Mary Ann Woods was a bright and happy 10 year old. She loved playing with her friends outside and working on arts and craft projects with her mother. Mary Ann even helped her dad out in the yard with the garden, weed eating, mowing, and clipping hedges. Mary Ann was an only child and often longed to have a baby brother or sister. She truly envied her neighborhood friends that had many siblings.
Her house was just as large as most of the other houses, but several bedrooms were empty. Not that they didn’t have furniture in them, it was that no one lived or slept in the rooms unless guests came for a visit. Mary Ann liked to go in the rooms and pretend that her make-believe sister lived there. She would sit on the bed and pretend to be talking to her, smiling and even laughing out loud at times.
While she was doing just that one day, her mom walked down the hall. She heard talking and laughing, but it wasn’t coming from Mary Ann’s bedroom. Puzzled, her mom peered around the corner to one of the guest bedrooms and spotted Mary Ann on the bed looking up to the ceiling.
“Child, what on earth are you doing?” questioned her mother.
“Oh, sorry, Mom, didn’t mean to scare you or mess up the bed.” She replied.
“I was talking to Josephine.”
“And WHO is Josephine, might I ask?”
“My imaginary sister!” And with that reply, Mary Ann hopped off the bed and scurried out of the room.
Her mother was in a quandary, as she wondered why Mary Ann would need an imaginary sister, when she had friends galore. That evening after dinner, Mary Ann’s mother told her dad about what had occurred earlier in the day. “Sam, I am quite concerned about her behaving in this manner. What do you think we should do?”
“Do? Why do anything, Sheila? It is normal for kiddos to have pretend friends.” Replied Sam, Mary Ann’s dad.
“Do you think we need to tell her now? You know we said we would when she got old enough to understand.”
Mary Ann’s dad breathed a deep sigh and agreed it was time for the dreaded talk. You see Sheila and Sam couldn’t have children and they had adopted Mary Ann when she was only a few days old. The adoption had cost them quite a bit of money. In fact, it was all of their savings at the time. They were so thrilled to be able to have Mary Ann as their baby, they did not care about the expense. It was only later as Mary Ann grew up when they wanted to adopt another child that they realized it was not feasible with the costs. They had moved into the large house so that Mary Ann could be in a neighborhood full of other children to be her playmates.
How to break the news was on both of their minds as they tried to prepare for bed. As always, Mary Ann had helped with the dishes and was about to make her way upstairs. Her dad asked her to come sit in the living room with him and her mom. Thinking nothing of it, Mary Ann skipped into the room.
“What’s up, Dad?”
Her dad began to tell the story of her adoption. Mary Ann sat quietly, face wrinkled, and listened intently to every word. Her mom held one hand and her dad the other. They were both in tears as they explained that due to health reasons, they could not have children of their own. They grinned as they told of how excited they were to be able to adopt her. Words of love and commitment flowed from their mouths. When they had finished, they looked Mary Ann in the eyes and said, “You are our chosen child!”
Mary Ann hugged them both fiercely and exclaimed with her own sigh of relief, “No wonder I do not have brown eyes like either or you! I love being chosen! My turn to choose! So now I choose you, too, forever to be my chosen parents!”