The phone rang. Picking up the receiver, I said, “Hello,” glancing at a sale paper.
“Can I speak with Mrs. Bury please?”
“Yes, this is she.”
“This is Mrs. Ramsey* from Glengary Elementary.” She cleared her throat as my heart pounded.
“Is-Is everything okay?”
“Alena is fine, but there’s been a situation. So, we need for you to come pick her up right away.”
“You better just come right away. We’ll explain then.”
“Yes, I’ll be right there.” Almost throwing the receiver down, I grabbed my car keys, trotted to the front door, and slipped my shoes on without tying them. Hopping in the van, I turned the key, backing out of the driveway, my thoughts whirled. I shouldn’t have put Alena in school yet. I knew it was too soon!
Alena, at eleven-years-old, had only been living with us for a few months. Prior to that, she’d grown up in Russia, in an orphanage. The first day of school, I saw the fear in her eyes as I walked away. She didn’t understand that the school day would end in the afternoon. To her, this was simply another orphanage, with the long white halls, and the adults were probably much like orphanage workers. I knew she wanted to run after me, but she stood, frozen, with tears in her eyes. She only spoke a few words of English, and although I told her in Russian, I’d be back at noon, she didn’t believe me. But why should she?
Pulling into the school drive, I flew out of the car, running into the entrance. Heaving the heavy door open, I sprinted down the hall and into the school office. Looking to the right, Alena sat with her head down, her blonde hair rumpled and matted, her pants and shirt covered in mud. Walking over I placed my arm around her shoulder, and in Russian, I said, “Okay?”
She looked up as blood trickled from a gash on her right cheek. Her eyes filled with tears as she slowly nodded.
I looked at Mrs. Ramsey. “What happened?”
“Can I tell her, Mrs. Ramsey?” Jessica asked.
“Yes, go ahead.”
“Mrs. Bury, Alena, Brittany, and I were just walking when these two boys ran after us. She sighed. “Yes see, they thought we called them Barbie-doll lovers, but it wasn’t us, really.” She shifted her weight. “Brittany and I ran faster, but they both caught Alena. They pushed her down, face-first into a mud puddle.” She bit her lip. “But-but we ran and got the recess lady and she blew her whistle. And then they ran away.”
I managed a weak smile. “Thank you Jessica for helping Alena. We appreciate you being there.”
As I drove Alena home, I remembered praying that the Lord would care for Alena while at school. And He had sent her two loyal friends, Jessica and Brittany. These girls included her, assisted her, and stayed with her. And a mother, someone I didn’t even know, witnessed the whole incident. She had spoken with the principal on Alena’s behalf, which resulted in a short suspense for both boys. As I reflected on Alena’s unfortunate incident, I realized how the Lord had put everything in place to care for my precious, new daughter – Always watching over her!