A man notices a little girl waving at him from a mysterious house where no one is supposed to be living and decides to find out who she is.
Tim Jenkins had one of the most unappreciated and necessary jobs in the world: he took away the garbage. Every morning, long before dawn, he and his colleague would drive around the town and take away the refuse the inhabitants had collected the previous day.
No one ever saw them, or at least, no one except for one little girl. Every morning, Tim would get off the garbage truck in front of one particular house and there was always a little girl at the window, tapping on the glass to get his attention.
As soon as the girl saw that Tim looked up, she waved excitedly and mouthed something he couldn’t make out. Tim would wave back and mouth ‘Good morning!’ and the girl would give him a big smile, and look happy.
This would happen every single day, and even though the girl and her family seemed to be living in the house, their garbage bins were always empty, and Tim noticed that the newspapers were piling up on the front porch.
In fact, as the days went by, the house started to look unkempt and abandoned. The only sign of life was the little girl waving from the window every morning before dawn.
Tim started to worry about the little girl, so one afternoon when he was off work, he decided to drive around the neighborhood and investigate. He walked up to the door of the little girl’s house and rang the doorbell.
Tim rang and knocked and waited patiently but there was no answer. He thought that maybe the little girl was at school and her mom was at work, but something just didn’t feel right.
The house next door was very pretty, with a well-kept lawn and roses blooming around the white picket fence. There were no weeds and no newspapers on the porch!
We need to be on the alert for signs that the most vulnerable may need our help.
So Tim walked up to the front door and rang the doorbell. A little while later he heard the sound of footsteps and a pretty woman opened the door. “Yes?” she asked. “How may I help you?
Tim was suddenly nervous. He took off his baseball cap and said, “Good afternoon, ma’am, sorry to bother you. I work with the garbage disposal unit that works this street?”
“Oh,” the woman said. “You do a wonderful job! Thank you!”
Tim grinned. “It’s mighty nice to hear you say so ma’am, but the reason I’m here is a little strange…”
The woman looked intrigued and nodded encouragement, so Tim said, “Every morning when I do my rounds — and this is before dawn — there’s a little girl at the window of the house next door. She’s mighty friendly and always waves, but I have a feeling something’s not quite right, and just now no one answered the door.”
The woman frowned. “Next door? There’s no little girl next door! In fact, I think the family moved away more than a week ago!”
Tim shook his head. “That can’t be! I saw the little girl this morning!”
Tim walked away from the house, but he couldn’t stop thinking about the little girl. When he saw her waving from the window the next morning, he decided to take action.
He called the police and asked them to do a wellness check at the house. Tim explained that he’d seen a little girl at an address where no one was supposed to be living,
That day, two officers visited the house, and when they had no response, they forced the door open. The whole house was empty and still, then they heard a scurrying sound in the kitchen.
There was a little girl hidden in the pantry, staring at them with wide eyes! The officers explained that they were policemen, and there to help her, but the little girl just shook her head.
Then one of the officers said, “A man who drives by in the garbage truck every morning told us you were here!” When she heard that, the little girl smiled and waved her hand shyly. She moved her lips, ‘Good Morning!’ but no sound came out.
The officers realized that the little girl was mute! They also observed there was no food in the house, except for a packet of stale crackers and that the child had been abandoned.
They immediately called Child Services, and one of the officers gave Tim a call to let him know they had found the little girl and that she was now safe. A quick investigation revealed that the child’s father had passed away a few months before.
She had been left in the care of the stepmother, who had simply packed her bags and left the child behind. The police issued a warrant for the arrest of the stepmother for abandonment and child endangerment.
That night, Tim told his wife all about the little girl. Her name was Mia and she was six years old. Tim’s wife looked and him and said, “Tim, our boys are grown and gone, but I always wanted a daughter…”
Tim and his wife applied to be Mia’s foster parents, and two years later they adopted her. It just goes to show that you never know where you are going to find your family!
What can we learn from this story?
- We need to be on the alert for signs that the most vulnerable may need our help. Tim felt that something was wrong and he took action, or Mia would have starved locked in that empty house.
- Families are built on love, not biology. Mia’s stepmother abandoned her, but she found a new and loving family with Tim and his wife.