Kiana spent much of the next year behind her keyboard or digital sketchpad, working. It became a game to see how many projects she could complete each week, and by spring, she’d saved up enough money for the new kitchen.
The original turquoise wall tiles and the brushed concrete floor tiles, which the building super wouldn’t let her change anyway, looked fine once the new counters and appliances were installed. It was a little retro and a lot charming. She filled the kitchen with plants, and it became one of her favorite places to work.
By the time the next winter rolled around, she realized she’d achieved some major goals. Her contract agency had promoted her a few times, and she was earning good pay now, for each project she completed. She even won a professional award for one of her designs. And the best part was that she could control how much she worked, when she took time off, and which projects to accept.
She really felt like she was getting somewhere in life.
This winter, a friend built a snowman alongside hers. He even matched the radical, whimsical style. It looked like the snow buddy was saying, “Peace, dude! Life’s better with two!”
She didn’t know about that. There was something so sweet about the freedom of being single, not having to answer to anybody, waking up happy alone.
She felt that Case and Ira had both given her this built-in understanding that you were complete on your own–you didn’t need anybody to complete you.
Sure, you could have friends, and whenever you needed, you could find somebody to talk to–that was especially easy to do living in her district of the city, where there were always folk out and about, ready to chat.
But the best joy, she felt, came from projects, and her projects were her work. She got such a buzz from sending in concept designs for movie characters and hearing back from the director and producer that her quirky ideas were “just what we wanted!”
She really felt that this life could satisfy her for a long, long time, and she couldn’t anticipate or imagine any reason to make a change in the foreseeable future.
So it came as a huge surprise when she received an email from the Foster Care organization that had placed her with Case when she was a little toddler.
You may not know that we make it a practice to follow the success of those whom we’ve placed with families, and your success has always been of special interest.
Well, that felt a little big-brotherish.
Your recent accolades in graphic design are matched by your reputation in the community as someone always willing to help.
It’s for that reason that we’re reaching out to you.
You may have heard that there has been an increase recently, due to social and demographic pressures, in the number of children needing good foster homes, or even adoption.
We’ve found that former foster children who have been adopted make the best foster and/or adoptive parents. Would you consider taking in a child? We have many, of all ages, who need a good home, one like you could provide.
Holy wow. That was a lot to take in. Would she be willing to foster or adopt a child? Did she have enough to share? Case had been a single professional, devoted to his career, when he took her in. And look at all gifts that had followed. Maybe she owed it to the universe to do the same.