Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: HOME (02/07/19)
- TITLE: Given By God
By Sue Gallien
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Another family ripped apart by an enemy they did not believe in. A child saved by a God they did not chose to know.
My husband secures him into the booster seat. We knew God was calling us to intervene. We were taking this little man home. Our son was coming home.
Sitting in traffic his crying quieted. I peeked to see if he had fallen asleep. He stared back at me with red eyes.
“Do you want your drink?” I couldn’t think of anything else to say. His heart was broken, and he did not understand.
“We will eat when we get home.” My husband grabbed my hand to reassure. “What do you want?’
Jeff put his hand back on the wheel and merged into the right lane. “Chicken blocks it is.”
A smile broke on Donatello’s face. A few moments later we were walking into Chick-fil-a. Most children ran to the play yard, not Donatello. He waited patiently at our side in the line. He helped place the order for the whole family…chicken blocks of course.
Jeff found a cramped little table near the play yard. Jeff and Donatello started stacking their chicken blocks to see who could reach the ceiling first. Donatello always won, mostly because he used my chicken blocks to get more height. We laughed and played. For a few moments, we were just another family at dinner.
Donatello ate all his food and some of mine before asking to go play. We watched him run in to play area with the other children.
“Have you decided about his name?”
“Jeff, his dad named him after a mutant turtle. He usually goes by Don any way. We can go with Donald or just Don…just not the turtle name.”
“I looked up his name.”
“Did you find a pizza eating turtle beside it.”
“No. You might be interested in what it means before you rush into any changes.”
I was tired of the argument. “Fine. What does it mean?”
“One who is given by god.” Jeff took my hands in his, “Can you honestly say that is not the perfect name for our son?”
I quietly wept at this revelation. Knowing Jeff had been right all along. We sat in silence watching our son play. Enjoying one of many moments to come.
Once home, Donatello was shocked with a loud “surprise” being shouted in the living room. Our grown children had been at the house all day preparing to welcome their little brother home. The children encouraged us to go see the “baby’s room” which is what they called Donatello. We protested wanting to enjoy time visiting.
We finally relented and walked down the hall to Donatello’s room. He opened the door and shrieked with glee. During the day the room had been repainted and new bed put in the room. It looked like a fort. A lofted bed with a desk underneath. Then on the wall facing the bed, a giant mutant turtle stood guard. Donatello ran from one thing to the next. After looking at every little thing out he ran to me and hugged me tight. I knelt to his level and saw he was crying again.
“What is it sweetheart?”
“Is this really mine?”
“Of course, it is, Donatello.”
“You don’t call me that, I’m your Don.”
“You are my one who is given by God and this is home.”
Author Note: This is a fictional exchange based on real events. The foster care system is over run and thousands of children are being released by parents who are held in strongholds of addiction and criminal activity.
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