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A Long Way from Home: Part 2 of 3

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Язык: Английский
Год издания: 2019 год
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      A Long Way from Home: Part 2 of 3
Cathy Glass

The true story of 2 year-old Anna, abandoned by her natural parents, left alone in a neglected orphanage.Elaine and Ian had travelled half way round the world to adopt little Anna. She couldn’t have been more wanted, loved and cherished. So why was she now in foster care and living with me? It didn’t make sense.Until I learned what had happened. …Dressed only in nappies and ragged T-shirts the children were incarcerated in their cots. Their large eyes stared out blankly from emaciated faces. Some were obviously disabled, others not, but all were badly undernourished. Flies circled around the broken ceiling fans and buzzed against the grids covering the windows. The only toys were a few balls and a handful of building bricks, but no child played with them. The silence was deafening and unnatural. Not one of the thirty or so infants cried, let alone spoke.

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Copyright (#uf88ae39b-91eb-5316-bcea-17ea2e236753)

Certain details in this story, including names, places and dates, have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.

HarperElement

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk)

First published by HarperElement 2018

FIRST EDITION

© Cathy Glass 2018

Cover layout design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2018

Cover photograph © Elly De Vries/Arcangel (posed by model)

A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library

Cathy Glass asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.

Find out about HarperCollins and the environment at

www.harpercollins.co.uk/green (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/green)

Source ISBN: 9780008275891

Ebook Edition © February 2018 ISBN: 9780008275914

Version: 2018-01-15

Contents

Cover (#u807d78b4-b83f-583a-b0a6-6daea2b6ab13)

Title Page (#uc14b8ada-9f09-556f-b615-6ceac1b0cbb2)

Copyright (#u510003a5-c07d-563b-8b8e-79f3e1262bc8)

Chapter Ten: All New (#ud7737c20-e598-5650-8790-87bfb0083ce7)

Chapter Eleven: Exhausted (#u3d06564f-b348-55c0-bf33-e9651a97bb89)

Chapter Twelve: Another Worry (#u81693f4c-19af-509c-9c5b-1f0662fa588d)

Chapter Thirteen: Good Girl (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Fourteen: Settling In (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Fifteen: Bad Parenting? (#litres_trial_promo)

PART II (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Sixteen: Foster Care (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Seventeen: First Night (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Eighteen: I Haven’t Got a Home (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Nineteen: Memories (#litres_trial_promo)

Moving Memoirs eNewsletter (#litres_trial_promo)

About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo)

Chapter Ten

All New (#uf88ae39b-91eb-5316-bcea-17ea2e236753)

No words can describe how Elaine felt at that moment as she stood in the corridor outside the courtroom holding her daughter’s hand. Disbelief, euphoria, relief and panic combined as she stood immobile, staring after Ian. Then realization and responsibility kicked in. She was a parent and needed to behave like one. She looked at Anastasia, who returned her gaze, wide-eyed and confused. Did she understand what had just happened in the court room? Did she have any idea? She wasn’t crying or upset, so perhaps like her mother this was simply the end of a long and inevitable journey. ‘Are you all right, love?’ Elaine asked quietly, and Anastasia stared back.

Ian reappeared, out of breath and clutching his phone. ‘I got two photos of her,’ he said.

‘How was she?’ Elaine asked.

‘Upset, as you’d expect, but she wiped away her tears and put on a brave face for the photograph. I think she was pleased I’d asked her and that we are going to keep her memory alive for Anastasia.’

Ian showed her the two photographs he’d taken in the square outside the court house and Elaine’s eyes immediately filled. The woman was looking directly into the lens and trying to smile so that her daughter would have a positive image to remember her by. It felt uncomfortable standing outside the court room, looking at photographs as if they were on holiday. But these two pictures would probably be the most important either of them ever took. Elaine was pleased they were nice photos. A copy would go in Anastasia’s Life Story Book and another they’d frame and put on a shelf in her bedroom so she would grow up aware of her origins, just as the social worker had said.

Seeing Ian’s mobile phone, Anastasia agitated to look and he showed her the photographs and then put it away. Phones and cameras weren’t allowed in the court house.

‘Well,’ he said to Elaine with a big sigh, ‘we’ve finally done it! Congratulations.’ He kissed her cheek, then stooped to kiss Anastasia’s. Her skin felt cold. ‘I don’t think she’s warm enough,’ he said to Elaine. ‘Perhaps put on her hat, scarf and boots.’

‘Oh dear, yes, of course,’ Elaine said, immediately concerned for her daughter’s welfare.

They tucked themselves in a corner of the corridor out of the way, and Elaine unzipped the holdall and took out the fleece-lined boots, then the matching scarf, mittens and hat. Anastasia’s face lit up, clearly having never owned anything like this before.

‘I hope the boots fit,’ Elaine said, squatting beside her to put them on. She carefully slipped off the plimsolls she was wearing and, with Anastasia steadying herself against Ian’s leg, she eased her feet into the boots. They were slightly too big but better that than too small. Anastasia looked down at them, delighted. Elaine tucked her jogging pants into the boots and then eased her little hands into the mittens. Anastasia was still holding the crucifix and later Elaine would put it somewhere safe. She tied the woollen scarf loosely around her neck and put on her hat. It felt strange dressing her, like dressing a doll, but she knew she’d soon get used to it.

‘That looks snug and warm,’ Ian said.

Elaine put the plimsolls into the holdall. They’d keep those and the clothes Anastasia had worn for the court hearing to show her when she was older. The crucifix she’d place in the Memory Box together with anything else significant that would help give Anastasia a better understanding of her past.

The court room door opened and Dr Ciobanu came out clutching a wodge of papers, his folder and their passports. ‘You can have these back,’ he said, handing the passports to Ian. ‘I have the adoption certificate but I will need it to apply for Anastasia’s new birth certificate, passport and visa. You can go to your hotel now and I’ll be in touch just as soon as I’ve had these processed.’ He clearly had a lot to do and wanted to get away.

‘Thank you,’ Ian said, shaking his hand.

‘Thank you,’ Elaine added.

‘You have a cab waiting?’

‘Yes.’

‘OK. I’ll be in touch.’
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