It took a half an hour before someone showed up to speak with Destiny. A tall black woman with kind eyes knelt in front of Destiny and took her hands in hers. She wore a white coat, her name tag identified her as Tyra, and she worked for the State Department.
“Hi, Destiny. I’m Tyra Whitaker. From what I’ve pieced together, you have no family here, nor do you have a caretaker. Is that correct?”
“Yes,” Destiny muttered. Her eyes never left the floor, and she rocked in her seat. Tyra leaned down to try to meet Destiny’s eyes, but the child refused to look at her.
“I’m trying to find someone to take you in, but life is difficult here. Do you have family in America?”
Destiny shook her head no. Tenney sighed, and I leaned back against the seat back and yawned.
“What’s going to happen to her if she can’t find a family member? Does she go into an orphanage? Foster care? What kind of system do they have in place to take care of her?”
“Jesus,” Sip groaned. “Tenney, the mission is done, man. Let’s get on with it.”
“No, Sip. Ma’am, hear me out. I’ll adopt her and become her parent. What must I do to get her back to the States?”
“Are you certain this is what you want to do, sir?”
Tenney leaned forward and looked Tyra in the eyes. “I’m not leaving here without her,” he deadpanned. “This kid deserves a home, and I’m giving her one.”
Sip groaned but stayed quiet. There was nothing for him to say, as far as he was concerned his name was Bennett and he wasn’t in it. Tyra raised her eyebrows, smirked and said, “Then you need to fill out forms 1-600 and 1-600A since the child is not from a country that’s adopted The Hague Adoption Convention. Then, we’ll go from there.”
Tyra turned to an assistant and said, “Lets get this started.” She turned to Tenney and snapped, “This process isn’t easy. It’s a convoluted mess, and it’s time consuming. If you’ve got patience, I can assist you through it. Just know, this is no overnight process.”
“I know,” Tenney said. He patted Destiny’s hand and glanced over at Sip. “You might wanna jump a flight back home, brother. I’ll be here a while longer.”
“Sure thing, brother. Stay safe out here. Take care of your young’un.”
“You know what that makes you, right?”
Sip turned and looked at his friend and bit down on his upper lip. He shook his head no and said, “What’s it make me?”
“An uncle,” Tenney shouted at him. “You headed to Mississippi, Sip?”
“As fast as I can get there. Tennessee for you and little bit?”
“Yeah, as soon as we can depart. Stay frosty until I see you again.”
“Will do,” Sip said, tossing a wave at his friend and niece. “Later kiddo.”
Without another word, Sip walked out of the building and caught a bus that stopped off at the airport. It was time to get back to the States and live the quiet life once again.