When the song wound down to a quiet close, Nikki and Allie continued to swing for a little while in silence. Finally Nikki smiled down on the tiny girl and asked if she wanted to hear about this family. At Allie’s nod, she pulled a small photo book out of her pocket and passed it to her. “Here. You turn the pages when you’re ready to hear about someone else, okay? That way if you have any questions you can ask them before we move on. Okay? … Hang on just a second before we start though.” She looked back to other end of the porch where Ms. Tyler still sat rocking. “We’re good here if you need to go. Thanks for bringing her to us.”
The social worker rose from her chair and came closer. “Goodbye Allie. Nikki will call me if you need anything. Okay?” Then she walked to her car and drove away.
Nikki looked back down at her small charge and grinned at her … “Whenever you’re ready!”
Allie smiled shyly and opened the book. The first photo was of Nikki with a very tall man. She pointed to him and looked at Nikki with her question in her eyes. “Ah … THAT is a very special man! His name is Jake and he is my husband. He loves me and all of our kids very much and I think that you will like him a lot.” Allie still looked dubious so Nikki continued, “He is a big guy and some times he talks kind of loud but he is never mean and he doesn’t hit me or the kids!”
“Nope! Yelling and hitting are against our rules for everyone in this house! We all try to be kind to each other no matter what.” She watched as the child processed that and then slowly turned the page. This page had another photo of Jake this time on the football field. “That’s Jake too. He’s a football coach at the High School. Have you ever been to a football game?” Allie shook her head, making her dark curls bounce, and Nikki leaned down and kissed the top of her head. “We will have to fix that!”
Allie slid her finger across to the next photo, a tall young man, with dark hair and eyes, who looked a lot like Jake. “That is our oldest son, Matthew. He is going to college so he’s not here most of the time but he comes home for the weekend when he can and he will be here all summer. He’s a lot like his dad. Big guy with a gentle spirit.” Allie nodded slowly and flipped the page over.
The 2 page spread featured a couple of beautiful teen age girls. Obviously sisters they were still very much individuals. Allie looked up at Nikki, ready for her introduction to these two. Nikki reached over and touched the page on the left. This is Morgan. She is 17 and a senior in high school. She and Mykah look a lot alike but you can tell them apart by their hair color. Morgan has dark hair like Jake and Mykah’s is red like mine.” Allie continued to gaze at her so she continued, “Morgan is very much a lady. The term girly girl is so Morgan! She likes dresses and flowers and her pink and white room. Then there is Mykah. She is my tomboy! You know what that means?” At a quick head shake she explained, “it means that she’s a girl who likes things that are more traditionally boyish. She likes blue jeans and boots, dogs and horses, and all kinds of sports! Morgan would have a picnic under a tree. Mykah would climb the tree and drop nuts on her sister’s head!”
Allie grinned up her red-headed foster mom who returned the huge smile and said, “My goodness! You are beautiful when you smile!
I am just a bit dubious about my ability to wrap this story up by the end of the month! I meant to introduce the whole family here on today’s front porch but the characters just demanded more description. I hope that you are as happy as I am that Allie has found a safe place! Please continue to visit daily for the next installment in her story. Thanks!