Summary: The little child shall lead them.
Authors notes: After sitting on my computer for five months I finally decided to finish it. This story is not a typical Christmas story it doesn't even take place in December. However it is a story about faith and destiny, which I think fits perfectly with this time of year.
Merry Christmas to all. If you want to know, what I really want for Christmas please read "final thoughts" at the conclusion of my fiction.
One night I had a dream.
I was walking along the beach with the Lord,
and across the skies flashed scenes from my life. In each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand.
-Footprints in the Sand
In the living room of a small farmhouse in Wyoming, William sits on the floor happily playing with small multicolored blocks, when the family dog, Jack, a jack Russell terrier, came trotting excitingly in the room and up to the young boy. The excited dog knocks him over onto his back and begins to lick at his face. The young boy erupts into fit of laughter; lying helpless on the floor as Jack continues to smother is face with slobbery kisses. Moments later his father enters the room and kisses his wife, who had been knitting in a rocking chair a few feet from where her new son was playing. Only to stop when the sound of uncontrollable and contagious laughter filled the room, emerging from their tiny one-year old son. They both watch and laugh as the dog kisses and excitedly jumps over the baby again and again, in a playful manner, scattering the blocks around, and causing the boy to laugh so hard that his tiny face turns red and his bright blue eyes begin to water. Michael Van De Kamp gathers the playful dog in his hands, rescuing William from his attack, and lets the dog outside to run free among their isolated land.
In the living room Karen Van De Kamp, picks William up off the floor and walked him into the bathroom where she grabs a clean rag from the shelf, wets it in the sink and begins to clean all traces of the dog off his face and hands. William struggled against her attempts, turning his head from side to side and letting out small whimpers of disapproval, when she begins to wipe his face clean. After she is finished with her task she carries him down the hall to the kitchen where she can hear her beloved husband coaxing about. Entering the kitchen, she sees that her husband is preparing to finish cooking the meal she had started, a little less than an hour ago.
"I will do that. Why don't you go sit down and rest?" Karen informs him while trying to keep hold of a squirming little boy who was becoming increasing irritated by the second.
"Nonsense, I will finish dinner. You go settle our little man down." She stands there a few moments longer, juggling a now fussing and squirmy William around in her arms, desperately trying not to drop him. "I think I can handle dinner, sweety. Besides you have enough on your plate, so to speak," he adds with a playful wink and points her toward the living room with the jerk of his head. She doesn't argue, she just smiles sweetly at him then goes back to the living room and sets her struggling son back down on the floor in front of his blocks. Then she joins her son on the floor and gathers the blocks in a pile between them. William picks up a block and clumsily tosses it in the air.
"You don't throw blocks, sweety. You build things with your block. Like this." Karen takes several blocks and stacks them on top of each other.
"See, look at what mommy made."
William tosses another block; it lands on the pile and causes several blocks to fall, knocking over his mommy's creation. William laughs at that and Karen smiles proudly at her son's innocence. She then picks up a blue block and holds it up for William to see. "William, what color is this block?" William crawls over to her and snatches the block away. "Is that a blue block?" He then tosses the blue block in the air and watches as it falls to the carpet. Karen goes to pick up a red block from the pile when the phone rings, she stands to get it, letting her son remain there on the floor content with tossing his blocks in the air and watching them fall. She walks over to the small wooden desk in the corner of the room where the phone resides, sits down in the desk chair, and answers her ringing phone.
"Hello, Van De Kamp residence," she states in a sweet inviting voice. "Oh, Hi! How are you?
"Who is it, Karen." Michael hollers from where he is in the kitchen.
"It's my sister, Tina. She's just checking up on all of us." "Send her my love," he states while exiting the kitchen and taking his rightful place next to his wife.
"Tina! Michael says hello." She smiles and mouths to him "hello to you too" for her sister. Then he returns to the kitchen, with a slightly amused grin across his face, and leaves his wife to her chatting.
"Yeah, I'm happy about it too. It's such a blessing, a true miracle." She stops overwhelmed with emotions. Then steals a glance at her son, who remains contempt with his block throwing, then continues her conversation with her sister again. "We thank god everyday for what he's blessed us with."
While his mother talked on the phone, William lifts himself onto his little wobbly legs. With a red block in his right hand, he began to walk to the couch a couple of feet away. He took three tiny steps, then lost his balance and fell down on his padded diapered butt. His mother glanced at him again, from where she is still talking on the phone, and smiled at him proudly.
"What do you think you're doing, little man of mine." She asked, eyeing him teasingly as she talks into the phone. "He's learning to walk. Actually he's being walking for a couple months now, but he still having trouble steadying himself," Karen informs her sister. She looks at him again and he looks up at her with a wide grin, then tosses his red block. Karen claps her hands for her tiny son and then returns her attention back to her conversation.
William crawls the rest of the way to the couch and uses it to stand to his feet. Spotting a long black box on the couch, he picks it up and tosses it. The box softly lands back on the couch. He picks it up again and tosses it again. This time it makes a soft thud sound as it falls off the couch and lands on the carpet. Letting go of the couch and falling to his butt on the floor, William begins to investigate the box, poking and smacking at it's soft rubber buttons. In front of him he hears a low "click" sound but it doesn't steal his attention away from the box and its buttons. It isn't until he sees red and blue flashing lights that he looks up and notices the television is on.
Karen looks over at her son for a moment then back again, oblivious to the TV's status. William is mesmerized by the flashing lights for a minute but then starts to lose interest and begins to play with the buttons on the control box again. He unintentionally hits the record button on the box and the VCR, which is located just above the television, acts accordingly. The sounds from the VCR, as it begins the process of recording, grab William's attention and he looks at the television again. He watches the movement of screen, with awed fascination, as it bounces around with the cameraman's motions. When the movement slows down he looks at the control box again clearly interested by its tiny rubber buttons, but instead of investigating it further his focus is drawn back to the TV screen just in time to see a man and woman pulling out their FBI badges. William watches as a short red headed woman comes into focus on the screen.
Instantaneously his eyes go wide and he yells, "mama, mama" to the women on the screen. He quickly crawls to the TV only slightly slowed down by the blocks in his path. He grabs on to the entertainment center edge and pulls himself up. "See mama" he yells excitedly. Slapping the screen with his hands, leaving his handprints behind. He excitedly yells for her again. "Mama, see mama."
Completely knocked back by her son's words, tears formed in Karen's eyes as she heard her precious son call out for her, for the very first time. Having overheard his very excited son, from where he worked in the kitchen, Michael rushed to be at his wife's side during such a joyous event. Michael kissed his wife, who was so surprised by her son that she unintentionally hung up on her sister. Karen moves away from her husband and gathers William, pulling him away from the TV, into her arms and begins to kiss and hug him while the tears ran down her face. William repeatedly yells "mama" as he struggles to see the television screen while being held in Karen's arms.
"I'm here, baby... Mama's right, here." She whispers to him while rocking him from side to side.
Michael walks to stand beside his little family, to hold the both of them in his arms. He tousling William's hair, as the little boy struggles to free himself from his mother's grip. And rubs his wife's back as she attempts to keep hold of her son and her emotions. After a few minutes, standing there in an embrace, he warns that dinner is done and will get cold if the remain where they are for much longer.
"Why don't I take William and set him up in his high chair, while you go clean yourself up," Michael offers.
She nods at him slowly, lifting William off her and into the hands of his father. William calms a little as his position changes and he can now see his mama on the screen again. But when Michael turns and walks toward the kitchen, William begins to hysterically cry for his "mama" again. He swings his arms, and kicks his feet in an all out temper tantrum.
"It's all right, sweety. I will be there in a minute," Karen adds trying to calm him down some. "Maybe I should take him and get him set up for dinner? I can clean myself up after that?"
Michael stops, turns to face her and chuckles a little, "He's just at an age where he is favoring one parent over the other. Don't worry he'll be fine, they all go through this." He gives her a reassuring smile, "now go get yourself cleaned up, and to the table before this kid has a nervous breakdown, okay." he teases and turns around toward the kitchen again, His son still fighting and struggling in his arms.
Karen watches William struggling and calling out to her, desperately reaching his arms around his father's neck in her direction, until he is no longer in her view. She smiles for a moment then turns around and looks at the TV, she doesn't notice the picture and the TV is mute, so there is no sound to catch her attention. What does catch her eye is the two tiny handprints on the screen.
She grabs a tissue from the stand by the couch, brings it to her mouth to moisten it, then with a proud smile she starts to wipe the handprints off the screen. When she is finished she picks up the remote to turn it off, looking at the screen one last time for any sign of smudges. Satisfied with the screen's appearance she puts her finger over the power button to turn it off, but hesitates, not really certain why.
She watches as a young redheaded woman appears on screen before her, seemingly discussing something of amusement with her tall dark-haired companion. All of a sudden she feels her stomach turn, and she doesn't understand her reaction. She turns her head away from the screen a moment baffled by this reaction. As Karen returns her focus back to the screen, the redheaded women turns her face toward the camera and Karen is froze into place. Instantaneously covering her mouth with one hand and her stomach with the other, her eyes are transfixed to the screen before her, glued to the most beautiful bright blue eyes; identical to those of her adopted son, William.
As she stares at this woman on her screen she could hear a voice in her head telling her "she is William's mama."
The voice frightened her, she didn't know where it came from or who's voice it was. Or whether it was her own consciousness voicing insane fears. She didn't know what was going on and it frightened her more. "She is William's mama," the voice repeated in her head. At that moment a cold chill ran down her spine as the reality of the situation came to life. She felt her leg giving way and backed away from the television to sit on her couch a few feet away.
"William's mama," Karen voiced aloud. She didn't want to believe it. She looked toward the kitchen where both her husband and son were located, She can still hear William fussing and she hears Michael tell him to be good and eat his dinner.
"Mama," she says almost inaudibly, her voice shaky and filled with emotion. She sits there frozen in place, as she recalled that word emerging for the first time from her little son's mouth just minutes ago. Now as she sits alone in her living room, realization forces its way to the surface of her being. It was the cold truth she must now face; that William was not calling out to her while she was on the phone. That he was not struggling and crying to get out of his father's arms to get to her, and he was not holding his hands out for her to rescue him. It was all for *her*, this mysterious redheaded woman on the television screen. His mother. She didn't know how, and she didn't know why, all she new is that it is true.
She sat there another moment before, standing and walking to the kitchen, apart of her unaware of taking the steps required for that journey. She stood there at the doorway witnessing the interaction between father and son. Michael is placing a tiny child's plate on the highchair in front of William, begging and bribing him to eat his food. William is batting the plate away with his hands as angry cries continue to emerge from him. His cries being the only way he can communicate at such a young age. Karen wonders what he would say if he could speak to them, what secrets does he hold inside of him about who he is and where he came from. What secrets would he confess about the lady on that screen?
"There you are." Karen jumped slightly as her husband's voice interrupted her thoughts. "See, William. There's your mama," Michael said, hoping to quiet their angry son. William looked over at Karen with a hopeful expression that died the instant his mind registered Karen's face and not the face of his "mama". Karen felt her heart break when she read the expression of sadness and frustration on her son's face as he looked at her. A feeling of unworthiness and jealousy filled her as her son's cries returned full force. A wave of nausea hit her and causing her to bolt down the hallway to the bathroom. A concerned expression paints itself on Michael's face and he immediately follows his wife's movements to the bathroom to check on her, looking over his shoulder to make sure William stays within his view. He could hear his wife heaving through the door and hesitated before knocking on it.
"Honey, are you okay," he asks, concern evident in his voice. There was on long silence before another round of heaving started. "Do you want me to call a doctor," he stood ear to the door waiting for her to respond. "Karen," he asks again. The door opens then, revealing his very pale faced wife, she shakes her head no and walks to the living room to sit on the couch. He follows her never letting William out of his sight.
"I'm sorry, Michael, I'm not hungry right now." She states dabbing a wet towel on her face and the back of her neck. He nods his head at her slowly then looks back at William.
"That's okay, I don't think our little man has much of an appetite right now either," he states and she turns her head down toward the floor and nods her head in agreement. Michael heads back to the kitchen gathers a now exhausted William from his highchair and brings him to the living room to lays him on the couch across from Karen. William lay there still fussing a bit, he rubs his fisted hands on his eyes to try and stay awake. Michael squats down next to him and rubs his fingers through his hair encouraging him to relax and surrender to sleep.
Michael looks up at his wife, who is refusing to meet his gaze, immediately he senses something other than nausea is bothering her. He moves to the other side of the couch, behind Karen, and starts to massage her shoulders.
"Karen is there something wrong," he asks knowing full well how his wife reacts when she is trouble with something.
Karen leans her head down further as though in shame. "No, I'm fine just a little nauseous."
"I can tell when you're lying." He confesses, while coming around to stand in front of his wife.
She looks up at him then back down again.
"What is it, sweety. What's wrong."
She opens her mouth to speak, then closes it when she can't find the words to say. As if on cue, a clicking sound emerges from the VCR that grabs Michael's attention. He goes over to explore as the VCR spits out a tape. Michael grabs the tape and shows it too her in an unspoken question, she shrugs her shoulders in arrogance to its contents.
"You don't know what's on this, he asks out loud.
"No, I didn't realize there was even a tape in the VCR," she answers gladdened to change the subject.
Curiosity over taking him, Michael pops the tape back into the VCR and pushes play. His wife showed no interest to what was on the "mysterious tape" but more concern for her just barely awake son lying next to her, and what effect this night would have on him. She pondered how she could possible be so certain that woman on the screen could be his real mother. The only answer she could give herself was that she just knew it was true. Then her next question was "Why?" Why did she see his mother? Why was she so curious about a woman who gave away her own child, something that Karen could never think of doing? She still wondered why this woman would wait nine months before giving him up, or maybe more accurately, how a mother who raised this child for nine months could ever let him go. The only answers she could tell herself was that god has his reasons. That had to be enough.
"This isn't your usual brand of entertainment," Michael teases as he stops the tape and turns to looks at her.
"What?" she looks up at him somewhat startled after being knocked from her reverie.
With a mocked suspicious glare," when did you start watching Cops?" he asks.
"Cops," she states incredulously. "Yeah. It's a program on the Fox Network, " he offers more seriously, noting his teasing demeanor was affecting his wife's mood negatively.
"We don't watch the Fox network. Not since their programming turn demeaning and shameless."
"You know, I agree... Still how did we get a tape of a show, from a network we don't watch." He asked hoping to help his wife forget about what ever was bothering her, at least for the moment.
"The TV was on right before dinner. I suppose our son could have done it." Stopping to think a moment, "Cops, you said."
"Yeah. That's what is on the tape.
"That sounds like what I saw on the screen before. " She stopped, took a deep breath to calm herself then tilted her head toward the floor again.
Noticing his wife had return to her earlier position of sitting head tilted in shame, he decided to probe a little in hopes of finding the problem. "Before," he repeated. "Before what?"
She didn't answer, she just shock her head slightly from side to side. Michael looked at her for a long moment, know full well that she was hurting. But from what he had no idea. All he knew, at the moment, was that it had something to do with the tape in the VCR. Moving over to couch, he picks up the remote from the side table. He watched Karen for disapproval, knowing that she can see what he is about to do. When none came, he started the tape.
Karen didn't dare look at the screen as the show started; instead she focused her eyes on the precious boy beside her and watched as he fought to keep his eyes open. Michael watched intently in hope of finding the reasons to his wife's pain. Confusion showed on his face as to how this show could affect her so deeply. He knows that by allowing him to view the offense tape she was providing him the tools to find the answer to her pain. Pain so apparent that she couldn't voice it to him without fear of breaking down.
Finding the strength inside her, she raises her head to catch her husband looking at her with concern. She gives him a weak smile and they both return their attention to the screen, just in time to see police officers surround the red headed woman and her companion. The woman yells at the surrounding officers that they are federal officers. A sec later, William's eyes pop open and his head swiftly turns in the direction of the television in reaction to the familiar voice. Exhaustion forgotten William rolls off the couch to fall with a hard thump on the floor in an attempt to get to the screen. Startled by there son's fall, both Van De Kamps hurry to get to him, only to back up when there son continues on his journey to the television, seemingly unaware of his parents fear or to the fall he just experienced. Michael watches his son in amusement as he crawls his way to the television. Curious as to what would cause his young child to act in such a manner. As the boy reaches his destination, he pulls himself up and smacks the television, leaving handprints behind again. "Mama Mama" he cries smacking at the screen to get her attention and rubbing his eyes in the process. "
Karen slowly rises from the couch and gathers William in her arms never once looking at Michael. Then she takes her son off to his nursery for bed. William struggles against her attempt but is too tired to put forth any kind of vigorous effort.
Michael was left alone in stunned silence as to what he witnessed moments ago. He sat there listening to his wife sing their son asleep, heavy emotion noted in her voice as she did so.
It wasn't long before Karen rejoined her husband in the living room, where she had left him before putting their son to bed. He remained sitting on the floor in front of the couch just as he did before she exited the room. He sat there staring at the paused screen of the red headed woman, William called mama, and her companion. Karen walked by him and placed a hand on his shoulder before taking a seat on the couch behind him.
"What does this mean, Karen. You can't possible believe this woman is his mother, do you?" He asked with a fearful expression that told her he already knew the answer to his own question.
"Look at her, look at her eyes." She motions to the screen with her hand. "Those are William's eyes, " she tells him.
"That doesn't mean anything" he states defensively. "Look, the man beside her has the same color hair as William, that doesn't make him William's father, does it."
"I don't know," she hadn't thought about the dark-haired man, only the women beside him. She studied the man on the screen for a moment. "I hadn't thought about that, but now that you mention it, he does have a few feature the are similar to our son. So I guess it's not out of the realm of possibility."
"Karen," he states almost as a warning. "They are not his real parents, she is NOT his mother and he is NOT his father."
"You seem so certain, tell me how can be so certain?"
Okay, how about, it doesn't make any sense," he argues, irritation heard clear in his voice.
"How so," urging him to continue in hopes of to convincing her of the same.
"It just doesn't, I mean really, what are the chances that we would see his mother, let alone both his parents on a show we never watch.. And what are the chances we would get it on tape."
Karen crinkles her forehead and glares at him, "that's not really a good defense, sometimes people do get lucky. You and I both are evidence of that. Beside why would William call her mama?"
"Children start to over generalize to the point that every woman is mama, and every man is daddy," he states. "Good theory, but he's still a bit to young to be over generalizing, beside," she stops looks down toward the floor and back up to meet her husbands eyes, " he's never called me mama or you da da."
Her words pierced him like a knife in the chest, what was worse is that they were true. "So you tell me what you think then, why did William call her mama?
"Because she is his mother," she watches as he shakes his head in disagreement.
"And how can you be so certain," she reiterates her opening argument.
"I don't know, I just feel that its true and that this" she points to the screen, ' happened for a reason."
"What reason," he asks almost angrily. "I mean even if its true and she is his mother, so what! She gave him up; she can't just take him back. Can she?"
"I don't know,. I don't know if she would try," she answers as tears fall down her cheeks. She silently prayed that it would not come to that. Suddenly overwhelm with the proposition of losing her son she walks out of the room to find a more private place to be alone with her thoughts.
Alone in the living room once again, Michael walks up to the television and turns both it and the VCR off, spotting the handprints left behind by his son, as he did. Walking into the kitchen and snatching the glassing cleaner and a towel he returned to, his previous spont, in front of the TV and wiped the prints away with the hope that the memory of today would go with it.
Van De Kamp residence 3:15 a.m.
Karen lay there in bed facing away from her husband. Her mind wondering about truths, fears, agendas, faith, about the little boy they brought into there home only four months ago, about the couple on the screen under his handprints. Finally getting fed up with her sleeplessness, she gets up, places her soft cotton robe around her and walks out of her room to the nursery her son occupies. From outside the door she can hear that he is awake and is giggling. She smiles a proud smile before hearing an unfamiliar child's voice talking to her young son. Instantly fear boils up in her and she abruptly opens the door to reveal the stranger's identity. When she does, she sees a little girl no more then 4 years old, standing beside the crib staring back at her and smiling with such innocence.
"Where did you come from, honey," Karen asks in a concerned manner. To which the girl only giggled as a response.
"Where's your mommy?" she asks. Again the little girl only giggles and begins to tickle little William, who is standing up in his crib, Then he starts to giggle too.
"Can you tell me your name, dear?" Karen walks toward them and sits in the rocking chair near the crib.
To that the little girl turns to face Karen, "my name is Emily."
"Em, Em Em" William chants excitedly and Karen stares at the both of them in disbelief. Emily smiles proudly at the boy.
"Hello, Emily. My name is,"
"Karen," the little girl cuts her off, " and your husbands name is Michael, his name" she points to the baby" is William and you have a dog named Jack..Oh and a sister named Tina that you just talked too on the phone last night."
"How did you know all that," she asked perplexed.
The little girl giggled again, "I just know." Smiling widely at Karen, she takes the woman's hand and holds it with her own. "Like I know many things.. Like the answers, to questions that have been troubling you."
Karen just looked at the little girl, half wondered if this was a dream or exhaustion induced hallucination. She truly didn't know what to think about this little intruder. She didn't even know if she should be afraid or not. How could this little girl know anything about her or what she was going through?
Interrupting Karen from her thoughts, "I know I look and sound like a little girl, but I assure you I am age less."
"I don't understand," laughing at herself at the insanity of the situation in front of her.
"You will one day, I promise."
"Why are you here?... Who are you?" Karen asked uncertain she wanted to know the answers.
"I am her to prepare you for what is to come", Emily answers with the innocents of child. "I think you know who I am."
"You're an angel, aren't you?" Emily giggles again and looks behind her at William, who was now lying asleep in his crib. "I suppose that's true. We have many names; sometimes we are called spirits, visitors, apparitions, my favorite is ghost, though," she smiles proudly.
"What happened to you."
"You mean, how did I die." Emily looks up at the older woman, who nods slowly in response. "My mommy let me go, to save me from an evil force that wanted to use me to hurt a lot of people." Karen looks at her with a mixture of confusion and horror. "Mommy saved William too from that same evil force."
"What!... What are you talking about," her breath quickens and she could feel the panic rise up into her by the second. Emily places her hand on Karen's chest above her heart. She felt herself calming despite her fears.
"I am William's sister, his mommy is also my mommy. She saved us both. She saved me by letting me go and William by sending him away until she is in a position to care for him again."
"No, she gave him away, she just can't take him back." Karen wanted to holler, she wanted to run out of the room and get Michael. She wanted to yell and scream. But despite her inner turmoil she could do none of those. Her body was completely calm and relaxed with the exception of the screaming in her head. She was certain the little girl had done this to her, but she still wasn't afraid of her, not even a little.
Emily just stared at her for a long time; she could see the fear weld up in the woman at the prospect of losing her little boy and watched as tears flooded in Karen's eyes. "I've come here to prepare you,.. to help you understand what it is you must do. What you've known you would have to do from the very first day that you received the call that William was coming to live with you."
"And what exactly is it that I'm supposed to do?"
"Handing William over to his mother and father." Emily answers and raises her hands to Karen's face to wipe the tears from her cheeks.
"No!.. No!.. I won't!.. He's mine now," she argues as renewed tears streak down her face.
"When the time comes you will."
"Why," she asks just above a whisper. "You don't understand, Michael and I always wanted children, we wanted a boy and girl. You can't ask me to give away my boy."
"I'm not asking you to give away YOUR boy, I'm asking that you give back that" she points toward the crib, "boy, when the time comes."
" But he IS my boy" she retorts defensively.
"No, your boy and girl are growing in you now. Are they not?" Emily asks, already aware of the answer she will receive.
Karen looks at her astonished by her revelation, "boy and girl?" she asks, knock back by the prospect of news that she is carrying twins.
"Yes! You did know you were pregnant, didn't you." Karen nods her head and Emily smiles at her knowingly. "But you didn't know it was twins?. Tell me,.. what was the conception date of your babies?"
A flood of tears ran down her cheeks again at her admission, "the same day that the social workers brought him to us." Emily smiles in satisfaction with the knowledge that she is getting through to her. "Doctors told us they didn't know why we couldn't conceive. We tried for years to get pregnant, when we were unsuccessful we decide to adopt. Then we get pregnant on that day.. And with twins no less" Karen announced out loud as if conversing with herself. Although this woman is emotionally spent, Emily can visibly see her contemplating what has been happening in her life and why.
Emily places her hands on either side of Karen's face drawing her head down so the Karen is making eye contact with her. "They can't all be coincidences can they? ..You were never meant to get pregnant... Not until your destiny was met. God has his reason, Karen. He chose this family to care for William. He chose for you to be a mother figure to him, but that was always meant to be a temporary arrangement. You should be honored to be worthy of such attention."
"He'd never let us hold him, not without making a fuss," she asks the little girl in a detached demeanor.
"I know, that was done for the purpose to keeping William from becoming too anxious and confused due to the changes around him. Keeping him from bonding with you would make it easier for him when the time comes to leave and re-establish the bond to his birth parents.
"But how do you that he will even bond with them?"
"These are very special people, all three of them. They have and innate bond with each other. With that bond severed as it is, it exists as a horrible burden they carry with them always. Their bond is a strength that grows with unity and weakens in separation. These people have a difficult destiny ahead of them, one where they will need the strength of that bond to survive."
"You want me to send my son off to meet that kind of destiny," she asks bewildered. "When he can grow safely and happily here with me."
"Because it is his destiny," Emily retorts. " Just as it is your destiny to provide temporary care to this child and then let him go to save him."
"To save him," Karen repeats. "He is safe here. You said your self that his mother sent him to us to save him. Are you telling me that he is in danger." Emily looks at Karen's terrified face hoping that she doesn't say something that could wreck what has already been accomplished here.
Emily turns around to look into the crib at her sleeping brother. She places her arm between the bars and gently rubs two fingers across his rosy cheek. Then turning back to the woman behind her, "He never stopped been in danger, Karen."
"Of what,..of who?" Karen's head was racing with answer to who could possible want to harm her baby. A part of was terrified to learn that answer, but she had to know, if only to protect her son.
"The evil force I spoke of earlier.. An evil force in the shape of men. These men know that William is here, they knew from the moment you took him in." "If that's the case and these men wanted him so badly then why haven't they taken him already." The question spilled out of her mouth before she knew what she was asking. She was ashamed to even think about the possibility of why her son hadn't been taken yet.
"They weren't prepared for this. They didn't expect he would be put up adoption. They do have intentions to take him, but they are laying low for the time being."
"Why, what is the point of them laying low." This was becoming all too much for Karen to take.
She giggled proudly at that question. "William's father created quite a ruckus, after the adoption. They are afraid of the attention that was caused by his actions. Something else they didn't expect to have to deal with... Right now these men are waiting for the smoke to clear." Emily takes Karen's hand, holds it between her two tiny hands and looks the woman squarely in the eyes. "The air is rapidly clearing, my dear."
Karen tilts her head downwards and tears dripping off her face to the floor. "Why is this happening? How are his parents supposed to protect him from this force?
Emily took a deep breath and let her eyes wander around the room. Turning back to look at the distraught woman again, "How did it feel knowing that you couldn't have baby of your own."
"I don't understand," the woman answers unaware as to what that had to do with William's safety. "It was horrible, I constantly asks god why. It was a question that was never answered, until now I guess."
"William's mommy had to face the issue of infertility too just, as you did. That is until she became pregnant with William."
"I don't understand, she had you. Didn't she?"
Emily inhales deeply and closes her eyes to the distant memories. "No," she opens her eyes to look at woman. "I was created by evil, for evil. William was created by love, a love that is so powerful it broke the boundaries of what was possible and what wasn't." To express her meaning more clearly, Emily looks to the crib silently encouraging Karen to do the same. She is not disappointed when Karen follows suit. "William's existence still isn't understood completely, unless you believe in miracles." She turns and winks at Karen who smiles weakly back to her.
"Is that why he's in danger, because they don't know how he came to be."
"William is in danger because he is a very special, as are both his parents." "That is why he must reunite with them, because they are more suited to handle such issues." Emily sees a questioning in the eyes of Karen. "See his parents were separated just after his birth, because of a threat that evil force put out against William's father. Mommy tried to protect William, but she was alone in her efforts. That is the difference now, she now has his father back with her. Together they are stronger and more suited to protect him. Also they have the benefit of being in a position right now to be untraceable. If those men can't trace them, then they wouldn't be able to find them. And therefore they will be free to fulfill their destiny."
"What is William's destiny?"
"One day, he will stand beside his father and confront a vicious storm."
"A storm," the woman questioned.
"It's was a metaphor, but I suppose "storm" is a proper analogy."
Karen gathered from the girl's response that she wasn't going to receive a defined answer to her question and thought it best not to press the issue. She had always being raised to believe, that there is a reason for everything and that no one can change what is to be.
"Will he be okay."
"There's no way to know for sure, only time can give us that answer. The only thing I can tell you for certain. Is that it won't be easy and he has some hard times ahead of him. But he will thrive, despite it all, with his parents by his side." Emily was fairly convinced that this woman before her believed what she was saying. And hoped that this woman would or could do what needed to be done for all the world, so that humanity would have a chance of survival. Of course, she felt it wise not to inform Karen of the enormous scope of danger that would follow her son and his parents for years to come.
She watched as this emotionally and physically exhausted woman fought to keep her eyes open. She took her tiny hands and covered the eyes, of this poor woman. A moment later, she removed her hand to reveal Karen's now sleeping form resting in the rocking chair near her son's crib.
Van De Kamp residence
Michael enters the Kitchen, after putting his cranky boy down for an afternoon nap. He takes a seat at the kitchen table and watches his wife washing the dishes. He knows yesterday's events are fresh on her mind. She has barely said a word the entire day and worst yet she slept in the chair in William's room. He knows he can not avoid this problem. Truth be told, even though he doesn't want to believe it is true. He has a strong feeling that his wife is right, and that woman on Cops is William's mother. If someone asked how he knew, he could only answer them with *it just a feeling.*
"Don't you think we should talk about this, you've barely spoken a word all day." He prods, hoping to get her to just look at him. She turns to look at him, wipes her hands on a towel and occupies the chair across from him at the table.
"Karen so what if she is his mother, he's in our hands now and that's where he's gonna stay."
Karen shakes her head and sighs, "Even if it is not where he belongs." She asks, hating herself for doing so.
"What are talking about, of course this is where he belongs. .. With us... his parents."
"His parents", she repeat under her breath. She faces her head downward toward the table and feels tears sting the back of her eyes, "What if she wants him back?"
"This is ridiculous, there's no evidence of that. And even if she did want him back, that's not to say she would succeed in doing so. You are worrying yourself over nothing."
"Nothing", she repeats sarcastically raising her head to look in his eyes. "You believe god has his reason, don't you?" She watches as he nods his head. "What if it's god's will that he be returned to his real parents."
Michael was silently for a long minute, "Where is this coming from, honey. There is no evidence to suggest he isn't here to stay."
"There's not?" She states almost defensively. Michael just stares at her to see where she is going with this. "From the moment we got the call, from the social worker, that they had a baby for us, I have felt that something wasn't right with it. Even when she put him in my arms I still felt that something was terribly wrong with the situation."
"You were hesitant and scared about being a mother, that is all."
"No, Michael," she states with authority. " I've wanted to be a mother now for almost two decades, I knew that it was normal to feel certain things when becoming a new mother, but the feelings I got over William and the adoption, those feelings weren't normal. I can't really explain it... Can you honestly tell me you didn't feel it too." She looks over to him; he doesn't respond he just looks down toward the table. Which gives her, her answer.
"So what do you think it is?" He asks still looking down at the table.
"He hasn't bonded with us, he doesn't let us hold him unless he is exhausted and still he fusses some."
Michael looks up at her now, "it takes time for a child to bond with new parents."
"Yes, Michael but not this long... Think about it. We've had William for four months, I've heard of children that bond in a day, or a week. Being that he is a baby, should have made it easier, not in our case though."
Michael seems to think about this for a minute, "children are all different and adjust at different rates, it will get better. He will bond eventually with us."
"What about my pregnancy? After years of trying to get pregnant, we succeed on the same day we take him in."
"It's a coincidence" he offers, proudly looking down at her stomach at the thought of what is to come.
"Quite a lot of coincidences lately, don't you think? They can't all be coincidences," she adds, notable frustration evident in her voice. Michael looks at her puzzled as to what she means. "My conception date, seeing who is very likely William's birth mother on a show we never watch, getting it on tape, being pregnant with the boy and girl we always wanted." She stops to catch his reaction to her news. "It quite a load for such a short period of time."
Michael looks at her astonishingly, "How do you know there are two of them."
"Look if you don't believe me i am scheduled for a sonogram later this evening. Then we will both see." Karen knew he wouldn't let it go there but that he would want an explanation for how she came to know about babies. "Something incredible happened to me last night, but its not going to be easy to accept, I'm starting to doubt whether it really happened in the first place. What I do know is that I really want to see that sonogram to see if she is right, or if last night's events were all in my head." "What happened! Who is this "she" you are referring too?"
Karen went on to tell her husband about the little girl that she saw in William's nursery. How the little girl was able to keep her body calm despite the information she was receiving. And how she was told about a danger to their son and how it is her destiny to hand William to his natural parents. By the end of the story, two things were for certain. They both wanted to see that sonogram. They both were terrified to see the sonogram.
Van De Kamp residence
Michael Van De Kamp sits alone outside on the porch swing holding a picture of the sonogram from this evening appointment. A pink color circle on the right of the picture indicates the location of his healthy baby girl and the blue colored circle to the left indicates a healthy baby boy both growing in Karen's womb. Michael stares at the picture intently, but he is not think about the babies to come, he's thinking of the little baby that lay asleep, for the night, in his nursery. The one that he could very well lose to the child's own natural parents. Michael gets up from the swing and goes back in the house, still holding the sonogram picture in his hands; he spots Karen sitting on the couch crying.
She looks up at him, her eyes full of grief, "Michael. What are going to do?"
There's a huge lump in the back of his throat and he is trying with all his will power to not break down. He wipes the tears that a falling down his face with his hands. Seeing his wife still looking at him for an answer, he responses with the only answer he can depend on.
"God has his reasons."
She covers her face with her hands to try and hide her despair, when her body begins to tremble from sobs that erupt from deep within her. Michael comes up beside her and holds her in his embrace. He buries his face in her shoulder and rubs his hands down her arms and over her back in a soothing motion to try to calm her some. When she seems to calm a little he pulls back and gentle swipes the tears from her face with his fingers. Overwhelmed and exhausted, Karen begins to rise from the couch and Michael is immediately standing to help her to her feet. She looks into his swollen bloodshot eyes and he looks into hers, "I need to see my son" she informs him. Then leaves the room and heads to the nursery, leaving him where he stands in the living room. Michael stands there a minute longer then turns around. It is then that he notices the television is on and that his wife had been viewing the recorded tape of Cops. He stares at the screen, which is paused on a screen shot of William's mother and the woman's companion who could very possibly be William's own biological father. After what seems like forever, he sits back down on the couch and stares from the sonogram picture to the screen and back over and over again. Despite the confirmation of twins he doesn't know what to think about what Karen told him, this evening, about her encounter with the little girl in William's nursery. He doesn't want to believe it, the thought of losing the child they prayed so many night for was inconceivable.
Karen is rocking her son in her arms as he sleeps, which is the only time William tolerates anyone holding him. She lightly runs her finger though his dark brown hair, savoring the feel of him in her arms, inhaling the smell of him, studying his mouth, nose, lips, eyes and hands. Cherishing the beauty that is her child.
"It going to be okay." Came a child's voice from right in front of her.
"Hello, Emily." Karen looks up at her only a moment then returns her gaze to the child in her arms. "This is really going to happen, isn't?"
"You already know that answer. It's why I came in the first place. It's why you felt the way you did too William's arrival."
"How did she do it. Let him go." She asks, her voice heavy with emotion.
"Our mother is a very strong woman. But in all honestly the strength she had that day. ...The day she let go of her son for what she thought would be forever, came from a divine hand. That hand held her up when she was falling.. and it holds you up now.... It will be the hand that holds you up, and gives you strength, when it's your time to let him go."
"You mean, God." Karen rubs her son's chubby cheek with her thumb. "You know the answer to that question, too," Emily adds innocently.
"When are they coming." Her question was asked just above a whisper. "Soon," Emily walks closer to Karen in order to look at her brother more closely.
"How will they find us?"
"The same way you found them." She states and Karen looks up at the little girl.
"What do you mean?. The same way I found them," she repeats.
"You followed signs in the shape of baby handprints, they led you to his parents," Emily smiles at her.
"You mean that redheaded woman of the recorded tape.. William called her mama." She looks to the girl for confirmation, Emily nods. "From the moment I saw her I just knew who she was. I can't explain how I knew."
Emily laughs at Karen, "You don't need it explain, Karen. People feel things, have instincts, see things as coincidence or see them as signs just as you and your husband do. It's all a part of life, destiny and faith. It's all part of a greater plan. The only explanation you can hope for such things is to believe, to have faith in the greater plan."
"So I knew she was his mother because I was meant too all along, because that was part of the greater plan." Emily nods enthusiastically, "then I'm guessing her male companion is William's father then, since you said we were led to his parents" she looks to her son then.
"That's right, he has the same color hair," she studies her brother a moment. "But I'm afraid he may get his father's nose too,.. poor kid." They both let out a small light-hearted laugh. "They will follow their own signs. Angels are likely to help them on their journey too," she informs, intentionally using the same name Karen had used to describe her on their first encounter.
"Do they believe in such things as angels."
Emily giggles, "Oh, yes. They believe in many things."
Emily cups Karen's face between her small hand and draws it closer to her so she can kiss her forehead, then she gentle pushes back so that are making eye contact.
"It's going to be okay."
Van De Kamp residence
There's an anxious feeling in the Van De Kamp household today. So much so, that neither Michael nor Karen could sleep. Even little William was not his normal self, roaming about excitedly like a kid on Christmas who is impatiently waiting to open his presents. He quickly wore himself out and was put to bed a little earlier then normal. Afterwards Michael and Karen went about cleaning up the house in an attempt to relieve some nervous energy that had built up throughout day. When they finished, they were still too restless to sleep so they decided to just lounge around the house and relax. They played cards, listened to light music, and then snuggled up together on the couch and watched some black and white movies off the American Movie Classic channel.
They had just doze off when they hear a knock at the door. They both startle awake. It was odd for anyone to visit the farm in the daytime, but at this time of night it was unheard of in this household. They both rise from the couch and head toward the door. Karen feels a chill go down her spine and immediately looks toward the hall to William's nursery. She stops in her tracks and instantly grabs the arm of her husband, when she sees Emily standing there looking at her. Michael turns to look at his wife and follows her gaze to the hallway, where he sees a little girl standing. He then looks back to his wife in confusion.
"That's Emily.. Its time." She informs her husband in a deeply pained voice. Michael just stands there staring at this little girl he wasn't certain existed until this moment. Even though his wife had told him the story about her encounter with the girl, he didn't want to believe. Yet at this moment, he stares into the eyes of confirmation of what has to be done for the boy they love so dearly. There is another knock at the door, a little louder this time. Karen places her hand on Michael's shoulder and he looks at her. Both their eyes are swelled with tears.
They finish their journey to the door and stand there for several long moments. Michael looks through the peephole to view their visitors then turns to look at his wife and nods his head to her unspoken question. He takes his hand and swipes the tears from her face and she does the same to him. Michael looks deep in his wife's eyes, "We're gonna be okay," he tells her. She slowly nods in agreement, and with the turn of the knob they open the door to greet the couple behind it. William's parents.
"We've been expecting you."
Final Thoughts: I read so many fictions that kill off the adopted parents of William. That was a road I didn't want to take in this story, but instead show that there is another way. I hope you enjoyed my story and if you did, let me know. Feedback is much appreciated.
All I want for Christmas is for Mulder, Scully and William to be reunited.