a story by Julia Salyuk, age 15
One afternoon I came in the children's hospital where I work and my assistant told me that we got a newborn baby that is deadly sick. She said that her mother left the baby on the second day and also that her mother is a person who drinks and smokes. They told me that the baby girl has an infection in her ear and that she might die in a couple of days. They said the hospital needs to find a family to give the baby to.
They called, but nobody wanted to take in a sick girl named Sofie. So, I thought of taking her to my place because I saw that nobody cared about her. I told the workers to stop calling people for Sofie, that I am taking her. My best friend told me not to do that, but I told her straight that I have love Sofie from the first sight.
When I first saw Sofie, she looked very sad and afraid. I loved her eyes. They were blue as the ocean and her hair was black and curly. The girl didn't look skinny or chubby, just the way I like babies. When I came in her room, she looked at me and, for the first time in her life, smiled. At that moment I felt like coming up to her and hugging her. In my heart I named her Sofie because that name described her.
Soon after completing the papers and an expedited adoption process, I took Sofie home. I have only one son who is sixteen-years-old. He was OK with the idea of having a baby girl in the house.
When we brought Sofie in, she looked at everything with amazement and when I showed Sofie her room and put her on her bed she cuddled in her new blanket. In a blink of an eye she was asleep.
The first night Sofie cried almost the whole night, so I thought of having a person that could take care of Sofie. But once I told the people I called that the girl has a long term illness, they put down the phone right away. My son came in the room and said that if I keep on telling them everything, I won't find anybody. He said that it would be better if I didn't tell the people on the phone about Sofie. I decided that once they see her, I should tell them the truth because they might love Sofie the same way as I did.
So I called again and this one old grandma picked the phone up. I said that I need a babysitter and she said that we can meet. When she came she was dressed in a long dress and didn't look like she was poor. I also noticed that she had good taste in picking out outfits, her face told me that she was very nice and that she will understand any problems. I found out her name was Bella and that she is fifty and has a good experience with babies.
I asked her when she wants to start and she said as soon as possible. When she looked at Sofie, it was with love. And when I told her that she has to wear gloves when she changes her, she got the idea and said, "Why didn't you tell me right away?" But then she said that was OK with her.
One day the main doctor came and said she had a very, very happy news. She said that they did a test on Sofie and that her blood work shows signs of no infection. I had tears of happiness coming down my cheeks.
Once Sofie turned two-years-old, she had no more health problems, but we were still not sure if she is going to live long.
Then one day a lady came over to our house. She had a mini skirt and a very pale face. She was smoking a cigarette and she said these scary words: "I need my daughter back and if you don't want to giver her to me, you will have to deal with the police!"
At first I didn't believe her, but then I asked my assistant who had checked the woman's history. She said her name was Jany and she was 19 years old and she stopped taking drugs already five months ago. She also told me that Jany was already in court and they said that Jany had the right to take the girl the very next morning.
The whole night I didn't go to sleep. I was by my little girl crying. The night came by very fast. At nine in the morning Jany came. She didn't even want to hold Sofie. Sofie was crying so hard that I thought might faint when they were driving off.
That day I didn't go to work and hardly did anything except cry. The next night came and I didn't sleep. Then in the morning I had a brilliant idea, but when I told it to Abby and my son they said that I shouldn't be doing it, but all I asked from them was help. So they agreed to do that.
The very next minute I was at Jany's place. It was an old hotel where people except for drug dealers never went. When I came in, I couldn't believe my own eyes. The whole house was in smoke and Jany was on the couch smoking. The walls had holes that looked like somebody had fought there, and there was dried blood on the floor. After that I almost threw up. I couldn't see Sofie anywhere, so I started running around, looking for her.
When I found her, she was on the bathroom floor, screaming in fright. When she saw me, she screamed, "Mommy!" and right away jumped into my arms and almost choked me hugging me.
When Sofie calmed down a little, I asked Jany, "Jany, I notice that this place must very hard to call home."
"Well, you know what? Don't get your nose in other people's problems. I can't stand seeing you because if you have lots of money and a good place to live, it doesn't mean that everybody has the same!"
Jany started to cry like a little girl and my heart sank in fro seeing how hard it is for Jany to live.
"I came to tell you that if you want, you could move in to my place, live with us and be part of our family."
Jany's eyes widened suddenly. I worried there were going to fall out the next minute.
After a long pause of silence, Jany finally spoke, "Is this some kind of a trick your trying to play on me?"
"No, it's not. I thought that it would be better for you because you would be by your daughter and have a good place to live, and it would be good for me to because I really want to be by Sofie."
Jany thought about it. I could see that because she looked at me very serious. And then said, "Okay, if you want that, I am going."
I was very happy because I was going to be by my little girl.
Jany took ten minutes to pack because she hardly had anything to pack, and after she was done, we left to my place.
I was very happy when we were driving home. When we came in, I showed Jany her room, and I also told her that she can't smoke in the house but she didn't care.
Week by week went by and I noticed Jany changing little by little. But the doctors told her that she will die because of the drugs.
Jany really loved Sofie.
One day I saw taxi in our driveway and I asked Jany why and she said that it's for her and she said that she is leaving because she doesn't want Sofie to see how she is going to die and she also said, "I am leaving because I don't want Jany to see how I am dying."
Jany started to cry, but when Sofie came in, she stopped right away. She also told me, "I want you to promise that when Sofie grows up, you will tell her how much I loved her and why I left."
"I promise you that I won't forget to tell her that."
When she packed up her stuff, she had tears rolling down her cheeks. When she was leaving, she couldn't stop crying and hugging us all.
While she was hugging me, she told me, "I want you to know that you were like a mother to me because my real mother told me she can't wait until I die. She even gave me the place where she would bury me."
She started to cry even harder and I was crying too because Jany became very close to me.
Jany's last words before she walked out the door were: "If I turned around, I would die." So she left and I got Sofie in my arms and went to the window and told her to wave goodbye to her mother forever.