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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: God Made Room When I Had None
By Susan Gurney


Linda counted off the items on her mental list: "One, closet emptied. Two, empty hangers hung in closet. Three, clean sheets put on the bed. Four, kid’s books placed on the book shelves. Five, desk dusted. Six, windows cleaned. Seven, carpet vacuumed. Eight, smoke detector mounted. Nine, emergency escape plan taped to the wall. Oh—I almost forgot the most important item—ten, cobwebs swept from the ceiling! I’m afraid Cami Jo would never forgive me if even one spider turned up on her bedroom ceiling. Umm, maybe I should chase the spiders off the deck...but no time for that! Cami Jo will be moving in this very afternoon!"

After one last look around the spare bedroom, Linda walked to the kitchen and sat down to drink her tea. It was hard to believe that over a year ago her husband, Allen, had first brought up adoption. At the time Linda had not been enthusiastic. In fact, she had thought he was joking...

"I'm serious, Linda," Allen had said earnestly, "I've always wanted a little girl. Wouldn’t you love to raise a daughter? There are so many children in foster care who need good homes. We have so much to offer a child: a loving home, a spare bedroom, a caring church family, even a pet, and--since you are a preschool teacher--you know all about children. I bet you would make a great mom!"

Linda shook her head ruefully at the thought of all the excuses she had made to Allen, to herself, to God... "Where are we going to put a child? The spare bedroom is stacked with all the stuff I have no place to store! --And, yes, we have dog—a dog that would probably bite the first kid that walked through the door! As for being a good mother—well, I’ve always had my doubts. Did you forget that I've just started back to work? I’m exhausted at the end of a day of teaching. Where am I going to find the time and energy to parent a child, too? --And look at how old we are—48!—a bit old for starting a family, don’t you think?"

Allen had looked disappointed, but then he had smiled and said, "I don't think any of those things you see as problems are really that insurmountable. Well, just pray about it. You know, when I think of having a daughter, I always picture a little girl just like our step-niece, Cami Jo..."

Now looking back, Linda could see God's hand had been at work in the events of the past year. She had started that school year with a group of lively children that included two that were adopted and two in foster care--one of whom was adopted that very fall. The parents and foster parents of these children had freely shared both their joys and trials with Teacher Linda. Their stories tugged at her heart. Within Linda an empty space of longing had slowly started to grow. In January of that year, Cami Jo was put into foster care by the state. She spent the next year living with her step-grandparents--Allen's parents. Allen had then said aloud what had already started nudging at Linda: "Maybe we should look into adopting Cami Jo." Linda's answer at the time had been, "I don't think so," but secretly she had started praying to know God's will.

Things had finally come to a head a month ago. Allen's mother had called to tell them that Cami Jo would soon be placed in another foster home—a stranger's home--and perhaps adopted out within the year. Allen had turned to Linda and said, "Well, do we want to adopt a little girl?" This time Linda answered immediately with no reservations: "Yes! How do we begin?"

Curiously, Linda's job was suddenly cut to part time, only to be phased out completely in January. Space was found for all that "stuff"; the dog instantly became Cami Jo's fast friend at her first visit; and now on January 11th, their niece—no, their daughter--was to move in with them forever!

As Linda finished sipping her tea, she thought, "I'm so glad God made space for our daughter when I thought there was none. Thank you, Lord! You made space not just in our home, but in my life and my heart, too!"

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Member Comments
Member Date
Alice Lewis01/30/06
A very beautiful and touching story. Well written.
dub W01/30/06
Charming story and fairly well composed. The shifting voice bothered me a bit, took a second read to figure it out.
Marilyn Schnepp 01/31/06
A lovely story. I was interested throughout, which means you kept me until the end. Nicely written, and thank you for sharing.