At the end of Hannah’s bed (and under it and down the side)
she has many, many teddy bears. The bear my brother Robin bought her when I was pregnant – we named him Endevour bear (after Inspector Morse), there is a big bunny that he bought her for her first Christmas. Next to them is Hetty the hedgehog, my treasured teddy that I was given on my first Christmas. I gave Hetty to my eldest daughter to help her not be afraid of the dark. I whispered to her about all the nights (20 years worth) that I slept holding Hetty and that if she held Hetty tightly she would sleep well like I had done….
On Ben’s bed is a handmade Thomas the tank engine cover that my Mum and I bought for him at a Christmas market, his rabbit blanket that he has had since being a baby, a big Smurf bought by Uncle Robin on a trip to America and a Baloo the bear bought by my parents for Christmas.
They have many more, and almost without exception I can tell you when or where they were received, or bought or won. They have been with us on holiday, Hetty’s nose is worn where I used to rub her, the rabbit blanket has been chewed at all three ends. We have taken the batteries out of Ben’s scout dog, but if we put them back in, it would tell you his name and that his favourite food is pear.
In Star’s room she sleeps on the cot bed which once was Hannah’s and then Ben’s. She has a Frozen blanket and pillow which came from her foster carer. At the end of her bed she lines up her toys.
There is a big colourful Rabbit, which we are told was bought with money that her birth parents gave to her foster carer for Christmas.
There is a brown teddy bear which I was told came from her birth home.
Then there are doll with a red hat, a small pink bear and a zebra. I don’t know where these came from. As she can’t tell me I guess we will never know.
So as I check on her at night I look around the room I wonder what they would tell me if they could talk. I wonder about the days and the nights when Star lived and I was not there.
The toys she was given in foster care. Would they tell me about the people who were kind to her? The places she went that were not written down or photographed, so no memory of them exists now. The days she went to contact with her birth family. The nights she came back to the foster carer’s afterwards – distressed and confused.
And what of the bear that was in her room in her birth home? What would he say if he could talk? This is one of only a handful of things she has from her birth home. The possessions that have made it from her birth home to our home would fit in a supermarket carrier bag.
The funny thing is, I am rubbish at coping with uncertainty and yet every night I am reminded of this huge Unknown that we now live with. The chapters of Star’s story that were written before we met.
I remind myself that before I was there, God was there.
Like in the story of Joseph the things that were intended for harm, God has used to turn the situation for good.
I do not know. But he knows everything.
I see a small part.
He knows the whole.
I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of me.
He has promised to be with me and to never forsake me.
I have to learn to give the past to him.
As the old hymn says:
” God holds the key to all unknown and I am glad ,
If someone else should hold the key,
Or if he entrusted it to me,
I might be sad.”
So Bears and dolls at the end of my daughter’s bed. I do not even know your names, where you came from or who gave you to my daughter.
My Heavenly Father does know.
And I have decided, that is enough for me.