She hugged herself in the backseat of the older car, the seats speaking of its well used years. Beside her on the seat a battered pink backpack held all of her worldly possessions, it wasn’t much for her five years of life but it was hers. Her shoes were scuffed and half a size too small and her coat pinched her arm when she shifted in her seat to look out the window.
The social worker called something from the driver’s seat as the turned on to another street, she was only slightly interested in where her “new” home would be. After all, she wouldn’t be there long, just long enough for them to discover she wasn’t worth the trouble and then it was packed up and back in the back of Ms. Cole’s car.
Really she didn’t blame them after all, mom had always said she wasn’t worth much… her eyes shifted back outside to the snowswept lawn. One day she’d like to build a snowman in that pretty snow, to sled down a hill and have someone cheering for her like the normal kids. But she wasn’t normal, she wasn’t like the other kids, mom was in prison and dad was who knows where.
The blinker sounded as she blinked back tears, she’d learned long ago not to let others see her tears, or that the words hurt her. The door opened and cold air greeted her slipping trough the too small jacket and into her soul, another Christmas in a home that wasn’t hers. She looked up at the pretty garland and dazzling lights, the house looked… warm, inviting, homey- but she’s been fooled before. Ms. Cole pushed her towards the door and rang the doorbell as she held her breath hoping that maybe, just one time it would be different.
The door opened spilling light across the threshold, the adults conversed as she stared at her shoes afraid to meet their eyes lest they see just how unworthy she was. Someone knelt before her, she couldn’t help it- she glanced up to see who would stoop to her level. A woman smiled brightly back at her,
“Hello Jenny, welcome to your new home. We’re so happy you’re going to be a part of our family,” and just like that, the seed of hope was born, one more lost child found their way home. Because everyone is worthy of love and Christmas is a magical time.