Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)
- TITLE: The Gift (i)
By Leola Ogle
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“Are you sure you’re okay with this?”
Her dad, looking surprised at the question, covered her hand with his. “I feel that God orchestrated this. Nothing will ever change the fact that you’re my little girl, even if you are 19. You’re our gift from God.”
Tears sprang to her mother’s eyes though. “I’m happy for you, honey. Diane seems like a wonderful woman.”
1000 miles away, Diane lay next to her husband. The tears came, remembering how frightening it felt to be 16 and pregnant; discussing options with her parents and pastor, the decision to give her baby up for adoption, brokenly weeping as she held her beautiful baby girl.
She remembered her baby growing inside her; agonizing through the years if she’d made the right decision. Finally, God gave her a peace. She never forgot that baby though.
Later, God blessed her with a wonderful husband and two sons, but she never forgot her firstborn. Alan knew that she had given a baby up for adoption, and when her sons were old enough, she told them.
She hoped they’d meet someday, but left that up to God. Diane prayed daily for that baby girl and the couple who became her parents.
In less than 24 hours, she would be meeting her. “Katie,” she whispered to herself.
She knew Katie would have questions. Diane prayed she’d understand that at the time, she knew the greatest gift she could give her baby was a better life than she could provide.
The breeze whispered through the open window; the night sounds were soothing. As Greg’s eyes began to succumb to sleep, he heard the soft weeping.
He pulled Carol into his arms, her tears soaking his shoulder. “It’ll be alright, honey. Diane gave Katie the gift of life, and God placed her with us. We have to trust Him now.”
Carol knew he was right, and she did trust God. How could she explain the resurgence of old feelings: desperately wanting a baby, watching time go by as hope fluttered in her bosom only to have nature’s monthly reminder that there was no baby growing inside her womb. When she held Katie for the first time, a fierce, protective love filled every fiber of her being.
When Katie was four, they adopted baby Kevin. Katie loved her little brother. Then they lost him to leukemia when he was ten; the long, exhausting battle to keep their precious boy alive, only to have death win in the end.
Maybe it was irrational, but she felt she might lose Katie also. She wished she had been the one to carry her in her womb, to feel the stirring of life, to bring this beautiful child into the world.
She heard Greg praying, his voice full of tender compassion. The tautness left her body, the ache in her heart subsided, and she drifted into a peaceful sleep.
Katie stared at the ceiling, willing her body to relax. She asked God to give her parents peace, especially her mom. She had always known she was adopted, and was grateful for her wonderful Christian parents whom she deeply loved.
She couldn’t remember how old she was when the questions started. Did her birth mother ever think of her? Why did she give her away? Who was her father? Where did she get her auburn hair and singing ability? Did she have brothers and sisters somewhere?
Searching for her birth mother had nothing to do with loving her parents. They would always be mom and dad, nothing in this world could change that.
Diane awoke with nervous anticipation. She sang as she pulled her auburn hair into a ponytail, her voice lovely and perfectly pitched.
Katie’s parents drove her to the airport. They had talked with Diane that morning, confirming Katie’s flights. Katie hugged her parents like she would never let them go. She wanted to say so many things to them, but only smiled around the lump in her throat. She loved them so much.
Diane and Katie recognized each other immediately. Even if there hadn’t been an exchange of pictures, the resemblance between them was amazing. There was a brief moment of awkwardness, before they embraced.
It would be the beginning of bringing two families together.
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