I Came to Say Goodbye
It was four o'clock in the morning. The car park outside Sydney Children's Hospital was quiet. A young woman, dressed only in a dressing gown and slippers, pushed through the front revolving door. Security staff would later say they thought the woman was a new mother, returning to her child's bedside - and in a way, she was. She walked past the nurses' station, into the nursery, where a baby girl - a gorgeous, black baby girl - had kicked herself free of her blankets. The infant was laying face down, the way babies sometimes will: her cheek was flat to the white sheet; and her knees up under her chest. The infant stirred, but did not wake when the woman placed the girl gently in the bottom of the shopping bag she had brought with her. The woman put a toy giraffe from the nursery into the bag with the baby. With the bag hanging heavily from her left hand, and the giraffe's head poking up, through the handles, woman walked back down the corridor and out to the car park. There is CCTV footage of what happened next, and most Australians would have seen it, either on the Internet, or the evening news. The woman walked across the car park, toward an old Corolla. For one long moment, she held the child gently against her breast. She put her nose against the back of the girl's head, and with her eyes closed, she smelled her. She clipped the infant into the baby capsule, and got in the car then drove out, turning left at the lights, toward Parramatta Road. That is where the footage ends. It isn't where the story ends, however. It's not even where the story starts.