A Kingsbury Collection by Karen Kingsbury

A Kingsbury Collection by Karen Kingsbury

Author:Karen Kingsbury [Kingsbury, Karen]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 978-0-307-56202-9
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Published: 2011-07-20T04:00:00+00:00


The meeting between Kathy Garrett and Dr. Skyler Wilson took place in a visiting lounge outside the girl’s hospital room. Normally it was the type of meeting that would be conducted with a child’s parents, but in this case Kathy was all the girl had.

In the days since Amanda had been beaten nearly to death, Kathy had visited the hospital each night, after her own children were fed and bathed. Now, with her husband at home putting them to bed, Kathy faced the doctor who had cared for Amanda.

“How is she? Really?”

Dr. Wilson wore a dark expression, his eyebrows knit together in concern. He flipped through the pages of Amanda’s medical file and then glanced at Kathy. “Physically? She’s healing. I don’t expect any permanent damage. But the rest … ”

Kathy looked down at her hands and nodded. Amanda might heal from her beating, but she would never be the same again. Her eyes rose to meet the doctor’s once more. “Can she recover from it?”

“She’s a very troubled little girl, Mrs. Garrett.” Dr. Wilson sighed and opened the medical file. “Here. Take a look.”

Kathy reached for the file and her eyes scanned the page. The notations were frightening: “Withdrawn and anxious … Severely depressed … Possibly suicidal … This child has little will to live and talks incessantly about her mother.” Tears welled in Kathy’s eyes and she passed the file back to the doctor. “Her mother isn’t in the picture.”

Dr. Wilson clutched the file and tilted his head. “Is there any effort being made to find her?”

“No. Amanda was given up at birth, Doctor. Even if there were a way to find the mother, I’m sure she’s gone on with her life.”

“What about a foster family?”

A soft rush of air escaped from Kathy’s throat. “She was at a foster home when this happened.”

Dr. Wilson’s eyes narrowed and the muscles in his jaws flexed. “Are police pressing charges?”

“Oh, sure.” Kathy’s heart constricted at the mention of Mrs. Graystone. How had a woman like that slipped through the system and earned a license to provide foster care? Even if she spent the rest of her days in prison it wouldn’t make up for what she’d done. What had happened to this precious child was enough to make Kathy plead with the Lord for His immediate return. “The woman will serve time, but it doesn’t change what happened to Amanda.”

The doctor held her gaze a moment longer. “She asks about you, also. Nearly every day. Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s her mother she’s wanting or you.”

The tears that had been building spilled onto Kathy’s face. “I love her like one of my own, but we can’t take her. We have seven children, doctor. The state says any time she spends with us has to be temporary.”

The doctor sighed. “I hate these situations.” He glanced back at the open door to Amanda’s room. “She’s so … I don’t know, vulnerable, I guess. She needs a home. Isn’t there something the system can do?”

Kathy pulled a tissue from her purse and dried her tears.


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