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The Ties That Bind
by Stephen A. Peterson
05/16/13
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The Ties That Bind
© 2013

by


Stephen A. Peterson


While waiting for the pediatrician to give her daughter a DTP shot, Second Lieutenant Roxanne Mathes was attracted by the smile of a very small girl. “I’m gonna get me a leg and then I’m gonna walk in a few weeks after I get it,” she confided. “The doctor just said so!”

The door of the examination room opened and her mother came out with a boy with no arm.

Lieutenant Mathes was shocked. “That woman and her husband must really have it tough,” she said to the nurse when they had left the doctor’s office.

“She’s one of the happiest people around this installation,” she replied. What is interesting is that she has had a difficult life. She is the daughter of an alcoholic father and mother. Her parents were in and out of treatment facilities. She met her husband while visiting her father in one of those facilities that rehabs alcoholics. His mother was a patient in the same facility. Later, when they were deciding whether they should get married, they came to me. I told them what they might expect. They decided to go ahead and get married but they would never have children. Then they decided they really wanted children and adoption would suit them. They didn’t want a perfect child. They wanted one with the cards stacked against her or him.”

“So with the help with a Christian adoption agency, I was able to find Jan for them. She’s a girl from Iraq. Her whole family is gone. On top of that she lost her leg in a bombing at age 3. She’s 5 now. About a year ago, they found Robert a little boy from the Philippines. He has hepatitis B as well as no arm. And they are going to welcome another little one soon.”

Lieutenant Mathes stared at the nurse. “You mean--?”

“As soon as Jan gets her leg and is walking, a really pretty little Brazilian girl also battling HIV will be joining the Sergeant’s family. In my view, Lieutenant, Sergeant and Mrs. Roger and Rita McClune are rearing the finest family on this whole post! There is so much happiness and love in that family that it is difficult not to notice! You did! Didn’t you?”

Lieutenant Mathes could say nothing.


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