The negotiations were settled, a portion of the money paid, the date set. All that was left was the exchange and the final payment. In two weeks the transaction would be complete and a little girl would change families. Sold on the black market. The buyers were unaware, the middle-man corrupt, the seller eager. She was eager to rid her life of another mouth to feed, another burden to carry, and another problem to deal with. She was the mother, but certainly not the “mom” she was intended to be.
But beyond relieving herself of the responsibility, it was more about the money. There were other children in the home. But this one was the easiest to sell, the easiest to demand a higher price. The buyers wanted a girl, not a baby, not a teenager. The girl fit the profile, the buyers were happy, the girl’s name already changed. She had her pay day and had spent a portion of it on a new dress, new shoes, a night out. Two weeks more and the girl would be gone. No problem, no sweat, no worries. The money was good. And there was more to come.
But something went wrong. The authorities found out, intervened, and rescued the girl. Just in time. Just before she changed families. Just before her life took a dramatic turn. Just before the final payment. Months after being placed at Shadow, the mother made an attempt to complete the transaction. The buyers waited, as did the rest of the money. She tried to recapture the girl, but the girl was guarded and safe. There were walls and razor, people who cared. Just maybe this was best. If she backed off, she might avoid jail time. If she walked away, she could keep the money she had and wash her hands of the girl and the terrible thing she intended to do. Besides, there were other children and plenty of shoppers.
Even though the sale of the girl failed, she still has a new family. A family that loves her, that cherishes her, a family that sees the value in her. A different kind of value. A value that is difficult to put into words, a value that has no dollar amount. Her new mom doesn’t look at her as a commodity to be sold and traded, but as a jewel. Invaluable. Incalculable. Priceless.
But there’s more to the story. She has since joined another new family - a family of believers. She is now a child of God. Adopted into His family - a princess of the King. Even more than her house parents here at Shadow, her Heavenly Father loves her. He paid the ultimate price just to know her, to have relationship with her. He values her more than she can ever know, this side of heaven. This girl was indeed bought. Paid in full. By the blood of Jesus.
**Because of the kidnap and murder of a little boy. Guatemala now has the equivalent of an Amber Alert. The mother in this story is the murderer and is now serving a life sentence behind bars.