I know this is kind of long (ok it's REALLY long) but I'd love it if some people could read it and let me know what they think. Suggestions, etc. Thanks!!!
I know you re still out there SOMEWHERE looking for me. Every day I scan the obituaries for you, and since you aren t ever in them I believe must still be alive and looking for me.
This is what happened at breakfast this morning. After reading this you must understand that everything is up to you now! I really believe that you ll find me soon!!
Hope, could you pass the newspaper? My foster-mom, Margaret, asked.
Hold on one second, just have to finish reading the obituaries... I replied
Hope! I can t believe you re reading those! That s morbid! My foster-dad, Ralph, scolded.
I m still searching so far there hasn t been anyone named Kelly Marie Drecason I muttered, For that matter there hasn t even been someone named Kelly!
Hope, we have an idea, and it would make it so you d never have to search or worry about what s going on with your mom again Ralph said.
we think it s a really great idea and we hope you ll agree. Margaret interrupted. We were thinking that since we love having you as our foster-kid...we d love having you as our real kid too. We ve decided to adopt you. What do you think?
Thank you for the offer I said slowly, It s really, truly, the kindest offer anyone has ever given me I bit my lip, But, umm, I can t say yes. I m sorry.
But, Hope, why? Both of them asked at the same time.
Look, it s kind of hard to explain but I still believe my real mother is out there somewhere searching for me. I have never believed that she would purposefully leave me. I replied.
Hope, you were found home alone when you were 3 years old. I know you don t remember this but you were crying when your neighbor walked in. You obviously hadn t had any food in days. When your father was found laying dead on the side of the road everyone assumed, as they should have, that your mother was dead also. Come on Hope please let us adopt you? Margaret pleaded.
I m sorry, but I just can t! I said as I hurried off to my room. And then I started writing to you. I write to you whenever something major happens
I m just writing you this to let you know that now you really can t let me down! Now that I ve refused to be adopted they re going to have to send me to another foster home.
Please find me soon!
P.S. I know that you ll never get this letter because even though I really believe you are alive and looking for me I have no idea where you are. I m just going to tuck this letter into the bottom drawer of my dresser underneath all of my underwear like I do with all the letters I write you.
Notes passed during science class between Kara and Hope
Kara -- guess what happened yesterday? Margaret and Ralph offered to adopt me! Can you believe it?
OMIGOSH!!! THAT S AWESOME! TOTALLY ROCKS! I m so happy for you!
Kara I m not sure you get it. You do realize that I believe my mom is still out there, looking for me, right? Look, Kar, I turned them down. I m not letting them adopt me. Don t be too mad! But, I m going to have to move. They re going to let someone else be adopted my Ralph and Margaret.
Oh. My. God. I can t believe you. I can t believe you! You could stay here with the nicest parents in the world and of course, me, your best friend! Instead you decide to move off to somewhere where you don t know ANYBODY including the people whose house you ll be living in! And you re doing this by choice? I can t believe it. But, Hope, you re going to MOVE? I m crying over here. And Mrs. Richardson is shooting me really odd looks. Most people don t cry in the middle of science. Okay now she s saying, Kara? Are you okay? Would you like to head to the nurse real quick? You re watching all this with a worried look on your face. Face it, Hope, you made me cry. No Mrs. Richardon, I m okay. Thanks anyway.
Please don t move, Hope! You re my best friend!
But, why would you have to move anyway? I mean can t you just stay here as their foster kid still??
Kara I m sorry for making you cry. I was sobbing last night while I wrote Mom too. Anyway, I ll have to move because Ralph and Margaret need to give someone else a chance to be adopted. If I don t take up their offer then their house is sort of going to waste. And so I have to move to another house so their house doesn t go to waste.
I guess I get the house thing. But when are you going to move? And WHY CAN T YOU JUST STAY HERE!??! AAARRRRRRGGGGGGGG!!!!!!
Kara WHOA!! I don t know when I m going to move, okay? I can t stay here because if I m adopted then when Mom finds me she won t be able to take care of me. And we can still write and stuff. Especially email and IM!! I know you re upset (and so am I) but this is really what I have to do. I ll let you know when I m going to move.
You re right. It s best for you to move, of course. If you really think your mom might find you some day. And of course we can email and IM and stuff but it won t be the same. Oh, CRAP! Class just ended. I ll give you this on the way out. ARG! Now Mrs. Richardson is motioning at me to stay behind. Well, I ll stick this in your locker! Bye!
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2004, 7:38 PM
Subject: Moving and other things
I got your note at the end of the day. What did Mrs. Richardson want to talk to you about??
Now I have some bad news and good news.
The good news is that Ralph and Margaret aren t mad at me about turning down their offer. They said that they talked last night and now they think they understand why I don t want to be adopted.
The bad news? I m moving. Tomorrow. Everyone figures I should move as soon as possible so that some other kid can come and live here.
I love you Kara, and we have to KEEP IN TOUCH!!! Now I have to go pack all my stuff up so BYE!!
EMAIL ME!! I ll email you as soon as I get there and, like always, I ll check my email every day!
Lylas (love you like a sister!!)
Sent: Saturday, March 13, 2004, 7:49 PM
Subject: OH MY GOD!!
OH, MY GOD!! HOPE!! You ll probably have moved by the time you get this. I hope that your next foster family is awesome and great and I hope that you make some good friends at school. But please don t make another best friend for at least a little while. Okay? You re my bestest best friend ever! Yeah, I ve had other best friends but we weren t as close. We didn t tell each other EVERYTHING like you and I do.
Oh, Mrs. Richardson just wanted to make sure I was okay. I think she was kind of worried because I burst out sobbing during class. I told her that you were moving and I was upset about it .
Good luck, Hope!
Sent: Friday, March 19, 2004, 7:49 PM
Subject: You okay??
Hope? You okay? I m kind of worried. You re the kind of person who checks their email like EVERY DAY! And now you haven t written in almost a week. You even promised to write me as soon as you got there so WHAT IS GOING ON??
There are two possibilities.
(1) You love your new foster-family SO MUCH and they love you to pieces also and you re all so busy just getting to know each other and going on family outings that you don t have time to email your best friend. Also you love everyone at school so much that you ve made a gazillion new best friends and you don t even THINK of me anymore
(2) Everything is awful there and you re spending all your time in tears so you can t think of anything except for drying your face.
I hope it s not either of those though for your sake if it had to be one I hope it s the first. I hope it s just something stupid like the computer isn t working (and you couldn t pick up a phone to call me either because the phones were down too).
Email me ASAP!!
Sent: Saturday, March 20, 2004, 7:09 AM
Help me, Kara! Save me!
This is horrible!
I know that sounds horribly dramatic but I M NOT BEING THAT DRAMATIC!!
Your second choice was basically right. Everything is horrible. My foster-parents aren t acting like parents more like slave owners! ARG! The reason I didn t write you (even though I really, really, REALLY, wanted to) was because they were working me to death. Oh, yeah, they don t let me use the computer except as a TREAT! Lord have mercy!
What have I done here? Well on Saturday, the day I got here, I unpacked my stuff into this TINY room it s about the size of THEIR walk-in closet. *growls*
And then they gave me the list of rules, and then a list of chores. Here are some of the rules:
Your must come home right after school every day. No social stops.
When you are home you must be either doing homework, chores or sleeping.
You must be up by 6:00 every morning to make breakfast for us.
Don t sass us, instead always smile. You should be grateful to us because we took you in with such short notice.
You see most foster-parents have to be checked out to see if they re really fit to be parents. But I guess Jim and Liza didn t (those are my new foster parents). That s kind of the story I got from them. I mean, I m lucky I guess. Some kids have parents who abuse them but I m still not all that happy with them!
And if that isn t enough of a night-mare the kids at this school all treated me AWFUL! I m SERIOUS!
I didn t do ANYTHING to ANY of them but everyone was really mean to me! I m serious too!
Okay so after science I had to use the bathroom REALLY BADLY. And so I said to this girl in the hallway, Excuse me. Could you tell me where the bathroom is?
The girl flipped her perfect blonde hair then ran her fingers down her designer jeans, Go straight down this hall, and turn left down the next hall then at the end of that hall is the bathroom.
So I went and used that bathroom and didn t even bother to look at the sign when I went in. I just rushed to the nearest stall. It was only when I came out that I noticed the urinals in there. And that there were GUYS washing their hands at the sink! They were all laughing at me so I just ran out of there! I still don t know where the girl s room is!
Kara, I know you re going to be suspicious of me. I can picture you right now saying, Hope? Are you sure that everyone is that mean? Are you sure that you didn t like accidentally offend all of them?
And you re right, of course, not everyone was that mean. But nobody was nice. Most of them just ignored me. I went up to some people at lunch and I said, Hey. Could I sit here?
All of them looked up in unison and smiled at me like they had just noticed me (of course most of them had been in my classes all morning) and they said (still smiling their perfect little smiles) Hey sorry there isn t any room. When everyone knew perfectly well that there was still a seat left. I guess they saw me looking at the seat and they continued, We re saving that (I checked later and nobody ever sat at that seat oh well)
So I just ate alone at one of the loser tables. ARG! I AM NOT A LOSER!
I hate it here!
Oh and one last awful thing. Everyone at school is expected to perform 4 hours of volunteer work a month. Because I got here late in the year the only spot left was at the hospital. Yeehaa! I get to go empty people s bedpans!
Instant Message between Kara and Hope at 7:21 PM
KaraBara: Hey Hope! I just got your email and then I saw your name on the buddy list what s up? And did you earn a treat and get to go on the computer?
grassHOPEr101: *giggles* nope no treat. They just left for the evening, a party or something. I use the computer in the morning while they re asleep and whenever they go out.
KaraBara: Is it really as bad as you made it seem in the letter?
grassHOPEr101: Yeah! I m not making anything up!
KaraBara: I didn t think you were making anything up. I just didn t know if you were leaving out any good parts of the day! *raises eyebrows*
grassHOPEr101: I didn t leave anything significant out. And I ve tried talking to more people since then and they re all polite enough I guess. I say hi and they say hi back but nobody is even TRYING to be my friend. Most are just either polite or nasty.
KaraBara: I m SOOO sorry!! It s just because it s late in the year and they all already have their friends
grassHOPEr101: I don t care WHY they re acting like this. I just want them to be my friend! *pouts*
KaraBara: Sorry girlfriend! Nothing I can do! But what about the foster parents? Are they really that bad?
grassHOPEr101: Well, that seem really bad to me but it could be because I m so used to have lots of freedom I don t know I mean they actually haven t done anything horribly BAD to me they re just super strict. They don t let me do anything for fun!
KaraBara: They probably just think that you ve had an awful life up to now and you should be super grateful to them for just providing you with food. I mean they probably think that you making breakfast and doing a lot of chores is just payment for them taking you in.
grassHOPEr101: Yeah, you re right of course but I still don t like them. They re just too strict for me. And they act all high and mighty like haha I m better than you!
KaraBara: I m sorry! But they are trying!
grassHOPEr101: You re right again
KaraBara: But, I have to go now my mom is hollering for me! Love ya!
I really need you to show up now. I m in a new foster home and this is by far the worst one. Ever. My foster-parents are super strict and I haven t made ANY friends at school. Normally by the end of the first week there are at least a few people I can eat lunch with or talk with in class but now? Nobody.
Please, Mom, come and find me! I need you now!!
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2004, 6:12 AM
Subject: OH MY GOSH!
You are not ever going to believe this. Not in a million-gazillion years! This is so freaky and weird!
Okay so you remember how I said I have to volunteer at the hospital? Well Monday was my first day and all I had to do was make the beds of a bunch of patients. Doesn t really make sense to me because most of them just get out of their beds, go to therapy or get treatment and use the bathroom (I was wrong about the bedpans they don t use them) then go back to bed but whatever. I just did my job.
So it was about the 10th bed I was making on the hallway and I always just look at the names of the people when I come in (there s a sign by the door) and that was when I practically FAINTED! You will never guess what the person s name was who I was making the bed for? Kelly Marie Drecason! MY MOM! I didn t even bother to make the bed I just ran to the nurse and pumped her for information about the patient in room 110. At first she wouldn t tell me anything but by the time I d told her my whole sad story she was telling me everything she could find out about Mom! The main facts are that
1) Mom has been at the hospital for a few months now
2) She has bone cancer and they ve tried radiation and it didn t do any good.
3) They re trying an experimental type of chemotherapy right now but it might or might not work. They will know in a few days if it is working or not. Mom was getting her first bit of chemo that day.
I couldn t work anymore that day so I just made Mom s bed and then sat there waiting for her to come back! When she was finally wheeled back in she looked horrible. Drained, tired and just incredibly sick. I got off her bed and waited while the nurse got her nice and comfy in the bed and then I turned to her and started talking.
My name is Hope. I was born on January 17th. I said slowly as soon as the nurse was out of the room and Mom gasped I think you re my mother
Oh, my God! Mom gasped. I ve been looking for you my whole life She stared at me for a bit then went on, Oh Hope, you must be wondering a whole lot. Mom sobbed as I walked around her bed and reached down to hug her. Is it really you?? She asked, and then touched my face, checking to make sure I was real. Oh, Hope
For a few minutes we didn t talk we just sat there hugging and crying. Then I couldn t it stand it any longer, I had to ask her why she left me.
Mom? Umm, I ve been curious about this for ages. My foster-parents, while my old ones anyway, said that you and Dad has just left me alone in the house when I was 3. And then Dad s body was found and yours wasn t. Everyone just thought you were dead I didn t, though, once I was old enough to find out what happened. But, Mom, why did you leave me all alone in the house? I choked out, tears running down my face, Didn t you love me?
Oh, sweetie! Your dad and I went on a road trip and we asked our neighbor to take care of you. Then while we were driving along a deserted road our car crashed into a ditch and your dad died. I broke my leg but was able to crawl off that road and by the side of another one and someone found me and took me to the hospital. Nobody knew who I was and because I d hit my head pretty badly in the crash I got amnesia. When I finally figured out who I was I started looking for you. But then I got cancer and was stuck in the hospital. Everyone thought I was on remission but then it came back. Of course I love you! I always have!
So that was our great reunion! I promised to come back and bring all the letters I ve written her but for now we both agreed that I should stay with my foster family.
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2004, 6:32 PM
Subject: WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!
Oh, my God! WOW!! That is so cool that you finally found your mom! Seriously, it rocks! So are you going to go and live with her or what??
PLEASE HURRY UP AND EMAIL ME BACK!!!!! I CAN T WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Instant Messaging between Kara and Hope on Thursday, March 25, 8:43 PM
KaraBara: Hope!! What s going on with your mom?
grassHOPEr101: Umm, well, I ve been over there every day after school now and we ve just talked a lot.
KaraBara: Like about what?
grassHOPEr101: On days that she feels good she tells me about my Dad and what I was like as a baby
KaraBara: On days that she feels good???
grassHOPEr101: Yeah, remember she does have cancer. And sometimes
KaraBara: Sometimes WHAT?!
grassHOPEr101: Sorry, it s just so sad that when I FINALLY find my mom she s sick!!
KaraBara: I know, it stinks.
grassHOPEr101: But, anyway, on days that she doesn t feel good I tell her about me and everything that I ve been up to since I was three.
KaraBara: Gotcha. But, umm, Hope?
KaraBara: You said that you d know in a few days if the chemo was working? And it s been like two days since you emailed me or something
grassHOPEr101: Okay. I don t know if she s getting better. I really hope so. I really do But, I just don t know.
KaraBara: Talk to a nurse or a doctor or something. Ask them if the chemo is doing its job.
grassHOPEr101: I can t! I don t want to know if something bad is happening!
KaraBara: Isn t it better to be prepared for bad news, though?
grassHOPEr101: I m sorry, Kara, I CAN T ask anyone what s going on. I just can t.
KaraBara: Okay, it s your choice really. *changing subject* How s school? And your foster parents?
grassHOPEr101: Well, school is the same. I don t really have any friends. (Don t start on me, though! I know that we wouldn t have befriended anyone who came this late in the year but it really hurts!) I normally go and eat lunch in the library just so I don t have to feel like a loser in the cafeteria with nobody to sit with
KaraBara: And your foster parents?
grassHOPEr101: Well they have gotten a bit nicer I think. I mean they still only let me sign on to reward me for stuff but now they re nice about telling me to do chores and stuff like before they were always saying things like, HOPE!!! THE DISHWASHER NEEDS TO BE EMPTIED BEFORE WE LEAVE TONIGHT! but now they re saying, Hope? Could you please empty the dishwasher? It should be emptied before we leave tonight.
KaraBara: Well . that s an improvement!
grassHOPEr101: Yeah, I guess. It doesn t feel like much though
grassHOPEr101: Shoot! I got to go my foster parents are back from their party. They sure do party a lot!
KaraBara: LOL - Bye!!
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004, 7:18 PM
Hope? Are you there?
I m worried. Did something happen?? I haven t heard from you since we instant-messaged on Thursday. That s a lot time for you to go without emailing me or anything.
Is your mom okay??
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 4:58 PM
Subject: VERY WORRIED!!
Hope? Please answer me!!
I m getting really worried now.
I know that you don t really get to use the computer much but normally you can sneak it in while you re preparing breakfast
Something happened to your mom, didn t it? And now you re like sequestering yourself in your room or something.
I know you, Hope. You wouldn t answer my emails for about a week after you asked Mark out and he said, NO WAY! EWW! WHO WOULD GO OUT WITH YOU?!
But, I really need to find out what is going on! I m worried! And, remember, you re my best friend!! Don t you forget that. And best friends don t keep secrets. And they help each other through tough spots in life.
So please tell me what s going on, Hope!
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 6:39 AM
Subject: You know me too well
You know me too well, Kara. So I guess I can t really fool you
Yes, something happened to my mom. On Friday I went to school like normal and, well, during 3rd period I was called to the office.
The hospital had called the school (I had given the hospital my info just in case) and said that I had to hurry to the hospital. That my mom was dying.
The school counselor drove me to the hospital. When I first got there Mom was awake and, well, she just basically told me that she loved me and was super proud of me. And she was glad she finally found me and that I was a wonderful girl.
And then she sort of drifted off to sleep, I guess. And we sat for awhile and watched her chest rise and fall. Rise and fall. Rise and fall. Rise and fall. Rise and fall. Rise and fall. Rise and fall.
And then it just stopped. The beeping of the heart monitor on the wall stopped. The nurse wiped her eyes, whispered gently, She s gone. To me and then scurried out of there.
The whole Mark thing was NOTHING compared to this, Kara. Nothing!!
Afterwards I talked to the nurse who told me that the chemo hadn t worked. Duh. And that the cancer had spread throughout her body
Instant Messaging between Kara and Hope on Friday, April 2, 3:48 PM
KaraBara: I M SO SORRY, Hope!!!!
KaraBara: How are you?
KaraBara: Umm, this is going to sound really rude
KaraBara: But, well, I was wondering
KaraBara: I was wondering if there was a funeral?
grassHOPEr101: No there wasn t because the hospital people said that basically no one knew her (except for me! Her daughter!) and since I couldn t really pay for a funeral or anything they just buried her for me.
KaraBara: Are you okay with that?
grassHOPEr101: I think so. I don t think I could ve dealt with a funeral so this is better. And I visited the cemetery and went over to her gravestone so I had my own private memorial service.
KaraBara: That s nice.
KaraBara: Oh! How come you re on right now?? It s a little early for a party or something isn t it?
grassHOPEr101: *giggles* that s the good thing that came out of this whole mess. My foster parents let me sign on whenever I want now because they feel SO SORRY for me.
KaraBara: Oh, well, I guess that is good.
KaraBara: Oh!! I can t believe I forgot to tell you this!!! I talked with your old foster parents and told them what had happened (they re really sorry by the way!!) and, well, it s pretty complicated
KaraBara: Okay so they never did get another foster kid because the kid they thought they were going to have ended up stealing or something and went to some prison place
KaraBara: And so they asked me if you would want to come back here and BE ADOPTED BY THEM!!!
grassHOPEr101: Actually I think I d really like that!
KaraBara: Well, I think they re going to call you sometime soon so just let me know how it goes, okay?
KaraBara: And I got to go now but keep in touch! Okay?
grassHOPEr101: I will!!
Instant Messaging between Kara and Hope, Sunday, April 4 at 12:20 PM
grassHOPEr101: Hey Kara!
KaraBara: Hope! I can t believe you re actually back home!!
grassHOPEr101: I know! Everything worked out so well! I mean I m going to be adopted by these wonderful foster parents (soon to become my REAL PARENTS!!)
KaraBara: You re going to the same school as your best friend, me!! And most everyone at school likes you (or at least doesn t send you to the guy s bathroom when you really have to pee!!)
grassHOPEr101: And I did get to meet my mom.
KaraBara: Are you happy that you got to meet her? I mean even though she, umm, died so soon?
grassHOPEr101: Yeah. I mean now I don t feel guilty about being adopted.
grassHOPEr101: Plus she was really nice. And it just somehow calmed me to know that I had a mother and father who both really loved me.
KaraBara: That s nice!
grassHOPEr101: Yeah, I mean I wouldn t trade in that experience for anything. I really needed to know the truth and now I do.
KaraBara: Well, that s good then
grassHOPEr101: Want to come over to my house?
KaraBara: Yeah, I ll go beg my mom for a ride.
grassHOPEr101: GREAT!!! I can t wait to actually TALK to you!! It s been SOO LONG since we ve talked face to face!
KaraBara: *giggles* I know what you mean! Well, I ll be right over!!
grassHOPEr101: See you soon!!
Now there is not chance of this letter getting to you. I m so glad I got a chance to show you all my others.
I think I m going to keep on writing to you. Don t worry I m not like loosing my mind or anything. I don t think that you didn t really die and you re still out there or something.
It s just that writing to you has become like writing in a journal for me. So I m going to continue writing to you for the same reasons that people write in journals
And someday I ll see you in Heaven. And then I ll get to tell you about the rest of my life.
P.S. You know how I used to search the obituaries for you? To see if you had died? Well, here is your obituary (I cut it out):
Kelly Marie Drecason
Kelly Marie Drecason of Silver Lake, CT died of cancer on March 26, 2004.
Kelly enjoyed playing scrabble and talking.
She is survived by her only daughter, Hope.
It s kind of weird now that I finally found your obituary. I suppose this is better than discovering that you had died while munching cereal but it still hurts.
I already miss you so much but, I am glad that I finally got to meet you.
I m sorry that what you enjoyed is so vague when I was asked what you enjoyed doing I just sort of blanked out. They only thing I remember for sure was that you loved to play scrabble.
I m also sorry that the whole thing is so short. There is really nothing I could do about it though. I mean there wasn t a memorial service for you or anything.
I m back home now and even though I d rather live with you I m so glad that Ralph and Margaret got to adopt me.
I love you.