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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)

TITLE: Peace in the Disharmony
By Taryn Deets


I watch the falling snow as I wipe the kitchen counter and listen to the disharmony coming from upstairs. This time it is not words they are carelessly shooting at one another like arrows meant to silence or to wound, but music.

Artist playing the flute and Compassion playing trombone wait while Engineer warms up his saxophone. Their younger brother, Soccer, plays the French horn. They are practicing the piece "Shoo Fly" together. The high notes squeak and the low notes are out of tune, but on and on they play. For once, their disharmony sings joy into my soul.

God called our family to adopt Soccer, and his two sisters Filly and Giggles over five years ago. There have been far too many days since then filled with screaming tantrums, anger and a cacophony of sounds as we have tried to meld two families into one. Our adopted children have suffered the loss of their birth parents, their culture and their homeland (Ethiopia). Our biological children have lost their “place” in the family; been judged (because they are Christians raised in a middle class home) by well-meaning family members for the same behaviors that their adopted siblings receive pity for; and developed angry, coping behaviors themselves. The normal sounds of children’s laughter, sibling rivalry, and cries of pain from a bumped knee soon turned into the screaming rage which began to fill our home as we tried to help each of our six children heal.

Our two adopted daughters have been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder. Driving home from a therapy appointment a few days ago, Filly’s screams and accusations were hurled at me so violently that I had to pull over and call my husband for help so that we could drive home in the falling snow. The following day disrespect oozed from her lips as she told me how I’ve ruined her life. The angry words, “I hate you,” are still echoing in my mind even though spoken several hours ago. This afternoon, these scenes keep playing over and over in my mind until I am sinking, sinking, sinking into the darkness.

And then the song; I hear it begin to swell. It’s just "Shoo Fly," but I tell the evil thoughts to “shoo” and leave me alone; the words and the screaming in my mind slowly fade away. As their piece ends, the darkness dissipates and a new song, "Blessed be the Name of the Lord," rises up in my heart so that now I can go back to my work, singing.

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This article has been read 375 times
Member Comments
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Loni Bowden-Horn 02/17/13
Thank you as parents for taking on the challenge of adopting children as well as raising your own.

You point out very thoughtfully the struggle that can come of a blended family getting along.

Loni Bowden-Horn 02/17/13
I would like to understand more about Reactive Attachment Disorder and how it affected the family. You briefly describe it to us but I have never heard about it before.

Is that why your daughter or son hurls such painful comments at you.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/17/13
I enjoyed this creative take on the topic. I found it interesting. The only thing I'd suggest changing is I wanted to meet the characters more. You talked about the kids in the other room but I wanted them in the room so that I could really get to know them more. You did a nice job of wrapping up the ending and bringing the circle full circle. Nice job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/21/13
Congratulations for placing 11th in your level!