60. Faraway Island

A COUPLE WHO LIVED on an orchard was unable to conceive children. They adopted a son and patiently cared for him through his years of childhoodanger. He later became a pilot. Then they adopted a daughter. She was all through her childhood a constant source of goodness in their lives. On her fourteenth birthday, the girl asked about her 'real' parents. The couple who lived on the vineyard told their daughter they knew nothing about her biological parents, or 'birth' parents, as they are also called, and that they had adopted her through an adoption agency, which was a religious organisation, which had told them nothing about her other parents.

About a year later, the daughter began to ask to speak to her birth parents. The couple on the vineyard were unsure how to respond, and asked for a week to think about it. At the end of the week, they told their daughter they would write to the religious organisation. The religious organisation replied that their daughter's birth mother was a woman who lived by herself in a small town on a distant island. About the father, nothing was known.

Soon after she was given this news, the daughter began to ask to meet her birth mother. The couple on the vineyard once again asked her to give them a week to consider her request. After a week, they told her they had decided that she could meet her mother on her eighteenth birthday. Until then, she was free to write her letters only.

The daughter and her birth mother began to write to each other. She repeatedly told her birth mother how much she yearned to meet her. Each time, her birth mother replied by telling her daughter how much she also yearned to meet her in return, but that they must respect the wishes of her adopted parents, who had been such good parents. They corresponded in this way for several years.

Towards the beginning of the daughter's eighteenth year, the flow of letters from the birth mother stopped. After a second month without a letter, the daughter convinced the couple on the vineyard to write to the religious organisation a second time. The organisation replied by apologising that she hadn't been informed sooner, there must have been an administrative oversight. Two months earlier, her mother had passed away in an accident. She had been a passenger in a light aircraft that had crashed on a flight from the island to the mainland. Her body hadn't been recovered.

The girl was deeply saddened by the news, but she remained a constant source of goodness in the lives of her parents. On her eighteenth birthday, the girl asked to be sent to a faraway university. After her studies, she went travelling, travelling far and wide for many years. She met a man in Spain, fell in love with him and married him, and spent her life there.