"This is our headquarters. The children don't live here. But if they are visiting a parent under supervision or if they are meeting with a new family they are usually here." Ms. Hesston opened a glass door and she and Haider walked in.
"Excuse me, Mrs. Smith? Please tell Nancy that Haider Macan has arrived." A stout woman from behind a desk stood up and walked into a room. She shortly returned with another woman. This one was tall and thin. Her hair was short and looked greased.
"Haider, I presume? Please come this way." The tall woman led him into a smaller room with a large table on it. On the table was spread folders. Each one with a picture attached. "Please have a seat."
Haider sat in a blue, swivel chair and looked her.
"Haider, we spoke on the phone. I am Mrs. Nancy Brackett. These folders are of all the children we have saved from the Middle East during the Gulf War. See if one of these is your sister's." She pointed to the folders.
Haider picked up a couple. He looked at the picture searching for her face and at the names. They were all Muslim names. He looked at one and put it in a pile beside him. There were so many folders and with each on his hope of finding his sister got smaller and smaller. While he was searching, Mrs. Brackett spoke, "We are very pleased that you escaped that country and are now able to join your sister. If any one you know is still in Iraq, we can help them."
Haider shook off her words. Silly Americans, thinking they knew everything. Haider ignored her and continued searching. Finally, he found her. There was her name. Hannah O'Donald? Haider was confused.
"Excuse me, but I think you have the names confused. This is my sister, but her last name is not O'Donald."
Mrs. Brackett took the folder and opened it. She looked over the papers before she spoke.
"The family that she is living with is named O'Donald. They are a wonderful couple. Are you sure this is your sister?"
"Yes. This is my sister. This is Hannah Macan. I would like to see her now. I want to take her home."
Mrs. Brackett laughed. "Haider, you cannot simply take her out of this country. She has been here for eight years. Granted, she seems to have been moved from home to home throughout those eight years. But she has been with the O'Donalds for over three months now. We don't want to mess up what she has with them." Mrs. Brackett stood up and led Haider to the door. "I'm sure you understand. Now, if you will fill out this paperwork we will see that you get placed in a nice home. Maybe one close to your sister."
"Please, just allow me to see her. Just once. Please." Haider looked at her. If there was one thing he remembered of his father, it was that he had to choose his battles. Verbal force hadn't worked, so now he would try pleading.
Mrs. Brackett looked at him and sighed. "I will call them and see if they can come down tomorrow for a visit. Please step into my office."
Her office was simple and each thing matched. She sat down behind her desk and gestured to one of the chairs opposite the desk. Haider sat down and Mrs. Brackett opened the file. She scanned the papers and picked up the phone.