Claire Walker was happy this morning! She peered out the window and watched the sun shining bright, the grass in its greenest and the flowers in full bloom in her lawn. She knew today was going to be a good day!
Her son, Andrew, was visiting her from college. Oh, how she waited for this day, from the day she tearfully bid him goodbye at his college dorm. Thinking about her son always brought a smile on her face. She slowly walked around in his room, making sure everything in the room is as he had left. He hated his things moved from its place. She smiled when she saw their picture on his desk, a picture of him as a baby in her arms. Such a beautiful picture; she thought to herself.
The picture carried her back in time to the year 1996, to her memories of that year.
Claire was working for an NGO at a refugee camp, in a war-torn country in Middle East. She had specifically requested her supervisor to give her this opportunity even though she was new. She wanted to do something; she wanted to make a difference!
She remembered her typical day in the camp. As an Area Coordinator, she worked a 12 hour shift that started at 6 in the morning until 6 in the evening every day for 6 days a week. It was intense but not unusual for those working in refugee camps. Her day began with a walk inside the camp making sure all supplies have arrived, followed by distributing water, food, baby products and hygiene products. After that, she would go from tent to tent and check on the refugees, they were like family to her. She had developed a strong bond with most of them. She was especially fond of a young girl, Nadia, who was brought into the refugee camp after she lost her entire family, including her husband, to the war! She was almost 4 months pregnant when she was brought in. It was a miracle that she and her baby had survived.
Over the next few months, they became friends and then best friends! They talked about Nadia’s fast approaching due date. They spoke about what options were available for Nadia and her baby, to secure their future. They shared their life stories and their fears about living in the refugee camp!
That winter Nadia went into labor. It was a complicated one and the fact that there were limited medical resources available made it all the more difficult. Claire could not contain her nervousness; she paced up and down the hall, waiting for the doctor to come with information about Nadia and her baby. After a grueling 5 hours, the doctor emerged from the emergency room with the baby. It was a BOY! Claire was happy; she knew Nadia would be ecstatic!
And then, the doctor delivered the bad news, Nadia had lost a lot of blood, they did everything they could, but were unable to save her! Claire looked at the baby sleeping in her arms oblivious to the world he was born into! She felt a surge of emotions rise in her, almost choking her! She could not understand the mixed emotions playing in her mind! Then she realized what it was that she was feeling, what it was that made her choke!
It was LOVE. She could not help but fall in love with this child in her arms.
Her assistant came to her with a form; they needed the information for the baby’s birth certificate. She asked Claire what she should put in the form now that the child had no living relatives. Claire looked at the assistant and said:
“Last Name – Walker, First Name – Andrew”
Her assistant stared at her in disbelief when Claire said “Please also get the adoption papers done along with his birth certificate!”
Her assistant could not resist but ask “Why?”
Claire smiled and said “Because…..Love!”
The sudden buzzing of the doorbell jolted Claire back into the present. For a moment she found herself looking around to make sure she was still in her home in Ohio! The doorbell rang again, she knew he was home. She ran to open the door and greet HER son!
Claire could not restrain her smile when Andrew walked in and hugged her.
“Mom” said Andrew “I am so happy to see you; I have so much to tell about college!”
“I am sure, sweetheart!” replied Claire “But first, I want to tell you a story!”
“A story? About what?” he asked
“About how I fell in Love!”
Claire once again felt her heart surge with the emotion she felt when she first held Andrew!
(*Disclaimer – This is a work of fiction in response to the Day 3 Task of the Writing 101 course. Any similarities to anyone reading this is purely coincidental.)