Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GAMBLE (04/14/16)
- TITLE: Why Not Save the Whales?
By Taryn Deets
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“Dad, because we feel called by God.”
“Well, I’d wager you’ll be better off sending someone money to save the whales. What are you doing to your biological children?”
Stunned, I'd let the conversation drop. In the classes we’d taken to prepare for bringing our African children home, we were told we would experience racism (because we were a white family adopting from Ethiopia) or resistance, but we hadn’t expected it to come from within our extended family.
Our social worker smiled when we told him the story as we met for our home study. He was sure that my father would “come around.”
The summer after our three new children came home, we made a road trip to Texas for my family to meet them. Before we left, we decided that if my dad said anything negative about any of our adopted children, or anything offensive, we’d leave.
Now, after having driven for three days and been stuck in construction zone traffic heading towards central Texas, I had called my sister and told her we were running late and that they should eat dinner without us. No, they would wait for us. I called them when we were finally 30 minutes out.
I remember that day, as though it was…yesterday? No, definitely not yesterday: another life. As we drove up, we saw my dad standing outside the front door. As all eight of us unloaded, I sent up a last minute prayer, as I watched him reach down and scoop up three-year old Giggles.
Looking into her chocolate brown eyes he said, “You are so cute.”
My next prayer was a silently breathed, “Thank You, Lord!”
That first meeting held such hope that this little family was going to be all we had hoped for. But the ensuing seven years of seemingly endless struggle have brought much pain and heartache as we sought to meld our two families into one. Though I hated myself for it, when our home was a raging inferno of screaming, throwing, slamming,and ugly, hurtful tantrums, I began to wonder just what we had done to our family. I often wished that my dad hadn’t asked that question. It had sounded so ridiculous at the time, but as I’ve struggled with the pain and the loss of our old life, the one before adoption, that question has often haunted my thoughts.
“What are we doing to our biological children? Why, we’re giving them siblings, of course,” I had thought back in the beginning.
Now I wouldn’t even consider that saving the whales would have been a better option, though it certainly would have been an easier one. And yet, God rarely asks us to choose the easy way. He asks us instead to take the narrow way that leads to eternal life. And so even if I could go back and change it all, I wouldn’t, because then I wouldn’t see His power to save six of his favorite creatures. I wouldn’t give up the relationship He has built with me. I wouldn’t trade the work God is accomplishing in all of our children's lives, for a dream of what might have been, even if this one is really messy.
Let others save the whales, I’ll keep following the path He’s laid out for me and as long as we keep doing that, I’d wager that all of our children will indeed be just fine.
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