 03:33 AM)

Anela walked into her classroom on Monday morning to find a surprise waiting for her.
A very unpleasant surprise.
Summer and Tamara stood before her.
"I quit! I just can't handle these screaming, crying children anymore," Tamara explained.
"And the medical problems," Summer added. "They're just too stressful. As if there isn't enough stress in my life." With that, they turned, leaving the stunned teacher staring at the place where they had been.

A young blonde stepped lightly into the classroom.
"Hi, I'm Anna Joyce, here for my first day..."
"Oh yes! I'm looking forward to working with you!" Before she had finished, the second recently hired aide entered.
"I'm Jane Peters, and I'm very excited about working with your students. I've been a special education teacher for five years, and..." She stopped, when she saw Shane and Sierra enter the classroom.
They were followed by two new students.

Chapter 45: Who's Who?
(by NativeRose, added on 11 July 2004 04:05 AM)

Andrea and Jordan Baker rolled into class, Jordan with Walker, and Andrea in wheelchair.
"They were born with cerebral palsy," their mother explained.
"Twins! Hey, how are we going to know who's who?" Isaac jumped up and down.
"Well, I can talk a little better than my sister," Jordan said.
"Oh, Andrea is like Zack," Rosalyn commented. They would find out more about their fellow classmates and new aides in the days to come. They were full of surprises.

Chapter 46: Journals
(by Caitlin, added on 13 July 2004 06:21 AM)

"Let's all write an entry in our journals, about our weekend," Anela suggested, after they had met in the circle and begun the day.
"Yay!" jordan cried, flipping open a new, blank journal. "I love to write!"
"Me, too!" cried Scott, flipping to a blank page. He was already on his second journal.
"Me, three!" Isaac was scrawling so quickly and untidily that Anela could hear it across the room, and know that it would be completely illegible.
"Isaac, slow down, sweetie," she said. "Try to write more neatly."
She turned to find Shane and Sierra so deeply absorbed in their journals that they didn't even seem to be noticing the hubub around them.
Jenna, she noticed, seemed to have a lot to say too. Any minute, Anela expected smoke to rise from the child's BrailleNote.
"Shane, why don't you read me your entry?" Anela asked, when he had closed his journal.
He opened it up, and read, as Anela, Anna and Jane all listened:

Sierra came over to my house. We were playing blocks but then she had a seizure. I was scared she was going to not wake up. SHe slept after the seizure. I stayed by her bed. I didn't want her to be lonely. I hate being alone. If I'm alone and doing stuff, I feel okay. But if I'm alone and I have nothing to do, i'm sad. So I stayed by her. Soon she woke up and she was fine. THen we played more blocks. It was lots of fun. Sierra's my best friend.

"Wonderful, Shane!" exclaimed Anela, patting the child gently on the hsoulder. "Writing and reading! Great work!"
She and her new assistants moved off into a corner.
"The bonding between your students is amazing, especially when you consider their differences," Jane said sincerely.
"And their disabilities are all so different, but yet, they get along beautifully," marveled Anna, awed.
"And with new students, too," said Anna.
Anela smiled, somewhat proudly.
"They're a wonderful group," she said graciously, with a small, contented smile on her face.

Chapter 47: More New Faces
(by jennifer palmer, added on 5 August 2004 05:14 AM)

When Anela walked in to her class room she heard something move slightly. "Hello who's there?" She then felt a hand touch her left hand she noticed the person was moving her fingers a thought crossed her mind then. What if this person is deaf or mute what if it is a new student? I am so glad i learned to write with a pin she thought. Just then Shane and Sierra walked in. Shane said "Miss Anela he is trying to tell you his name." "Shane do you know sign language? Anela asked. No he answered i just know how his lips are moving sorta he started doing that when Sierra and I came in. Anela picked up a piece of paper and pencel she handed it to the boy who started to write. "I am mute and cannot speak, my hearing is fine i have a sign language dictionary on me however i have a problem if you are blind as is obvious i have no idea how you will read it." Well, Anela said I have a scanner with software that reads to me I can use that if need be. What's your name she asked him. "My name is Sean he wrote she ran the page through the scanner not yet aware he watched with fascination Shane had read his previous message he noticed that a girl in a wheel chair and another girl had entered and a boy who was obviously like his brother who was paralyzed and a girl who waved a cane wildly had or were comming in. He then noticed a boy who was walking too fast he ran over quickly to stop him from smashing in to a desk and gently redirected him the other way. Oh Isaac the girl with the cane said watch where your going. Just then he saw the girl in the wheel chair who he would soon learn was Nequenta was holding a keyboard with a speaker on it which she used to talk he walked over to her and took it from her as he typed Nequenta stared. She wondered what he wanted with it and why he didn't talk to her or ask. "Can i borrow this the machine said for him I am mute and have no idea what i am going to do for communication the teacgher doesnt know the manual alphebet and I have a strange feeling that the kids in here cant use sign language either. She smiled "sure i have an extra mom always tells me to carry in case." Sean suddenly became aware that more people were comming in two boys came in one of them carried a something in his right hand which he held to his eye it must help him see he thought as the other carried a box in his left hand which he handed to the teacher she didnt have a clue as to what it was even though it was labeled. Sean began to type out the label for her it was a box of medication for the child he let the machine read: Medication for Branden and eye drops for Adam. Anela noticed Sean had Nequenta's communication machine and was gratefull tha tshe had let him use it. Just then Andrea and Jordan came in and she started class introducing the three new students and explaining everything to them that was necessary and helping everyone get started on there first assignment she now had twelve students in her class aand wondered why Branden didn't know what was in the box he seemed to stare in to space according to Jane and

Anna she wandered around the room looking at the childrens assignment with heraides reading or helping her understand zack's odd speech he had progressed so very much since there first day together. When she got to Sean he was sitting at his desk his pencel still moving it was plain to Jane,
Anna and Anela that he was in a higher grade than the other children. What grade are you in Anela asked him I am in the sixth he typed. Anela found the books she would need for him and the ones for Adam and Branden who were both in the fifth she got the three boys started then she went to grade a few papers and write progress reports.

Chapter 48: Super Glue Friendship
(by NativeRose, added on 6 August 2004 10:52 PM)

"Sean," Anela started, "Do you have a Dynomite like Nequenta's?"
"No, and please call me Andrew, that is my middle name, and everyone calls me Andrew."
"Sure, that's fine," she responded, as she moved toward Adam and Brandon.
"What are you writing in your journal, Brandon?" Anela inquired.
"Oh, he's just having a petit mal seizure, don't worry. Just give him a minute, and repeat your question," Adam explained. They had been best friends for as long as they could remember. Adam had glaucoma and nystagmus, and Brandon helped him read things when the print wasn't big enough. Brandon had been trained in how to help Brandon when he had grand mal seizures. their disabilities didn't keep the two boys apart; they simply helped the other where he lacked the ability to do something. Their friendship was a strong bond, like super glue; it could never be broken.

Chapter 49: Betrayal
(by NativeRose, added on 20 September 2004 06:42 PM)

Scott raced home after school that day after school. Something had been bothering him, but he just couldn't figure out what it was. He pondered the idea, and it finally became clear to him. His father had been acting weird lately, and he wasn't sure why. His dad was really distant; he decided he needed to ask him about it.
"Yes, Scott?"
"I need to talk to you about something."
"What's that?"
"You are acting really strange, like you don't really care, and that makes me feel sad." Kyle Smith was faced with the inevitable. He had known he had to tell his son what was to transpire with Social Services, but he wasn't sure how to go about it. What could he say? He didn't realize how it had affected Scott, but obviously he noticed that something just wasn't right.
"Scott, there is, um, something I need to tell you."
"Yeah?' Scott's face turned pale, he knew this something was bad news.
"You said you feel sad because of my unusual actions. I'm sorry you had to go through that. There will be some changes soon." This didn't sound good at all, and Scott wasn't sure he wanted to know what it was.
"You're going to live with a new family very soon. I...I can't handle everything that is going on, and I don't think I can support you in every capacity."
"You're...what? No! You're leaving me, just like my Mommy did!" Scott turned, flung the door open, and raced down the sidewalk. Why didn't his father want him anymore? Was it all because his mommy was gone? He just couldn't understand this, and he was scared. Where would he go? Would the new family love him?

Chapter 50: A Flame Rekindled
(by NativeRose, added on 20 September 2004 06:55 PM)

Anela saw Scott's father walking in her direction. This was strange. How had he known she was working at school on this Saturday? She could see by the look on his face that he desperately needed to talk to someone.
"I told Scott...and he...Oh, what am I going to do?" He burst into the classroom and started babbling incoherent fragments.
"What's going on? Take a deep breath, and slow down. Explain things to me."
"I just can't handle things like this anymore. I know I need to be strong for Scott, but I just can't....I don't know...He's going to be put up for adoption!" He spoke the awful truth, it was revealed at last.
"Oh...um, I don't know what to say!"
"You think I'm a horrible person, and you see me in a totally different light?"
"No, I think you're doing this with Scott's best interest in mind. I'll be glad to help him with the transition."
"I guess that's the reason you're the first person I went to, well, with the exception of Scott. I don't want to let him go, but I know I need to do something."
"Actually, I truly admire you. There is a huge mountain looming before you, and you're trying to find ways to cope."
"Yes, but am I doing the right thing?" Anela didn't know what the solution would be. How could she help her distraught friend? She had to admit, this didn't change the way she felt about him. She still loved him as much as ever. That wouldn't change, no matter what decision he made.

Chapter 51: A new twist
(by jennifer palmer, added on 22 April 2006 10:34 AM)

Anella stood in front of her class. Today we will have a discussion we are going to start to do this every morning. I want you all to come up with the topics and if we can we will try to cover them all. She had read some books by a woman named Torey Hayden who like anella had had a class of kids with special needs. I want you to think of things to talk about today while I tell you about something else we're going to do. I have here a box every day when you see someone doing something nice for someone or doing something good that they normally don't do I want you to write them a note. Then on friday we will read the notes and whoever gets the most gets a prize. Andrew didn't know what to think but he knew this could work wonders for the younger kids he too had read the books even though they were on an adult level he didnt care and neither did his parents they were too drunk and high to care. Anna pointed out to anella that scott had his hand up "yes scott she said her voice calm. Anella can we talk about love? He seemed hesitant to ask this. Yes what do you want to know? If dady says he loves me why did i have to live with a new family? Anella took a breath well, your father didnt think he could give you all you needed and he had to make sure you were going to be ok. She wondered too about Kyle's actions but didn't let this on to Scott. Andrew smiled then as he typed sometimes you just have to know they love you even when they cant care for you at all. I should know I deal with my own issues I think books and tv raised me and still do but that's not something you younger kids need to hear stay innosant while ya can Jane saw tears in his eyes but didn't comment. Love is a bond that can never and will never be shattered. This came from Adam who sat tears in his eyes just remember your dad loves you and it probably hurt him too.

Chapter 52: Planning for the Change
(by NativeRose, added on 25 April 2006 03:05 AM)

All of the students in Anela's class knew about Scott's impending placement.
"How can we help Scott?" Jenna asked, her bright eyes moving aimlessly.
"Well, he's going to live with his new family next week..." Miss Peterson began.
"Is Scott going to leave school?" Shane asked. "The sandbox won't be much fun anymore without him."
"Well, you'll all be glad to know that Scott is going to stay in this class."
"Let's plan a surprise party...with his daddy and his new parents!" Isaac suggested.
"That's a great idea--"
"Scott is coming back, we'll have to plan later!" Jordan interrupted.

They decided to have the party on Friday, the day before Scott was to leave his dad. Anela's class couldn't wait to begin preparations!

Chapter 53: A Party Begins a New Life
(by NativeRose, added on 25 April 2006 04:00 AM)

Brandon and Amy Rose were delighted when they were notified of the arrangements for Scott’s party. The teacher was kind to invite Scott’s new parents; they would have the opportunity to meet his classmates. They were concerned about Kyle Smith, however. How would he react to everything: seeing Scott’s physical therapist, psychologist, intake worker and the Rose family? Could he handle the emotional strain of all of that, and why hadn’t Miss Peterson considered this when she created the guest list?

When the day of the party arrived, Scott was taken to his favorite restaurant during the lunch period. It just happened to be the one Kyle had taken Anela to several months before, and Scott was so excited that the same people were with him. Why did Miss Peterson have to leave early? That just wasn’t fair…but she was the teacher, and she had to get back to her class.

When Scott arrived at school that afternoon, all of his classmates, teachers/staff, and family members were ready. Anela, Jane and Anna had done some detective work to discover some of quiet, introspective Scott’s favorite things were. The kitchen staff had agreed to prepare a chocolate cake for him, but Scott missed this aspect of his little gathering. As soon as he entered he saw…it couldn’t be!
“Mariah! Why are you here?”
“I heard it was your last day here, so I thought it would be fun to—“Rosalyn couldn’t wait any longer.
“Surprise!” she exclaimed, as the others joined in.
“What?...No way! What is all of this stuff?”
“We cancelled all classes this afternoon; we wanted to make this day special for you.” Anela explained.
“How did Mariah get here?”
“Nequenta’s mom thought it would be easier for you if she was here—“
“And…Bethany! How did you get here?” In response, Bethany grabbed his hand.
“I’ll race you to the sandbox; Shane is waiting!” Scott reached it first, but Bethany followed close behind.
“It’s not fair!” she said, smiling. “you can move faster in that thing than I can with this!”
“It’s not a big deal, it’s the same for me, Beth.” Shane spoke from where he sat. They sat under the elevated sandbox and prepared quite a masterpiece, as the adults finished preparing food.
Kyle was asked to supervise when Nequenta needed to be changed, but Amy Rose could see he wouldn’t be able to pull it together. It made perfect sense; he was losing his son, and surely he felt like a failure. He couldn’t handle the fact that he caused his wife’s death and altered Scott’s life forever. He had also killed his oldest child, and the unborn child.
“Do you want me to take over?” Amy said softly.
“Would you mind?”
“Not at all…and I’ll be praying for you, Kyle.”
“What could praying do for me? Where was God when…” Kyle took off for Anela’s classroom. He was glad the party was held in the gym, not in her classroom.
Amy scanned the faces scattered about the playground. She was just amazed at how well Anela’s students interacted, and their abilities and challenges were so different. When the group was summoned for cake and ice cream, she saw something more that stunned her. Scott helped Bethany and Shane back to the classroom. Isaac reached out to Jenna as she stumbled over a step. Rosalyn bounced along behind Nequenta’s wheelchair, chattering excitedly. Sierra walked beside Zachariah to make sure he made it to the gymnasium safely and didn’t wander off. Jordan and Adam laughed at some shared secret joke. Andrew pushed Andrea toward the ramp, steering around Nequenta and Rosalyn.
As Amy walked behind the group to chaperone, she knew for certain that God had placed Scott in this class for a reason. He had a rough stretch of road ahead of him, but he would make it with their support…and Brandon’s and her prayers, along with those at her church who helped to fund everything needed for the adoption as well as the remodeling that needed to be done. Scott would adjust well…but what about Kyle? She would certainly pray for him, she would pray that someone would come into his life to take away the emptiness. She sensed that person was Anela…and maybe she could lead him to the Lord. Amy didn’t have time to think about that now, she had a party to attend, and a life to celebrate, that of the child she could not carry, but the one God had blessed her with just the same.

Scott couldn’t believe all the planning that had gone into this party. Everybody was there: Mariah and Bethany; his classmates; Anela, Jane and Anna; his daddy; Brandon and Amy, his new parents; and even Miss Candice (the psychologist), Miss Emily (the intake worker), and his physical therapist, Janell. Wow, this was just great…except his daddy looked so sad. Scott thought it was really nice for Miss Anela to talk to his daddy, even if she was missing some of the games. She still managed to play with Scott and his friends, but he noticed that she often looked at his dad; he sensed that she was worried, but he didn’t know why. When he asked her, she simply hugged him, smiled and said, “Don’t worry, just enjoy your party.”
The gym was empty except Anela, Kyle, Brandon and Amy. Anela could tell Kyle wouldn’t be able to contain his emotions for much longer. He tried to remain “strong” for his son, but she was sure he would crumble when he left Scott at the Rose residence. There was so much Kyle wanted to tell Scott before he left, but he just couldn’t find the words. How could he convey everything he wanted Scott to know? How could he show Scott that he still loved him, despite the fact that he had to move away? Would Scott blame him for everything, and rightly so.
“…so don’t be so hard on yourself,” Brandon was saying.
“What? I’m sorry…I was distracted.” Kyle said apologetically, noticing that Scott and Amy had left the room.
“I said,” Brandon tried again, “none of this is your fault, and there is a reason it happened. God can still use it for something good. I know you can’t see that now, but He can, and He will if you let Him.”
“Well, God wasn’t there as I watched my family die. He certainly didn’t do anything to heal Scott!” Kyle shot back.
“I know you’re angry,” Brandon daid quietly, “just don’t let it consume you…we’ll be praying for you.” He finished when he saw Scott and Amy moving toward the gym. Scott actually had a smile on his face. It was a tiny smile, but it was there just the same. Even though everything in Scott’s life was turning upside down, he knew that, somehow, things would be all right…if this lady didn’t leave him too, like his daddy was doing. He wanted to believe that this lady and her husband could love him, that they wanted to keep him. He could tell by the way they spoke and the expressions on their faces that they wanted him, but it was so hard to believe that it would be forever. Maybe, just maybe…if all that stuff they said about God was true…no, Scott couldn’t let himself believe that.

Chapter 54: Scott's Weekend
(by NativeRose, added on 29 April 2006 01:04 AM)

On Monday morning, all of the students gathered in the classroom, anxiously waiting for Scott’s report about his weekend with his new family.
“Hey, Miss Anela,” Shane said quietly.
“Where is Scott?” he asked, fear in his voice.
“I saw his new mommy and daddy with him today,” Rosalyn answered him.
“Where were they?” Anna asked.
“They…they were outside the classroom, talking about…something…” Jenna said.
“I know, I know!” It was the first time anyone had seen Nequenta get excited about anything.
“His mommy and daddy were praying with him! I heard his mommy talking to God.”
“Wow! His parents are sure into God,” Adam observed.
“Maybe…maybe that’s a good thing,” Jane said quietly, then stopped as she saw Scott and his parents approach the classroom.
“Good morning, Scott!” Miss Peterson said brightly.
“Um…hi, Miss Anela,” he said in a hesitant voice. Scott looked around the classroom, glad to see that nothing there had changed. He was in a new home, with another mommy and a new daddy. He had a new room, and even though he had all of his toys, it still felt strange. Yesterday, they made him…
“Yes, everything will be fine, don’t worry…we expect those things. Everything is going to be great, right Scott?” He realized someone was talking to him.
“Oh yeah, sure, Miss Anela.”
“We’ll see you this afternoon after school,” Brandon said. When Amy reached out to hug Scott, he pushed her away.
“You’re not my mommy! She’s not `coming back, and you can’t take her place!” Amy turned away before Scott and Anela could see the expression on her face.
“I’ll set up some time for play therapy with the school psychologist. Do you want her to call you as well?” Anela asked the worried parents, as she escorted them out of the classroom. Amy nodded silently, not sure if she could speak. She momentarily forgot the kind teacher couldn’t see.
“Mrs. Rose?”
“Oh, yes…I’m sorry.” Amy finally said, flustered.
“No worries, I’ll ask Dr. Goldsmith to call you this morning.”

When Anela reentered the classroom, she found her students in a circle around Scott.
“What was it like?” inquisitive Jenna asked.
“Yeah, yeah, was it fun?” Isaac asked, aimlessly tapping a crayon on his nose.
“Wait,” Sierra said, more softly.
“Maybe Scott doesn’t want to talk about it.”
“Sierra is right, you look sad.” Rosalyn agreed.
“So…do you want to talk about it?” Sierra asked again, momentarily forgetting what she was asking.
“No, I think I’ll write it in my journal…and if you really want to know, Miss Anela can read it later…I just can’t—“

My room felt so empty on Friday night. We put all the nice things from the party in a box. I wanted to leave the bear out…you know, the one Miss Candice gave me on Friday. My daddy was quiet; he didn’t talk much, but it has been like that for a long time. He has been so sad since…well, even more since Miss Emily found Brandon and Amy. My daddy took me to their house on Saturday morning, and Miss Emily was there…and even Miss Candice. She works at school, I didn’t think she would be there at Brandon and Amy’s house on a Saturday! That’s when all the teachers are supposed to go home for the weekend. Anyway, they were all there, even that nice man, Mr. Lee. He is the man who told Brandon and Amy about all the things they would have to make their house work for me. I can’t believe they were all willing to do that! Well, my daddy and Brandon took everything to what was going to be my new room, and Amy, Miss Candice, Miss Emily and Mr. Lee showed me all the new things they did. Mr. Lee made it so I could use the bathtub, and…and…before, my daddy had to help me transfer into the shower, and I can do that on my own at my new house! They made the bathroom bigger, and the counters and sinks in the bathroom and kitchen are lower so I can reach them. Oh, and there aren’t cupboards underneath the sinks anymore, not like at my old house. When they showed me all this stuff,I wondered why my daddy didn’t do that for the house we lived in before. Maybe he knew even then that I would have to leave.
My daddy and Brandon left my room when I was ready to go in.
“Well, I think I’m going to go…” my dad began. Brandon whispered something to dad, who looked kind of embarrassed.
“Um, go look at your new room, and when you’re finished, I’ll…well, um…yeah.”
“He needs to see his room and know that all of his stuff is there, that the familiar things are going to be there when you leave.” I heard Candice say, and Emily agreed. I looked around my new room and saw all the things from my old one. They were still in boxes. Was all of my stuff really there? What if my dad forgot anything?
“Let’s go see your dad. I’ll help you unpack your things this afternoon.” Amy told me. She guided my wheelchair out the door. I was really surprised when I saw my daddy. That man Brandon, Miss Emily, Mr. Lee, Miss Candice and my dad stood in a circle holding hands. Amy put me in between Miss Candice and my dad, then she squeezed between Brandon and Mr. Lee. Then…then Brandon started praying…or something. I couldn’t really listen to what he was saying, but I knew that he was talking to God. That was weird. The only time my dad talked about God was when he was angry. He always asked why God did all those things to him, why God let them die…and why did God have to make me “this way” as he put it. Brandon was talking about God like he would talk to his best friend. When he finished praying, my dad hugged me, then ran out the door. I heard Brandon and Amy tell him he could come to see me at any time. Would he ever want to se me again? Did my dad hate me? Why did he have to leave me with strange people?
“I think you’re really going to like Brandon and Amy,” Miss Candice was saying.
“I don’t know,” I said, then I left. They just didn’t understand. How could they know how I felt?
Yesterday, Amy told me we were going to church, where I would learn lots of things about God. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to…just because of the stuff my dad was always saying about Him. How could my dad be so angry if God was really loving…like Brandon said? Maybe Brandon and all those other people were wrong. When we got there, a lot of people said they wanted to meet me.
“We’ve been waiting so long, and we’re glad you’re here!” said a lady Amy called Corrine.
“Hey, look who’s here!” Amy and Corrine said at the same time. I couldn’t believe who I saw! Bethany stood behind that lady, Corrine.
“We’re n the same class, Scott! We have to hurry…or we’ll be late. I’ll show you where to go!” After…Sunday school?...Amy came to get me and we went into this big room. A man talked about God…a lot, just like the lady in Sunday school. She said some stuff about this man named Jesus…I can’t really remember, I’ll have to ask Amy, but I’m not sure if I really want to know. I got bored in church, it was way too long for me. Just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore, that man said we could go to something called children’s church. Bethany asked this boy, Brendan, if he could take me since it was far away, and she couldn’t get me there. He actually said he would! After that, we went home, and Amy asked if I liked church and what I learned from it? What did I get out of it? I wasn’t really sure. What a question!
“I don’t know. I didn’t really understand,” I finally said.
“Do you know anything about God?” Amy asked gently. Brandon looked kind of…well, I’m not sure, but he wasn’t smiling. Maybe he was sad?
“No, just what my dad says. He says religion is stupid, and it’s not good for anything. He says we don’t really belong to God, if we did, He would not have taken my mommy, sister and the baby. He says God is really mean.”
“No wonder…” Brandon said.
“No wonder what?” I asked him.
“Well, God isn’t really like that. Will you let us show you who God really is?” Brandon finally asked, after a long pause.
“Okay, I guess.” I didn’t really think anything of it until Amy told me she wanted to read a story to me. I know it’s silly, but I still like stories. She took me out of my wheelchair, put me next to her and gave me the book.
“What’s this?” I asked her.
“It’s a book about God. It’s one with pictures, and it tells the whole story about God and His Son, Jesus Christ!”
“Oh yeah, the lady talked about someone named Jesus today. My daddy only talks about Him when he’s angry.”
She read some stories to me and explained God and Jesus to me. She tried to tell me that God loved me, that He wanted to be a part of my life. She seems to think that if I decide to let God become a part of my life, I’ll be a happier person. I just don’t know about that.
When I got to school this morning, Brandon and Amy asked if I was glad to go back to school, to see all my friends again. Then Amy said she would be there when I got home from school, and Brandon would be there waiting for me. I was just about to come into the classroom when Brandon said he wanted to pray with me before I went into class. Brandon prayed that I would do well in school, and that God would give me a clear mind or something. Amy prayed that God would give me His peace, and that He would show me He was with me? So why don’t I feel that peace? Why do I feel all alone?

Soul Searching
As soon as Scott finished writing and the others had finished drawing pictures, Anela spoke once more.
“Some of you know Bethany Ross. She was in one of the other schools, but now she has come to ours. She’s going to be in our class. You all remember her from Scott’s party on Friday. Scott couldn’t believe what Miss Anela was saying! Bethany would be in his class at school, and the Sabbath school on Sunday. Bethany smiled at Scott as she passed him and went to sit beside Sierra.
“I’m glad you’re in Sabbath school with me,” she whispered, “let’s play at recess.” Scott responded with a trace of a smile.

Chapter 55: Anela's Point to Ponder
(by NativeRose, added on 29 April 2006 01:09 AM)

During recess, Jane and Anna offered to supervise the students at play. Jenny, the teacher from the classroom next door volunteered to do the same.
“Thanks for your help. I really want to read Scott’s journal entry before he comes back to class.”
She picked up the sheet of paper and began to read. She could see that he was afraid and felt terribly out of place with the Rose family. She was especially interested when she got to the part about his experience at church, and then his conversations with Brandon and Amy. They seemed to be really religious people, and Anela wasn’t sure that was the best thing for Scott. She remembered hearing Kyle speaking to Brandon about how he didn’t want God in his life. Brandon had simply said that he’d be praying for Kyle. Prayer seemed to be extremely important to this family, and they thought God could improve Scott’s and Kyle’s lives considerably.
Anela had always been quite unhappy as a child, she always felt that something was missing. Maybe this God was what she was looking for. Maybe she should ask Brandon and Amy Rose. Then she remembered reading something about how Candice Goldsmith and Emily James were Christians. She wondered about Scott’s physical therapist. Was Janell Jacobs a Christian? If so, Scott would be surrounded by them. Was that such a good thing? If what they all said was true, with God in his life, Scott would be able to make it through everything. Apparently God could give Scott the strength he needed. If He could do that for Scott, couldn’t God do the same for Kyle Smith? Could this God do the same for Anela? Was God this thing that was missing in her life; could He fill the emptiness? Surely Brandon, Amy, Candice, Emily and perhaps Janell would all reaffirm her suspicions with a resounding “yes.” How could Anela find this God? What should she do? She didn’t want to rush into anything; perhaps she would continue to watch the interaction between Scott’s adoptive parents, the staff and Scott before she did anything.

Chapter 56: Group Persistance
(by NativeRose, added on 29 April 2006 01:27 AM)

Amy’s phone rang, shattering her thoughts. She put her Bible on the table, and reached for her phone.
“Is this Amy Rose?” a pleasant voice greeted her.
“This is Dr. Goldsmith, Miss Peterson suggested that I call you.”
“Oh yes, at first, your name did not sound familiar to me, then I realized you’re Candice…it just took awhile to put it together.”
“No problem. It’s not like you don’t have anything else to worry about.”
“It’s just that I didn’t realize you were the school psychologist, I thought you had an independent practice.”
“If this was a public school, the staff would object to my close association with the students, teachers and parents. To be honest, some of the parents think I’m too involved anyway.”
“I think it’s great. They really need the support you can provide.”
“Miss Peterson suggested that I call; is there something specific that you need to talk about?”
“Scott doesn’t seem to want physical contact at this point, and I know that’s normal. When I try to touch him, he tells me to go away, I’m not his mom, and she’s never coming back. How can I help him? Is there something specific I can tell him? Should I simply try to be patient with him?”
“Well, consider the events that took place. First, his mother, sister and the unborn baby were killed. Kyle felt guilty, so he distanced himself from his son. We’re not really sure how long Kyle contemplated turning him over to the state. He was already rather distant since his wife’s death, and probably more so after he decided he would give Scott up for adoption. In Scott’s mind, his father became angry after his wife’s death, that was probably directed at him in some instances. Then Scott was told he would go to live with another family—“
“I think I can see where you’re going with this. Scott feels like his dad’s anger is directed at him, and he thinks it’s his fault that his mother and sisters are dead. Then, when Kyle told him he would be leaving his home, he felt like his dad hated him. So first, he killed his family and then failed his dad. He blames himself and is probably pretty angry with everyone, especially himself. He doesn’t want to develop any close attachments, maybe he is afraid that everyone will leave him, just like his dad did. Maybe he’s afraid that he will end up killing everyone with whom he develops a bond.”
“You’re right, Mrs. Rose. He may think he doesn’t deserve to be loved, which is why he can’t see why you and Brandon want him, why you’re doing all these things with and for him. He doesn’t want God for the same reason: he doesn’t feel he deserves to be loved, and then, with all of the things his dad says about God…”
“I’m not really sure what to do.”
“Just continue to pray with and for him. Reinforce the idea that you’ll love him unconditionally, that you chose him specifically because you care about him, and keep telling him about God. Try to be patient with him; it’s going to take a long time for him to learn this, so repetition is good. Miss Peterson scheduled some time for him to come for a session this morning, and he should be here soon. I’ll keep you updated so you can reinforce the things he learns here with me.”
“Great, thanks for your help. I really think God has him there, working with you and Janell, in Anela’s class for a reason.”
“Janell is a Christian as well, and she has agreed to do something a little different for physical therapy today. Did she tell you about that?”
“Yes, she did. Okay, I just wanted to make sure you got the message…oh, it’s time for me to get Scott, I’ll keep you posted.”

When Anela saw that it was 10:00, she started to call Candice to confirm the time, when she heard the door open behind her.
“Hi Anela,” Candice whispered, “I’ll grab Scott.” Anela should have known that Candice wouldn’t forget; she took her job seriously, and it was clear that she loved the students.

When Candice and Scott reached her office, she asked him if he wanted to read a story.
“Which one?”
“It’s from this book.” She held out the same book Amy had read to him the previous day.
“That lady…Amy? She read a story from that book to me yesterday.”
“Which one did she read to you?”
“It was about this person named Jesus, and how a bunch of children came so he could talk to them or something…”
“Oh, and what did you think of that story?” Candice asked.
“It was okay, but that happened a long time ago. Jesus isn’t around anymore, but I kind of wish He was, He seemed really nice.”
“If you were there, do you think Jesus would have talked to you?”
“I don’t really know. I mean, I’m just me…and my own daddy doesn’t want me! How could a stranger be so nice to me when my own daddy could give me to strange people?”
“Do you think Brandon and Amy like you?”
“I guess so.”
“Do you think they love you?”
“They said they love me…but I don’t know. My daddy doesn’t want me anymore because…because…” Scott’s bottom lip began to quiver, and tears filled his eyes.
“Because why?” Candice asked gently.
“Because I killed my mommy and my sisters, and then…I made him unhappy, so he hates me! What if…what if I do something bad, like I did to my family, and what if Brandon and Amy don’t love…or don’t want me anymore?” So Amy’s deductions were correct, Candice thought, as she turned to grab a box and another picture book.
“What’s that?” Scott asked without much interest. He took the offered tissue, and continued to stare at her.
“It’s a book called You Are Special, and I think—“
“No, that’s not for me. I don’t want to read that.”
“Why isn’t that book for you?”
“Because I’m not special. They used to love me…before I killed my mommy and sister…and the one I didn’t know. I’m not special anymore.”
“Okay, I want you to take this book home with you. I’ll put it in your backpack, and Brandon and Amy can read it to you.”
“I don’t want it!” Scott said angrily.
“And then,” Candice continued, “when you come back, you can tell me what you thought of the book.” She put a piece of paper in the book. Scott groaned inwardly when he saw what it was. Oh, how he hated those lists of questions. They weren’t like the ones the other teachers would give him, especially Miss Grayson…yuck! Miss Anela wasn’t so bad, but still…these were the worst. Miss Candice would ask about how the book made him feel, what he thought of when he saw a picture. Sometimes she would ask him to draw a picture of something that told her how he was feeling that day.
“Before you leave,” Candice was saying, “may I give you a hug? I haven’t seen you smile today, and you have such a nice smile.”
“Okay, I guess so.” Scott tried to sound exasperated, but she heard the slight note of joy in his voice. He desperately needed physical contact, something that was lacking since his mother’s death.

Scott wondered what to expect when the last bell rang. Would someone be there to pick him up? Amy had promised…but what did that mean? Sure enough, she was the first person to enter the classroom after the bell signaling dismissal rang.
“Hi Scott!” she greeted him warmly.
“See you tomorrow. It’s going to be a good day.” Anela said as Amy directed him toward the door. Anela’s words made Amy wonder what had happened in school that day.
“Did you have a good day at school?” she asked.
“It went,” he mumbled.
“Scott…” Amy began. She recalled Dr. Goldsmith’s words: Reinforce the idea that you’ll love him unconditionally…try to be patient with him.
“Yeah?” he asked sullenly.
“You need to know that we’re going to love you no matter what happens.”
“You can’t love me!”
“Why not?” They had reached Scott’s new home. Scott turned to see Brandon’s smiling face as he walked toward the van.
“Because…well, what if I do something so bad that you decide to give me to some other family?” Brandon had reached the van and was helping Amy remove the straps that held Scott’s wheelchair in place.
“Do you know what God says about love?” Brandon asked.
“I don’t care!” Scott shot back.
“Well, first, He wants you to know that He loves you,” Amy began.
“He can’t love me either.” They could see that they wouldn’t get anywhere with this conversation; they would continue it later. Perhaps the story would illustrate just how much God loved Scott and wanted to heal him. Brandon and Amy desperately prayed that it would be so.

Chapter 57: You Are Special
(by NativeRose, added on 29 April 2006 01:56 AM)

That night before Scott went to bed, Brandon and Amy read the story You are Special to him.
“The Whemmick with all the dots and no stars must have been very sad,” Scott observed when they finished.
“Do you ever feel like him?” Amy asked.
“When do you feel that way?”
“All the time, since…well, ever since my mommy…and then when my daddy said I had to live with a new family.”
“That’s what made you feel--”
“Yucky! I feel all yucky inside! I don’t know how anyone can love me, after the things I did.”
“There is something you should know,” Brandon began, “and you need to listen very carefully. The things that happened to your mom and your sisters are not your fault. You didn’t make those things happen. Your daddy doesn’t love you any less because your mommy and sisters died.” Please let it be true, Lord! Amy prayed silently before she spoke again.
“Okay, we’re going to go back to the story for a second.” She began quickly. She could clearly see that Scott was agitated, and she wanted to redirect the conversation; they would have time to continue that discussion later. Give us the wisdom to know hwo to help Scott. This time Brandon prayed silently, as his wife spoke again.
“Do you remember what the creator of the wooden figures said about him?”
“That’s how God feels about you. You might have some dots and some stars, but God loves you just the way you are. None of us are perfect; we all have lots of dots, but God loves us, and He wants to give us all many stars. That’s just one thing that Jesus can, and wants, to do for us.”
“Wow…you mean…God loves me? He thinks I’m special, just because I’m me?”
“Yes, even though your mommy and sisters died, and your daddy said you had to move, God still cares about you. None of those things are your fault, and God still wants to do great things through you!” Brandon wanted to connect the ideas of his mother’s and sisters’ deaths and the story; he wanted Scott to understand that he didn’t cause the horrific events that left him with a broken family. God could still use Scott, even though he was a frightened and angry child, lost amidst the chaos of his father’s pain and guilt.
“So God let us have you, Scott, and we’re so glad you came here.” Amy was saying.
“Yes, you have already brought so much joy, and we want you to know that we are always going to love you.” Brandon continued where Amy left off.
“We have waited so long for you!” Scott couldn’t believe what they said. God really thought he was special, even though his daddy thought he was bad? Had that man just said he loved Scott, and he would love him forever…no matter what he did? Could it be true? Had Amy really said they waited a really long time for him? They did seem happy, truly glad that Scott was there child. Imagine that…they were waiting for Scott…just for him! He hadn’t been very nice to Amy…but he didn’t know why. He wasn’t usually so mean.
“Um…I know I was not very nice today, and I didn’t mean to…I don’t know what’s wrong with me!”
“I know,” Amy whispered, as she reached out to him. This time, Scott allowed her to hug him. He could finally let her love him…at least, he thought he could. Scott was able to admit that it felt really good for someone who wanted to be his mommy to hug him, to tell him everything would be all right, to…love him.

Chapter 58: Apple Valley Revival
(by NativeRose, added on 29 April 2006 03:08 AM)

The next morning, all the students gathered in Anela's classroom a little earlier than Scott and his parents. Miss Peterson must have something really
important to tell us, Adam thought, as he struggled to find Jordan.
"Hey, I'm over here...it's a straight shot!" Jordan called, as Anela stood to speak.
"Yesterday, some of you asked me why Scott was acting so strange. Some very big things are happening to him, and I'm sure he's really scared."
"Yeah," Bethany spoke from her place beside Nequenta. "He seemed really sad yesterday..." She trailed off when she heard Scott's voice down the hall. He
actually sounded...well, he sounded like Scott!
"Hey, Scott! You look happy!" Isaac said without thinking.
"Oh really? Tell me what that looks like!" Jenna squealed excitedly. Scott actually laughed in response to their comments.
"Yeah," he began his explanation breathlessly, "Brandon and Amy read this story to me last night. It was really cool, and I liked the pictures in it. Then...then
they told me that God thinks I'm special, and He loves me, and they said that God feels that way about all of us, so I just wanted to tell you that.a They
said that God thinks all of you are special, too!" Scott beamed proudly at Amy. He was so glad he remembered everything they said. He couldn't wait to
tell Miss Candice, Miss Emily, and Miss Janell. He might even tell that man, Mr. Lee. He seemed to be one of those people like Brandon and Amy. Then maybe
he could tell his daddy...someday.
"How did all of this happen? three shocked teachers and assistants asked.
"Well...um, I'm not sure what they call it, but..."
"Can you remember what happened after we read the story?"
"Oh yeah...they prayed with me. They said that I just had to talk to God, and tell Jesus that I wanted Him to live inside me, to come into my heart! They said that we all do things that God doesn’t like, but He still loves us. He wants to be friends with us. You know how the Whemmicks in the story had dots when someone didn’t like something about them?” Scott asked, assuming that they had all read the story.
“Yeah, my mommy read that story to me!” Bethany said excitedly.
“Well, anyway, Brandon and Amy said we’re all like that. We all have lots of dots, but they become stars when Jesus comes in. God loves us just the way we are, with all those yucky dots and all. They said they know I’m sad because…um, because my daddy made me move, and my mommy and sisters died, but they said that with Jesus inside my heart…well, they said Jesus could make me happy. He could take away the sadness. They told me that I don’t have to feel all yucky and sad anymore, but when I do, God will help me. They said that He’s big enough to make all those bad things go away, and that He can help me not be so sad anymore. God wants to be friends with you, too—“
“Okay, that’s quite enough!” Anela said rather harshly. The discussion made her feel quite uncomfortable, but she wasn’t sure why. Jane told her of the expression on Scott’s face, and it made it even harder for her to listen to everything he said. He seemed Wso happy, and for that she was glad, but it was the reason he seemed to be different. She didn’t like change, and that’s what this God seemed to do to people. Sure, He made them happier people, but could she?...did she want to?...no, it couldn’t be true.
“You did a good job…you can be sure that God is very proud of you, just as I am!” Amy hugged Scott, and Jane and Anna saw the joy clearly displayed on both faces. When they told Anela of this, she became more agitated.
“So this God is really big?” Shane asked.
“How big?” Jenna asked.
“Well, there is this story about a giant. Brandon said he’s nine feet tall! God made this little boy really strong, so he could get rid of the big giant who was so scary!”
“Wow, that’s cool!” Sierra said excitedly.
“Hey, if this God makes people happy…I want Him to live inside of me!” Andrew began. “Yeah, me too!” a chorus of voices echoed.
“So…all we have to do is ask Jesus to live inside our hearts?” Nequenta asked through her speech synthesizer.
“Yeah! That’s what happens…and then, He makes it easier to live with different things!” Bethany said excitedly.
“Like meningitis?” Nequenta asked.
“And cerebral palsy?” Shane inquired.
“And jumping eyes?” Jenna asked, laughing.
“If God can make me not so angry anymore, and if He can love me with all those yucky dots, He is big enough to help all of you: Sierra with all those shaky things, Zack with the way you talk, Andrea with that stuff like Nequenta…and all the rest.”
“Okay, this conversation is over!” It was only then that Anela was able to speak.
“Okay, we’ll talk about it later!” Scott said excitedly, as he raced toward Bethany, who had a huge smile on her face.

Anela sent her students out for play time with Miss Jenny and Janell, the physical therapist, so she could talk to her aides.
“I can’t believe you just stood there and allowed this to transpire!” Anela said sharply.
“Well, I don’t think Scott was doing anything wrong,” Anna said in his defense.
“We’re Christians, too, Anela. I don’t think you’re really as angry as you sound. You’re just afraid of change, but God wants to help you with that. He doesn’t expect you to get over the fear on your own, He wants you where you stand right now, He wants you to come as you are.” Jane said boldly.
“I saw the things you wrote about Scott’s journal entry—“
“You what, Anna?”
“It fell off of your desk, and I had to rescue it before Andrea rolled over it. I just looked at it to make sure it wasn’t damaged.”
“Don’t question it, Anela. There are things we’ll never understand. Just trust God to make it all clear to you in His time, when He wants to. He won’t ever desert you, He wants you, and He knows everything about you. He knows all about the pain and loneliness you feel, He knows about how you feel empty and you long for someone to love you. He knows the shame you feel because of things you have done and things that have happened to you. He can fill your emptiness, take away the pain, shame and loneliness, and fulfill your longing for the love you’re searching for, but will never find anywhere else.” Jane said.
“Yeah, we would love to pray with you, if you’re ready…” Anna said more hesitantly.
“Okay, I guess it couldn’t hurt, and if God isn’t really there, it’s not like I’ll be too disappointed.” She said, but she wasn’t convincing enough.

When Anela came out to supervise recess, Scott immediately saw the smile on her face.
“Hey, let’s go talk to Miss Anela!” he said to Bethany and Shane. They left the elevated sandbox to Andrea and Nequenta. Bethany almost tripped over Zack’s foot in her haste. Scott reached out to prevent her from falling. When they finally reached Anela, Jane and Anna, they were breathless with excitement and from the exertion.
“Well, I did it, and you helped me, Scott! Amy is right, you did a great job!”
Several students entered Anela’s classroom after play time with smiles, and a new,vibrant glow radiated throughout the classroom. Anela knew her class would be so different after this day, one that changed everything for her.

Chapter 59: Confusing Confessions
(by NativeRose, added on 29 April 2006 07:33 PM)

Anela woke with a start. She searched for her clock, who announced the time as 1:30 AM. Had Anela heard something? If not, what had awakened her? She suddenly
realized it had something to do with her choice, her real decision to accept Jesus as her Savior. Something was wrong. Whatever could it be, and why did
she have to contemplate that mystery right now? It was the middle of the night, and she had to teach the next day.

Across town, Kyle Smith awoke with a start, though his abrupt desertion of slumber land was quite different. He looked at his own clock, as he struggled
to find his phone. It was strange to see the blinking numbers: 7:30 on a Tuesday morning! Normally, he would have been...no, he mustn't think about that.
Besides, he had to answer the phone.
"Hello?" he answered hesitantly.
"Anela? It's...oh, do you want to meet this weekend?...oh, it's that urgent? Well, we can meet at 5:30 this evening. Do you want me to...oh, okay, I'll
meet you at the school at 5:30. Yeah...later." Kyle hung up the phone with some trepidation. What was Anela up to? She sounded so excited, but a little hesitant at the same time. Why was the matter so urgent? Oh great, he would have the entire day to worry about it… oh well, at least they were going to figure it out that evening.

Kyle approached the school with growing apprehension. Would Scott be there? Certainly Anela wouldn’t be so cruel… but what if there was a problem?
“Anela,” Kyle quietly announced his arrival.
“Oh, hi, how’s it going?” That was strange, Anela was smiling; she was usually so serious.
“Okay, what’s going on?” Kyle asked, more sharply than he had intended.
“Well,” she began hesitantly. She said a quick prayer and plunged ahead.
“I have a confession, and then I have to tell you about something that happened yesterday. I think, well.…I hope you’ll be glad to hear it.”
“Okay, what’s up?”
“In a conversation we were having one day… I think it was right after Sierra got out of the hospital… anyway, you said something about believing in God, and I agreed with you. Those were just words on my part. I knew all the right things to say, the youth pastor drilled it into me. I pretended to accept it out of respect for him; he was the only person who really cared about me. Anyway, I pretended to be into this “Jesus thing,” but my heart was hardened. It wasn’t real, and eventually, I forgot about the things he told me. The effect wore off, and I just didn’t care anymore. Yesterday….Scott came to class quite excited! He talked about how he was told about God, and how He wanted to be Scott’s friend. Then Scott extended that invitation to everyone, students, teachers, his therapists….at first, it really bothered me. I mean, an eight-year-old got it, and I didn’t have it figured out yet. I was talking to my aides yesterday after the conversation with Scott, and they completed the picture for me. They showed me what to do and led me into a real relationship with Jesus, the God I had so brazenly spurned all those years. When I went out for recess, I found that God had invaded my students; Scott had instigated a revival in my class. Several students returned to class as….oh, here it is.” She searched through her Bible to find the right passage. “I read this morning that “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation....”That’s what nhappened, they were new creations. The students who could speak shared their feelings to the best of their ability, and Jane and Anna told me that those who are nonverbal had expressions of pure and uncluttered joy on their faces. I just wanted to share that with you….and to apologize. I didn’t realize I was living a lie until yesterday.”
“I guess that leads me to my own confession. I used to believe in God. Scott’s mother, Hannah, was totally “on fire” for God. She was so full of life, and her love for the Lord was displayed in everything she did. I believed in God, but I wasn’t into it like she was. I thought eligion was a private thing, you know, it was something I did on the weekend, then I just went back to living my life the way I wanted to with no real desire to live for God….not like Hannah. I could see that Sariah was going to be just like her mother, but I really discouraged Scott from becoming involved in it. I’m sure he was rather conflicted….seeing his mother so into church, when I told him he wouldn’t have to go. When we were dating, I told Hannah I believed in God, and I played the part really well….I should have been an actor. Anyway, I didn’t have a firm foundation, and I didn’t really care, so when Hannah, Sariah, and the baby she wanted to name Emily died, that foundation of sand was totally shaken and just collapsed. If I didn’t really have an interest in God before, ,I certainly didn’t want to have anything to do with Him after that, especially after I found out that Scott was paralyzed. Hannah would surely say that God could heal Scott….if it was His will.” Kyle did not try to disguise the bitterness that gradually crept into his voice.
“Do you still feel that way?” Anela asked quietly.
“Absolutely!” Kyle said. It was clear that their was no room for argument.
“I’ll be praying for you, Kyle.”
“Don’t tell me that, like Brandon and Amy and all of Scott’s therapists and social workers, you’re going to start preaching to me.”
“No, it seems to me that it would be pointless to try to talk to you about these things if you don’t want to hear about them.”
Kyle knew he had been unduly harsh with Anela; he hadn’t meant to take out his aggressions on her. She didn’t deserve to be treated like that. She had initiated this meeting to confess, which took great strength, and she just wanted to encourage him.
“Yeah, I’m sorry, Anela. I was lost in thought. I apologize.” He turned abruptly and left the classroom before Anela could respond.

Chapter 60: new student.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 17 October 2007 07:47 AM)

on monday after her conversation with kyle smith. anella came in to the classroom to talk to the class.

"okay every one we have a new student commint today, his name is shadow and he is blind and death also he is in a wheel chair and his mom and dad have just died. At the momant he lives with a family who beat him and don't love him but he is soon going to be living with a new family. Scott you are going to have a brother and you will love him." that morning as shadow was wheeled in to the room he thought that all this class ware the same as his family and that they would not love him. Suddenly a hand touched him.

"Miss anella how can i talk to him?" asked scott. anella asked scott to say what he wanted to shadow. shadow senced another presents by his desk anella put the braille paper infront of shadow and guided his hand to it. He read the following message.

"Hello shadow my name is scott i love you and am so pleased to meat you, we are the same age and i am going to love you for ever. i need us to learn to talk together and the rest of us in the class will love you to, take god in to your heart and let him love you."

suddenly shadow threw the paper across the room then wheeled blindly round the room throwing everything and hit scottl squarley on the mouth. Shadow then turned and raced from the room.

Chapter 61: A Bridge
(by NativeRose, added on 21 October 2007 09:28 PM)

Scott still sat next to Shadow's desk. He stared at the retreating figure. Scott was so confused and hurt! What had happened? He was just trying to be nice to Shadow. After all, Scott knew all about what it was to lose parents. Though Scott now called Brandon and Amy Rose "dad" and "mom" respectively, he would always remember his real parents. His mommy had died, and Daddy didn't want him anymore. Still, he knew Brandon and Amy loved him as if he was their own child. They always told him that's who he was--their son. They said that, as much as they loved him, they could never love him completely like God did. Didn't Shadow want the same thing? Maybe he was still scared and didn't know or like anyone. Scott remembered what that was like, too. Still, he was just trying to be nice to Shadow, and Shadow was so mean, and he hurt Scott's feelings.
"Jesus," Scott whispered, trying not to cry, "Shadow made me mad. He was mean to me. If he's my new brother, will we like each other? Mommy would never let Shadow throw stuff like he did in class today. She would never let him scream at me like that. Will he always be mean? Mommy and Daddy say I'm supposed to try to be nice to people, even when they hurt me. I have to do that since it is what You would do. Jesus, I need Your help to treat him with kindness, just like You would do."

Anela left her two aides in charge of the class, as she went to find Shadow. What an odd name for a child! She'd have to find out about that one. How could she learn more about him? How could her class help Shadow feel welcome?

She found him frantically rolling down the hallway, but Anela couldn't allow that to continue. He wasn't familiar with the school, and danger lurked at every turn. She raced toward Shadow, who stopped moving when she touched his shoulder. Oh No, she thought. I don't have any communication device. I'll just push him back to class. anela turned Shadow around and pushed him back to her classroom. Thank God for strength training in high school! she thought. There was no way she would have been able to push his chair without that. Anela was about to push Shadow into the classroom, when she heard footsteps and a voice behind her.
"Miss Peterson, it's Candice. I'm ready to play with Kennan."
"Oh, maybe you're just a big child. You get paid to play with precious little ones every day!" Candice laughed as she pushed Shadow to her office.
"Lord, if You're really out there listening, help that boy!" Shadow's revelatory experience with Candice helped shed some light on the mystery of Shadow. It changed the way they saw the Shadow forever.

Chapter 62: All About Me!
(by NativeRose, added on 21 October 2007 09:54 PM)

While an aide took Scott to the nurse's office, Candice entered her office with Kennan. She experienced some trepidation. Each case was different, even when they came from similar backgrounds. How could she reach this hurting child?
Shadow finally had his hearing aids in place, so he was able to hear most of what that weird lady (Candice?) said.
"Can you tell me what's inside you today, Kennan?" She guided his hands to a piece of soft clay. "Make something to show me what's inside." Kennan picked up the ball of clay and threw it across the room.
"Are you mad?" Kennan shook his fists in front of his face, which expressed such anger and sadness!
"There are owies inside?" Candice asked, as she retrieved the ball of clay.
"Can you tell me what hurts? What makes those boo-boos?" She retrieved Kennan's computer from his backpack as he tried to form a response.
"No!" was the only word he said.
"You don't want to tell me about what's going on inside Kennan?"
"No," he said again.
"Okay, can you draw or write it?" He looked uncertain until she said, "it will be just yours. I won't peek."

I'm glad this Candice lady hasn't called me Shadow. I don't like that name. It makes me sad. That's one of the owies inside. The family I live with now gave me the name. Their boy is seven like me. He cried and told them that I went everywhere he did. That's why they started calling me Shadow. He doesn't like me. The big people say he doesn't have to play with me. What if I live with these new people with that new boy? What if he doesn't like me? He was nice today. I don't want him to be mean. That will make me sad. I just won't play with him. What if the new mommy and daddy hate me like my family now? And God? Well, He won't like me, either. I don't want to be sad all the times. No one can fix my boo-boos. Mean people give more owies. They won't help them go away. I need a really really really big Band-Aid to put on my heart. My heart hurts. It's just one big boo-boo!

Chapter 63: Jesus Proof
(by NativeRose, added on 21 October 2007 10:09 PM)

Candice gave Anela Kennan's paper so she could use it to help him. Kennan had told Candice she could read it. After much reassurance that Miss Anela wanted to help him, Kennan had given her permission to show his teacher.

Scott came in from recess a little earlier than the rest of the students.
"Miss Anela?" She looked at Scott, and he continued. "How do I help Shadow. I want to be nice to him, but is he always going to be mean?"
"He just lost his mommy and daddy, and that's hard. You know what it is like."
"Yeah, I talked to Jesus, and He says to love Shadow."
Amy Rose had been summoned to the school to meet with the school psychologist. After she heard the explanation of what happened between Kennan and Scott, she went to Anela's classroom to talk to each boy. She was so proud when she heard Scott's statement. God had surely done great work in Scott. Of course, the refining process would be a long one, but Scott had gotten so far already!
What would life be like for Kennan? She knew he was hurting just as Scott was. Would Kennan let God in to heal him? It would definitely take time, and this was the hardest part, at least for the parents. Brandon and Amy already loved Kennan as if they had raised him from the beginning. Still, he would have to learn that they could be trusted. It would take much longer for him to see them as people who wanted the absolute best for him. Amy thanked God that Scott already wanted to reach out to Kennan. It was a true product of the person God was creating in Scott, and she prayed Kennan would let God's love penetrate his heart and soul.

Chapter 64: Love Your Enemies
(by blake, added on 22 October 2007 10:34 PM)

That night, Scott lay in bed thinking. He knew that God wanted him to love Kennan, even though Kennan acted mean. For a long time, Scott thought about ways he could be nice to his new brother.
On the following day, the students worked on a reading assignment. Suddenly, Kennan accidentally dropped his braille textbook. His face got red and he pounded his fist on the desk. Scott got up from his desk and went over to Kennan. Leaning down, Scott picked up Kennan's book.
"Here's your textbook." said Scott.
Kennan gave Scott a small smile.
The seeds of bonding had been planted by this act of kindness. Neither boy knew what the future would hold.

Chapter 65: Watering the Seeds
(by NativeRose, added on 22 October 2007 11:08 PM)

Kennan still sat at his desk, but he didn't open his book. That was the second time Scott did something nice for him. Kennan realized Scott had not asked for anything in return on either occasion. Maybe he could actually be telling the truth about wanting to be Kennan's friend.

As Scott released the brakes on his wheelchair, he watched Kennan's face. Although the slightly younger boy could not speak verbally, his facial expression spoke louder than shouted words ever could. Here was a boy who was so lost without his parents. Who knew what his life had been like before they died? "God, help him not to be sad and scared anymore," Scott prayed as he went back to his table.
That night when Scott got home from school, he found his daddy there waiting for him. That was weird; Daddy was a teacher for big people, and he usually got home around suppertime. Brandon and Amy Rose prayed in the room just beyond the kitchen, where Scott was eating his mommy's oh-so-yummy chocolate chip cookies! He was oblivious to the desperate prayers and the conversation going on nearby.

"Scott, we have something to tell you," Brandon said very quietly and seriously.
"It's important, so you have to listen carefully," Amy continued.
"It's about the new boy in your class--"
"I know hin!" Scott interrupted Brandon breathlessly. "Kennan is so sad! I helped him twice. He actually played with me today!"
"That's good. Well, you know that he lives with another family."
"They're mean to him! Why aren't they like you?"
"Well, some people don't live like Jesus wants them to live. Because the people Kennan lives with now are not doing what God wants them to, he is going to move in next door."
"I thought he was going to live here!" Scott said, his lower lip beginning to quiver.
"Just listen," Amy said, reaching out to hug him.
"He is coming to live here soon, but he still has to live with another family for a little while. He is going to live with Bethany's family, so you will see him a lot."
"Can...can...can he come over to play with me?" Scott waved his arms excitedly.
"Of course you can."
"When is he...when is he going to live with Bethany?"
"It will be tomorrow."
"Yay! I'm going to tell Beth!" Scott frantically rolled through the kitchen and out the door. Brandon and Amy smiled as they watched their son speed toward Bethany's house. If Kennan didn't think people could love him, he was going to find out soon!

Chapter 66: The move.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 29 October 2007 03:01 PM)

the next day after school kennan sadly wnt out ot meat the man who he currently lived with, he knew that their would be beetings the momant they got in to the house. When kennan reached the door to his supprise miss anella got his chair and pushed him to a car. Kennan asked with his computer what was going on. Anella lefted him in to the back seat of a car wair he sat tremboling. Suddenly a woman got in to thecar next tohim and lifted him on to her lap. He could tell that it was a woman by the feel of her. Heidi bethanies mother was wairing blue jeans and a white top. She sat in the back seat of the car next to kennan
"Hi my name is heidi and i am going to be your new mother for a while till you move in with brandon and amy. My dauter bethany is scotts cusson and i am scotts mothers sister, unfortunatly she died in a accedent."

Kennan turned to heidi and could instincktivly tell she was nice suddenly he did something thathehad not done since his mother died and gave heidi a hug then to his supprise she lifted him on to her lap and held him like that all the way home. Bethany's father james drove them home in silance.

Chapter 67: Straightening the Line
(by NativeRose, added on 31 October 2007 11:21 PM)

"Beth's biological mother died shortly after her birth," Corrine Ross explained to Kennan's social worker. Candice was not his intake worker as she had been for Scott. If she was, the story wouldn't have gotten so mixed up. Corrine's thoughts followed this line.

As previously explained, Shane and Corrine Ross adopted Bethany as a baby and didn't tell her until many years later. Heidi had been Bethany's biological mother's name. She died of a drug overdose not long after the adoption process was complete.

Scott would be an amazing friend for Kennan; he could understand Kennan's plight. Bethany, however, did not know the pain of being wrenched from one home and tossed into a strange place. The Ross's home was all she had ever known. Kennan and Scott used wheelchairs, and Bethany traveled with a walker, so the two play yards were accessible for all the children. Corrine and Shane were so grateful that God had brought this new blessing into their lives. Oh, he would need much prayer and healing, but they would help him if he could let them in.

Chapter 68: Crawling to Emerge
(by NativeRose, added on 1 November 2007 02:41 PM)

"Scott is going to marry me!" Bethany sang out, laughing hysterically. "My dress will be the color of the princess in that book!" Bethany talked to her friends as they played in the sandbox. Kennan was not too far away. He sat dismally, listening to everything that was going on. Why couldn't he fit in? His mental questioning was interrupted when Bethany continued to speak.
"He's going to marry me when I'm this many!" She forgot to hold up some fingers; she just waved her arms in the air, her hands dancing before the faces of the other giggling girls.
"I thought he was your cousin," Kennan said. Although Bethany was visually impaired, she could still see the uncertainty displayed on his face.
"No! He's my bestest friend! Scott helps me. He can see more things. He helps me read when the words are squished on the paper." Beth could not know how true her predictions would be.

Kennan went back to observing the activities around him. He heard Sierra talking to Andrea, Nequenta and Zack. Rosalyn played on the slide structure with Jordan and Andrew. Isaac and Jenna ran around the perimeter of the playground at school. They chattered excitedly, and Kennan could hear the conversation from the other side of the schoolyard. Brandon and Adam played tetherball nearby. The cocophany only served to plunge Kennan deeper into depression. He wanted friends. At the same time, he didn't want any attachments.
"Hi!" a cheery voice broke into his grim thoughts.
"Who are you?"
"I'm Rosalyn. Do you want to play?"
"Play what?"
"Maybe the swings...or the sandbox...or, or the--" She jumped up and down as she breathlessly suggested things they could play with. However, her torrent of words was interrupted when the bell rang.
"Oh, we have to go inside. Can I go with you?"
"Yes," Kennan said slowly, bewilderment coloring his voice. Maybe, just maybe, Scott and Rosalyn weren't like his family. Maybe they could be his friends.

Today was the first full day Kennan spent with his new family—Bethany, Jamison and Corrine Ross. They seemed nice enough, but this was what happened with the mean family, too. How could Kennan be sure?

The questions reverberated around in his head when the lift touched the ground outside his new home. Would he be all alone, just as he had been with the previous family?
"Hi, Kennan!" That was Corrine, Beth's mommy. Kennan thought she was smiling, based on the sound of her voice. He suddenly wondered who had purchased his hearing aid tool. It was the Clearsounds SoundWizard 2 Complete System. This was his new amplification device, and it made it possible for him to hear everything, even the little verbal cues. It was just amazing that he could hear the smile in Corrine’s voice. Maybe she could love him. Then Kennan heard Bethany’s walker and her footsteps as she approached the lift. Kennan was startled when he felt someone touch his chair.
“Who’s that? Leave me alone!” he “screamed” through his digital voice.
“It’s Jamison, Bethany’s dad. Can I help you move just a little, so Bethany can use the lift?” Kennan stiffened as memories flashed through his mind. Would this big person hit him because he was in the way? Would he push him into some thorny bushes as the other people did? Kennan was surprised when Jamison released the brakes and slowly pushed him up the ramp. Corrine reached out to give him a hug. That was strange; her voice wasn’t coming from way above him. Was she sitting on the ground? That was the only thing Kennan could figure, as it was like she was looking right at him. The people never did that before. Well, no, that wasn’t quite true. Miss Anela, the teacher; Miss Janell, the physical therapist and Miss Hannah, the speech therapist at school did that, too. But why did Jamison and Corrine do that? They weren’t like the mean family at all. Still, what if all this was just a show so the bus driver wouldn’t know what they were really like?

Chapter 69: The Healer Spurned
(by NativeRose, added on 3 November 2007 01:30 AM)

"It's Sariah!" Scott said a little too loudly as he made his way into the room with Bethany and Kennan in tow.
"I remember you! You helped Autumn with that scary thing. Why did she shake all over? Autumn and Sierra became friends even though Sierra had seizures and Autumn has the big, scary cancer..."
"Scott, can you tell me who your friend is?" Sariah Golden interrupted. She was the charge nurse at the hospital where Autumn was being treated, and she also worked with Sierra during her hospital stay. Yes, the cancer was "big and scary," as Scott had said. She couldn't think about that now, as she had a Sunday school class to teach. Still, Scott had made her think... How was Autumn doing on this morning? Surely, she was still struggling with the nightmare, as if dealing with cancer wasn't enough... Sariah certainly couldn't discuss Autumn's condition with Scott. Although Sierra was in his class, Sariah couldn't talk about what had happened to her, either.
"Oh yeah, it's Kennan. He's going to live with me and...Emily...yay!" Scott shouted excitedly as he saw his social worker pass the classroom. She looked in and smiled at Sariah as if to say, "Children..."
"And Kennan," Scott continued without missing a beat, "this is Sariah. She's the bestest nurse ever! She gives us stickers after they give us owies with those big needles!" Scott enthusiastically continued to introduce Kennan to the students in the class, but he didn't notice the expression on Kennan's face. Scott had turned to talk to Lana and Ross, two other people in wheelchairs. He was startled when Kennan seemed to erupt behind him.
"I don't want to be here! I...I hate this place! I don't like those people...and I don't want to hear about the meanie, Jesus! He's not nice, Scott. You're stupid...since you like Jesus!" Bethany gasped as she sat in her walker seat, and Scott sat with his mouth open. Lana's eyes filled with tears, and Ross made a funny face at her in a desperate attempt to make her laugh...or at least smile. Lee, Lana's twin brother, stared at Kennan in silent shock. Emily reappeared in the doorway. The Sunday school class she taught was situated right next to Sariah's classroom, so she could surely hear the commotion. Zack's wheelchair filled the doorway behind emily. He peered around her and stared at the new boy curiously. Amy Rose, who was Emily's aide, quickly took charge and ordered Zack to return to the classroom. She quietly suggested that Emily take Kennan to a secluded place to talk. By this time, everyone in the education wing was aware of what was going on. Amy directed her students to return to Emily's classroom, and she firmly shut the door behind her. emily quickly entered Sariah's classroom and touched Kennan's shoulder.
"We're going to--" she began softly, but she was interrupted.
"No! I...hate...all--" Kennan screamed before disintegrating into uncontrolable sobs.
"It's all right...Breathe...we're going to a quiet place...you are safe, and no one is going to hurt you..." Emily continued to talk softly as she pushed Kennan down the hall. Kennan must have heard the footsteps as Brendan rushed past, for he was about to strike the older boy. Emily blocked his blows and saw the startled look on Brendan's face and the fear in his eyes.
"Go into class, and Miss Amy will help you with your memory verses," she told Brendan, who quickly complied.
As she continued to push Kennan toward an exit, she thought about the support system he would need, and his families, Brandon, Amy and Scott Rose; Bethany, Corrine and Jamison Ross; his friends and teachers would all need immense support.

Emily took Kennan outside, where she tried to focus his attention elsewhere. If they couldn't talk about God, which was a very small part of their task, they would have to show him through the simplicity and splendor of God's creation.
"Feel the sunshine? It sure is warm." Emily turned his face slightly so he could feel that wondrous creation without hurting his eyes. "And a flower," she paused as she guided his hand to it. Emily elicited a tiny smile when she touched the petals to the tip of Kennan's nose. "That tickles? Let's try this; it feels funny, too!" She pushed Kennan toward the grass and removed his shoe.

Emily was so engrossed in what she was doing that she didn't hear Corrine Ross approach. Corrine stood, silently watching. This was a new way to connect with a child. She wondered if they could switch Kennan's case to Emily. Corrine smiled as she watched Kennan's reaction to Emily. The intake worker had removed his shoe and gently touched his foot to the grass. At first, he appeared surprised, and then afraid. However, he must have understood on some deeper level that Emily wouldn't hurt him, for he allowed her to position both feet on the grass. His smile did not flicker this time; it remained in place for a little longer.
"Listen to the birds," Emily said in just above a whisper.
"That's a mockingbird. Isn't that a pretty sound?" Emily replace Kennan's shoe and pushed him toward a fountain positioned at the front of the church. As Corrine watched the interaction, she wondered if Kennan had ever experienced nature in this way. What had his life with his parents been like?
"Do you hear the water?" Emily asked, as she reached in and removed a polished stone. He was clearly startled when she placed it in his hand. Then Kennan hesitantly touched it with his finger. The water in the fountain was not cold, as it was warmed by the sun. Thus, Kennan did not retreat when Emily put his hand under the rushing stream. Corrine saw a playful aspect of Kennan's personality when he splashed Emily and laughed.
"You splashed me!" Emily said laughing, and the joy was evident in her voice. Maybe the people who loved Kennan were finally beginning to reach him. Corrine returned to her classroom with a lighter step. Hope sprang anew and flooded her heart; this was just the beginning, but maybe it would lead to a road to life, to the real Healer of Kennan's soul.

Chapter 70: the rosses shock.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 10 November 2007 11:43 AM)

one day coreen ross sat in her livingroom watching the children at play when she saw a figure walk up the hallway. As the figure walked in to the room she could see that it looked very much like heidi bethany's bilogicle mother. "Hello coreen, it's me."

"Heidi you are dead arn't you?"
"That is true in one way i am dead but my shell is still alive."

Chapter 71: the mistaken identaty.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 10 November 2007 11:51 AM)

As heidi told her storry coreen just clapsed in shock.

"The authorities made a mistake they did not order a formal identification of the body, it was a woman dressed in my clothes. I have been in witness protection for past eight years as i had to testify againsed a danjorass drug dealer who has now been put away in jail and i am clean and want to be a mother to bethany. i do not want to take her away from your home but i do want to have a relationship with her." as coreen was getting over the shock jamason came in. when the storrie was reapeeted to him his face was thunderass. "I am going to find out who made this mistake and make sure they pay for it." Suddenly bethany came in with scott and kennon. Heidi was quickly pushed out of the back door.

Chapter 72: Heart of the Mommy
(by NativeRose, added on 11 November 2007 12:42 AM)

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.

Chapter 73: Jamison's Side
(by NativeRose, added on 11 November 2007 07:22 PM)

Jamison took Bethany's walker to clean the handgrips and brace bars as Corrine helped Bethany change clothes. He, too was thinking similar thoughts, though neither parent knew what the other was thinking. Would Beth's biological father have gotten angry because there was yet another mark on the wall? Would he have been more concerned about the chipped pain due to the walker brace bars and wheels hitting the wall when Beth fell? Or would he have been more concerned about Bethany and any sustained injuries? Most families worried about having shiny cars, cable television and the latest cell phones. However, Jamison and Corrine's views were different. Maybe it was because they had children with disabilities, and the little things just didn't seem that important anymore. Demonstrating God's characteristics, expressing their own love and ensuring safety were more important to them. Jamison went to the garage to find some paint to touch up her set of legs. The brace bar on the front of the walker was forever colliding with stuff, and he wasn't painting just so it would "look" normal. Bethany would enjoy seeing the bright colors. While most fathers helped their sons put model cars together, Jamison painted the brace bars with a color Beth would be able to see. Maybe families such as Jamison's looked at things differently because they chose these children. "Just as I have chosen you." Jamison's thoughts took off in another direction in response to the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Of course that was true. Jesus had died for all, and all had blemishes; some flaws just weren't as visible as others. Thus, how could anyone look down upon these precious little ones and judge them? How could their own parents see them as burdensome? When Jamison and Corrine had chosen Bethany, they knew a rough road lay before them. Then, when they were informed of Kennan's need to be placed in a different foster home, they readily agreed. They were just ecstatic when they found that Brandon and Amy Rose wanted to adopt Kennan. They would sure had their hands full when it was all said and done. Thankfully, all four parents, along with a network of other caring individuals truly desired to help these families and their small charges. Scott and Kennan would need a different kind of care than Bethany did, because they were dealing with the emotional trauma of losing their parents.
"Yay! It's all shiny!" Bethany said, when she saw her recently cleaned and painted walker. She waved her little arms excitedly from the safety of her mommy's arms. She squirmed, wanting to walk on her own again.
"Thank you!" she said, as she reached out to Jamison. He responded to her visual cue expressing her need for a hug. Jamison held her for several minutes, as much for her physical support as for her emotional growth. Although she was not his biological child, he loved her as if Corrine had borne her. When Corrine reappeared with one of Bethany's older walkers, Jamison released her. "You can't use this walker yet," Jamison explained, indicating the freshly painted one, "because the paint has to dry." Bethany turned to Scott and Kennan and said, "Let's go play!" Both parents watched with great delight, as Scott and Bethany raced down the ramp and to the elevated sandbox. But then they noticed something different: Kennan didn't follow after them, and they had to find out why.

Chapter 74: Mirror of the Creator
(by NativeRose, added on 11 November 2007 10:34 PM)

Corrine slowly walked toward Kennan and spoke softly as she approached so as not to startle him.
"Would you like to go for a walk?" Corrine had noticed that Kennan seemed to respond better to one-on-one contact. After she saw his reaction to Emily, she thought he might enjoy what nature could provide. Based on what she had read in reports, Kennan was developmentally delayed due to shaken baby syndrome. He was at the level of an infant, and Corrine knew they had to take life down to his level. Kennan had to start at the beginning, because no one had ever shown him his world. He was never allowed to explore. His teachers did no better than his parents and the foster family. Jamison, Brandon, Candice, Emily, anela, Janell Corrine and Amy were determined to show Kennan who God was through his environment. These thoughts circulated through her mind as she waited for Kennan to decide if he wanted a calming walk around the neighborhood. Kennan did not respond.
"It will be fun. We can feell the sunshine and listen to the birds. Then we can go listen to the river and see what trees look like."
Kennan slowly, hesitantly, typed a response. "I...guess."
"come on! It will be great!" Corrine went for her shoes and to inform Jamison of their whereabouts.
"You're so perceptive, Corrine. You make an amazing mother!"
"Well, thank you. And your sensetivity and willingness to express your love is admirable. I appreciate it, and I know it helps them see God in you."

Kennan seemed startled when Corrine began to put sunscreen on him. I should have told him, she thought.
"This is coconut," she said, putting the bottle under his nose. He must have liked the scent, for he smiled. Kennan's mommy and daddy had never shown him this stuff. They always left him in his room, and he could tell they only talked to or touched him when they had to. Kennan could tell because of his mother's tone when she helped him with things. Then there was the first foster family. They didn't like him at all, and they hit him a lot. They were like his parents, in that they yelled at him a lot, and they weren't nice when they touched him. This family was new. Scott's family was nice to him, just like Jamison and Corrine. Scott and Bethany always wanted to play with him. Still, what if they all got tired of him and didn't want him anymore? Kennan liked the things these nice people were teaching him. He liked the sun and the birds. He liked the water and the flowers. Most of all, he liked the way people talked to and touched him.
As Corrine pushed Kennan down the tree-lined street, she told him about the things around him.
"Touch the tree, Kennan," she began, as she maneuvered his wheelchair and guided his hand to the trunk.
"That's rough, and it's called bark. Here is another part of the tree. See how it feels different? The bark is rough, but the leaf is soft and smooth." As she explained, she put the bark in one hand and the leaf in the other. "Here is another leafe. It feels different; it is dry and crackles, because it fell off the tree. Hold your hand out." She crumbled the leaf and let the pieces fall through her fingers and into Kennan's hand.
"Do you want to try?" She retrieved another dried leaf and showed him how to squeeze it.
"Now try it on your own." She handed him another leaf, which he tentatively crushed. He tried to do the same with the leaf that had been on the tree, but he discovered that it didn't work the same. Kennan was frustrated, so he threw the leaf on the ground and began to cry. He seemed more frustrated and angry than sad. Corrine looked at her watch and realized part of the problem could be that he was hungry. Luckily, Corrine always carried snacks with her for just such an occasion.
"Kennan, do you need a snack? Are you hungry?" The tears subsided, and he confirmed her suspicion with a tiny smile.
"Miss Anela says you like bananas, and guess what I brought today!" Corrine unpeeled the banana, and put it in Kennan's hand. It was clear that he had never touched such a thing with his hands. He looked quite startled and disgusted. Maybe he's tactually defensive, she thought.
"It's all right to touch it. It's a banana...see? Open up; here it comes!" She took it from his hand and raised it to his mouth. The expression of delight stated what he could not say. They rounded the corner that would take them down the street to their house after their trip around the block. Corrine saw that Kennan looked exhausted, and with good reason! They had so much to teach him, and she was grateful there was a great support system to help. They would work with him a little at a time to teach him that he could trust them; they all knew it would take a long time. However, he was already progressing. Two weeks before this day, he wouldn't have allowed anyone to touch him. It would be a slow process, but God's healing of the heart always did, and it made emerging more special because of that desert.

Chapter 75: 'Xplain, Please!
(by NativeRose, added on 11 November 2007 10:57 PM)

As Scott and Bethany played in the sandbox, they began to question Kennan's behavior.
"He always looks so sad!" Bethany lamented.
"Yeah, at first, I didn't think he liked me, but I think he's just scared."
"Of what?"
"Maybe it's like the monsters under his bed." Scott saw his mommy outside his house, and that gave him an idea.
"Maybe my mommy knows; let's go ask her!" Bethany told Jamison where she was going, and then followed Scott to his house.
"Mommy?" he said tentatively.
"Yes, Scott? Hi, Bethany!"
"Why does my mommy do different things with me than she does with Kennan?"
"You know how, when your mommy plays with you in the bathtub, you know that she loves you?"
"Well, Kennan never had parents like yours--"
"Yeah, they were all big, bad meanies!" Scott exclaimed.
"So Kennan doesn't know what it's like for someone to love him. That's why he's so scared. Your mommy has to show him in special ways that she loves him. What kinds of special things does your mom do with you?"
"Mommy always pushes me in the chair swing, and we have picnics, and she always reads to me. She lets me sit on her lap."
"And that makes you feel special, right?"
"Yeah! And...and Daddy painted my walker today!" Beth said excitedly.
"Well, they have to do things that make Kennan know he's special, too."
"Oh, I get it!" And the children were off again, but this time, they played in Scott's yard.

Back at the Ross home, Jamison encouraged Corrine to take a nap, since the house was quiet.
"You need your rest, too, Corrine. Don't forget to take care of yourself." She was more grateful than she would admit.
"I have to put Kennan down for a nap."
"I'll do that. Get some rest while you can."
" Hey, Kennan, are you ready to sleep?" Kennan yawned, and his movements became slower and more shaky. There's my sign, Jamison thought.
"Before we can do that, we have to clean up. I know it feels yucky when you go potty and when you can't make it all better on your own." Jamison began to explain each step, punctuating key words to help with Kennan's language development: potty, diaper, clean, water, wipe.
"Would you like to read a story before you sleep?" Kennan frowned, then yawned.
"Okay, let's go to your bed." As Jamison tucked the blanket around Kennan's little frame and began to pray for him. It was strange: Kennan seemed to be listening intently as Jamison spoke.
"Jesus, thank You for bringing Kennan to live with us. Help him to get some sleep. Thank You for hearing and answering our prayers..."

Chapter 76: kennons breakthrough.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 12 November 2007 07:39 AM)

heidi sat in her old batterd car watching the children at play suddenly she saw kennan come out with corrine and go down the main street. On impulse she decided to follow them as she had enjoyed having kennan with her but had had to admit when he was taken that hse had not known inuff about kennans needs to have him. She got out of her car and followed at a disdance listening to corine telling kennan about what was around him and the way she was so pationt with kennan. She knew then she had to move back here away from the drugs and influential people in her life. she knew that watching corine would fill her with wunder. Suddenly she heard corine speak

"Okay kennon this is a dog, he is a friend of mine who wants to meat you." as she watched heidi became transfixed on coreens speach to kennon. dshe creppt closer so she could see and here properly.
"Mom is behind us, mommy mommy kennon shouted."

As corine looked around heidi came up to them but stood at a respectful dissdance away. When coreen saw that heidi was there she aloud her self a bit of a smile.

"Why does he choo stick?" kennon asked. as coreen explained to kennon the dog came and sat by the wheelchair and to heidi and coreenes amazement kennon put out his hand to the dog. The dog put the stick in to kennons hand and then sat wagging his tail.
"Okay kennon you have to throgh the stick for the dog and he will bring it back for you."

kennon burst in to tears
"Can't do it mommy jean will hit me with her stick and then touch me." kennon was shaking now and coreen and heidi wheir speachless with shock.

"Kennon what do you mean?" kennon opened his mouth and looked tords coreens voice and to her amazement said touch, it was the first verble word that she had heard kennon utter. Suddenly with out worning coreen saw kennon's eyes flash with concentration and he said very slowly but clearly "I want doggy."
"Kennon i thought you could not speak with out your computer?" coreen said kennan then used his computer to explain that he could say a few simple sentances that mommy heidi had taught him before he was taken away. He then explaind to coreen that his mommy had told him that he would be comming to live with new people because she had taken him from mommy jean. Coreen was amazed how much having the dog their was making kennon open up. maybey this was the answer? Heidi then watched kennon lift up the stick with coreen's hand on his and throw it for the dog. The dog who was a golden retreever and belonged to friends of coreens was called reo ran and took the stick back to kennon as kennon got more in to the game he started to smile and ran with the dog using his wheel chair to sence wheir he was going. Reo then sat and rested with his head in kennons lap. kennan patted the dog and coreen told kennon to stay with reo while she went to the little shop across the road

Chapter 77: heidi's change.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 12 November 2007 07:56 AM)

when coreen walked away heidi walked up to kennan and stood behind the chair. Coreen watched heidi walk up to kennon she felt guilty for lying but she wanted to see how heidi interacted with kennon. When kennon heard the footsteps he smiled and put out his arms. To coreens amazement she heard kennon say the word mommy. Heidi had had kennon taken from her at the age of 1 year old just before she had gone in to witness protection. She knew that kennon had suveyer disabilities and would be better off with out her. now how ever gabe kennon and bethany's biolodgicle father was finaly in jail and heidi had put him their thanks to her testamonney he would spend the rest of his days their. after the court case heidi had come streight back home had found out wheir kennon was and after kidnapping him rung the sotial services and told them how kennon was living. They told heidi to keep him with her for a couple of days till they could get to him. after two days of being with kennon she knew that he would be better off with theese other people. The sotial worker who had handled kennan's fostering and adoption accedently let slip to heidi who had bethany and that was when heidi decided that she had to try and get to know both kids. so she had rented a crummy apartment and decided to stay for a few weeks but now after watching coreen and kennan she knew that she wanted to learn how to care for children like kennan and bethany.

Chapter 78: heidi takes the first step to remorse.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 12 November 2007 08:18 AM)

Bending down next to kennan and the dog as she had seen coreen do she said. "Kennon it's me, i'me sorry for not taking you with me but it was two danjorass for you." kennon just sat staring blankly and nodded his head. coreen was amazed with what she was hearing maybe just maybe she had heidi all rong. As she watched heidi bending by kennon's chair she noted how heidi had to concentrate to stop her hands shaking, even though she is clean she still has the shakes coreen thought to her self but decided to forr get that for now. she went up to kennon and heidi and sat on the park bench behind them. Kennon said in to his computer "What color is reo's eyes." coreen noted that kennon had not been helped much with grammor and waited to see how heidi would respond. to coreens amazement heidi sat on the other bench opersit coreen and took kennon on to her lap. to coreens amazement she started to describe the dog to kennon as she had heard coreen do earlyer. coreen decided that it was time to confront heidi and listen to her side of things. it was odveyass that heidi had a lot of work to do but she decided that the young woman needed a chance. "God god god i don't beleave they keep talking to me about this god i don't understand stuff like this." kennon said. Heidi who had been a beleaver before she had met gabe and got in to the drugs did not know what to say to kennon so she just made the sign of the cross on kennans forhead. "I understand how you feel kennon, i use to beleave in god before i did the nauty thing but from what i remember it is a nice thing." coreen gasbed in shock she had not known that heidi had been a beleaver and was shocked. heidi then looked around at all the things in the park and suddenly wanted to be part of theese people's lives. after watching theese two familys and the kids she knew that she had to get back in touch with god but how and would they beleave her? would they beleave that her treatment for the disorder? and would they beleave her when she told them she was clean? she hoped that she could poswaid them because she knew that she wanted to be a changed woman and make something of her self.

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.

Chapter 80: bethany.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 13 November 2007 07:42 AM)

bethany sat in the livingroom pondering. If her mom was back what did that mean for her. she knew that she wanted to get to know her mom and knew that she could not be taken away from corene and jamason but she did want to be part of her moms life because for years she had thought that her mother had been dead now she was not. bethany could not beleave the sence of exitement she had

Chapter 81: A Genesis
(by NativeRose, added on 13 November 2007 11:50 PM)

As Heidi was driving to the Ross's home, she felt torn. She had scheduled some playtime with Kennan, but she wanted to develop a relationship with Bethany. Jamison wouldn't let Heidi take the children from the home. She could understand the reason for that limitation; Corrine had explained that Bethany and Kennan would probably respond better if they were in a familiar environment, and they felt comfortable with Jamison and Corrine. They had to take baby steps, and Heidi knew it could be several months before they could go anywhere alone. Until then, Jamison and Corrine had to be with them, for Kennan and Bethany's safety and comfort. Maybe she could divide her time between the two children on this day.
When Heidi arrived, apprehension assailed her as she waited for someone to come to the door. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Jamison opened the door. Bethany stood behind him, and her little face expressed what Heidi was feeling inside. They were both a little unsure and cautious, but Heidi hoped that would improve with time.
Corrine had prepared a large meal, and it was there waiting when Heidi arrived. When Jamison prayed, he verbalized gratitude for plentiful food, joy in watching their precious gifts (Bethany and Kennan) grow and peace as Heidi and the Ross family explored familial ties. Heidi felt a surge of regret fill her being as she listened to this man talk to God. How she desired to have that relationship with Him again! But could God forgive her? Would he want her back after all these years? She took some comfort in the story of the prodigal son and what Jesus was saying through the parable. She was still hesitant to "boldly" approach the throne of God.

Corrine noticed the lost look on Heidi's face and the pain that filled the younger woman's eyes. How could she help? As she silently prayed, the answer came to her: He would use His servant to speak comfort to her heart and to b a healing agent. However, the most important thing God seemed to impress on Corrine was that she needed to confirm God's desire to welcome Heidi back. She would have to find an activity for the children, as this was extremely important, and playtime had to wait. However, Bethany solved the problem quite effectively, not even knowing that something strange was going on.
"Can I go play with Scott? You're eating and talking, and I'm bored!" Corrine and Jamison gave their consent. Jamison must have seen something on Corrine's face, for he said, "Kennan and I can go play in the pool." Oh, bless you, Corrine thought, even as she prayed for God to give her the words to meet this woman at her point of need.

Chapter 82: the talk.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 14 November 2007 08:48 AM)

when every one ellse had gone to do their disired activities corine and heidi remaind at the table suddenly the two women felt a sence of peace.

"Whats the matter heidi? you looked lost earlyer while jamason was praying, i senced you wanted to join in but did not know how."

suddenly with out worning heidi burst in to tears looking at the younger woman coreen could see the want and disire on heidi's face. also she could see the look of intence consentration on heidi's face. she knew then that this young woman had had a horrable life and could sence that maybey it had not all been her choice. when heidi's teers subsided to corine's suprise she said.

"I was brought up to beleave in god but when i met gabe and got in to the drugs and the illness i turned my back on it thinking that all i was was a loser then i lost bethany and kennon and that was when i decided i needed to get a life and try again to forge a relation ship with my kids. i know they will never live with me but when my sister died in that car crash leaving scott paralized and kyle a broken man i knew then i would have to be their for them. that was when gabes trile came up and i put all my heart in to testifying and making sure he could never hurt me or any one ellse again." listening to the young woman coreen suddenly knew what a corages young woman heidi really was. suddenly as she looked round the room in wunder heidi saw the butiful piano jamason and corene had bought to try and find a way through to kennons mind also it was something bethany and scott had wanted to learn. when she saw the pianno heidi's eyes lit up and she walked over to it running her fingers over the lovely keys she just smiled.

"Heidi, what's up?" asked corene.

"Well um" heidi compossed her self "well i use to play pianno before all the drugs and stuff happpend but for the last ten years since my life went down hill i have never even touched one." corene could see the longing in heidi's eyes and knew that maybey she needed to face this challenge in order to see that she was still worth something and that maybey this was her way of taking god in to her heart.

"I don't know really why we bought this pianno" corine said "Nither me or jamason can play but scott and bethany wanted to learn and we feel that kennon could benafit from the music. go on have a go look deep in your heart and god will sho you how." suddenly all the others came back in to the room scott and bethany bringing up the rere behind jamason and kennon. sencing the need for quiet they all just enterd the room. on seeing the pianno lid open scott and bethony came up to it. Heidi knew then that she could do this. with a sence of trepidation she sat on the pianno stool and found the music book open on one of the himms she had loved also un benown to heidi it was the rosses and scotts favourate himm. suddenly jamason pushed kennon over to join bethany and scott.

guiding kennons hand to the instroment jamason explained to kennon what it did suddenly on hering the noice kennon smiled and started pressing all the keys. on seeing this heidi looked round at every one watching her then she took kennons hand in to hers. "Okay listen to this lovely instroment when it is properly played, if you like it now you will deffantly like it then." kennon riggled in his wheelchair smiling. jamason then put kennon on the stool next to heidi. suddenly heidi started to play the himm. As bethany recognised what it was she started to smile. after the introduction to heidi, scott, corene and jamason and kennons amazement bethany started to sing the himm her sweet voice filling the room. then following bethany's lead every one joind in even kennon was trying to have a go. when the song was over heidi looked round at this family with admoration, she allready loved them all and seeing the happy look on the childrens faces knew that this had ment a lot to them. As corene looked at heidi she saw the joy on her face and sence of feeling neded. suddenly kennon said

"Like music." in them two words corene could see their answer to healing kennon. The rest of the afternoon passed on with a fun time of songs and prers. when heidi left that knight she felt like everything was comming together for her and that maybey she could tell theese people about the fact that she lived in a shop doorway and not a apartment as she had oridunally told them. she had not wanted theese people to doubt her but on seeing the looks on theese people's faces she knew they would not and that they would want to help her. driving back to the northern side of town wheir she lived she saw the hopelessness of the situation and knew she had to pluck up the curridge to leave this part of town. even thogh she had not touched drugs for four years this part of town was full of it and she knew that if she did not try and get help soon that her situation may get worce. before bedding down in her car she sent a prer to god that she would have the curridge to confide the trueth to the rosses and that she would embrase their help when it was given. after the prer she drove back passed the rosses and parked in the park wheir she had had that first interaction with kennan. now she had done this she knew that it would be okay and that she would no matter what temptations came to her never go to that horrable part of town again.

coreen who was up late had see heidi drive passed her house wundering why heidi was still driving this late she wunderd weather she should investagate further. as she had seen the ragged look of heidi's clothes and senced that their was something heidi was ashamed to tell them.

Chapter 83: the talk.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 14 November 2007 08:54 AM)

when every one ellse had gone to do their disired activities corine and heidi remaind at the table suddenly the two women felt a sence of peace.

"Whats the matter heidi? you looked lost earlyer while jamason was praying, i senced you wanted to join in but did not know how."

suddenly with out worning heidi burst in to tears looking at the younger woman coreen could see the want and disire on heidi's face. also she could see the look of intence consentration on heidi's face. she knew then that this young woman had had a horrable life and could sence that maybey it had not all been her choice. when heidi's teers subsided to corine's suprise she said.

"I was brought up to beleave in god but when i met gabe and got in to the drugs and the illness i turned my back on it thinking that all i was was a loser then i lost bethany and kennon and that was when i decided i needed to get a life and try again to forge a relation ship with my kids. i know they will never live with me but when my sister died in that car crash leaving scott paralized and kyle a broken man i knew then i would have to be their for them. that was when gabes trile came up and i put all my heart in to testifying and making sure he could never hurt me or any one ellse again." listening to the young woman coreen suddenly knew what a corages young woman heidi really was. suddenly as she looked round the room in wunder heidi saw the butiful piano jamason and corene had bought to try and find a way through to kennons mind also it was something bethany and scott had wanted to learn. when she saw the pianno heidi's eyes lit up and she walked over to it running her fingers over the lovely keys she just smiled.

"Heidi, what's up?" asked corene.

"Well um" heidi compossed her self "well i use to play pianno before all the drugs and stuff happpend but for the last ten years since my life went down hill i have never even touched one." corene could see the longing in heidi's eyes and knew that maybey she needed to face this challenge in order to see that she was still worth something and that maybey this was her way of taking god in to her heart.

"I don't know really why we bought this pianno" corine said "Nither me or jamason can play but scott and bethany wanted to learn and we feel that kennon could benafit from the music. go on have a go look deep in your heart and god will sho you how." suddenly all the others came back in to the room scott and bethany bringing up the rere behind jamason and kennon. sencing the need for quiet they all just enterd the room. on seeing the pianno lid open scott and bethony came up to it. Heidi knew then that she could do this. with a sence of trepidation she sat on the pianno stool and found the music book open on one of the himms she had loved also un benown to heidi it was the rosses and scotts favourate himm. suddenly jamason pushed kennon over to join bethany and scott.

guiding kennons hand to the instroment jamason explained to kennon what it did suddenly on hering the noice kennon smiled and started pressing all the keys. on seeing this heidi looked round at every one watching her then she took kennons hand in to hers. "Okay listen to this lovely instroment when it is properly played, if you like it now you will deffantly like it then." kennon riggled in his wheelchair smiling. jamason then put kennon on the stool next to heidi. suddenly heidi started to play the himm. As bethany recognised what it was she started to smile. after the introduction to heidi, scott, corene and jamason and kennons amazement bethany started to sing the himm her sweet voice filling the room. then following bethany's lead every one joind in even kennon was trying to have a go. when the song was over heidi looked round at this family with admoration, she allready loved them all and seeing the happy look on the childrens faces knew that this had ment a lot to them. As corene looked at heidi she saw the joy on her face and sence of feeling neded. suddenly kennon said

"Like music." in them two words corene could see their answer to healing kennon. The rest of the afternoon passed on with a fun time of songs and prers. when heidi left that knight she felt like everything was comming together for her and that maybey she could tell theese people about the fact that she lived in a shop doorway and not a apartment as she had oridunally told them. she had not wanted theese people to doubt her but on seeing the looks on theese people's faces she knew they would not and that they would want to help her. driving back to the northern side of town wheir she lived she saw the hopelessness of the situation and knew she had to pluck up the curridge to leave this part of town. even thogh she had not touched drugs for four years this part of town was full of it and she knew that if she did not try and get help soon that her situation may get worce. before bedding down in her car she sent a prer to god that she would have the curridge to confide the trueth to the rosses and that she would embrase their help when it was given. after the prer she drove back passed the rosses and parked in the park wheir she had had that first interaction with kennan. now she had done this she knew that it would be okay and that she would no matter what temptations came to her never go to that horrable part of town again.

coreen who was up late had see heidi drive passed her house wundering why heidi was still driving this late she wunderd weather she should investagate further. as she had seen the ragged look of heidi's clothes and senced that their was something heidi was ashamed to tell them.

Chapter 84: Courage
(by NativeRose, added on 16 November 2007 03:37 AM)

This was it. Kyle Smith finally decided to take the next momentous step. He had completely fallen for Anela Peterson. It was clear that she absolutely loved her students. She just filled the room, and her smiles and kind words reached each student in a different way. They all had different needs, and some of them were quite complex. Still, she instinctively knew what each child needed and how to deliver. Kyle saw yet another change. When he saw what life with Brandon and Amy Rose did to his son, he was just amazed! Maybe there was something to this God everyone was talking about. His first wife, Hannah, and his oldest child, Sariah, had grasped God's character. Kyle was thankful for this, because he knew Hannah and Sariah were now in the presence of God. They went from the burning wreckage of their car and straight into God's outstretched arms. , Several students and staff understood God's power just as the members of the Smith family did before they died. Then, when Anela finally made the decision, all the people in Scott's life (the parents, students, therapists and teachers) just continued to pour this Jesus into him. Kyle couldn't believe it when Scott got in on the action, and the change in him seemed instantaneous. One day, he was sad, lost and afraid, and the next, he was so full of life! Now it was time for Kyle to face God alone.
No one could do this for him. He had to make that choice, but he wasn't sure if he wanted to face God. What could the mirror of God's holiness reflect in Kyle's life? How could he let God see a broken man? He was just so ashamed, and he refused to let anyone see that. Voices came unbidden, reminding Kyle of who God wanted to be in his life.
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart--these, o God, You will not despise..." the psychologist, Candice and Emily James, the case worker, had told him. If that was so, God wouldn't mock Kyle. He was sure a broken person. After all, he was the one who killed Hannah, Sariah and Emily, and Kyle couldn't handle taking care of Scott.
"He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Hannah had once told him. That reminder brought on a flood of memories. His marriage to Hannah would have been enriched and filled with life if he had shared her faith. He still missed Hannah, but he felt he could go on with his life. He even thought he could marry again--if that person was Anela.
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." That was a Scripture passage that Anela had cited when she tried to help him deal with his feelings regarding his separation from Scott. Kyle took a deep, shuddering breath. "Okay, Lord. What's next?"

Chapter 85: Merciful Hands
(by NativeRose, added on 16 November 2007 04:32 AM)

At the same time God was comforting Kyle's broken heart, He was orchestrating another miracle across town. Corrine quietly left her house and tried to get Heidi's attention. Heidi was slowly making her way down the street again. This time, she saw Corrine, so she lowered her window and waited for the older woman to speak.
"I saw you drive past three times in one hour, and I just wanted to know if something is wrong."
"Oh, um..." Heidi stammered, not wanting to reveal the truth.
"Give her physical shelter," was what God seemed to impress upon her.
"Would you like to stay with us tonight?" Heidi did not respond verbally, though the expression on her face displayed complete shock.
"Um, what? Seriously?"
"Of course! It's cold out here tonight, and it's getting late. You were saying that you want to meet us at church tomorrow; why not stay with us tonight, and we can go together in the morning?" Heidi turned away so Corrine couldn't see the tears that had filled her eyes. God was surely looking out for Heidi. She was worried because she was coming down with something, and her old, drafty shack was not conducive to healing. Her freezing home and inadequate furniture, sanitation and nutrition could turn her cold into pneumonia. Perhaps this lady's kindness was God's answer to her prayer. Heidi removed the keys from the ignition and slowly got out of her car.
"Great! I'm so glad you can stay with us tonight! You look exhausted, and it will be easier, not to mention, more enjoyable, for us to go to the church together in the morning." Heidi's eyes overflowed, and she just couldn't stop the tears. This woman, who would have been a complete stranger if not for her involvement in Kennan and Bethany's lives, was extending such compassion toward her.
"I'm grateful," she managed to say in a tremulous voice.
As Corrine put some water on to boil, Heidi finally gathered the courage to tell her.
"I...I mean...that is to say..." she stopped rambling. There was no way Corrine would know what she was talking about. She took a deep breath and tried again, "I, um, actually don't live in a home as I intimated earlier. I've been living in the northern part of town, and you know what that means." Heidi lifted her head and forced herself to look at Corrine's face. She didn't know what she expected, but Corrine's expression surprised her. There was no hint of judgment, disdain or anger; she looked at Heidi with such compassion that...
"Mommy! heidi's thoughts scattered when she heard Bethany call out to Corrine. "Mommy! Hurry!" Bethany continued screaming, and now her words were punctuated with sobs. Jamison rushed out of the room and toward the sound of his daughter's terrified voice.
"Kennan!" Bethany sobbed, pointing a shaking finger toward Kennan's bed. Jamison quickly turned to see what had scared her, and he recognized the signs of a seizure.
Jamison called to Corrine, though his voice was much calmer than Bethany's had been. When she arrived, they became so engrossed in seizure precautions that they didn't realize Heidi stood in the doorway. I did this, her heart screamed. Bethany and Kennan have birth defects, and it's all my fault. I wish drugs had never been a part of my life. She forced the anguished thoughts from her mind, as she heard Jamison and Corrine's soft voices.
"Mommy, it was like what happens to Sierra at school! That looks so scary!" Bethany wailed in fear. Jamison still stood beside Kennan's bed, touching the boy so he would have a point of reference. Thus, Corrine was able to talk to Bethany.
"One time, Sierra had to go to the hospital after a seizure. Will Kennan have to go in the doctor's truck?"
"You mean, the ambulance?"
"Yeah, that..."
"I think Kennan will be all right; this seizure is over," she turned toward Kennan, who was already falling asleep, "it's your bed time, too. Tomorrow is Sunday, and you know what that means!"
"Sabbath school!" Bethany's voice made up for her difficulty with motor functions.
"Kennan is sleeping, so we have to use what voices?"
"Inside!" Bethany whispered. She maneuvered her walker to Kennan's bed, reached over the bedrail and touched his covered foot, saying, "Thank you, Jesus, for making Kennan all better." She released his foot and made her way to the door. It was then that she noticed Heidi. "You're still here?"
"Yes," was all that Heidi could say.
"She's going to stay with us so we can all go to church together tomorrow!" Corrine said brightly, as she directed Beth toward her room. As she got into her bed, she thanked God once again for helping Kennan "feel better after the yucky shaking."

When Corrine peeked into Kennan's room, she found Jamison changing the lethargic child. he indicated that he could handle the task and that she should go to Heidi.
When they were again seated in the Ross's kitchen, Corrine flawlessly switched from her role as a mother to that of a friend.
"I have a friend who works with an agency that helps people in situations like yours. Would you like to try to contact her on Monday? Actually, you can meet her at church tomorrow if you want to."
"And...what does she do?" Heidi's mind was still processing what she had just seen.
"She can help you find appropriate housing, medical care, etc. You look completely exhausted. I'll show you where you'll be staying tonight so you can get some sleep."
Twenty minutes later, Heidi snuggled into warm blankets, thankful that she wasn't sleeping on a hard, lumpy matress and that she wouldn't have to shiver through the night. She thought of Anela, Anna, Jane and Jenny, who were teachers and aides; Candice, Emily, Janelle and Sariah, who were the specialists, and Brandon, Amy, Jamison and Corrine, the families. Kennan had such a great support system, and for that, Heidi was grateful. Still, each time she saw Bethany with her walker or Kennan in his wheelchair, she was reminded of the huge role she played in creating them that way. These people took such great joy in interacting with Heidi's biological children, and Beth and Kennan responded in kind. There were outstretched hands all around her children, just waiting to let God heal through them. Now, those merciful hands extended to Heidi, despite what she had done.

Chapter 86: the church.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 16 November 2007 01:30 PM)

next morning all the family got in to coreens car ready to travel to church and heidi followd in her batterd one. when they got to the church they all took seats in the back row. suddenly the organ started to play and heidi knew she was home but how would she cope with the service? in the end she settled on watching bethany and kennon sitting on benches ither side of jamason and corene heidi who was sitting next to kennon watched in ore as kennon started to smile at the music. suddenly to heidi's amamazement bethany skipped over corenes lap and bent down next to her. "Um it should be you playing that organ, not the man who is playing it now." the organist at the church was very old and un be known to every one he was a convicted child abuser. unfortunately only bethany out of the ross family knew this because he had tried keeping her behind after sunday school but just as he was goign to do something he had been interupted by one of the other members of staff. on hering bethany heidi said "Why? he seems okay to me." coreen then turned to watch as she could here bethany talking to heidi. suddenly to heidi and coreen's amamazement bethany climbed on to heidi's lap and started bursting in to teers. bethany did not move for the whole service and just sat tremboling evry time the organist started playing a himm. at the end the organist came down to speak to them. "Well what did you think good service?"

"Yes grate as usual." said coreen and jamason in unison. when the children went in to sunday school only heidi noticed bethany crying and tremboling while the organist spoke. "Bethany it's time for sunday school, come on darling." said coreen. Bethany did not move coreen and jamason wear helping kennan and scott in to the room only heidi noticed the tremorass look on bethanies face.

"What's up? you got exited when your mom mentiond church yesterday. i thought you liked sunday school." heidi asked.

"no no don't want to go with him." said bethany trembling. Heidi who was not use to this kind of thing searched for coreen not seeing her in site she took bethany in to her arms and followd tords the sunday school room. when coreen saw heidi carreying bethany she knew that something was rong. she had noticed bethany go and sit with heidi and also she had noticed how bethany had been trembling when mr simons the organist had come over. when they got to the door of the room coreen came out to meat them.

"What's up bethany? you like sunday school." suddenly mr simons came out of the room as soon as she saw him bethany started clinging to heidi and shaking. Coreen was amazed by how well heidi was handoling bethany and suddenly knew that bethany was scarde of mr simons the question was how could they get bethany to talk.

Chapter 87: heidi's tallant.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 16 November 2007 02:05 PM)

suddenly before any one could react jamason came out of the room. "Bethany, come on you like sunday school." on feeling jamason's touch she snuggled closer in to heidi and tremboled even more.

"She ain't going in their." said heidi "She is tromatized about something that she seems to have kept in for a long time. i use to be like this before i had counceling so i know what is going on." with that heidi turned and walked out the door with coreen following in shocked amazement. she could not beleave how well heidi was handling the situation and suddenly a new respect grew in coreens mind for heidi. then heidi amazed her again.

"Bethany, what is up? mr simons knows you well." said coreen.

bethany just shook her head. "No not again please not again." heidi who had done a bit of counceling in her drug rehab sat on a bench by the church intrance with bethany on her lap. coreen who was being spell binded by heidi sat next to them and watched.

"Bethany, you are safe now. Your moma and i are here, why are you scared of mr simons?" to coreens amamazement bethany just nodded.

"He said if i told any one he would make it so i never walked again and he said he would make sure i was crippled." bethany sobbed while she was talking.

"What do you mean? tell us what?" heidi gently probed. "He kept me behind last week and started touching me but emmaly interupted him and he let me know, she did not se him do anything." coreen saw heidi look startled then she said gently.

"Bethany are you really sure about this? because mr simons is liked by every one." bethany ignored coreen's words.

"Then he said i had to stay behind next week as he liked little girls like me." heidi looked at coreen the look on both womens faces was thunderass.

"I beleave her, when i was in rehab i saw people who went through emotionall trama and i went through it my self so i know she is not lying." coreen agreed because she had brought bethany up not to lye. they went and found jamason and told him the news. coreen who had been amazed by heidi's handling of betany just staird at the younger woman. suddenly coreen gave heidi a hugg .

"How did you do that?" heidi explaind that in rehab she had done a bbit of counceling corses and that she had speashalized in abused and neglected children. coreen knew then that heidi was speshal and that this woman needed a chance.

Chapter 88: Darkness in the Rainbow
(by NativeRose, added on 16 November 2007 05:07 PM)

Mr. Simons had been a member of the church for over thirty years. He was a pillar in the church; he was involved in music, teaching, organizing events, and he was one of the deacons. How many other girls had been traumatized by instances like Bethany's. She was thankful that Bethany, Scott and Kennan were in Sariah's class, so where did Bethany see Mr. Simons alone? Corrine sifted through memories...and then she remembered.
Corrine had been helping Bethany get to the sanctuary, as there were no ramps to go along with the stairs. They were standing at the bottom of the flight of stairs, when Corrine was asked to help Emily change Nequenta's diaper. it took two people to do this, because Nequenta was much older, therefore, bigger, than a baby. Corrine remembered hearing Nequenta crying. By this time, Mr. Simons had observed the situation and asked if he could carry Bethany up the stairs. He had helped in countless such situations, and everyone in the church saw him as a servant. Thus, Corrine accepted his offer of assistance. When she next saw Bethany, she was sitting safely beside her father. The only people who could fill in the missing details were Bethany and Mr. Simons. Jamison and Corrine exchanged worried glances over the children's heads. What should be done next?

Bethany was still silent and shaken during the trip home. When they returned home, Jamison extended the ramp so Kennan and Bethany could exit the vehicle. Beth stared at nothing in particular as Corrine unstrapped Kennan's wheelchair. She seemed to be terribly distracted, and Heidi thought that must make it even harder for the girl to see. She guided Bethany's walker onto the ramp and carefully watched her make her way to the house, where Corrine stood holding the door open. As Corrine started meal preparations, Jamison put Kennan to bed for a nap. He was still quite tired after his seizure the night before. They found that he needed more sleep than his peers, anyway.

Heidi thought this was the perfect opportunity to talk to Bethany about her fear.
"Beth, can you tell me how you're feeling?"
"No...I don't know."
"Draw a picture of something you're thinking about."
When Bethany presented the picture to Heidi, she hurriedly left the room, not wanting to face Heidi's reaction. Heidi scrutinized the picture and saw right into the window of Bethany's heart. She was looking at a rainbow with all the colors. However, black lines overshadowed a small portion. They were interspersed through the lines of beautiful color. Heidi was so engross in the picture that she didn't realize anyone was in the room with her until she heard Bethany's walker.
"All the pretty colors are like my mommy, daddy, Kennan, friends and God. The black is that...that man!"
"Can you tell me what happened?"
"When Mommy went to help Nequenta and Mr. Simons said he would go with me, I was excited! He's usually so much fun, and he always makes us laugh. But then, he took my walker away. I thought he would just help me get to a seat and would bring the walker to me. When he touched me in the potty parts, I got scared. He told me that he would hurt me if I told anyone what he was doing. He said he would make sure I ended up in a wheelchair like my best friend Scott, for the rest of my life. Then, Miss Emily came out of the bathroom, but Mommy was finishing with Nequenta's straps. I saw her through the doorway, and she was strapping Nequenta's legs, her chest and her head since she can't control any of that. Anyway, Miss Emily came and asked Mr. Simons if something was wrong since we were still at the bottom of the stairs.
"Oh, everything is fine. Amy Rose came to talk to me for a second," Mr. Simons said quickly. He started to pick me up, but I said I wanted my mommy.
"She's helping Nequenta. You know she needs more seatbelts so she can be safe. You know that, when you have to use your wheelchair, your mom always tells you to put your seatbelt on? It's to..."
"Then I want to go with you, Miss Emily!" I was glad she said she'd take me, because I was scared of Mr. Simons. I like Miss Emily, Miss Sariah, Miss Amy, Miss Anela, Miss Candice and Miss Janell. But now I am so scared of Mr. Simons." Bethany had her back to the doorway, and she didn't see or hear Jamison and Corrine enter the room. Therefore, she was startled when she heard Jamison say, "I'll see that man..." But he stopped, when Corrine touched his arm. She whispered something to him, and with a thunderous look, he stalked from the room.

Chapter 89: Firm Ground
(by NativeRose, added on 16 November 2007 05:36 PM)

Corrine suddenly rxealized that Heidi looked flushed and completely exhausted. Didn't she say something about how she thought she was getting sick?
"What's wrong, Heidi?" she asked, the concern evident in her voice.
"I...I don't know what's wrong." It was clear that Heidi was afraid. I'm sure I'll be fine..."
"No! You have a fever; let's get you to bed!" Heidi would never admit it, but she was grateful for Corrine's support, for as she stood, she was dizzy and wobbly. As she was safely tucked into bed, she realized this family could bring healing to her. She already felt like she was wanted, and Corrine was like the mother she never had.

Corrine stood back, looking at the young woman with concern. What was wrong? She hoped it was the flu or a cold, and not something more serious. This family would care for Heidi for as long as she needed it. She was special, a treasure to God, and if they could help her physically, her heart might continue to soften toward God. Corrine turned around when she heard a noise behind her. Bethany was standing in the doorway, precariously balancing a cup. Corrine went to help her open the door entirely. Bethany went to Heidi and reached out to her. "Mommy always says that juice helps to make you feel better, so I asked Daddy to get some for you." Heidi did not open her eyes, but she did smile at Bethany. Bethany could see her facial expression because of her close proximity to Heidi. "I'll ask Jesus to make you better soon!" As Bethany left, Corrine realized that this child would be instrumental in helping Heidi draw closer to God. Whether Heidi realized it or not, but God sent her at exactly the right time. Kennan needed a lot of extra attention, and she wondered if Bethany would be jealous. Bethany wasn't that sort, but she, too, desperately needed to know she was loved just as much as Kennan. Heidi and Bethany developed a strong connection from the beginning. Corrine was grateful for that. Although Heidi wasn't sure how to work with Kennan, that was all right. Most people approached that interaction with trepidation. Kennan needed to work on learning he could trust his new mom and dad first, and then others could reach in. Heidi would surely begin to feel more comfortable with Kennan as time progressed. Corrine didn't think it had anything to do with favoritism, so she didn't worry about the attention Bethany was receiving. She was sure Heidi wasn't just ignoring Kennan, for her interactions with him were honest reflections of what she felt. She would just need time, and this would greatly help Jamison and Corrine help Kennan become comfortable with his new environment. Lord, she prayed, thank you for giving us an amazing circle of people with outstretched arms, ready to embrace everyone in their lives.

Chapter 90: kennon.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 17 November 2007 11:06 AM)

kennon sat in the wheel chair by the window after his nap. even though he could not see he liked to sit by the window and feel the sun on his face. Suddenly he heard vilant coffing from the next room.

"Hello." kennon shouted but he did not here any one. kennon slowly and carefully wheeld him self to the sound of the coffing. when he went in to the room he heard a woman coffing he went over to the bed and felt around on the bed he found a woman. after studying her feetures with his hands he recognised heidi.

"You okay kennon wurried." on hereing the bleep heidi opend her eyes then she saw kennon sat by the bed and realized it was that computer he used to talk. suddenly the message came through that kennon had typed.

"Ho hello kennon! enjoy your nap?"
"Kennon loves to sleep he replied." heidi was amazed that kennon could not structure a centance together properly. With treperdation she continued the conversation.

"So kennon do you like books?"
"Never heard books only ones school learn me."
"You mean no one has ever read you a storry."
"My horrable mommy says kennon can't have stories." heidi was becomming more amazed by kennons lack of knolledge about the world. she decided that kennon should have a storie..
"Would you like to here a storrie kennon?" heidi asked. kennon was taken aback by the question his other mommies had never alowd him to have stories, he wunderd why bethany and scott liked them so much.
"Yes would like storrie." heidi then looked around the room for a book suddenly she found one about animals. it was the just so storries by radyard kipperling. when she started to read kennon turned his chair to face the bed, suddenly as heidi read on kennon started wimporing and touching the bed then he felt for heidi's hand and put it on her lap.
"You want to come on my lap kennon?" kennon smiled. heidi lifted kennon on to her lap then continued the storrie. suddenly kennon interupted again. he typed

"Are their pictures?" heidi told him that their was then realizing that kennon did not know what the world was like started to discribe each picture to him as she had heard coreen discribe things to him. at the end of the storrie kennon had a smile on his face he went to the hall and made a yelling noise. coreen came running and saw that kennon was smiling.

"Kennon are you okay."
"Kennon likes storrie." he replied.

"But kennon you have never heard a storie before." then coreen went passed kennon in to heidi's room and saw the book open on her lap.

"You just read kennon a storrie? he has never had them before." heidi noddded a smile on her face. kennon then wizzed back in to the room and sat next to heidi's bed.
"She read me storrie." said kennon. coreen smiled happely
"That is good kennon, but heidi was sleeping you should not have disterbed her." on hering the reppramand in coreens voice kennon started shaking. "Sorry sorry please don't hit me." said kennon with a tremmor in his voice. coreen tried to hugg kennon but he wheeld him self closer to the bed. coreen then realized kennons damage was worce than first thought he had odveyassly been told off a lot. heidi who had been watching the exchange said. "It's okay coreen, he heard me coffing and came to check on me." coreen was shocked she thought that kennon would not realize what the sound of coffing was. she started to think about what ellse kennon may under stand if he was helped to let it out in the write way. heidi also senced kennons bright mind deep inside and also wundered just how bright kennon was when he learnd to trust people.

Chapter 91: The Circle
(by NativeRose, added on 18 November 2007 02:07 AM)

One morning, all of Kennan's big friends came to his school, and they were all in this big room. He recognized all the voices, but he still wasn't sure what they were all doing there.
"we should all introduce ourselves, so Kennan knows who's here, but we should pray before we begin." That voice was unknown to him. They were in a circle and joined hands before the unfamiliar lady spoke. Miss Heidi tentatively graspe one of Kennan's hands, and Miss Emily did the same on his other side.
"Lord, thank You for bringing Kennan to us. He is such a blessing, and we're honored that You would allow us to be Your hands and feet for him. Give us Your wisdom to design a curriculum just right for Kennan, and may You be glorified during this time." As Heidi and Emily released Kennan's hands, the same lady began to speak. They were all determined to talk at Kennan's level as much as possible.
"I'm Miss Chandra Emmersen, the principal here at Apple Valley."
"I'm Miss Janell Jacobs, Kennan's physical therapist."
"I'm Jamison Ross, and I'm so honored to be Kennan's permanent dad."
"I'm Corrine Ross, and I'm equally honored and amazed that God would bless me with the responsibility of being Kennan's mommy forever."
"Candice Goldsmith, and I'm Kennan's psychologist."
"I'm Emily James, Kennan's guardian ad litum. Kennan, that means I help Jamison and Corrine make sure you're happy and safe."
"Kennan Ross!" the computer said.
"I'm Heidi Baldwin, and I'm Kennan's biological mother, but I'm so glad Jamison and Corrine will raise him. My role is more that of a friend, but I'm so grateful to play a part in his life."
"I'm Miss Anela, Kennan's teacher."
"And I am Miss Lynnette; I am the speech/language pathologist."
"Finally, I am Miss Katie, Kennan's nurse."
"Let's start with you, Candice," Miss Chandra said.
"Kennan, you have done a super job with me. We work on showing Kennan that it is all right to share his feelings. Our long-term goal is to help Kennan achieve mental and emotional stability. The first objective might seem like a tiny step, but it is instrumental. We have to help Kennan identify his feelings, first. Then we can work on proper handling and expression of feelings. We talk through play therapy, meaning we use toys, games and art supplies as a form of expression. All the feelings, thoughts and memories are within him, even though he can't express them verbally. We can also learn something of the past with toy replicas of real life objects. Although he might not know the names of dangerous things, he can indicate which ones he recognizes. When we set up a row of objects, he identified the beer bottle, the pipe, the gun, etc. I thank God for giving him a truly connected support team. We'll all be able to work together to help him with various aspects of life, and it's just amazing that we all want to work together. That will prove to be extremely instrumental in his development and care."
"Janell?" Miss Chandra said.
"Kennan and I have had fun together as well. We do manual range of motion and stretching exercises. We also use gentle massage and warm water to help combat the muscle spasticity. Kennan just learned how to blow bubbles! We use a mobile stander so he can remain upright, but we can still move him from one place to another. The use of the stander has great health benefits, and we hope Kennan will experience those in the next few months. Our goal is to help him obtain optimum physical abilities, and we learn how to deal with limitations."
"Our goal for Kennan is to provide a positive and safe learning experience in the least restrictive environment. That has to be adjusted according to the kind of day Kennan is having. Sometimes we can put him in the stander for the majority of the day. He can experience the academic environment in an entirely new way. He can face his peers at eye level and listen to where their voices are coming from. On days when he is extremely tired, we let him take extended naps. Sometimes things fluctuate throughout the day, and we need to be flexible. In our class, Kennan is learning verbal directions when we plan: e.g. put the ball in the basket, put your hand under the table, put the toy bunny in Miss Anela's hand. We use the sense of touch for exploratory purposes. He touched mud for the first time last week, we let him play in a tub of shaving cream, we let sand trickle through his fingers, etc. Learning numeric values and grammatical parameters is put on hold. We're not even touching that yet; Kennan needs to learn about the world around him. I know that all of you, including Heidi, have helped to make this happen."
"Emily?" Miss Chandra said, after she scribbled her last note.
"Kennan's case was transferred to me when he went to live with the Ross family. I'm his guardian ad litum, which means that, because his parents do not have custody, I am his state guardian. There have been some major setbacks because of the previous foster care environments. Just as with everything else, it will take much time, patience, care and prayer to gain his trust. However, I am very pleased with how things are progressing for Kennan and the rest of the family."
"We are just thrilled to be able to help Kennan learn about all aspects of life. We already love him unconditionally, and enjoy helping him learn about the world around him," Corrine began.
"The simple tasks of helping Kennan eat, changing his diapers, or taking him for walks seem like mundane tasks. However, these, along with countless other activities, help Kennan to know what love really looks like." Jamison finished.
"I'm just so grateful for all of you," Heidi said, her eyes filling. Emily reached across Kennan and lightly touched Heidi's hand. That simple gesture gave her the courage to continue, "I can see how much you all love Kennan, and although the physical and some of the mental functions can't be undone due to the meningitis, you'll all help him reach full potential. As I said before, I'm just so thankful that I can play any role in his life. It's just amazing to see how he grows and his delight in learning the simple things. You all should have seen his bewildered expression when he touched a leaf for the first time. His face just lit up when Corrine crumbled the dried leaf in his hand. It's these simple things that make it such a joy to watch his interactions with everyone."
"I'm Lynnette, the third therapist on the care team. Right now, we're working on teaching Kennan chewing, swallowing and sucking actions. Our goal right now is to help Kennan be able to detect, chew and swallow solid foods. We have added food thickener to his pureed foods, and this seems to be helping. Next, we'll work on learning how to make sounds. I will have to make routine assessments to see if Kennan will be able to vocalize things. If not, we'll work on other techniques to communicate, such as picture boards and books, an artificial larynx, computer software, language hardware, etc. Although there is a lot of work to be done, I am happy with the way things are progressing."
"I'm the ever-present lady in the scrubs!" Katie began in a light tone, which quickly became serious. "Kennan has a lot of medical needs, so I help to coordinate all of those things. I also work with each of you whenever something new needs to be added or changed. I've been helping Corrine and Jamison become familiar with the various needs, tools and techniques. I'm thrilled with the way you all care for Kennan and come together to make his environment a safe, healthy and joyous place to be."

Although Kennan didn't understand all the big words, he did hear the vocal tones. They all sounded so happy. Mommy (corrine) had told him that they were going to have a meeting so they could all figure out how to help Kennan. They kept saying they wanted to work together, and he could tell by their voices, the time they took for him, the way they touched him, that they all cared. He was beginning to think this was a safe place to be; he was learning that these people would never abandon him.

Chapter 92: heidi's immproovment.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 18 November 2007 09:27 AM)

after a few days with the rosses heidi started to feel better. coreen started to introduce her to all the people who could help her with things souch as her housing and medicle care if she wheir to fall ill again. Also being with the rosses helped her learn to immproove her relation ship with kennon and bethany. bethany and kennon wheir starting to love heidi and bethany was starting to get over the trouble with mr simons. heidi could see all the goodness filling in around her and she could see her life transforming before her eyes. she looked at the people in the school room and could see they wheir all helping kennon. she hoped that one day even though she was not going to have kennon live with her she would be able to help coreen raze him. every night since the first storrie heidi read kennon a storrie from a diffrent book each night. but his faverate was the just so storries. that night after the meating kennon was on eidi's lap ready for a storrie when bethany came in.

"Um can i listen to the storrie as well?" heidi nodded and bethany sat next to kennon. as heidi was reading the storrie coreen came to listen out side the door. hering the way heidi read the storrie filled coreen with a lump in her throught bethany and kennon wheir ingrosed in the storrie that they did not realize that coreen was stood behind them.

"That was a lovely storrie, i really enjoyed it." said coreen. heidi who khad not known that coreen was in the room blushed. coreen then asked kennon and bethany to leave the room.

coreen then told heidi that mr simons had been saced from the church and that they wheir looking for a new organist, coreen told heidi that she thought that heidi should give it ago because ofthe lovely she played and it may give her confedence. Heidi agreed and knew that her life was going to be better. gabe was locked and all that bad stuff was behind her. heidi knew that soon she would need to talk to coreen about her longing to be back with god and she knew that she also needed to look for a job. she knew whatshe wanted to do but did not know weather she would be accepted. after seeing how kennon and bethany enjoyed her music and storries and the way she had helped bethany through her ordeal with mr simons, she wanted to be a music therapy teacher stroke counseler. she decided that she would ask coreen about her chances when they next had a chat alone.

Chapter 93: A New Friend
(by NativeRose, added on 18 November 2007 05:36 PM)

Scott, Bethany and Kennan played in Scott's back yard. The excited chatter suddenly stopped.
"It's Nequenta!" Scott told the other two. "Her mommy is here, but I think they're going into your house, Beth."
"We should go play with her!" Bethany said.

Corrine had called her friend Rose Anderson, who worked for the state. When Rose saw the other three children, she took Nequenta to them. "Nequenta, it's Scott, Bethany and Kennan from school!"
"Hi, ladies!" Amy said as she stepped outside.
"We have quite a crew here!"
"Yeah, I'm here to meet with Heidi. You know she's been staying with Jamison and Corrine. They refused to let her go back to that box of sticks she called a home. I have some places and options in mind, so we're going to look at some of those things today."
"Oh, that's great..." Amy's voice trailed off, as she watched the four children at play.
"Remember the first dance you helped Don and Anela plan? Do you think he'd be willing to do that again? Maybe they could arrange it for the end of the school year."
"Oh, that would be great fun for the students and staff! Oh, there's Heidi. Do you want me to take Nequenta with me?"
"No, they're having such great fun!"
"You can handle all four?"
"Wure. If I need some extra hands, I'll give a shout, but I'm not worried about it." Rose smiled as she turned to walk to the Ross's home.

Scott and Bethany continued to play in the sandbox, but Kennan and Nequenta moved away and began talking. They both used the same communication devices. Kennan remembered Nequenta from school, but he had never really talked to her. Soon, they were engrossed in conversation, and Scott and Bethany were involved in their play, so they didn't see the six adults standing in Beth's driveway.
"Hey, it's time to eat supper. Today, we're all going to our house!" Jamison exclaimed. Rose and Corrine pushed Nequenta and Kennan's wheelchairs, respectively. It took several minutes for the group to situate all the wheelchairs and walkers around the table, which had been extended to seat all ten people with extra space for those who needed it.

Heidi watched yet another new interaction. Although Nequenta was two years older than Kennan, they had a lot in common and had been talking quite amicably. She was also quite certain that, if Scott and Bethany remained best friends, they could become romantically linked as well. Just as with Bethany's silly statement about how Scott would marry her, Heidi didn't know how accurate her predictions would be. Rose was feeding Nequenta and Jamison was feeding Kennan.
"amy I feed Kennan?" Heidi asked him. "You need to eat, too, you know," she finished, indicating Jamison's plate of cold food. She followed Corrine and Emily's example and describe things to Kennan. "Here comes the spoon. The spoon is going in Kennan's mouth. Those are peas, though I'm not sure you'd know it. Next comes some ham. Open up! See, Nequenta is eating the same thing. This food smells different; it is mashed potatoes." Thus, the conversation continued, and Heidi would remember every detail of this night. She would be leaving soon.

Chapter 94: The Promise
(by NativeRose, added on 18 November 2007 05:50 PM)

When everyone was finished eating, they remained in the dining room for an important conversation. Heidi took a deep breath and began to explain.
"This afternoon when you all were playing at Scott's house, Miss Rose came to help me with something. We found a house close to your school, and that's where I'm going to live. Even though I'm not going to live here anymore, I'll come over to play a lot."
"No!" Bethany said, her eyes filling.
"I'll come over here a lot, and we can still read stories and play together, Beth."
"You will? You'll come back?"
"Of course I will. Miss Rose is also going to help me go back to school. You all know Miss Candice at school?"
"Yeah!" The four shouted, using the various means of communication.
"I am going back to school, so I can be a therapist like her. You know how she plays with and talks to you so she can learn about your feelings? I'm going to do the same thing, but I will also use music therapy. I'm moving to the new house tomorrow, but I will come back very soon. I'll come over on the weekends since I have school, just like you do."

That night, Heidi read two stories to Kennan and Bethany. As always, they listened intently, but they seemed more focussed than usual. Heidi knew she would remember each detail and relegate the whole thing to a permanent, safe place in her mind.

When Scott, Bethany and Kennan came home from school the next day, they found Heidi there to meet them. This was yet another building block in the foundation of trust.

Chapter 95: Changing Colors
(by NativeRose, added on 18 November 2007 07:26 PM)

Many changes were taking place during the autumn in Apple Valley, and Anela saw her class the same way. As the leaves turned brilliant colors, students were added to her class. They also formed new friendships, and the whole class turned from darkness to light. Maybe they should put on a play. It was the beginning of October, and if they could perform right before Christmas...that would be just amazing! The students in her class had so many varying talents, and this would make the pageant unique indeed!
The day was Saturday, so she still had most of her weekend to plan. Next Friday, she would take her charges to the restaurant her friend owned. There, she would discuss plans for the play. She picked up the phone to call her friends, Matt and Karissa Daniels.

On this same Saturday, Heidi drove across town to the Ross home. It was her regular playdate with Kennan and Bethany. She knew it was incredibly important to keep these dates. That way, Kennan and Bethany could continue to learn to trust Heidi. Today, the whole family was going to the park for what would probably be the last time for the year. Corrine had pledged to pack foods everyone could eat, so Heidi came prepared ready to play! When she got to their home, the Rose's van was already parked in the driveway. Brandon and Amy had allowed Jamison and Corrine to use their wheelchair van for the day. Heidi ran to the door, eager to help. First, Jamison lowered the ramp, and Heidi helped Bethany get into the van first. She folded the walker before she pushed Kennan aboard.
"Okay, I'm not sure how to strap him in..." Heidi watched intently as Jamison threaded the straps through the various parts of the wheelchair to hold it in place. She would have to watch this a few more times before she could strap Bethany, Scott or Kennan in. She loved to see the joy on their faces; they were clearly as excited as she was to start playing! What would this day bring?

Chapter 96: the day at the park.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 20 November 2007 08:42 AM)

when they got to the park they all went to their faverate place in the park the field. today coreen and jamason had brought a ball with them they took the children to the place wheir the basguit ball court was to their suprise scott amy brandon rose and niquenta wheir their. even kyle scotts real father and anella peterson wheir their. when they saw the basguitball corts the children wheir really exited. to their supprise they had one extra wheel chair for bethany. also their was raymand who had just started in anella's class.

"How can we play this? we can't walk half of us." said scott.

"Well their is a wheel chair verssion of it, we decided we want to teach you five to play and maybey get a school team started. we think it is time we got you all involved in sports so you can see the joy of sports." said anella.

suddenly to every one's supprize Kennon spoke. "I sho, mommy rachel showd kennon before she had to give me to my horrable mommy."

"Kennon, you telling us you have done this before." said jamason. kennon knodded infuseyasticly. kennon did not have an electric wheel chair needed some one to push him. brandon and jamason who had played basguit ball at college wheir going to coach.

"Okay kennon, sho us." said jamason. Suddenly kennon senced a pressants by his side, as he put his hand out he found heidi's hand in his.

"Good, kennon needs pushing." as he said this he scweezed heidi's hand. Heidi who knew a little about basguit ball agreed. to every one's amazement when kennon was given the ball, he started getting exited. heidi was pushing him round the court kennon was bouncing the ball when he heard the bleep of the hoop. "Okay kennon." said jamason as soon as kennon heard the hoop's sound he signolled with his arms wheir the hoop was. although heidi could see wheir it was it was up to kennon to be able to recognize wheir it was. when he got closer to the hoop he suddenly signolled the stop sign. they wheir shocked because it was on the free point line. to every one's amazement kennon seemed to know this suddenly before any one could objeckt kennon bounced the ball once and through it toords the hoop. to every one's amazement it went in. every one was shocked they had found something kennon could really do. jamason then got an electrick wheel chair from the van that they had kept for kennon for when he got better with his mobility. now he senced kennon would need it. when kennon heard the noise he said with a cry.

"Cool wheel chair like scott's and iquentas and bethany's and raymands. is kennons?" he asked.

"Lets see how you handol it first kennon." said jamason. jamason transferd kennon in to the wheelchair and left heidi to sho him how it worked. his computer was put in the tray on the frount of his wheel chair so it was in easy reach of him. kennon quickly learned the controles of the chair and started to smile with aparront happyness on his face.

"Kennon move him self now." kennon said then he opend his mouth and made his first sound, it was a wooping sound. after letting kennon wheel him self round the cort jamason then sat in kennon's manual wheel chair and through the ball toords kennon as soon as he heard the bounce of the ball kennon wheeld him self to it and picked it up then he stayed still.

"Hang on why is he not driboling the ball like the ones on tv do." said scott.

"Well" said brandon "In wheel chair basguit ball you all move round the cort but the player with the ball stay's still like kennon is doing, the player then has to decide if they can shoot from wheir they are or weather they can pass, also the ball has sounds in it whih you can here and it also has a bleep on the hoop which you can here so you know wheir the hoop is. the two hoops both have diffrent sounds then both teams know which one to shoot at." kennon allready knew this and listend to the hoop.

"Daddy jamason". kennon said

"Here kennon over here now." on hering jamason's voice kennon through the ball to him then moved round the court and they kept throwing the ball to eachother. suddenly when jamason through one ball to kennon he put it in the hoop. all the other children wanted a go so all the children wheeld them selves on to the pitch jamason and brandon stood behind the two hoops and heidi stood at the side watching with amazement as the children all started to get the hang of it little by little. every one was amazed by how good kennon was and a new respect grew for them all. suddenly jamason got another set of wheel chairs out of the van that the mobility shop had hired them for the day to transport all the chairs which the man from the shop was driving.

"Okay, children againsed adults." said jamason.

"Bring it on." said kennon. niquenta who could not play sat at the side with heidi kyle and annella who wheir not playing ither. when the game started it was feris and suddenly jamason told heidi to bring nequenta on to the court. nequenta woopt with joy and heidi helped nequenta get her button in to possission so she could monover it with her chin. scott momanterraly forgot that nequenta could not use her hands and through the ball toords her. to every ones amazement nequenta caught the ball.

"I for got to tell you" rose said animated, "nequenta moved her hands last night. i am wundering weather she is as paralized as the doctor made us think as her hands have been making movements their selves. she told me she was able to move them for a while." suddenly nequenta grabbed the hand controles on the chair and to every ones amazement started wheeling her self round. it was difficult as her hands where not strong yet. So the game continued with nequenta play with scott raymand bethany and kennon. by the end of the game. brandon anounced that he was sure this would work. heidi who had played for nequenta when nequenta had got two tired had also enjoyed it and was amazed by kennon and how good he was. when they all got home kennon went back in to his withdrawn state. heidi who noticed this asked kennon what was rong. kennon did not answer he just went to bethony and hugged her. to his amazement she hugged him back. they smiled at eachother.

"I love you kennon." said bethany. kennon just shrugged and wheeled him self away as they could not get kennon out of the new chair. when heidi was about to leave kennon burst in to teers.

"I will be back tommorrow kennon, i don't start school till next week." kennon smiled and as heidi went she was filled with thoughts of this new lease on life they had all been given

Chapter 97: Raymond Times Two
(by NativeRose, added on 20 November 2007 07:36 PM)

Raymond's first day of school was the following Monday. He raced into the classroom, appearing quite comfortable in this new situation.
"It's Raymond!" Scott shouted excitedly.
"Who?" Shane and Sierra asked in unison.
Kennan and Nequenta both squealed excitedly when they heard Raymond's voice.
"I remember you," the newest edition to the class addressed Kennan. "the one who played wheelchair basketball with us!"
"Hey, don't forget me!" The command was shouted, and everyone else fell silent. "I'm here, too!" The unfamiliar, high-pitched, clearly feminine voice continued. Anela and Janell quickly finished transferring Kennan into the stander.
"I got this, Anela," Janell said softly, knowing the teacher would have to handle the quickly escalating situation. As Janell strapped Kennan into the stander, she finally saw the cause of the early-morning turmoil. It was a girl who must have been Raymond's sister; the resemblance was remarkable! However, it was immediately apparent that this was as far as the similarity spread. Raymond had a quiet, gentle disposition, but the girl looked angry and spoke in a beligerent manner.
"Tell me your name," Anela said quietly, kneeling in front of the girl.
"Robyn!" she said.
"And are you helping Raymond get to class today?"
"No! They said I have to be in this class, too!" she said indignantly.
"Okay, you cit at this desk next to--"
"I'm Rosalyn. What's your name?"
"I said...it's Robyn!"
"Oh, sorry...want to color with me?" Anna saw the thunderous expression on Robyn's face. She quickly stepped toward the girls before another conflict could begin. She put her hand on Rosalyn's shoulder and said, "Miss Anela is ready to start class."
"Well, as you can see, we have two new students in class today."
Kennan waved his hand excitedly, and when Miss Anela called on him, he typed furiously, "That's Raymond! He won the basketball game on Saturday! Raymond is nice."
Anela wondered where this spitfire of a girl had come from; she wasn't at the park on Saturday. She wished she had known what she was dealing with. Hopefully, Robyn's chart, medical history, brother and the therapists could fill in the missing details.
She got her class started with their journals. Each Monday, the students spent the first half hour writing in their journals, and today was no exception. Jenna's fingers moved too quickly over ker Braille keyboard, and Anela knew she would find countless contraction errors in the girl's entry. She heard Isaac's pen from across the room, and she was certain the aides would tell her his writing was illegible. Sierra and Shane sat next to each other recording events of their weekend and, as usual, when they were finished, they exchanged journals and read the other's account. Jane and Anna noticed with some amusement, that Bethany and Scott were doing the same thing. Rosalyn drew in hers, and the pictures often represented how she was feeling on that particular day. Andrew, Jordan, Adam and Brandon were given permission to write a novel together during this time. Apparently, Jordan had been given or asked for the task of writing the manuscript, as they put their tale together. Andrea looked around the room, as if knowing she would find her inspiration there, but she hadn't started writing yet. It always took her awhile to get started. Kennan was writing using his puff-and-sip device, and Nequenta did the same with hers. As she watched them, they made a collective effort to get something out of Kennan's backpack. Kennan couldn't unzip it entirely, so when Nequenta saw what was happening, she used her left index finger and thumb to hold the backpack so it wouldn't continually move as Kennan tried to unzip it. There was always a notebook in his backpack so the staff and parents could write down any concerns and questions. Kennan removed the book and pointed at Raymond.
"What?" Raymond whispered. Kennan used a finger to push it across his tray the confused boy. Unfortunately, the book landed on the floor instead and shattered the silence in the classroom. Sierra saw the trouble and rushed over to pick up the book.
"Thanks," Raymond said to her, then turned to address Kennan. "but why did you give this to me?"
"Write." Kennan's computer said.
"Oh, this isn't a journal; it's your book. I think your mommy and Miss Anela might want you to keep that. I'll get a journal later." Raymond said, deeply touched by Kennan's generosity. Sierra put the book in Kennan's backpack and started to close it. When Nequenta heard the zipper, she assumed it was Kennan and that he would have the same trouble as before. Thus, she held the backpack with her thumb and forefinger again so it could be zipped.
"Thanks," Sierra whispered, and walked back to her desk.
Anela saw that all of her students were engaged in activity, and based on what she had just seen in the corner with kennan, Nequenta, Sierra and Raymond, everything would be fine for awhile. For the most part, her students were amazing at problem-solving, and they all understood the importance of teamwork. They saw what they had that some others lacked and served each other using their own abilities. That was, in large part, what held this group together. Anela had some time to look at Robyn's chart. Maybe it would give her some insight into the disturbance earlier that morning.

Janell's assumption had been right: Raymond and Robyn Aimes were twins. Robyn was dyslexic, and that was where her anger came from. Raymond had cerebral palsy. He was the second child to be born, and his oxygen supply was interrupted during the birth process. He seemed such a good-natured and gentle child. Perhaps Robyn's outburst this morning was a cover for fear, insecurity...something like that. she would have to watch things closely to see what happened with Robyn, and maybe then she would know how to help.

Chapter 98: Playing Life
(by NativeRose, added on 20 November 2007 08:47 PM)

"Recess!" Jenna and Isaac jumped out of the chairs and screamed when the bell rang. Rosalyn quickly left her desk and grabbed Robyn's hand.
"What?" Robyn asked sharply.
"Let's play!" Rosalyn said, tugging her toward the classroom door.
"No! I don't want to play with you!" Rosalyn looked stricken! Her eyes filled with tears, and she started to speak, but someone tugged on her shirt. She turned to see Zack looking at her expectantly. This time, he grabbed her hand and they walked to the playground.

Robyn moved through the students. She didn't want to be at this school, especially not in this class. None of these people were like her.
"Hi!" someone said brightly, skipping next to her.
"Who are you?" Robyn asked shortly.
"I'm Jenna. Want to play?"
"No! i don't play with people who can't see."
"Oh." For the first time in her life, Jenna didn't know what to say. She turned and walked away. Good, Robyn thought, she'll leave me alone. She continued to slowly walk around the playground. She saw those other twins--somebody had said they were Jordan and Andrea.
"Hey, Baker," she sneered, kicking Andrea's wheelchair, "where are my cookies?" Andrea looked up, surprised.
"Hey, be nice to her!" Shane, who sat next to Andrea, said.
"Make me!" Robyn said, sticking her tongue out at him. "What's with this sandbox, anyway? Aren't you guys supposed to sit in the sand on the ground? This one is high. Why?"
"so people who use wheelchairs can play in the sandbox, too," Bethany said in a shaky voice. Robyn picked up a handfull of sand and flung it at Bethany and Shane.
"Ow!" they cried and scrambled for their walkers. Some of the sand ended up in Andrea's eyes, and she started to cry.
"I'm going to get Miss--"
"What's going on over here?" Miss Anela's voice abruptly halted Jordan's assurance to his sister. Shane and Bethany had returned with her.
"That girl," Jordan said, pointing at Robyn, "was mean to Andrea, and then Shane tried to tell her to be nice, and..." Jordan began to explain, but his voice trailed off when Miss Anna came to help Shane and Bethany. "Andrea got sand in her eyes, too." He wanted to make sure Anna didn't leave without his sister; she would need help getting the yucky stuff out of her eyes.
"So tell me again?" However, Jordan could not continue; Anela heard the unmistakeable sound of Zack crying. "Hold that thought; I'll be right back." Jane must have heard the noise at the same time, for Anela heard her running toward Zack as well. He lay on the ground.
"Miss Anela is here. Show me what happened." Zack was so distraught that he forgot the words Miss Lynnette was teaching him to say. Therefore, he grabbed Anela's hand and put it over his bloody leg.
"Jane, please find Robyn and take her to the classroom."
"I'm on it!" the aide said, as she took off. Somehow, Anela knew Robyn had something to do with this event as well as the others.
"Are there any more owies?" Zack indicated his hands, other leg and nose.
"Okay, let's go see Miss Abby so she can help you feel better soon." Zack already had enough trouble walking, but it was more difficult because of the pain, so she picked him up and carried him to the nurse's office. She opened the door to find a stranger in the office.
"Oh, I started training today," the young woman said in response to Anela's surprise. "I'm Ashlyn, and today is my first day working with Abby." Then Anela remembered they were going to hire a new nurse to help Abby; Ashlyn must be that person.
"It's a busy place today! We got four of you all at once!"
"It's usually not like this," Anela said as she took Zack to a chair. She could hear her other charges whimpering in the next room. She peeked in and heard Abby talking to Andrea.
"We're almost finished."
"Sorry to send so many your way this morning," Anela began. "Zack is here, too."
"Yeah, what happened out there?"
"Actually, I'm going to figure that out now. We have a new student, and she's already causing mischief as you can see. Give us a call when you're finished, and we'll send someone here to get Zack and Andrea."
Anela prayed for God to give her the wisdom to know how to handle the latest challenge with this student.
"I don't have to stay here!" Anela heard Robyn screaming at Jane before she reached the classroom. She opened the door, quickly entered, and closed it behind her.
"Stop this at once!" she said firmly, but the girl was undaunted. "I hate this school, and I don't want to be here!" Anela had heard such words spoken in frustration before. Kennan had lashed out in the beginning out of fear, but that was easy to spot. It appeared to be pure hatred with this girl. Even if it was just fear manifested in this way, she could not be allowed to hurt other people.
"What happened at recess today?"
"Tell me what happened during recess."
"I don't have to!"
"This is not the best way to start out at a new school."
"I don't care!"
"Why don't you like school?"
"It's stupid...you're stupid, and so are all those losers!"
"I will not tollerate this. It is terribly unkind for you to talk about other people that way. That hurts people's feelings." In response, Robyn proceeded to spit at Anela.
"You're going to Miss Chandra's office!" Anela stood and reached for Robyn's hand.
"No!" the girl screamed, and she turned away from Anela. Anela lifted her out of the chair, and when she stood on her own, took Robyn firmly in hand. Anela marched the loudly-protesting Robyn to the principle's office.

Chapter 99: robbin's exclugen.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 21 November 2007 11:16 AM)

when they got to the principalls office mrs chanda listend to anela's storrie and then asked robbin why she did it. robbin lashed out at the principall and started throwing things round the office. the principall said.

"I do not think this girl should be in the school i think we are going to have to exclud her." suddenly the principalls office door opend. candis came in with heidi in tow.

"Ho sorry, did not know you wheir in a meating." the principall nodded and signalled to candus to continue.

"I have heidi boldwin with me she is the student therapist who is going to be working with me while she does her studies they have put me as her mentaur." the prinsipall smiled at heidi. "Ho yes i remember now, hope you enjoy your first day, if you need anything come to the office." heidi then spotted anella holding the struggling robbin in the chair. "Hi annella, how are you?" anella recognised heidi's voice and smiled over at her.

"Okay thanks heidi, just having difficulty with a student." suddenly candus saw robbin.

"Robbin aims raymands sister." the principall decided to tell candus about the exclussion. candus told the prinsipall that she would talk to robbin. "Okay then, give it a try, mean while miss boldwin can go and help anella jane and anna while you are with robbin it will give her more experiance, if annella is okay with that of course." anella beamd. and nodded.

Chapter 100: the rest of the day.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 21 November 2007 11:59 AM)

after resess the children came rushing in with the walkers and wheel chairs. raymand just came in apart from the others and sat in the corner of the room at his desc. anella heard him sobbing from his corner but before anella could deal with him candus came in to the room. she spoke to heidi then left the room. heidi explaind to anella that candus had to spend the rest of the day with robbin and that the principall had asked if she could stay with annella. anella beamd. suddenly scott looked over at miss anella and saw heidi.

"Hay behth look who is here!" bethany then looked over and spotted heidi. "Cool what you doing here?" said bethany. before heidi had time to answer kennon piped up "What's going on?" scott said "It's nothing kennon. you will probly find out soon." anella then got the class in to the disscussion cercle as their music lesson was about to start. "where is mr simons? it's music time." anella then explaind that mr simons could not be at school any more only bethany and heidi knew the real trueth. "Ho good i am glad." said scott. un be known to anella and heidi betany had told scott the trueth. "Yes so untill wee can find some one who can teach your music we will have to cansel music lessons, i know you wheir all looking foward to your first lesson but i am afrade we will have to put it on hold untill we can find some one to teach it." anella who could not play an instroment could not take the music lesson and jane and anna wheir the same. sudenly kennon started waving his hands around and found an extra chair beside him. he knew that he was always sat at the end sso was supprised by the extra chair. suddenly he felt a fomillior hand in his. "Music can happen!" said kennon. anella then came over and bent down in front of kennon. she explaind to kennon again what she had just told the class. kennon then took anellas hand and put it on heidi's. "Kennon what are you trying to tell me." scott and bethany who had seen what went on said together "Miss heidi can do it said bethany, she is really good on pianno and organ and she is going to have a go to take mr simons place." anella was shocked. "Rhat is why you are doing music therapy as well then?" heidi said "Yes but i am not qualified yet i have only been studying for a month and this is my work placement while my studies continue." anella then saw the look on the children's faces. she decided that she would ask heidi any way. when she did heidi said that she would give it a go.

"Okay scott and bethany do you want to get the keyboards out of the cupbard." scott and bethany scooted around putting a keyboard on every ones desc including niquenta's as it would be good for her hands. when they wheir all plugged in and switchd on heidi went to the pianno. she then plade the c scale on the keyboard then she went round the class showing every one how to do it. suddenly she noticed that raymand was allready playing a tune. when she watched him she could see he could play. when the others stopped practising they listend to the tue raymand was playing when she heard the starting notes bethany realized it was the song that heidi had played on their first day of meating. suddenly heidi went to the pianno and joined in with raymand when they had finnished every one clapped. raymand then started it again and heidi joined in from the beginning. suddenly when the introduction was play bethany started singing and then the whole class even kennon had rememberd the song joind in. after they had finnished heidi took raymand in to the corner to talk privatly. "Raymand how long have you been learning keyboard?" raymand explaind that he had been doing it since he was five and he was now ten. heidi was immpressed and then she started to teach every one all the diffrent notes on the keyboard. kennon who was enjoying listening along with nequenta started smiling when he heard some one sit next to him.

"Okay kennon let's see if we can help you." kennon smiled when he heard heidi's voice

Chapter 101: kennon's next supprise.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 21 November 2007 01:21 PM)

when heidi sat next to kennon she then took his hand and let him feel the keyboard as he was feeling it she discribed what it did and all the keys to him. then she started showing him the c scale and tried to get him to listen to each note. kennon started to enjoy him self and after a while he was practising along with the others. then she moved on to teaching them a basic tune kennon scott and bethany got the hang of it the quickest heidi sat with kennon the hole time explaining everything to kennon. he thuraly enjoyed it and he scott and bethany wheir becomming naturells very quickly. then she challenged them all to make up their own tune based on what they had learned. when she had given them half an hour she then asked them to play their tunes back. raymand played a very slo walse which he had called slo dance. the others followd sute when it came to kennon he shocked every by playing the melody of the himm that heidi had played with raymand earlyer in the lesson and bethany had sang. anella and heidi and the aids wheir thrown.

"This boy has a bright mind, we need to find a way of getting him to understand things quicker." said anella. "Yes he has only heard that twice and i did not even teach them half the notes needed to play that song." they wheir shocked by this boy and wunderd how such a tallanted boy had so little understanding of the world and basic things like eating and talking. they decided they would have to get his file and investigate further in to kennons back ground to find out exactly what had gone on in his life before he had been taken from heidi and transferd to his foster perants.

Chapter 102: The Decision
(by NativeRose, added on 21 November 2007 10:09 PM)

Chandra and Candice decided to call for a meeting with Robyn's interdisciplinary team the following day to figure out what was to be done.
"She may need to be placed in another self-contained classroom, one with fewer students. There is one I have in mind; the teacher has a psychology background, and there are four students in her class. Let me look at her schedule to see when you and I can talk to her." Candice exited the office, leaving Robyn with Miss Chandra.

Back in Miss Anela's classroom, she got the students started on another activity. It was time for art, and Anela had originally planned for her students to sculpt with clay, but they were tense from the events with Robyn that had taken place that morning. Thus, she decided to allow her students just to play with the clay. Anela, Heidi, Jane and Anna passed out pieces of clay, and to the students' delight, it was scented!
"It smells like Kool-Aid!" Isaac loudly announced.
"It sure does, but don't eat it!" Anna teased.
"How come you gave Nequenta and Zack smaller pieces?" the observant and inquisitive Raymond asked.
"It's because their hands aren't strong enough for the bigger pieces yet. Miss Janell uses a special kind of putty for students who are trying to make their hands stronger for grasping things; it's called Thera-putty. It comes in four colors that go with each level. There is extra soft, medium soft, medium and firm. She tells me when she thinks the students who are trying to develop stronger hands are ready for bigger or more firm things."
"Oh! Hey, this is fun!" And Raymond became engrossed in molding his clay.

As Anna and Jane circulated around the classroom, Heidi and Anela decided to look for Kennan's file.
"I'll go find Candice. She'll have the whole thing, specifically mental health related material." Anela told Heidi. She did not find Candice in her office, but she knew where the psychologist kept her students' files. The drawers in her filing cabinet were arranged neatly, and each teacher's students were grouped together. Therefore, she easily found Kennan's file and left a note on Candice's desk explaining that she took it to her classroom.
anela and Heidi poured over the reports in Kennan's file. They were grateful that Anna and Jane were there to help with the students so they could try to put the pieces of Kennan's broken life together. That would enable them to know just how to help him. They were shocked fi see what some of the previous teachers' notes said.
"Kennan is a solitary person who seems uninterested in making friends. Therefore, he is self-posessed. His progress has halted, and the care team has no idea how to proceed. His foster parents initiate little contact; however, when we communicate with them, they confirm our observances. He exhibits the same behaviors at home. They state that they have attempted to encourage further development, but his progress at home has spiraled, according to the caregivers." The various foster parents had similar negative things to say. One family wrote, "Kennan came to us at the developmental level of a two-year-old without the ability to talk, feed himself, and he was not potty-trained. Our efforts to help him reach said milestones have failed, and school staff confirm our findings." Another family wrote, "At six months of age, Kennan is behind in all areas of development. He has not learned to roll over, though he can lift his head when he is placed on his tummy. This skill is usually acquired by the time an infant is two months old. He has not developed any language or social skills, and he lacks interest in toys. He does not respond to usual stimuli, such as voices, facial expressions, brightly-colored objects or play activities." Oddly, there was no mention of Kennan's first foster family, and Anela and Heidi began to wonder if they were the ones who contributed to his developmental delays. The last foster family he had lived with said, "At four years of age, Kennan lacks most elementary language, motor and social developments, and basic functions such as potty training, feeding, bathing and dressing/grooming. We can not handle the physical and emotional burdens of this child, so we are seeking placement with another family."
"He lived with that family for three years!" Heidi said quietly so only Anela could hear. Next, they came upon Kennan's medical records, which gave them the diagnosis--shaken baby syndrome. This occurred with the first foster family. Although other health concerns were present before this time, namely a mild form of cerebral palsy, Kennan's rough handling halted further development caused by the brain injury. "So," Anela said, "Kennan would have been able to progress to something a little below an average developmental level if the CP was all he had to deal with..."
"Why didn't they use other coping skills?" Heidi asked, her voice full of anguish. "This is all my fault...but I couldn't handle a child at that time. I was much too young!" she exclaimed, beginning to cry. anela found Jane and said she and Heidi would be gone for a few minutes.
"No," Anela said firmly, "this is not your fault in any way. You did the responsible thing. The foster family is to blame." Anela put her arm around the young woman as they walked the empty halls of the school.
"You know God is in control. He has a plan for Kennan, and His plans are for His child's good. God, in His grace, has allowed you to be a part of Kennan's life, and although he is not aware that you are his biological mother, he has responded to you in a remarkable way. Thank the Lord that Jamison and Corrine are willing to look beyond your mistakes and allow you to interact with Kennan and Bethany. You'll find that many of the people in this community, especially those who work with our school children, are open to you. You need to work on forgiving yourself. Ask God to help you do that and to show you His grace in an entirely new way." By this time, they had circled the school and were headed back to the classroom. Heidi wiped her eyes and smiled when she heard the joyous laughter eminating from Anela's classroom. The students were so full of life, and they all supported, encouraged and loved each other. They used their unique abilities to help those who had different strengths, and they certainly didn't look down on others. Now if only they could find a way to help Robyn...

Chapter 103: Robyn, Move!
(by NativeRose, added on 21 November 2007 11:03 PM)

Candice Goldsmith returned to her office, read Anela's Braille note and grabbed Robyn's file. She picked up the phone with growing apprehension and slowly dialed Jamillah Lane's extension. One of Jamillah's three aides answered, and Candice asked for the desired person.
"Jamillah, it's Candice. Do you have some time to meet with me today? I need to talk to you about the addition of a new student."
"Yes, I can meet with you in about fifteen minutes when the students go to lunch."
Jamillah arrived promptly at 11:15, and Candice began right away. She didn't want to consume much of Jamillah's time, as the teacher still needed time to eat her own meal. "Two new students arrived this morning. They were placed in Anela Smith's class, but one of them has some behavioral issues. Normally, I would encourage the aides, teachers and students to work things out, but this is a situation that must be resolved in another way. She injured three of Anela's students during recess this morning. It was as if she was taking advantage of their physical problems and mental developmental delays. I wouldn't consider this if the problem wasn't so serious."
"What types of things occurred? I ask so I know what to expect."
"first, the reason I thought to place her in your class is because I know your students' delays aren't the same as the students in Anela's class. She is less likely to injure them, and you have four students, as opposed to something like twelve."
"Yes, and she has fewer aides than me, but her students have greater needs and more extensive disabilities. It's just amazing how the students in that class interact!"
"Yes, I would agree. Robyn aimes flung sand in Andrea, Bethany and Scott's eyes; spoke harshly to Jenna and Rosalyn and pushed Zack. You know he doesn't have great physical abilities and is nonverbal; he sustained injuries to his face, hands and legs."
"Yeah, that's not a good situation."
"I think he needs to be placed in a different self-contained classroom."
"Perhaps mine would be more fitting. We can certainly try. Is her twin in Anela's class?"
"He is, but he's completely different than Robyn. Raymond is already fitting in nicely; he is much like the other students in Miss Smith's class. Okay, I'll work with Chandra, and you can expect Robyn tomorrow. You have my pager number, correct?"
"I do, but I'll verify that. Does Robyn need other auxiliary services other than psychotherapy?"
"No, she won't need physical or occupational therapy, specialized nursing care, physically or mentally adaptive classroom instruction or adaptive physical education."
"Are there any medical or dietary things I should know?"
"Not that I know of, but we can look through her file just to make sure."
"This could be an interesting experience; pray for me, Candice!"
"We need to continue to pray for Robyn, too." Candice said seriously, as Jamillah left her office.

Raymond was quite relieved that his sister wasn't in Anela's class, though he would never admit his feelings. She was often bossy and mean, but he didn't think she would hurt the other students. Then he remembered the time he was navigating the ramp at home and Robyn forcefully pushed him. His hands just weren't cooperating, so he couldn't slow the progression of his dangerously fast-moving wheelchair. It bounced over an unusually large rock, and his wheelchair veered so he ran into a bush. Robyn had laughed when she saw that the thorns scraped his arms. Perhaps he should have expected Robyn to take advantage of the vulnerable students in Anela's class. Still, he couldn't believe she had caused the severely delayed students Andrea and Zack. Sure, what she did to Scott, Bethany, Rosalyn and Jenna wasn't nice, but at least they could do something to get help. He was glad she was in a different class.

The next morning, Raymond and Robyn split up when they got to Miss Anela's class. Robyn tried to enter, saying something mean to Nequenta. Her mother firmly gripped her arm so she couldn't go into the classroom. Robyn was quickly directed to Miss Lane's classroom.
"Are you Jamillah Lane?" Robyn's mother asked.
"Yes," Jamillah said with a smile.
"Robyn Aimes is in your class?"
"You must be Robyn," she said, kneeling so she was at eye level with the girl.
"I'm Miss Lane."
"So what? How come that other stupid lady lets those retards call her by her first name?"
"She runs her class differently, but I will not tolerate statements like that."
As Miss Lane continued to talk to Robyn, the girl's mother walked back to Anela's classroom. Mrs. Goldsmith, the school psychologist, had told her the names of the students who were injured, and she wanted to make sure they were all right.
Anna saw the unfamiliar woman in the doorway and went to find out what she needed. She smiled when Raymond and Robyn's mother explained. Janet Aimes was shocked when she saw little Zack's swollen face, Andrea's inflamed eyes and Bethany's increasing struggles to see the letters on her paper. Scott, Rosalyn and Jenna, the other three students, didn't appear to be injured physically, but Janet had no idea what Robyn had said to them. She smiled once more when she saw Raymond use his reacher to pick up a crayon and hand it to a little boy who couldn't find or reach it. Next, when he saw a girl stumble and fall as she walked to the teacher, he went to make sure she was all right. Yes, Raymond fit perfectly into this group.

Robyn couldn't believe they put her in this class! Why did they change it? It was clear that this new teacher wouldn't be as tolerant as that freak everyone called Miss Anela. A boy looked at Robyn with a question clearly displayed on his face.
"Hey, what are you looking at?" she asked him.
"I just saw you're new."
"So what?"
"So who are you?"
"Screw you!" Robyn said as she kicked him.
"Hey! Leave me alone!" One of the aides saw the escalating conflict and rushed to separate the two students. Great, she thought, this is a good sign things are going to be tough.
"am I going to have to put you at a desk across the room?" she asked sternly.
"Whatever!" Robyn shot back. This was going to be a long day.

Chapter 104: Necessary Intervention
(by NativeRose, added on 22 November 2007 06:57 PM)

Miss Lane came to stand beside Robyn to find out what was happening.
"She said she was going to hit me!" Robyn said, pointing at the aide.
"Try telling the truth." the aide said impatiently.
"That is the truth. That boy was picking on me, and he kicked me!"
"That's not true!" the boy cried.
"I am ready to start class, ?Robyn. Why don't you sit here?" she indicated a desk in the row next to the boy. She was in the second seat in the row, and the boy occupied the end seat in the adjacent row of desks.
"No! I don't want to sit here!" Robyn yanked her arm free and tried to hit the teacher. "Hands down," Miss Lane said as she blocked the blow.
"Please put your hands on the desk."
"No!" Robyn moved to strike the teacher again.
"This behavior is not okay. Put your hands on the desk. If this happens again, you'll have to go into timeout. Do you understand?"
"So what? She proceeded to spit at the teacher. She clenched her fist and raised her hand to punch the teacher in the nose!
"You're going to isolation timeout." She reached for Robyn's arm, but she eluded Miss Lane's grasp and punched her in the stomach. One of the aides saw what was going on. They gripped her upper arms and wrists and firmly pulled her to her feet. They proceeded to take her to the psychology department, which was situated next to the self-contained classrooms with students with behavioral issues. As they entered, Robyn saw Candice.
"No! I'm not talking to her!" She stood on one foot and kicked the wall with the other.
"Seclusion timeout," Miss Lane said with a sigh. Since her arms were restrained, she kicked Candice and spit on the psychologist's shoes.
"I hate Miss Lane!" Robyn screamed.
"It is not okay to hurt other people," Candice said firmly, "and if you do, we will have to hold your arms and legs so you can't hurt people. You will also have to go to the timeout room."
"I hate you, too." They finally had to restrain Robyn, based on ProACT guidelines. They proceeded to take her to the seclusion room, which had motion-censored lights, a chair that was bolted to the floor, and a big, unbreakable window for staff viewing. Robyn saw two people standing outside the seclusion room. One was Candice, and the other was a person she met yesterday. Candice went somewhere else and left that other lady, Rachel, to watch the seclusion room. She stuck her tongue out at Rachel and pounded on the glass.
As Rachel watched Robyn, she logged the incident and worked on scheduling a meeting with Robyn's parents and teachers to develop and discuss Robyn's behavioral intervention plan. When she saw Robyn kicking and pounding on the walls, she wondered if they should put some sort of padding in the seclusion room. It was sound-proof, so it wouldn't disturb students and staff in the ares. After ten minutes, Rachel opened the door and asked Robyn to go into her office.
"No!" she screamed at the top of her lungs.
"Sit in the chair so I can talk to you for a second." In response, Robyn stuck her tongue out at Rachel.
"Do you understand why you were put in timeout today?" Robyn tried to kick Rachel from her place in the chair.
"Miss Lane brought you here since you were hurting other people. Do you want more time here?"
"I didn't think so, but if you keep hitting and kicking people, we'll have to bring you back here." This time, Rachel couldn't move fast enough to block Robyn's blow. Thus, she ended up with a bloody nose. She quickly closed the door to the seclusion room and asked another counselor to watch Robyn through the window. Rachel walked to the nurse's offices and asked Ashlyn for an ice pack.
"that's a good plan; your face is already beginning to swell. What happened to you?"
"I was about to take a student out of seclusion, and she let me know...in no uncertain terms...that she needed to be there for a longer period of time."

The counselor who was watching Robyn in the seclusion added to Rachel's incident report, and she agreed that they needed to figure out a behavioral intervention plan as soon as possible. After all, they were required to have a meeting to devise Robyn's individualized education plan with a strong focus on behavioral goals and interventions. She watched Robyn for another two minutes and saw that she was getting more agitated as she continued to kick the walls. She opened the top portion of the door slightly and said, "I want you to sit in the chair and work on taking some deep breaths. You need some quiet time before you go back to class."

Miss Lane, Rachel and Candice compared schedules and reviewed Robyn's behavioral events log so they were all on the same page. They scheduled the IEP meeting for Friday, and that was three long days away.

Chapter 105: the meating.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 23 November 2007 06:36 AM)

on the friday robbins parents jannet and david aims turned up at the school for the meating. robbin was left in a room on her own with heidi candus had decided that heidi had to have experiance with a troubled child. as anella had also been asked to atend the meating her class wheir taken to the room next door to the one that robbin was in so that jane and anna could go and help heidi if she needed it. In the meating room anella was explaining exactly what had happend in her class although the teacher was blind every one had come to have a lot of respect for anella. after anella spoke miss lane then explained what had happend in her class room three days ago. robbin had been kept off school till the meating to stop any other incedents happening.

"I am ashamed really because robbin seems to be hurting a lot laitly. once she pushed raymands wheelchair down a ramp and made him go over a rock." jannet explaind. they all decided that they would have robbin work in a room one to one with a member of staff if they could find some one she could like and trust.

after the meating they all went to have cups of coffie, candus who was concernd about heidi went to the room. robbin sat in the chair looking blankly at the four walls, heidi kept her disdance from the girl knowing that robbin could get vilant toords her at any momant. suddenly robbin burst in to uncontrolable teers. although knowing she was risking injury heidi went and bent down at the girl's eyelevel. robbin looked at heidi and senced that this woman would be nice and for the first time since she had been at the school had no disire to hurt someone. "Robbin, what's up? why are you crying." heidi said gentaly. just then candus came in to the room and sat at the back of the room it was the first time robbin had not blown off at a staff member so she just watched the exchange from the back of the class. robbin then did something unexpected she stood up and went closer to heidi still crying heidi infolded the girl in her arms and sat her on her lap on the sopha in the corner of the room. "It's okay robbin, no one wants to hurt you we all just want to help you." heidi said gentaly, watching heidi candus could not beleave how easy she got robbins atention, she knew that heidi would make a good therapist even teachers aid. Candus also knew that heidi was a naturalle and looking at heidi's first months of school reports could see that heidi was allready ahead in the course than she should be after a month of studying it that was why they had sent her on work placement so soon as she was going to pass the course with in six month to a year rather than the two to three years it should take. Suddenly anella and miss lane came in to the room and gorped at the way robbin was sitting so calmly on heidi's lap, when it was discribed to anella in a whisper anella was filled with admoration for heidi and the way she seemed to have a nack with the children. anella had allready seen heidi at work the day she had helped in her class. when robbin looked round and saw anella and candus and miss lane in the room her face went thunderass. she stood up and went to them but before she could get across the room heidi took the girl back to the sopha. "Come on robbin let's read the book together." to every one's amazement robbin sat next to heidi. when heidi started reading the book robbin listend with attention totaly on heidi's face. heidi then said "Now robbin your tern." robbin just shook her head, when heidi looked at robbin she could see that robbin was stering at the page looking puzzeld. "Robbin, can't you read or write?" heidi said. robbin just shrugged now every one could see why robbin was so frustrated if she could not read or write she odveyassly thought she was worthless, heidi knew that feeling because when she had first met the rosses she had felt the same way. suddenly robbin's atention went off heidi to the pianno in the corner of the room. heidi saw witch way she was looking and saw robbin's eyes light up. "Music, thats all i can do, i carry my flute every wheir with me and i love the pianno." robbin then took a case out of her bag and put the flute together. heidi then had an idear. anella and kandus wheir still speachless even the rest of anellas class had come in to watch what was going on and robbins parents. heidi went to the pianno and started to play anies song by john denver. as soon as she heard what the song was robbin joind in, no one not even her parents could beleave how butifully she played and heidi and robbin made a hansom duette. when the song finnished robbin put her flute away and then she sat at the pianno stool next to heidi's opening the lid of the pianno next to heidi's she began to play the same tune on the pianno with heidi joining in. when the intro was over robbin started to sing and then bethany joind in robbin looked at the little girl in the walker and suddenly a new respect grew for her. on hering the pianno's playing kennon came up and parked his wheel chair between them. "Kennon loves music." he said. robbin just ignored kennon but to her amazement heidi did not robbin was shocked when heidi started talking to kennon, robbin could not see what kennon had to offer. "Hello kennon, this is robbin." kennon put out his hand and wiggled his fingers.with some trepidation robbin shook kennons hand. "Hello kennon." she said gruffly. kennon then started to play the tune that every one loved robbin recognised the himm and started to play the cords and base heidi then went over to sing with bethany no one had heard heidi sing before but she had a voice like an angels and her and bethany sang well together. anella who had also been in a quire when she was younger then every one ellse joined. the room was full of music when the principall came in to see how things had progressed. "How is it going?" heidi came over and said. "Robbin can't read and write her dislexia is so bad every one had given up teaching her. robbin's anger comes out of frustration but her musicle tallent is fernomminall and i feel with a bit of help robbin could be a grate student, robbin play something for mrs chanda." robbin then played a very complecated classicle tune which none of them had heard before when it ended mrs chanda and the rest of the class wheir speachless. suddenly kennon started to play the same thing heidi watched as kennon picked up the tune he was even playing the cords. robbin was shocked by this little boy in the wheel chair who could not talk but she started to realize that theese children wheir spetial and knew that she had made a mistake. after kennon finnished playing the song heidi said "Have you heard that before kennon?" kennon shook his head, they all then realized that kennon was naturaly musicle. he then felt on top of the pianno and found the flute's case. "What this?" kennon typed. to every ones amazement robbin took the flute out of the case and gave it to kennon. "It's called a flute kennon." she said. she then shown kennon how you blew and played it but kennon's mouth actions wheir not strong inuff for it yet and he would need more work before he got to that stage. then robbin went over to zack and kissed him and lifted him in to her arms.zak who loved cuddles smiled. "Sorry, i'me really sorry." robbin said then then went and hugged all the other's she had hurt.on seeing bethany squinting aquordly she could see that bethany had visual problems. before any one realized what was happening robbin took bethany in to her arms and hugged her to.

"Let me be in miss anella's class please." said robbin.

"Okay i will give it a try." said anella. the principall agreed and then said "I need you all in the next room their is something happening."

Chapter 106: suprize party.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 23 November 2007 06:53 AM)

when they got in to the next room they found don anderson with bethany moriya and gerron. "Uncle don." said niquenta suddenly music started to play and every one started having a good time. no one apart from the principall and kandus knew why this party had been aranged they wheir about to reveal some shocking news to the students and heidi.

when the dancing and games wheir over the children all sat in a circle robbin with zack on her lap as zak had now taken to robbin and followd her every wheir but instead of blowing off at him robbin just took him with her.

"Okay i have an anousement to make." said the principall. "As you know miss boldwin has been on work placement with us for the last fiew days. she has been studying to be a therapist and teachers aid but un be known to us the college have expelled her because they feel that she is allready to qualified and don't feel that the corse sutes her needs. i have decided that as anella is getting more and more students in her class that she needs an extra aid so if heidi wants it i am offering her the job. she will need training how ever on how to load the wheel chairs on and off the bus and also we will have to train her in handling all the diffent needs but we feel that working with them will give her the best training. she will work as anellas music and play therapist, she will be based in the office next to candus but she will be asignd to just anellas class." every one cheerd bethany and kennon the lowdest and every one then went home. when bethany cot and kennon got out side the school they found a strange van out side it. wheir is the usule van?" asked scott heidi then explaind that she had saved up and bought a wheelchair van for when she was able to take the children out alone and so that she could learn better how to strap them in place. coreen and jamason who had walked to the school from their house wheir by the van they strapped all the children then coreen climbd in the back with the children and heidi drove them all home.

Chapter 107: A Trial
(by NativeRose, added on 24 November 2007 01:18 AM)

Heidi Baldwin would specifically work with music classes along with music therapy. Therefore, she could not be Anela's aide full-time. Upon her recommendation, a lady who had been in the Masters of Arts in Counseling program would fill the position. She had degrees in early childhood, k-12 and special education. She decided that a position such as this one was what she was looking for, so she seized the opportunity when Heidi mentioned it to her.

Sara Wells watched the students enter the classroom so she'd know what she was dealing with. Many of her previous students made fun of each other and took advantage of the different so-called weaknesses. She didn't see that here. They entered in groups of two or three, and they all talked excitedly. There was a girl who didn't appear to have physical challenges helping a little boy to find his desk. Another girl with a blank expression walked to her friend's desk and moved his chair so he could maneuver his walker underneath it. That was one strange walker. The boy sat in it and used his feet to move around the classroom. Sara's assessment was interrupted when Anela began her classes for the day.
"Good morning--"
"Who's that?" a girl interrupted.
"Just listen for a second, Rosalyn. We have a new person who is going to help our class."
"But I thought Heidi was going to do that," Robyn said, looking as if she might cry.
"Heidi is going to teach our music classes, and some of you will see her sometimes for--"
"Yay!" Sara heard someone's computer say. She peeked around the frame type thing to see a boy typing away.
"Some of you have music therapy with Miss Heidi and Candice, so you will see her a lot. And since we have music class every day, you'll all see her on a regular basis. This is Sara, and she's going to help us because there are so many of you in this class. We'll all have to help her learn about the special things you all use, and you will have to tell her how to help you. Can you all do that for me?"
"Yes," her students said with various devices.
"In circle time this morning, we will do something different. We'll tell Miss Sara who we are since she doesn't know us well. We will take some time later today for our normal circle time activity."
"I'm Isaac!" one of the boys said.
"Okay, since you began, we'll go in a circle, so since Jenna is to your right--"
"Yeah, what she said. I'm Jenna."
"Zack." the strange computer said again.
"I'm Robyn, and that's my twin brother--"
"Raymond," the boy finished for her.
"Okay, we need to go in our circle," Anela reminded her students.
"Nequenta," another strange computer said. Sara noticed that this girl was in a wheelchair, not like that strange thing Kennan used. The next girl yawned and said, "I'm Sierra."
"I'm Shane, and Sierra is my best friend!"
"I'm Bethany, and I like to play in the sandbox!" The boy next to her laughed before he said, "I'm Scott."
Brandon, Adam, Jordan and Andrew all introduced themselves at the same time. After Sara untangled their identities, she got the last student's name: Andrea.
"We're going to write in our journals this morning, since we didn't get to do that yesterday." Anela's plan was to help Sara understand the varying needs while Jane and Anna supervised the class.
As Sara waited for Anela to gather the needed materials, she watched the students' activities in fascination. Isaac repeatedly rolled a pencil across his desk. Rosalyn started talking to Nequenta in a rather disorganized fashion. Kennan began typing immediately, and as always, the teachers enjoyed reading his entries. Robyn was helping Zack find his coloring book. Sierra saw Shane's paper on the floor, and she picked it up for him so he wouldn't have to struggle with the task. His journal was different than the others; he had white paper with yellow lines in a three-ring binder so he could write in between the lines.
"Hey! You can't do that, Nequenta! It's yucky!" Rosalyn said loudly, causing the aides and students look in her direction, "She's chewing on a crayon; that's yucky!" Rosalyn explained. Anna went to retrieve the crayon and get Nequenta started on something different. She brought a plastic tray with two containers to Nequenta.
"I want you to put the beads from this container into the empty one," Anna explained and used the hand-over-hand technique to show Nequenta what to do. Jordan, Andrew, Brandon and Adam continued work on their collective writing. Andrea used a coloring book, much like the one Zack had. By this time, Anela was ready to discuss the students varying needs.
"I don't expect you to remember all of this, but I just want to give you an idea of what you'll encounter in the classroom. There are three students who wear disposable underwear, formerly known as adult diapers: Nequenta, Andrea and Kennan. The bathroom has sufficient space for us to change them, and my own rule is that two of us need to be available to help Kennan, Nequenta and Andrea get cleaned up. There are several visually impaired students in the class, though Jenna and Kennan are the only completely blind students. Shane, Adam and Bethany have some vision. Jane said she saw you looking at Kennan's device that looks a little different than a wheelchair. It's a stander, and it provides full body support for him. He's having a relatively good day, so we can put him in the stander for as long as he can tolerate it. You saw that it has wheels like a wheelchair, and that's so he can be moved. There are straps that hold Kennan in place and footrests that make a platform for him to stand. All of the students who can't talk (Andrea, Kennan and Zack) all use computer devices to communicate their feelings, desires and needs. Some of them need extra time for sleep, and since we can use two classrooms, one is designed for naptime. We're rather flexible, since their needs can change from one day to the next, and things can change throughout the day. Sierra has seizures; they deplete her energy supply, and Kennan often needs naps as well. You will see the physical, speech and occupational therapists, along with the psychologist and other counselors. During music class, the instructor comes to our classroom just to make things easier."
"I saw that some of the students were doing things other than writing. I take it you design activities according to the child's level?"
"Absolutely. If we use stuff way beyond their levels, there is no point in sending them to school."

Sara got a taste of a little of everything that day. When she and Anela returned to the classroom, they found Janell pushing Kennan down the hall. Soon after, Candice and Scott walked toward the therapist's office.
Anela must have heard Sara turn and sensed the question, for she said, "Scott's pregnant mother and older sister died two years ago. Scott's dad couldn't handle his family members' deaths in the same accident that caused Scott's paralysis, so another family just adopted him. He didn't start therapy until this year, so his healing was put on hold. Although he seems to be fine, he still needs to work through some of those issues."
Sara would hear the students' other tales, things she never thought possible. Sara grew up in a conservative Christian home and was sheltered from the harsh things in life. Thus, she was shocked when she heard many of Anela's students talk about abuse, drug use, etc. Maybe she could help them heal. When she looked at the big picture, she realized that healing was much more important than teaching them reading comprehension. Maybe God would use her as His agent.

Chapter 108: Robyn's Ashes
(by NativeRose, added on 24 November 2007 01:50 AM)

Robyn was doing well in Anela's class. This was due, in part, to her psychotherapy sessions with Candice and her art and music therapy with Heidi. Her doctor also put her on a mood stabalizer, and that seemed to help as well. Raymond and Mrs. Aimes said there was a huge difference at home, too. Robyn seemed to enjoy helping Zack with the little things that he was discovering. Like Kennan, he had to learn about the world around him, and he needed someone to help him explore it. Miss Anela was teaching him some of the same things as Kennan: the spacial concepts: over, under, in, through, up, down, left, right. Robyn decided that stuff could be used during playtime. She often pushed him in the specialized swing, built sand castles with him, watched the birds with him. This was surprising to everyone, as they never thought she'd get along with anyone. There were still many outbursts, but they didn't have to use physical restraint or seclusion timeout as often as they did in the first days. Perhaps the most shocking development took place when another student with behavioral issues started classes at Apple Valley. Robyn first saw Chelsea outside Miss Lane's classroom. Miss Lane was quietly talking to her, but the girl wasn't listening at all. She was much like Robyn in that she'd rather take her aggressions out on everyone around her. She screamed and kicked and fought physical restraint all the way to seclusion. Robyn wondered if Chelsea was like her. Of course, at that time, Robyn didn't know her name. She saw the girl at recess one day and decided to talk to her.
"Hi, I'm Robyn. Are you new here?"
"Go away!" the girl said angrily, flinging pebbles at Robyn. A teacher saw what was going on and watched intently so she could intercede before violent conflict could erupt.
"What's your name?"
"Chelsea...now get out of my way!"
"Oh, I'm seven. How old are you?" Before the girl could answer (if she had the inclination to do so), Miss Lane walked by. She greeted Robyn, but Chelsea looked at the teacher with great anger and in complete disgust.
The teacher left, and Chesea said, "She wants me to go work on reading...I hate reading! Writing sucks, too! the people who want to read and write are stupid...just like that teacher."
"I don't like reading, either," Robyn began, "because all the words get mixed up. I feel stupid when I can't make them come out right."
"Me too."
"But my teacher is nice, and she never laughs at me when I get mixed up. She's teaching me how to read and write, and she makes it fun!"
"I think it's stupid and boring."
"No," Robyn said, "it's not...not the way Miss Anela teaches it."
"Oh. At first, I thought you would laugh at me like other people do. Maybe you don't since you don't like to read and write, either."
"Yeah, it's hard. Maybe you can work with Miss Anela. She makes learning letters fun."
"Maybe," Chelsea said, "I don't know."
"Oh, there's the bell! I have to go help Zack." Chelsea watched Robyn run to the boy who always at under the tree and watched the birds. She grabbed his hand and helped him stand up, and then they went to their class together. She's nice, Chelsea thought, and maybe, just maybe, I could ask her teacher to help me read. Everyone says she nice...

Several teachers and aides watched the interaction between Robyn and Chelsea.
"Remember that verse about how the Messiah would give us beauty for ashes?" anela asked Jane, Anna and Sara. "Well," she continued, "that is a perfect example. God took the ashes of Robyn's first days here and used them to help another girl who currently feels alone because of her dyslexia." Maybe Robyn could bring her hope.

Chapter 109: gabe.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 24 November 2007 03:37 PM)

gabe harper sat in his car outside heidi's apartment he wanted to see if heidi had really changed and if what his friends who had been visiting in prison wheir telling the trouth. gabe had just been realeesed on parrole and was comming to get heidi for testifying againsed him.

"She's not in ser." said the next door nabour. then because the nabour did not know who he was she told him the way to coreen's address. when he got to the door he saw heidi sat at the pianno with a little boy in a wheel chair. coreen who also had not known who he was had let him in. suddenly gabe said "Heidi long time no see."

"Gabe get out of here i don't want to know you any more this is my life now." gabe suddenly got a gun out of his pocket. he then proseeded to point the gun at kennon. "I will shoot him if you don't come back with me now and change your ways again." heidi was shaking and tremboling and felt that she would have no choice but she did not think about all theese people who had helped her. suddenly bethany and scott came in to se kennon.

"Yay heidi's here yay yay yay." said scott. he then saw the gun pointed at kennon and heidi. before gabe could see what was happoning scott wheeled him self over to him and knocked him down with his chair. coreen came in then and saw gabe start to get in a ranging temper. he started shouting and swairing at heidi and heidi was startng to give in. then he took some drugs and put them under heidi's nose. heidi started shaking and trembling because she had still only been quit for eight years and seeing the stuff still scaird her. "Get that stuff away from me gabe." she said. gabe just carried on shouting at her and then kennon did something dangourass. he took the gun from gabe as he had crept toords the voice as he could here that heidi was in trouble. when gabe saw the boy in the wheel chair pick the gun up and explore it he started relaxing. with out knowing what he was doing kennon pulled the trigure and shot gabe in the head. the bullet killed gabe instantly. coreen gasbed in shock and jamason also was shocked. suddenly the plece game and after the incedent was explaind to them kennon was arested and taken to the station. the drugs wheir found to be gabes and they wheir removed. the plese who knew kennon's disabilities did not care they wheir deturmined to proove that kennon had known what he was doing and he was locked in a cell. the plece wheir not taking care of his needs and heidi went to the station the next morning to find kennon wet and with no changed diper. she went to the desk and complaind the plece would not beleave that kennon was so suveyalerly disabled and had not let him have his computer for intervew. when he did not answer a question they started asking him more. they interregated him for two days then just left him in a cell for a further two days with out changing him. when heidi coreen and jamason heard about how kennon was being treated they managed to get their loyer to let him out on bale.

but what was going to happen to kennon? would he get out of this?

Chapter 110: Startling Discoveries
(by NativeRose, added on 24 November 2007 11:25 PM)

Corrine and Heidi raced into Candice's office, mindless of the fact that a student was working with her. Janell's office was right across the hall fromCandice. She knew these women needed Candice to help; something was terribly wrong. Janell pushed Andrea out of the office with
much reassurance that she could have some extra play time with Candice the next time she had therapy.

"So you know what has happened with Kennan?" Heidi asked Candice.
"They took him to the juvinile detention center, and they aren't helping with any of his basic needs! They told us that, based on his crime, he might be
in for life. Of course, they would transfer him to a state prison at age eighteen. They don't believe he has real developmental delays. They keep telling
us that he won't eat, talk or go to the bathroom. Apparently he cries and screams all the time, and they think it's annoying. They said that if this happens
all night, they're going to put him in solitary confinement!" Corrine's words poured forth in a disorganized fashion, but Candice understood.
"Okay, who is handling Kennan's case?"
"A Daniel...Erickson."
"Okay, if they haven't been feeding or changing him, I'm sure there are some health things going on. Let's ask Emily and Katie to go with us."
When they arrived, Emily and Candice asked to talk with Daniel about Kennan.
"Do you seriously think a boy who just learned what a leaf is purposely carried out a murder plot?" Emily asked.
"His fingerprints are all over the gun, Miss James."
"I want to see him!" Corrine said.
"I can't let you do that. If we see improvement, if he starts talking to us, we might be able to give him visitation priveleges. He has chosen not to answer
questions, and he's not cooperating in any way whatsoever. He won't talk, eat or even go to the bathroom on his own, and I think this is rebellion; therefore,
he does not deserve such incentives he hasn't earned."
"Kennan is physically unable to do those things! You took his computer so he couldn't talk to you? How long has he been in the same diaper, and has he eaten
anything?" Corrine disintegrated into sobs, and Emily took over.
"This is neglect and abuse, and that can not continue. You can be sure that the proper authorities will be notified. I can garuntee that inspection will
reveal damaging things about this facility and staff. Now, we absolutely must see Kennan! You are putting him at great risk of more medical problems."
"I'll discuss it with my superiors and I'll get back to you."
"Please do that immediately. May we wait here for you?" Daniel nodded with an exasperated sigh. The sooner he could get this pushy freak out of his office,
the better. What did she know about dealing with rebellious children? After all, this was his field. How could these people tell him Kennan had developmental
When Daniel left, Katie spied Kennan's chart and figured out which room he was in. She found it and looked through the peephole to see someone handling
him quite roughly. Katie knocked on the door and waited for the girl to open it as the plan formed in Katie's mind.
"Hi, Angela." Katie said, imperceptibly looking at the girl's name tag. I'm here to give Kennan his 3:00 meds."
"You're not the regular nurse here."
"No, this is my first day, but I've been doing this for seven years. What are you doing here?"
"Daniel said I need to get him cleaned up. Apparently, some people are here to see him, and he wants to make it clear that this boy was not mistreated.
Still, this is all his fault, as he chooses not to eat, go to the bathroom, talk, so I don't understand why I have to clean him up. He should have to wait
for his first hosing down. I'll do what Daniel says, though."
"Okay, I'll handle this, and you can go back to your post."
"But it's my job...although I think it's disgusting."
"I won't be grossed out by it; I've worked with a lot of people who can't do this stuff on their own."
"But I'm certain that he can. He's just lazy and rebellious, but it won't get him anywhere. And he's too darn noisy. Instead of talking, he just screams
and cries all the time."
"Well, maybe we'll have to have a little chat about that when I give him his meds. I'll work on figuring him out. Now you can go, and thanks for your help."
Katie wished the girl would just leave, and she breathed a sigh of relief when the girl finally did so.
"Okay, let's see what's going on here." Her eyes traveled from Kennan's cold feet to his eyes, so full of fear. Of course Kennan cried all the time! Before
she went further, she called Emily and Candice and explained what she saw. They couldn't keep Corrine and Heidi from running all the way to Kennan's room.
All three entered the room, ready for action.
"Corrine, do you have any diapers with you?"
"they're usually in Kennan's...where is his wheelchair?"
"We'll track it down--"
"Yeah, I have some diapers with me. Oh gosh, Katie, that water is freezing!"
"Yeah, and it looks really dirty."
"Yeah, Kennan's body is cold...it's like they put him in a refrigerator. Can you hand me that blanket?" Heidi took the basin from Corrine, who grabbed the
"Oh, this is soiled. Is this what has been touching Kennan's skin?" As Heidi went toward the door, an unfamiliar lady flung it open.
"I told you to wait in my office! Where's Angela?" Daniel raged.
"I told her that I'd handle bathing Kennan," Katie began softly. "because she was certainly not caring for him in a gentle manner."
"Just where do you think you're going, lady?" he asked Heidi.
"This water is disgusting, and it's freezing! It's certainly not going to enhance Kennan's health. You know, you all complain about how he cries all the
time; consider what you do with him!"
"Who are you?" Candice asked the unfamiliar lady after Heidi left.
"I'm Karen, Daniel's supervisor."
"Now you can see that we're not just making this up! Karen, how would you feel if this was your own child?"
"My point exactly, and you two don't understand why we're upset?" Corrine asked. Candice and Katie massaged several parts of Kennan's body to get the blood
flowing again.
"We're going to need some clean cloths." Heidi said, as she handed Corrine the basin with clean, warm water.
"No," Daniel said.
"Have you no decency?" Candice asked.
"Daniel," Karen said calmly, "that will be quite enough. I'll handle this."
Before Daniel left, he gave each person a thunderous look. However, he watched everything that happened in that room. As soon as Karen left to get clean
cloths, he returned. Corrine and Katie were rolling him over so they could cleanse the necessary areas thoroughly. They would also need to keep him in
that position to put the diaper on. As they rolled him onto his side, they found that he had been lying in a puddle of his own excrement. The diaper rash
had spread to his back and thighs since they were in constant contact with body fluids.
"Where is his wheelchair?" Corrine asked, her voice and face filled with anger.
"Beats me," Daniel said in a careless tone.
"How can you do this to a person, especially a child who doesn't have a choice? It's like you're taking advantage of his disabilities." Karen must have
stopped along the way, for she had not returned with a cloth. When she did return, the expression on her face was inscrutible.
"So Daniel," she said, with deadly calm, "I think I know why you are treating this child so harshly. I just discovered what happened, though it took us
a long time to put it together, because all of your drug tests show you're clean. You were Gabe's drug supplier, even on the night he died. I
found a notation about Kennan. Gabe knew that bright lights would cause Kennan to have a seizure, so he chose to shine a penlight in Kennan's eyes. Thus,
when the child was exploring the gun, he experienced some muscle spasms right before he had the seizure. The spasms in his hand caused him to pull the
trigger. You were the supplier for him that night, and he told you what he intended to do with Heidi and Kennan. You suggested that Gabe give Kennan lethal
doses, and you two wanted to get Heidi hooked again for your own gain!" As Karen explained this, Corrine and Katie cleaned Kennan up as much as
they could. Corrine fished for a clean diaper, and she always kept clean clothes on hand.
"I wish I had something warmer," she said quietly, "we'll put him in pajamas as soon as we get home." Karen was asked to find Kennan's wheelchair, and she
helped them prepare to take Kennan home. As they did this, Candice called anela.
"Hey, would you ask Nequenta's mom or Scott's dad if we can use a wheelchair van? We are taking Kennan home, and we won't make him go through
the process of transferring from his wheelchair into a car."
"You called at the perfect time; both parents are here right now."
"Ask if Nequenta's mom has diaper ointment. I'll need to get some, but I don't want Kennan to sit in his wheelchair in a vehicle for longer than necessary.
Karen," she said after she gave Candice the message, "can we get a blanket for him to use while we wait for the wheelchair van? I'll make sure you get
it back before we leave." She left to get a blanket, but Candice needed Corrine's attention again. Thus, when Karen returned with the blanket, she
handed it to Heidi, who tucked it around the small figure.
"He's freezing! she said to Katie. She pushed him toward a lobby to wait for his road home.

Chapter 111: Ordinary Healing
(by NativeRose, added on 26 November 2007 01:54 AM)

When Heidi, Corrine returned home, they found Rose, Nequenta's mom, waiting for them. She explained that she brought the ointment for Kennan, and she knew he would need it right away.
"Kennan!" Beth walked to him as quickly as she could. She was confused when Corrine said, "be extra careful."
"Why, Mommy?"
"You know what happens to you when you get cold."
"Yeah, I have boo-boos in my muscles, and they do things I don't like."
"Yeah, those are called spasms. Kennan gets those when he's cold, too."
"Well, you give me a bath and then help me put warm jammies on. Kennan can nborrow my jammies. Why is he cold? It's warm, and we can wear shorts today."
"Well, he went to a place where they didn't treat Kennan the way Jesus would. However, we're going to make that all better."
The mothers exchanged glances as Bethany and Scott chattered excitedly, and Corrine could tell that Amy had an idea.
"Beth, would you like to spend the evening with us?"
"Okay," she said.
"I'm making your favorite meal tonight."
Yay!" Thank God for Amy, Corrine thought. She must have known Corrine would need to spend some extra time with Kennan; it would be easier for Bethany to play with Scott. Besides, they always enjoyed their time together, and Amy didn't have a problem with it at all.

Corrine put Kennan in the bathtub, and she chose to use baby bath for two reasons: the aromatherapy would help him to relax, and the formula wouldn't irritate his skin with the severe rash. She systematically moved his arms and legs; the water and manual exercises would help soothe sore muscles. She chose to put flannel pajamas on Kennan, as they would keep him warm. Kennan was already half asleep when she finished helping him dress, but he needed to eat. As if reading her mind, Kennan began to cry again.
"We'll put some food in your tummy." She gave him a small portion of pureed food so he would have something in his stomach before his nap, but she didn't want to give him too much food. He had just endured a great trauma, and his body wouldn't respond well to many stimuli, including food. It would take him longer to recover, so he probably would not attend school the next day. Apparently, Brandon had the same thought, because he arranged to stay with Kennan while Corrine went to work. The next day would be difficult, but Kennan would be able to interact with Brandon more than usual, since Heidi would be at the school, and Corrine would be at the bank where she worked part time. Kennan and Brandon would enjoy a different type of playtime, and Brandon was just as sensetive to Kennan's needs as Corrine and Heidi were. Kennan was already asleep and, though he had not smiled throughout the whole thing, he did stop crying when Corrine put him in the water to "play." That was a good thing; Kennan needed some physical comfort after his grueling ordeal at that nightmarish place. It did Corrine's heart good to see the change in his countenance; she had felt completely out of control when he was being held at the JDC. That nightmare was over, and Kennan was finally back where he belonged.

Chapter 112: dannielle.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 28 November 2007 03:37 PM)

next morning when they got to school scott and bethany wheir given a note to give to anella. sarah read it to her. "Okay sarah i know about this brandon is looking after kennon for correen while she is working and heidi is working to. suddenly the door opend and a girl of about seven came in to the room she just looked around blankly at the walls. "Ho grate another student, hello." said raymand. the girls mother hellon car spoke to annella. "This is my daughter dannielle she is surveyaly autistick none verble and she does not understand anything." anella knodded at hellon and explaind that they would do their best with her. suddenly heidi came in to the room. "Hi anella i have come for dannielle car. she is my first proper case and i have been told i am to start with her streight away. anella smiled at the young woman and told dannielle to go with heidi. danielle did not respond so heidi went over and took her by the hand. when they got to heidi's office heidi started introducing her to diffrent toys but dannielle just through each one across the room then heidi read her a storrie. suddenly dannielle saw a picture of a boy playing the pianno. suddenly she started waving her hands around and opend her mouth. she then made a noise and pointed to the picture of the pianno. "You like music dannielle." said heidi. dannielle did not respond heidi then decided to try and test her with some music theripy. heidi then played a himm as soon as she heard it dannielle looked up then she opend her mouth. she started to sing the words of the himm. heidi could not beleeve it this girl could not talk but she could sing. as soon as the song finnished dannielle went and sat on heidi's lap. heidi then tried to get dannielle to learn some sounds and letters but dannielle could not grasp the letters. when the session had finnished heidi went back with dannielle to anella's class as they wheir due for their music lesson. when they got their heidi instructed them to sit in a circle and then she started to explain that they wheir going to learn a new song today and that they wheir all going to have designated parts to it. when heidi got them all set up with their parts she made them all go and practis it on their own when it came to the performing of the song. heidi said "I need my lead singer at the front." to every one's supprise heidi led dannielle out. dannielle's mother who was staying for her first day to help annella out with her dauter was shocked. when heidi started to play the song dannielle started to sing. her mother like every one ellse had not known about this and was shocked. when the song finnished every one clapped and all the children had enjoyed it emensaly. "Heidi what's going on?" said annella. heidi explaind that people with autisam offen had something they wheir good at but it was offen hidden. dannielle's mother who was shocked then asked. "How long do you think she has had this tallent?" heidi then explaind that dannielle had probly had it for ages but did not know how to use it properly. they then got a spare computer out of the draw and started teaching dannielle and her mother how to use it. dannielle was a quick learner and picked it up streight away.

her first words she rote on her own was "I love you mommy." hellon was over joid finnaly their would be hope for dannielle. suddenly the door opend and a blind woman came in with a guide dog. "Excuse me, sorry to interupt but i am looking for anella peterson and heidi boldwin i was told you wheir in here." the two wimin confermd who they wheir. "Maggie! i must be seeing things." said heidi. the woman smiled and heidi rushed over and hugged her. anella who had also recognised maggie went and gave her a hugg. "This is my sister, i don't beleave it!". said heidi. maggie was the youngest and had left when hannah died. she had turned in to a alcohollic and had been blinded comming home from the pub drunk one knight. anella had known maggie because they had met when maggie had just finnished and had got on ever since. maggie then came in to the room and heidi and anella introduced her to all the aids. maggie who was only 22 was amazed on hering the students and how they got on. heidi who was only three years older than maggie had always been close to her and maggie turning to drink the way she had was part of the reason for heidi wanting to streighten her self out. maggie then explaind that she was back because she had got counseling and had got a job as a seckraterry at the offices across the road from the school. at the end of the day all the children went home and bethany and scott could not wait to tell coreen what had happend that day. when they got home they found heidi and maggie at the house. kennon and correen wheir sitting on the chair and correen was explaining to kennon about the dog. suddenly kennon started to smile as soon as scott and bethany came in. "This is dream. we are best friends now." he said as he stroked the dog. then he felt the harniss on the flore next to the couch. he picked it up and heidi came and sat next to him. "Dream is a spetial dog kennon," she said "Anty maggie is blind like you and dream is her eyes." heidi then touched kennons eyes with his hands so he would understand. kennon then started asking questions about the dog. "Write, it's time for you to have some fresh air now kennon." said coreen kennon smiled and they all went out in the garden. they started playing ball heidi helping kennon as she usually did and maggie was talking to correen. suddenly kennon missed the ball and it fell on to the flore. heidi had left him for a second to make a call and when she came back she found kennon crying. "Kennon missed." he said. "It's okay kennon i am sorry i had to call scotts daddy kyle as we have not had time to catch up yet since he has been back as scotts real mommy was mine and maggies sister. " suddenly before heidi could pick the ball up dream ran over picked the ball up and droppt it in to kennons lap. when heidi explaind it to maggie maggie was shocked. suddenly she walked over to heidi with out coreen's arm. she was tremboling and looking round at everything. with a pannict look on her face. "Maggie what's up." said heidi. "I can see i think i can see. are they blue jeans you are whereing?" heidi knodded "It has been like this for a while but some days re better than others, but it is getting better every day for me." i brought dream to see the kids because i have to give him back tommorrow. kennon started to cry which left heidi with an idear

Chapter 113: dreams new job.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 28 November 2007 04:37 PM)

next day jane rose maggies guide dog instructer came for dream it was saturday and every one was in the house including heidi as she spent every saturday over at the rosses. correen had put maggie up for the night as heidi had not long moved in and could not have any one staying with her as she had not fully got her house sorted.. jane started by testing maggie's vission just to check that it was deffantly okay and she was found to be sorted. suddenly kennon came through the door wheir all the adults with dream at his heals. he was carrying jane a pressant from maggie because they wheir trying to get kennon to start doing more for him self slowly. as he came to the door he found it was shut and knocked. suddenly dream jumped up at the handle and opend the door for kennon. when kennon came in to the room their was a slight ramp up from the kitchen to the livingroom kennons chair bumpt over the ramp and he droppt the box off his lap. jane went to help him. "Leave it, kennon will sort it out." kennon then pointed to the flore and dream picked the box up and put it back on kennons lap. when kennon came to jane with the presant he took dream by the coller pointed his head at the pressant then at jane. dream took the pressant over and dropped it on janes lap then went to sit by kennon. since the ball incedent kennon and dream had become inseprable and had spend all night together.

"Listen jane, we have been trying to find a way for kennon to become more independant at getting around out side so he does not have to be pushed all the time when his chair is electric but as he is blind he can't see wheir he is going. i know he is a bit young and you are not supposed to have a dog till you are 16but dream seems to be a natural service dog and with a bit of retraining i feeling that he could be a combined service dog and guide dog for kennon. i know kennon is only eight but they just seem so natural together." said heidi. correen jamason and maggie smiled at her. heidi had been a revalation since she had come in to their lives. "Well let me send him to the local school for service and guide dogs and we will see what we can do."

"Hang on i want kennon to have a say." said heidi. heidi then went over to kennon and bent down by his side patting the dog as she did so. she then explaind to kennon what sh had just said in simpoler languidge so that he would understand and shown him the harniss to refresh his memory. kennon smiled and did his sign for yes. jane then took dream off to the local school. a month later jane rang back to say that dream could be trained and when he was he would be kennon's. "Kennon needs to learn to talk like you heidi." said kennon as he held her hand. they decided that all other things would be put on hold they had to start on kennons mobility and speach streight away. jane had said because dream was a natural it would only take two months to get him ready. then kennon would have to go to the school to train with him. she said that because of kennons needs some one had to come along with him. to every one's amazement correen shook her head when she was sujested suggested. She explaind that she had two muchon and that because of bethanies reesent trouble with mr simons she wanted to stay with bethany. she suggested that heidi should go with him and it was agreed. for the next two months heidi and kennon would not do their normal jobs and school work because heidi had to be traind to look after kennon properly and they had to start working on kennon's speach and mobility so that he would be a bit more confedent while he was at the school. the whole family wheir looking foward to this new chapter and kennon was also looking foward to it two. he wanted to learn to talk and he would be able to wheel him self round with scott and bethany such as go to the shop if he had dream. kennon and the other's went to bed that night full of joy and happyness and heidi was asked to move in with the rosses for the time till kennon finnished training with dream so she could be kennons primory care giver and maggie was given the keys to heidi's and was going to keep it in order for her and sort her stuff out. heidi was put in kennon's room with him as it had two beds in it so that she would be theri for him at all times. heidi looked foward to the chance to proove she was cut out for the job and kennon wanted to proove to people that he could be something. the family wheir going to be supprised at heidi and kennon as things wheir going to be better than expected. heidi was to proove to the rosses just how write they wheir to give her a chance and kennon would exede every one's expectations. people wheir going to notice a diffrence in kennon and heidi from now on and it was going to be for the better.

Chapter 114: starting.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 4 December 2007 10:51 AM)

the next day the hard work with kennon and heidi started. first heidi was shown how to put kennon in to the wheel chair van and strap him in. then they went to the school to see kandus and janell. kennon was taken to janell's office.

"Okay kennon this is going to b hard work as you have only just learnd how to eat and swollow for your self so we need to see how you cope with all this new stuff." janell then started making sounds and letting kennon feel the shape of her mouth. to her amazement kennon started to pick it up really quickly and by the end of the session he could make every sound perfectly with out any help. Then they took kennon to rose anderson nequenta's mom who was a mobility officer at the school. she taught kennon how to use a kane and she also explaind to him about echo location. kennon started wizzing round the school enjoying his new found independance. rose could only just keep up with him. when she had taught him the lay out of the school he was then asked to find certon rooms in the school. he did this with a few mistakes but very well. at the end of the lesson it was time for kennon to go and get heidi to give him his lunch. with rose following him he wized down the corredoors and heard fomillior voices it was bethany and scott they wheir going to heidi's office to as janell had asked them to go and get something from her before they went to lunch. suddenly kennon heard them laughing and made the oo sound janell had taught him earlyer in the day. scott and bethany stopped they wheir amazed to see kennon comming toords them with a kane in his hand. "Wait for kennon." rose shouted so they waited. when kennon caught up with them they carried on to heidi's office kennon leading the way. heidi was stood outside her office just about to lock the door to go to get kennon for lunch when she saw a boy race toords her in a wheel chair using a kane infront of him. she could not see who it was as she had her back to him. "Stop!" she said. janell thencame round the corner with rose and candus and anella, they all said hi to heidi as they passed but wheir blocked by the boy in the wheel chair racing down the coridoor. on heidi's second stop command the boy came to a holt. heidi could see that it was kennon and sme smiled. "Gosh kennon you are learning quick." said rose. "scott and bethany are only just turning the last corner." kennon smiled then he faced heidi with an effort as he had only just learnd it he opend his mouth and said the words lunch please. every one was amazed even janell as she had only taught him basic sounds. was it possable that kennon had the words in his brain the whole time but just did not know the teckneek to speak. it was soon to be confermd when kennon opend his mouth again and very slowly said. "I am kennon ross and i am eight years old." he had took a breath between each word but every one was amazed by kennon's quickness of learning. heidi then put her hands on the wheel chair handols and closed her eyes. "Okay kennon, guide miss heidi to lunch." she said. rose then put a blind fold on heidi so she could not cheet and kennon with a couple of rong turnings guided her to the canteen. after lunch they all went home as the school was on a half day holiday that day because their was a problem with the water. when they got home kennon kept practising the bits of speach he had learnd till he had perfected them. he then went down and shown his new skills to coreen and jamason. they knew that they wheir doing the write thing with kennon and heidi was also learning quickly to. by the end of the first month kennon's speach was immprooved to the extent that he could hold a small conversation. heidi wasalso learning to care for kennon properly and by the end of the month kennon and heidi wheir hardly ever wanting to be apart

Chapter 115: The Arms of Dawn
(by NativeRose, added on 29 March 2008 01:14 AM)

Ebony, Corrine, Rose, Amy and Heidi met at Corrine's house for a Bible study. Their children, Shane, Bethany, Scott, Nequenta and Kennan respectively, played in the Rose family's yard. The women were thankful that Jamison and Brandon had agreed to care for the children during their Bible study. The women waited for Hannah, the speech therapist; Janell, the physical therapist; Emily, the intake worker and Candice, the psychologist. All of the women decided that a play group outside of school would be beneficial for their young charges, and they took advantage of these times to study God's Word together. They decided they would alternate with the fathers of these children so they could grow together in this special way. When the school staff learned of this arrangement, they expressed interest and the plan came into fruition. After they had all gathered, Corrine asked Amy to help her finish preparing food for the occasion. The therapists talked, and Shane and Nequenta's mothers, Ebony and Rose respectively, also began a conversation. They didn't exclude Heidi; actually, they all invited her to join in their conversations. However, she was perfectly content to watch the children at play. In fact, she was much more comfortable sitting at a window watching them than making conversation with these various professionals. She still felt so new at her job; she was a novice compared to these other women. They had had infinitely more experience in dealing with children with disabilities, and they were all just wonderful with their charges. Her thoughts turned as she watched Kennan in animated conversation with Shane. She remembered what things had been like for Kennan in the beginning. He was secluded and sullen. He was depressed and didn't socialize at all. Now he was talking in excited fashion, with just as much enthusiasm as his peers. They certainly wouldn't judge him; after all, they all had challenges. They had all accepted Kennan and, in the process, had helped to renew Heidi's own faith in God. Both Kennan and Heidi had been living in darkness. Although it was darkness of a different kind for each of them, it was still pervasive, reaching into every aspect of their lives. Then, light illuminated life and made it all worth living. That light came in the form of these godly men and women and their children, who loved more completely than most. Heidi felt like she was emerging into a new day. She was learning that she could stand on her own, and with the increase in self-confidence came the desire to reach out. Kennan was learning that people loved him, and perhaps that was more important than learning speech, daily living skills and range of motion all combined. The arms of dawn reached into darkened lives and pulled them into the light so they could breathe, live and love as Jesus.

Chapter 116: back at school.
(by ian mcnamara, added on 2 March 2009 12:45 AM)

on monday the children arived back in anellas classroom for school.

Okay guys i want you to right down what you did this weekend in your journal."

as the children got to work anella was so happy how they were progressing in her class. kennon and bethany and all the others were becomming really good friends and they were becomming closer every day. robbin had also settled in to anellas class very well by now and although her disabilitie was not as seriaus as every one ellses she was becomming a grate help to every one. after they had finnished their journals heidi came in to teach the music lesson. Dannielle car was the first to spot heidi as she came in the door and started making noises. kennon and the other children smiled to.

"Okay children today we are going to start to try and get this class to form a band because i can see that you all like music a lot and i want to see what we can do so i have brought a selection of instraments with me today for you all to try out."

the children got very exited by this and went over to examin the instraments kennon went to the key board scott started on the drums jenna and bethany sang niquenta was cunducter as she had not inouff strenght in her hands yet to play a instrament. seeara also did not play as she could not concentrate that long. rosalin also sang. dannielle was lead singer adam decided to have a go at the base gitar and jordan and brandon got gitars to. rayment went on the other spare keyboard with kennon and heidi went on the main pianno. robbin already had her own flute with her so did not need a instrament. as heidi went round teaching every one the basics of their instraments anella was shocked to see how all the children where managing conciddering their disabilities. shayne was the only one who did not have anything to do when heidi noticed she went over to shayne and led him to the pianno stool with her. when heidi had taught them all how to use their instraments she got them all to play a song it was their favourate himm and with all the instraments involved anella could not beleave how butiful it sounded and how well all the children where picking up the instrament quickly.

when the session was over the children went to break. after resess they all came back in and anella started reading lessons with robbin and chelsy while the other children did things to sute their level. when school finnished heidi was waiting to take bethany scott and kennon home as she was going to the rosses to to help care for the children as jamason and brandon were at a meating with the local church so she waas helpign amy and coreen look after the other children.

kennon who was tired went streight for a nap but the others could not beleave what they had acoumlished. coreen and amy were proud when they were told about the idear for a band.

when the children went to bed that night they were full of happyness.

mean while anella was out having dinner with kyle smith. kyle was happy with how things were going with scott and the roses but the problem was kyle refused to have contact with him and every time some one tried to get him to visit with scott he would not and anella was quickly running out of hope for kyle.

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