She had taken the subway and two buses to get to where she was now, but she knew this trip was worth It. She hadn't taken any drugs or did any real drinking today, so she knew she was good. She had to meet these people, and she didn't want them to say "no" to her. It was really cold as she walked the streets to find her way to the church. She didn't know why they wanted to meet there, but they had told her to meet them at the church at the end of Mass. She pulled up her light coat to try and cover her neck. She wasn't afraid on the streets here. She was afraid where she worked, but not here.
She held the bundle she carried close to her. She had wrapped the baby warmly and put the baby's nicest outfit on her. She wanted them to like the baby. She knew they would give her the life she couldn't. She didn't want to give her up, but after Wally started looking funny at the baby, she knew she had to get her out of there. She didn't want him to hurt that sweet little girl. She had to endure that torture when she was little. Her mom didn't know how to protect her, but this was different. It wasn't going to happen to her baby.
Bitter tears formed small chunks of ice on the corners of her eyes. She held her baby tightly. "I don't want to do this, baby, but it the best thing for you." She had talked to one of the ladies at the Catholic Center when she was pregnant with her baby. The lady showed her the baby's heartbeat in a sonogram. She knew she couldn't abort her baby. She wasn't sure how she would support the baby. The money on the streets was good...
The baby sighed. "Don't you worry, little one. Just remember I love you, too, and you're going to have a fine mama and daddy who will give you everything I couldn't." This hurt so much, but it was right. It was the right thing to do. Her baby would be safe from harm. That's all that mattered. No one was going to hurt her baby.
Her nearly bare legs were almost frozen. Her skirt was short, but she thought that with those high boots, it would be all right. She was crying, but not from the pain of the cold. Her heart was shattering as she neared the church. The night was clear, and that made the air even more cold.
She could hear voices singing Christmas carols. She thought. "Why are they singing Christmas songs? It's after New Years now. Those Catholics, they're a little bit on the crazy side." She thought of some of the Catholic men she had known. Would God call them sinners, or would God just call her a sinner? She wondered.
Going up those stairs in those high heeled boots was a little rough. There was snow and ice, but she made it. She opened the door, and it was quiet. The priest at the altar was singing. He didn't have a good voice. "Go in peace. The Mass is ended." The people in church answered, "Thanks be to God."
"Well," she thought, "At least these Catholics are honest. They're glad to go home. Maybe I should try a church like this where people are honest about being ready to go."
She was standing at the back of the church waiting. People were looking at her. A couple of people smiled, but many of them looked at her and shook their heads. One man started to say something to her, but the priest saw him, and escorted the man quietly to the door.
Most of the people were gone now. The church was a lot quieter. A man and a woman came up to her. Another lady followed them. She had a big, expensive bag on her shoulder. The priest came over, too.
"I'm Father Tim." He smiled so kindly at her. I need to take off my vestments, but I'll show you to a conference room where we can get things going." The baby whimpered. Her future parents sighed. They followed Father Tim to a room next to the altar. She noticed that he genuflected in front of that gold box. She tried, but those heels...
There was warm coffee in the room. Someone poured her a cup. Her stomach knotted. She saw a painting of a beautiful family. She figured it was Jesus and His Mom and Dad. Someone was talking to her. She looked up startled. It was the woman with the bag. "This won't take long since it's a private adoption. We just need to get these papers signed. Father Tim will be a witness, so we're already to go."
The lady's eyes were kind. She held the baby just a little bit closer. This was happening too fast. Again she heard someone talking to her. "Can I hold her?" It was the baby's new mother." She blinked back tears. "If you don't mind, I'd like to hold her as long as I can." The mother looked disappointed, but she smiled. Sister Rita had come in with Father Tim. She was one cool nun. She wore a veil and stuff, but she was cool, and she wasn't afraid. She worked with the girls trying to get them off the streets and into a better life. It just hadn't worked out for her.
Sister Rita sat next to her and put her hand on her back. "We've been through everything. Do you understand what you are doing? Once you sign these papers, your baby will be adopted by this couple, and you won't get to see her again."
"I know what I'm doing. I'm not stupid. I took her for the physicals and tests. I know I'm giving her up for good." Her voice cracked a little. She was tough and she knew she could do it. She gave her baby a long hug then she signed the papers. She looked into her precious baby's face. She didn't want to do this, but she knew it was for the best.
She handed her over. The tears didn't stop now. Sister Rita was holding her and comforting her. She watched the new family get up with their baby and leave the room. "Wait," she said, "There's diapers in this bag and her favorite blanket." The dad turned around and picked up her offering. Father Tim shut the door and walked the new family out.
Her heart was beyond shattered. There could be no pain worse than this. She wanted to run after them and take her baby back, but she knew she had done the right thing. Sister Rita offered to drive her home. "No, Sister, that neighborhood is not safe." If you could drive me to the bus, I'd appreciate that."
Sister Rita drove her to the subway station. "You can have a better life," sister Rita said. She managed a smile through the tears. "Good night, Sister. I love you." Sister Rita gave her one last hug.
She got home, and Wally was there. He didn't say anything. He slapped her, and she fell. She heard a bang. There was quiet, and there was peace. She opened her eyes and she looked into the eyes of love. She had never felt love like that before. She was ashamed because of her sins, but He looked at her with love. She knew she was dead and that this was God.
He showed her the things she had done wrong in her life. She bowed her head in great sorrow. She wept. She saw her guardian angel. He put his hand on her shoulder. Then she saw Jesus, and He was showing her all the good things she did I her life, including her baby. Then He showed her more. Her baby had grown up in a very lovely family. She was able to watch her as she grew. Her baby was a woman. She saw her baby grow up. She was happy!
Jesus told her that she would one day be in heaven with Him, but that she had to go to Purgatory to become perfect. She was happy to go. Jesus told her that He would wait for her until the day she entered paradise. She loved Him so much! He loved her, too. Her angel would take her to Purgatory. She wondered if Purgatory was a Catholic thing. She heard Jesus say, "it's a gift for all my children." She understood, but before she left with her angel she said, "Jesus, would I have been a good Catholic?" Jesus smiled. "Yes," He said, "You would have been a perfect Catholic."
She heard prayers as she waited. It was Father Tim offering Masses for her. Sister Rita was praying. Then she heard a little girl's voice saying, "Bless my other mommy, Jesus. I love her, too." It wouldn't be long. It wouldn't be long.