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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Minute(s) (as in time) (03/03/11)

TITLE: Eternity is in It
By Betty Farrow


She paced the hall outside the courtroom, too anxious and excited to sit still. He played with the baby, keeping him entertained by making funny faces and playing peek-a-boo. When Roy giggled loudly, Jill stopped pacing to watch the two of them--her husband and the precious little boy that was about to legally become their son. Her heart was filled with love and joy.

Jill thought back to the minute she answered the phone call. They could pick up their son the next day at three o’clock. In less than 24 hours she would be mommy; Tom would be daddy. Their prayers were to be answered, their lives forever changed.

The required six months had passed quickly and today they would appear before a judge to make the adoption legal. Jill was apprehensive. She would give her life for Roy. Why was the wait so long? What if something went wrong? What if there was an error in the paperwork? What if the natural mother burst in and stopped the proceedings? What if the judge declared them unfit to be parents? What if? What if? Jill didn’t think she could live if Roy could not belong to her and Tom.

The wait was unusually long but the judge had agreed to hear the case between other matters of life and death before his court. So they waited. Finally, the judge’s assistant told them to go in and the three of them faced the judge. Jill and Tom were apprehensive. Roy was unimpressed but definitely enjoying the attention.

Adoptions were usually a pleasant task in a gruesome day. Today was different. The judge had been detained because his teenage daughter had been in his office. It had been just over six months since she had placed her baby up for adoption. “Is it too late to get him back?” she asked her dad, sobbing uncontrollably.

The judge thought about the young couple in the outer chambers awaiting his approval of adoption. Torn between the law and family, a childhood poem came to his mind.

I’ve only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can't refuse it,
Didn't seek it, didn't choose it.

With a heavy heart he comforted his daughter and called for his wife to pick her up. He then went out to meet the happy family.

The poem kept playing through his mind.

But it's up to me to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it,
Give an account if I abuse it

Putting aside his normal speech he asked the couple if they were willing to make the commitment and explained that once he signed the order, they could never disown this little boy, no matter what happened in his life.

Satisfied with their answer, the judge uttered the words, “so be it,” with a voice gruff from the emotion welling up within. “Congratulations. You are the proud parents of Roy Wayne. Take care of him and cherish him every day.” Hastily, the judge left the bench.

His wife and daughter were gone by the time he returned to his office. The judge laid his head in his hands and sobbed just as his daughter had done earlier that afternoon. He sobbed for her. He sobbed for himself. The judge would never know his grandson. Would he be happy? Would he be cared for?

Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.

Later that night, Jill and Tom looked on the face of their sleeping baby. Their hearts were overflowing with love and joy. He was legally their baby, no one could take him away from them.

Later that night the judge sat beside his daughter’s hospital bed looking at the peaceful expression on her face induced by the sedative the doctors had given her. She had cut her wrists just before supper, but they had found her in time. Another minute and it would have been too late.

Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.

**Note. My information on the poem shows that the author is anonymous.

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This article has been read 371 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/11/11
The story was interesting and intense. I liked how it showed the similar conflict God must have felt when giving his only son up to the world. Although the writing was good and the message fantastic, I kept thinking the judge wouldn't be handling his grandson's adoption -But there is awonderful term called literary license which makes it possible. Good job I enjoyed it and really felt the conflict.
Judie Stone03/12/11
I loved this story. I too wrote about adoption. My story was based on my own adoptive sister. I couldn't help thinking that I wouldn't have had my sister if one minute would have been different when she was born. Great story, I call it a winner for sure.
diana kay03/14/11
great story! there are so many really good stories in the begininners this week and yours is on my top winners list (lets hope the judges agree)
Sydney Avey03/15/11
I very much like the suspense in this story. You gave me just enough information at just the right time to keep me reading. The interplay of emotion and duty was compelling. The poem gave context to the story. Nicely done.
Jennifer Hill03/16/11
Wonderful writing! Maybe you can tell us more about the daughter and judge this coming week with the topic. How did she cope from so much trama to her soul? Did she find God? I hope you can tell us!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/11
Congratulations for placing 12th in level 1!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/11
Congratulations for placing 12th in level 1!