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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)

By Cherie B.


“Push!” The government doctor yelled at her angrily.

"I am,” MaiLi growled through gritted teeth. She pushed harder until the contraction subsided, then let her head drop back and her eyes close. But the reprieve didn’t last long; another contraction was already on its way.

MaiLi screamed as the final contraction forced her newborn baby into the doctor’s hands, then collapsed against the hospital bed, exhausted.

The doctor spoke down to her in disgust. “You’re second baby is a girl.”

The doctor hated MaiLi for having a second child; for breaking the one-child policy. And she knew he could harm her baby right then and there if he wanted to. It wouldn’t be the first time a Chinese baby showed up ‘still-born’ just before the American adoption agency showed up, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.

“Let me see her,” MaiLi begged.

He ignored her.

Don’t let them kill my baby! She cried to God.

A motion at the door caught her eye. A uniformed man stood watching the proceedings carefully from the window. MaiLi couldn’t tell if he was from the government or the adoption agency, but she prayed it was the later. If the agency wasn’t there on time, the doctor would show no sympathy.

MaiLi heard a muffled cry. Panic swept over her. “Where is my baby?” she asked. “What are you doing to her?”

The doctor didn’t answer.

“Let me hold her.” She pleaded.

He still didn’t answer; he didn’t even look at her.

He waved a nurse over and passed the baby off by the ankle, like it was a filthy animal. The nurse hurried to the other side of the delivery room where a plastic crib waited alongside another nurse with syringe in hand. Both ladies huddled over the tiny infant whispering.

“What’s going on?” MaiLi yelled. Her heart raced. “What are you doing?

They disregarded her.

Her hands shook; panic and fatigue wreaked havoc on her body. Oh God, she prayed as tears threatened. Don’t let them do this! Don’t let them kill my baby!

“What are you doing?” Mai Li yelled at the top of her lungs.

The doctor looked up at her, obviously irritated. “The baby should never have been carried full term.” He said smugly. “You brought this on yourse…”

The door burst open.

The uniformed man walked straight over to the nurse, grabbed the syringe and threw it on the floor as he yelled at the doctor in English. MaiLi couldn’t tell what he said, but he was obviously from the adoption agency and he was furious at what they were about to do.

The doctor was suddenly apologetic, likely afraid of the tall American. He and the nurses raced out of the room.
Once they had gone, the man reached down and gently lifted the baby out of the crib. He didn’t seem to notice Mail Li as he turned to leave.

She was loosing her baby!

“PLEASE!” MaiLi yelled, hoping he spoke Chinese. “Let me hold her!” Her voice shook.

The man looked over and saw MaiLi.

Hear me Lord, she begged. Let me see my baby before he takes her, … please.

His once angry face softened as he looked at her, and sympathy filled his eyes.

“Please…” she pleaded, “…before you go.” Moisture pooled in her eyes. “Just once….”

He stepped over to her with the round bundle of pink and placed it tenderly in her outstretched arms.

MaiLi smiled up at him through her tears and pulled her baby close to her chest. “Thank you.” She whispered.

She lowered her precious child onto her knees and leaned over to admire her. She wanted to memorize every feature. MaiLi brushed her daughter’s cheek with her thumb, savoring the silky soft touch. She looked down into the face of her child and wept.

Tears slid down her cheeks unchecked. Her daughter was alive, but this was the last time she would see her.

“I’m sorry,” the man reached out and picked her child back up.

He paused a moment and reached down to the single charm on MaiLi’s necklace; a cross her husband had given her when she first believed.

“Don’t worry,” he encouraged; “God will keep her safe.”

She nodded, she knew he was right but she didn’t want to let go. Any tears she had held back came full force now, in sobs that shook her whole body. Her stomach knotted as she watched the man take her baby away.

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This article has been read 864 times
Member Comments
Member Date
stanley Bednarz08/28/09
Please know I could be the most impatient reader in the the faith writing family.

A good hook at the start, and nice ending. I enjoy writing that teaches without the teacher present.
Deana Thomas08/29/09
Your writing is so descriptive that it was like a movie, playing in my head! This message is too powerful to be read by just this small group of aspiring writers! I hope you can find someplace to publish it. If I was the judge, you'd win FIRST PLACE with this entry! I'm so glad you are writing. You are an important voice for this generation.
Laury Hubrich 08/30/09
This is so sad. I can't imagine having to go through this. Very well written entry. Excellent job.
Karen Pourbabaee 08/31/09
Very powerful and well told story. A little editing needed for wording: use latter instead of later,
losing rather than loosing.
This would make a great beginning of a novel about MaiLi's journey toward an eventual reunion with her daughter!
Mona Purvis09/01/09
Lots of heart-breaking suspense in this story that occurs much too often in many nations.
Keep writing. Your spirit shows through.
Bryan Ridenour09/01/09
Very good entry. I could envision the scene and it broke my heart. You won't be in beginner's long. Keep writing.
Joni Andrews 09/01/09
You did a FANTASTIC job. I was there all the way. Very well done and realistic. It will stick with me.
Virgil Youngblood 09/01/09
Your story captured my heart. Great writing.
Catrina Bradley 09/01/09
Super entry! The action is exciting and non-stop, and the emotions strong. GREAT writing.
Ada Nett09/03/09
very, very good!
Deborah Porter 09/03/09
Hi Cherie. I just wanted to leave a quick note to congratulate you on your 3rd place win in Level 1, and to let you know you also did extremely well overall, ranking 24th out of all the entries for the week.

Time to move up a level. :-)

If you would like to see the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Anyway, congratulations again and well done!

Just a quick reminder about this year’s Page Turner Contest for 500 members. If you have a novel in the works (even just the first chapter), this contest is a must to enter:

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)