Luckily for Charity, her mom had left her to a nice woman who promised to take good care of her for the rest of her life. Charity was excited! She was going to go live a new life, and where she would miss her mom, she would not miss that cage. When Charity got to her new home she realized that this place was not all it was cracked up to be either. The woman was really nice to her, however the chaos of the house was to much for Charity to handle! At this house Charity had a lot of other foster siblings. Where Charity's new mom meant the best, and had a heart of gold, she just couldn't say no to another kid in need. Well, Charity hated this and began to act out like most teenage kids do. Instead of dealing with Charity's feelings or needs though, Charity went back to living in a small cage from morning to night. This lasted for nearly 4 years, until her adoptive mom got sick and could not take care of her or her siblings any longer. Charity didn't know it yet, but her life was about to change for the better!
Charity was scared and in despair as she looked at all the people who came into her house one night. They were there to take her to an orphanage. She was depressed and unhappy but found the ability to hope once more. There was this one woman who, kept telling her: "Don't worry, we are here to help you. You will have food and water soon, and the noise of this place will soon be a distant memory." Charity didn't honestly believe her, however she found that hope was the only thing that she had. So with every bit of her heart, Charity prayed and asked God to please help her find a home where she would be loved and would not have to be locked up in a cage again.
Charity was driven to an orphanage where there were a lot of other kids. It was cold there, but she had a blanket and a bed for the first time in her 8 years of life, and Charity loved her new bedroom! It was much bigger than the cage and it even had a door that lead to an outdoor balcony! How exciting to be able to sit out on the balcony and listen to the birds sing. The chaos of that place was a bit too much for Charity also, but what's a girl to do?
Later that day 4 women came by her room, and stood there looking at her. They discussed if they thought Charity was deserving of a home, and agreed right away that indeed she was. Charity got excited. There was something familiar about one of the woman, and suddenly Charity remembered her! That woman was the same woman who came in to her house and brought her to the orphanage! The lady said, "I will take this little girl home with me and give her a foster home until her forever home can be found." Charity was so excited, that she couldn't contain herself! (But, she would because she was very stoic and didn't know if she truly believed in happy endings....)
Later that night, just as the woman promised, she came back for Charity. She asked Charity, "What is your name little girl?" Charity was so shy and nervous that she just couldn't speak. Try as she might, Charity could not muster the words to tell the woman that her name was Charity. The woman said, "We need to give you a name. A name as beautiful and as wonderful as you are. Do you like the name Stella?" Charity shook her head yes, because she was crying so hard that she couldn't form the words to tell the woman just how lovely she thought that name was. Finally, for the first time in her life Charity was going to go to a home where she would be free. She was going to be loved, cherished, and above all understood. As Charity walked out of that orphanage, she put her head up in the air, faced the sunshine and left the past behind her. She shed the name Charity, because she was a charity case no longer, and she would now be known to the world as Stella!
Stella loved her new life. She was finally free to be the kid that she always dreamed of being, with the family that she always wanted. She figured out how to socialize with other kids, how to deal with her emotions, and how to be part of a family. She learned where the best nap spots were in the house, and that if she was quiet her foster mom wouldn't realize she was eating the best morsels of food from the trash can. (Her foster mom told her this was very unbecoming of a lady, to which Stella just rolled her eyes and ignored her....) Perhaps the thing Stella loved the most, was all the kisses and hugs she got in her new home. She had always dreamed of being loved!
One day, Stella's foster mommy came to her with tears running down her face and said: "Stella, it has finally happened. The adoption agency called and they think they found you a forever family. The new family would like for you to come live with them and they would like to make you a permanent member of their family. What do you think?"
Stella was confused. She loved her home now, and she loved her foster mom so much, but the more she thought about it she realized that this was a good thing. She would gain a brother in this merger and as much as she hated to admit it, it was kind of fun having a little brother to push around and pick on. Plus, this would free up her foster mom's home for one more little girl or boy who needed to be loved. Stella told her foster mom that she was ready and a week later Stella was floored to meet her new mom.
Her new mom was everything she had ever hoped for in a mom! She was kind, and pretty. She was patient and understanding, and the best part? She loved Stella. (And she loved her pesky little brother too....) So, Stella hopped in the car with her new mommy and brother, ready to take on the excitement of the world and started her journey to her new home 1,100 miles away. And the rest of Stella's story? It remains unwritten, but what we know for sure is that where there is hope and love anything is possible....