| 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.
“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?
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.
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