German Child Services

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I’m sweating through my jeans in a hallway in Germany. I’m alone in the hallway, there’s an empty wooden chair to my right. I came here unannounced, and they’ve stuck me out here because they don’t know what to do with me. The corridor is thin and lined with rooms. I can hear voices come out rooms, I’m assuming talking on the telephone, but I can’t see anyone. It’s all sound and white walls and stale air.

A little girl’s voice comes from a room on my left. “Hallo mama.” It sounds like my daughter when she was three. For a moment I forget where I am and think it is my daughter. The sounds of her playing and talking continues. She sounds happy.

I burst into tears.

It feels like a dream, but it’s reality. I just don’t know how it’s mine.

Also published on Medium.

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