Knowing that adopted children often have abandonment issues, we have been keenly aware of not leaving Nora anywhere alone. Yes, she’s 12 now, and we have left her for 10-15 minutes home alone a few times. But it’s not something I am comfortable with because she’s not comfortable yet.
The first time Nora stayed by herself in our house was for eight minutes while I delivered her brothers and a few friends up to Grandma’s swimming pool. Our tiny car didn’t have room for her too. My parent’s live 1.9 miles away. I even might have sped a little as my insides were queasy for her in sympathy. Upon my return I asked her what she did while alone. Her reply didn’t surprise me. “I stared out the window the whole time because I couldn’t believe you actually left me.”
Okay, maybe we’ve been a tad overprotective.
Today was a gross oversight by many relatives, as Nora and her cousin Luke, age 11, both got dropped off at Grandma’s house to help decorate the Christmas tree. It’s a tradition those two have held strongly for four years. So cute. The only glitch was both cars drove away…. and Grandma and Grandpa weren’t at home…. for 45 minutes. Horror of horrors. Neither kid has a cell phone. They are ALWAYS with someone else. Why would they need a cell phone?
I’m so glad they were together. Their report of their 45 minute escapade made me chuckle. They looked through all the windows of the whole house. All the lights were off. They went into the backyard and tried the side and back doors. All locked. They decided to stay in the front yard to wait for a rescue vehicle as they realized they were truly abandoned. Left for dead on the sidewalk in front of their grandparent’s home.
When cars would drive by they “acted” like they were playing so they didn’t look like children waiting to be abducted… just normal neighborhood children hanging out in the front yard … with no toys… just rocks and cactus. And Nora is SOOOO good act looking casual in times of distress!
The deserted children thought of walking to our house, as they just had done on Thanksgiving night with Nora’s dad two weeks ago. But Nora remembered her legs hurt for three whole days last time because they ran a lot of the way down the hill. That was out.
Then the police helicopter started circling the house and Nora secretly hoped it was going to land and save them. No such luck. They devised a plan to knock on a neighbor’s door, ask to use their phone, and took their time analyzing all the houses. They finally decided on the house next door but were working up their courage when Grandpa and Grandma pulled up and saved the day! Whew!
So we had a talk about which neighbors are the safe ones to go to, but this will NEVER happen again, I can guarantee it. At least until she’s 16…. or has a cell phone.