Teddy's Adoption (The Adventures of Teddy Bear #1)
"Teddy, guess what!" shouted the little girl. "We're moving!"
Teddy's round, glass eyes looked back at her curiously as the light bounced off their bright blue surface. He'd been hearing about a possible move for months that seemed like years, and the whole family was excited about it. In fact, his little girl was so excited that he didn't even have to ask the burning question.
She continued: "We're moving far, far away, to some other country!" she exclaimed. "And we have to have passports and shots and plane tickets and suitcases, and it will be a different time when we get there, because we have to fly across the ocean and everything! Oh, and we'll learn a new language, and I'll go to a new school with kids from another country, and it will be so neat! Teddy, can you believe it?"
"Jenny," came a voice from downstairs, "come help Mom pack your schoolbooks!"
"I'm coming," she called back, slamming her bedroom door and taking the stairs two at a time.
Teddy, however, sat sadly on her bed. He knew he couldn't go on this trip. He wouldn't be moving with the family. He wouldn't see the ocean or the plane or the passports. And he wouldn't be able to live in the new time zone, hear the other language, and help Jenny through the shots.
Why not? Because he'd heard Jenny's parents say everyone could only have a certain amount of luggage. And Jenny's suitcases were already full. There would be no room for Teddy!
But Jenny didn't know this, so she continued on gleefully for the next two days.
At school she told her friends about their new home.
"It's really far away, but I can e-mail you, Mommy says, and send you pictures and even call you sometimes. India, it's called, and we're going, because Daddy has a new job there. I think it will be great!"
But that thought didn't last long.
"Jenny," said her mom, "I need to talk to you."
"What is it, Mommy? Why do you look so sad?"
"Jenny, honey, we've tried to work it out, but we can't. I'm sorry, but you won't be able to take Teddy with you when we move."
"Not take Teddy?" Jenny cried. "But why? Teddy's been with me since I was a baby! I need him! I love him!"
"I know you do, sweetheart. But your bags are already packed as full as they're allowed to be. You can only take so much on a plane to a new country, and even though Teddy is small, we can't take him. I'm sorry, sweetie. You'll have to leave him behind."
That night Jenny squeezed Teddy so tightly that he thought his round, fat belly would burst! It didn't, but his brown, plush fur and embroidered nose became soaked with her tears.
Jenny cried herself to sleep with Teddy in her arms, wishing he could do something to help her.
But the next morning, Jenny's mom had an idea.
"Honey, why don't you let someone adopt Teddy?"
"What's that?" Jenny asked tearfully. Her eyes were red from crying, and Teddy's fur was full of blotches where her tears had fallen.
"It means you give someone else permission to take care of him, and they're his family," her mom explained.
"I can't do that, Mommy," Jenny said. "I love Teddy!"
"I know you do, honey. But letting someone adopt him doesn't mean you don't love him. It just means he has a new home and someone to be with him, take care of him, and love him, just like you would want to."
"Oh," Jenny said thoughtfully, "I think that might be good for Teddy. What do I have to do?"
"Well, there's a second-hand toy store down the street, and we could take him there."
"You mean Mrs. Taylor's store?" Jenny asked.
"Yes," said her mom. "We all know Mrs. Taylor, even Teddy does, and I'm sure she'll find a good home for him."
So, that day after school, Jenny picked up Teddy, cleaned his fur as best she could, and took him to Mrs. Taylor's shop. There were all kinds of toys there--horses, dogs, bears, games, pogo sticks, and other fun things. The shop seemed like a happy place, and all the kids were laughing and playing with toys they might want to take home for their own.
Mrs. Taylor smiled when she saw Jenny. "Your mom tells me you want someone to adopt Teddy," she said. "Is that right?"
"Yes, Mrs. Taylor. I can't take him with me to India, but I want him to have a really good home."
"Well, I'll make sure of that," Mrs. Taylor assured her. "We'll just put him . . ."
Suddenly, there was a commotion near the front door of the shop. A small boy was crying, while his mother tried unsuccessfully to comfort him.
"Tommy, don't cry. It's all right. We'll find another kitten," Jenny heard her say.
"I don't want another kitten!" Tommy wailed. "I want Snowball!"
"I don't think Snowball's coming back, sweetie," his mother said. "We haven't seen him for more than two weeks. It looks like he ran away for good."
While Mrs. Taylor helped someone climb onto a rocking horse, Jenny walked over to Tommy and his mother.
"Hi," she said kindly. "My name is Jenny. I'm sorry about your kitten. Maybe you can get another one. But you might like my teddy, too. I'm moving to another country, and I can't take him. Would you like to adopt him and keep him as your own?"
Tommy's eyes lit up. "Yes!" he said, reaching out to take Teddy from Jenny's arms. "I've always wanted a teddy bear like this one!"
Noticing the blotches on Teddy's fur, Tommy's mother said, "It looks like you love Teddy a lot."
Jenny's lip quivered. "I do," she said.
"Don't worry," Tommy said. "I promise I'll love him and take care of him and do the best I can! I really will!"
"Thank you," Jenny said, smiling. "I know you will. Teddy always made me feel better when I was sad, and I know he'll make you feel better, too."
Jenny walked away, and Tommy and his mother left the shop.
"I saw what you just did," said Mrs. Taylor when she returned from the rocking horse section. "That was very nice of you, Jenny."
"Tommy will love Teddy as much as I do. And Teddy will be safe with him. I'll miss him, but I'm glad he has a good home."
As Jenny went home to finish getting ready for the move to India, Tommy carried Teddy down the street to his house.
"This is my room," he told Teddy, opening the door to a sunlit room decorated in blue and yellow hot air balloons. "I hope you'll like it here."
Teddy missed Jenny, but he was glad Tommy felt better. He also liked the balloons. It would be fun to take a hot air balloon ride, he thought. Maybe he and Tommy could do that someday.
"Oh!" exclaimed Tommy, looking out the window. "Daddy's home!"
With that, Tommy set Teddy on his bed and ran outside to hug his dad.
"Well, son, Mom tells me you've adopted a new bear. Take good care of him, especially when we go up in the balloon on Saturday!"
"Wow!" shrieked Tommy. "We're really going?"
"We sure are!" answered his dad.
"Teddy, oh Teddy!" Tommy yelled, rushing back into his room. "We're going on a hot air balloon ride on Saturday! And you can go! Daddy works with hot air balloons, and he's taking me up in one! Won't that be great?"
Even though it was sewn on, Teddy's smile felt like it was growing bigger and bigger, because he was so happy. When he lost Jenny, he thought he'd never have any fun again, or that his new family would leave him behind. But here he was with a nice, happy boy and a hot air balloon ride to look forward to!
And Teddy Bear knew, without a doubt, that adoption was a good thing and that he'd have many adventures to come!