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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Forever-Family
By Catrina Bradley


“Julie, honey-child, what’s wrong?” Evelyn pulled her reading glasses off and let them dangle from the silver chain around her neck. She set her Bible on the table to her right and beckoned to the sniffling, weeping child fidgeting in the doorway of her sitting room. “Come tell your Grammy all about it.”

Seven-year old Julie stumbled across the room into Evelyn’s waiting arms. “They won’t play with me. They’re mean!” She wailed into the older woman’s ample bosom.

“Ssh, now, shh.” Evelyn took Julie into her lap and stroked her blond tresses, rocking, murmuring, and cooing, until the sobs had become hiccups. She sat the child upright and put a withered palm to each side of her face, wiping her tears away with crooked thumbs. “Now, tell Grammy what happened.”

“I don’t have anyone for me. The boys won’t let me play with them, and Tammy and Sue have each other and ignore me, and the big girls don’t want to play at all, and I don’t have anyone. They’re all having fun and no one wants me. They don’t like me.”

“Nonsense. Of course your cousins like you.”

“NO! They don’t. They tease me and call me names and laugh at me and run away from me. I hate them.” Fresh tears spilled down her cheeks.

“Now, child, hate is strong word. You may not like how they're acting right now and that’s ok, but I don’t want to hear you say ‘hate’ about your family.”

“They’re not really my family. I don’t have no family.”

Evelyn pulled a few tissues from the box on her side table. “We are your family now, your forever-family, and we all love you. Here, wipe your face and blow your nose. I’ll tell you a story about another forever-family.”

Julie rubbed her cheeks and honked into the tissues, then handed the crumpled wad to her Grandmother. Evelyn set them aside and pulled the soggy girl close, setting her rocker in motion again.

“Many years ago, a long time before even my own grammy was born, there lived a man named Abraham. Now, God knew Abraham was a real special man, a real good man, and God loved him. So much so that he called Abraham His own child.

“All of Abraham’s life, he lived for God and loved God, so God blessed Abraham and his wife, Sarah, with a baby they named Isaac. Isaac had many children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. God considered all of Abraham and Isaac’s family His children because of how much He loved Abraham. Isaac’s family was called Israel, the children of God. They were His chosen people.

“But see, God wanted all the people in the world, not just Isaac’s family, to be His children. So He made a plan to adopt them all.”

Julie looked up at her Grandmother with wide eyes. “Dopt? Like me?”

“Yes, honey-child, just like you.” Evelyn brushed Julie’s tangles away from her flushed little face. Love poured out of the older woman’s warm, green eyes. “You know about Jesus?”

“Jesus is God’s son and He died for my sins. I learned that in Sunday School.”

“That’s right, child.” Evelyn kissed the top of her head and hugged her. “That was God’s plan—-for Jesus to die. But that was only part of His plan. God made Him alive again. Raised Him right up from the dead.”

“Why, Grammy? Why’d He do that?”

“So we’d believe in Him. And so we’d love Him.”

“But what about the doption?” Julie squirmed around to look at her grandmother.

Evelyn chuckled. “I’m getting there. See, the best part of God’s plan was this: He said that anyone who believes that Jesus died for their sins and that He rose from the dead, and loves Him, well, God said he would adopt them and make all of them His children, too. We’d all be his forever-family.”

“Wow. Mommy and Daddy said they could only pick one kid to dopt and they picked me. God dopted everybody?”

“He’ll adopt anyone who believes in Him, yes. Pretty cool, huh?”

“Yeah, Grammy, that’s cool.” Julie’s little brow wrinkled and Evelyn could see her processing this idea. “God must have a real big house.”

“Indeed He does, child, indeed He does, but that’s a story for another day.”

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This article has been read 1023 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dianne Janak04/10/08
I just decided to read something early. Your title caught my eye, because its our hope and our promise. What a wonderful way to comfort a hurting child and get things in spirtual perspective. Today this story comforted me, and I'm a grandmother. Great idea and execution. Thanks!
Joanne Sher 04/12/08
Wonderful descriptions and characterization on BOTH characters. Love the dialog too - and that last line is precious. (I hope I get to hear the "another day" story)
Dee Yoder 04/12/08
It's so good to have a Grandma who can bring depth and wisdom to our lives when we're children! Your character's gentle ways and wise instruction are sweet and lovely.
Lynda Schultz 04/12/08
How wonderful to have a granny who takes to time to explain the eternal to her grandkids. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 04/12/08
Very sweet, and would be a good read-aloud for a young adopted child. My only red ink is that the little girl seems younger than 7...but it's been a long time since I had little ones, so I could be wrong. As far as characterization--you did a great job with both of your characters!
Kristen Hester04/12/08
EXCELLENT CHARACTERIZATION AND DIALOGUE!!! You really nailed the image of the comforting, ideal grandmother. I could picture her rocking in the chair. This was so satisfying, like a warm cup of cocoa.

Red Ink? I'm not sure I have much to red ink. The only tiny suggestion I have is that I wish the granny had given her some practical advice to help the girl deal with and get along with her cousins. But this is great!
Chely Roach04/12/08
I absolutely loved this line: "She sat the child upright and put a withered palm to each side of her face, wiping her tears away with crooked thumbs."
Your descriptions paint the picture for me so well...and your character's were very believable to me.
Lyn Churchyard04/12/08
I could hear Grammy and Julie talking. I could hear the kids outside playing. You've done a great job here Cat. What a wonderful grandmother!
Marita Thelander 04/16/08
Great story. I am glad Iam dopted, too.
Loren T. Lowery04/16/08
What a precious story and so well-told. Bless those who are able to give lessons at just the right moment. Truly, it is a gift.
Sara Harricharan 04/16/08
Oh, what a precious little girl! I loved the character of Julie! Especially her wise-and loving grandmother. That's so special-I really liked the details like the rocking chair and the silver chain on her reading glasses. It makes it special. Great writing! ^_^
Debbie Wistrom04/16/08
I'm going to share this with a friend how has adopted a little one. Wonderful story. What a blessing.
Joshua Janoski04/16/08
The child in this story is precious and so is her grandmother. I loved how you took this story and used it to tell of God's love. The characters were superb and so was the dialogue.

I hope this one places high this week, because it is a gem.
Joanne Sher 04/18/08
Congrats, Cat, on placing 10th in your level and 16th overall. Awesome, girlfriend!