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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Billboard/Poster/Sign (any or all) (12/02/10)

TITLE: Deferred, Not Denied
By Fern Brown


Deferred, Not Denied

Bruce and Nicole Sanders drove silently down the snow-covered highway, each fighting disappointment from the doctor’s report. “There is no medical reason why you cannot have children,” he told them. Continuing, he said, “God has a reason for not allowing you to conceive yet, but remember His promise – All things work together for good…”

Romans 8:28 was their life verse. A huge poster hung on his office wall at the daycare he managed. Daily she recited the verse with her class of pre-schoolers as a constant reminder of God’s promise.

They planned to start a family the day they married. Five years later, they were still childless. Hot tears streaming down her cheeks could have melted the icicles on the trees when Nicole noticed a billboard with gigantic letters, ‘ADOPT A PET.’”

She choked on the words as she wept, “Maybe we should adopt a child. I want to be a mother, Bruce. I never wanted a career, only a family to love and care for. Why isn’t God answering that prayer?”

He couldn’t count how often they had asked that question. Emotionally, he replied.
“Maybe it is time to consider adoption, or at least being foster parents again. It tears
our hearts out when the children go back home, but at least we can love them for a while.”

“I think you ought to call Child Custody Services as soon as we get home. This aching for a child is killing me.”

Bruce’s turmoil was equal to hers. Anxiously, he dialed the number, drumming his fingers nervously on the table as he waited for someone to answer. Brittney, the caseworker, said, “I was just about to call you. We have four siblings – all girls – who need a home today for a couple weeks. Are you available?”

“Four sisters? Today?” Nicole’s face beamed as she slipped her arms back into her coat sleeves, grabbed her purse and headed to the car. Bruce jerked his jacket on, replying, “We can be there in fifteen minutes.”

The youngest, fifteen month old Brenda, with blue eyes and blond hair, satisfied their yearning to nurture a baby. Smiling, Nicole cooed as she reached to hold her. Brenda stared with empty eyes, but didn’t fuss. Her siblings, five, seven and nine years old, lacked self-discipline, which was no obstacle to the Sanders. Bruce and Nicole were ‘born teachers’ with hearts full of love for children.

Empty arms ached and broken hearts felt like exploding when the girls went home a month later. Like little ping-pong balls with no final destination, the girls bounced between their birth parent’s and the Sander’s homes. Bruce and Nicole thanked God for opportunities to love them, train them and laugh with them each time they returned, teaching them of God’s love and acceptance.

Abuse increased intolerably over the next three years, allowing the helpless children to remain with the Sanders indefinitely, until finally, the birth parent’s rights were terminated. The caseworker explained, “The girls are wards of the state. The court system tries fervently to keep siblings together. Are you interested in adopting all of them? It’s a big undertaking, especially with Amy, Sarah, and Jill, since they are older.”

Adoption papers were drawn up and proceedings began. Nicole’s excitement made her stomach queasy, and then she came down with a horrible flu, hardly able to get out of bed. A visit to the doctor proved her suspicions true; after almost nine years of trying, she was pregnant.

Bruce, Nicole and the girls laughed about God’s answers to prayer and quoted Romans 8:28 together. They had cried and begged God to bless them with one child, and within the next few months, they would become parents to five adorable children.

The ultrasound revealed the new addition was another girl. Choosing a name was easy. Nicole remembered the story of Hannah in the Old Testament. “For this child I prayed,” she quoted softly. “Hannah will be her first name.”

Driving home on another snowy day, after getting the ultrasound, Bruce looked at the billboard up ahead. “Can you believe that billboard? ‘A miracle named Hannah’. We are blessed beyond our wildest dreams, Nicole!”

Nicole repeated tenderly, “A miracle named Hannah. How do you like the name Hannah Miracle?”

“It’s absolutely perfect. God is so good.”

KJV And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon12/09/10
Loved this story. Great writing and once I started reading I had to continue. Good job and right on point. Keep writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/12/10
This is a touching story. There are so many kids in foster care that need a stable home. I liked how you described the characters. I could feel their pain.
Lizzy Ainsworth12/12/10
This article is beautiful, and I love the fostering part. Have you ever read the Above Rubies magazine? They have a lot of true testimonies such as this. Perhaps you could send it in to them?
diana kay12/14/10
what a great story and so well written right from the start with the frost drive giving echos of the infertility problem. I was confused for a minute about how the foster children were given to the family with just one simple phone call but then i saw that simple word "again", maybe emphasising the fact that the couple had already been foster parents, would save fast readers like myself from losing the flow of the story.
great descriptions life.ns and a lovely ending all ringing very true to life.