Wednesday, June 28, 2017

2014 Christmas Contest: Miracle Child–Melissa

December 29, 2014 by  
Filed under 2014 Christmas, Contests

by Isolde Wiebenga

Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 8.15.18 PMThe author was a writer at a newspaper and is now a foster mum as well as a mother of two teenagers born in Ethiopia. In her spare time she likes to work on books in progress, and enter contests for new writers. The work is fictional though mostly based upon true experiences. The entry is a tribute to her eldest daughter, named Melissa, deceased. And a tribute to her Ethiopian born daughter, Jamilla, a gift from God. 

Miracle Child–Melissa

As the soft white snow flakes were wiped away by the window wipers of the old Volvo she moved her hand towards the car radio.

Tears started to stream on her cheeks as she heard the first lyrics of the song. ‘With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand’, she swallowed hard. Then she sat up straight and made sure she was fully upright to sing along. There was no one after all to hear her. It was midnight and the roads were nearly empty. Traffic that was there now slowed down as the highway started to become an, in moonlight glistening, white road. ‘Oh Holy night, the stars are brightly shining!’, she chuckled at hearing her own voice. Then shrugged and sang more forceful. ‘Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices, oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born, oh night divine, ooohhh night divine..!’

She knew that her daughter would shrink in her seat if she was sitting next to her. Embarrassed to hear her mum shriek the words trying not to sing out of key, which she surely did. She noticed that the lump in her throat was arising again and stopped singing.

‘No need to cry mum’, her 19 years old daughter had said. Amsterdam airport was filled with people, mostly families travelling towards family, laughing out loud and anticipating the trip. There was no laughter between the two women. The daughter was nervous and the mother worried. ‘You have your passport ready now?’, she took her daughters hand. ‘Please Melissa, let me know as soon as you land at Heathrow airport and then again before you board the other plain, all right?’ ‘ Yes mum, for the tenth time, I will call you, text you and think of you, you know I will’. ‘I know dear, this is just me being sad to see you go but you must remember that I’m pleased for you as well, I love you Melissa’. They had said their goodbyes after checking in at the desk, she put her suitcase in line, the desk lady checked it and there it went. And then she went, waving goodbye whilst going through customs, still waving when she was nearly out of sight, her dearest daughter, fully grown now and ready to spread her wings.

She stumbled her way out of the crowded airport, towards the parking lot. Avoiding to glance at others as she was sure they would see the tears welling up in her eyes. It was extremely cold and clouds appeared in the dark sky. Before the moon had been clear but now was shining behind a heavy cloud, she dove deeper inside her woolen coat as to hide from the wind. Her hands were trembling as she took out the keys and opened  the car door. Then drove off.

Almost 18 years ago, she and her husband Fred had stood at Amsterdam airport as well. A child, their child, was to arrive. Not a traditional way to become a mother, she knew, but what a graceful way to become one! A year ago they had received the first picture of the daughter that one day would be theirs. The adoption agency had sent it and placed a request if they would be so kind to inform them within 48 hours if the proposal would be excepted. They only needed 48 seconds to reply. Of course they said yes, as they would have said to any other face that would have appeared before their eyes. They were going to be parents for an Ethiopian baby! They had danced through the room and Fred had lifted her in the air. After the 4th picture Melissa wasn’t just another baby anymore, she was their child, every inch of the photo was inspected by her, every new face feature searched for. It would take until December of that year that the child would be cleared to get a passport. At church they were congratulated, and they prayed for her save trip home. It felt heartwarming and that Christmas was filled with gratitude.

Then on the 2nd of February their daughter would arrive. In the midst of winter they left for the airport that night. They met up with other couples they had met before and went through customs to the gate with some one from the adoption agency. Fred was filming when she was carried out of the plain but forgot that the camera was on as he took Melissa out of the arms of a lady. He cried and smiled at the same time. She was touched by the overwhelming softness her husband suddenly presented. There he was, this large man, soft grey hairs already appearing within the black curls, his handsome face now wet with tears of joy. She fell in love all over again. They brought Melissa home and family and friends came by. The world outside was cold and grey but inside their house the fireplace was filling the room with warmth.

For so many years they had longed to conceive a child, it had shrunk their souls. But then they remembered their preacher telling them that somewhere a child was awaiting them, and the choice to adopt was easily made. They had grown apart, but this decision brought togetherness. And now they felt whole again. Melissa was a happy, beautiful child. People had stopped her in the streets to take another look.

Many years had passed, Fred had died, leaving a hole in their hearts. But Melissa turned out to be as beautiful from the inside as she was from the outside. She had committed her life to the Lord and entered a social project to work at an orphanage. In her homeland Ethiopia. And so be it that her beautiful girl had now left to bring love.

‘Oh holy night … let all within us praise His holy name!’, she sang and drove home that Christmas night, now softly smiling.

 

 

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