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Chapter 1 -4- the social

Chapter 1 -4- the social worker waiting. As she drove him to yet another strange new place, she tried to reassure him. “I’m sorry it didn’t work out with that last family. You were there so long, I thought you might stay permanently.” His blank stare spoke volumes. “Where am I going this time?” he asked. She spoke kindly. “There’s not other home available, so you’re going to the orphanage.” “The orphanage!” “Don’t worry. They’ll take good care of you.” He fought back the tears. “What’s wrong with me!?” “There’s nothing wrong with you, Tommy. Sooner or later, someone will come along and take you home.” At the orphanage, he was lonelier than ever, one of 14 boys with only one dorm mother. Hurt and confusion were daily companions. He blamed his mother for his sad life. If only she hadn’t left me, he kept thinking. Then one day, when he was ten, a couple came to the orphanage and spent some time with him. They came to visit a few more times before they finally took him home to their farm. After he’d been there a while, the social worker arrived, spoke alone with them, then came into the kitchen where Tom was peeling an orange. “Tommy, these people would like to adopt you as their own son.” They would?! The joy that leapt in his heart was quelled by a fearful thought that he voiced: “What if they change their mind?” Republished by Witnessing Made Easy 2018

Chapter 1 -5- The farmer’s voice was firm. “We won’t change our mind, Tommy. We want you to be our son.” “I don’t know,” he spoke honestly. “Nobody ever askedwhat I wanted.” “You’ll be part of our family,” the farmer reassured him. “We’d like that.” They let him think about the adoption for a time, and he finally agreed. His new parents were kind to him, and being on the farm was a healing experience; but he carried emotional scars – especially his birth mother’s abandonment. The years of rejection had taken their toll, and by age 14 he was deeply depressed. One day, watching the cattle on the farm, he asked his dad how the calves knew which one was their mother. “Animals have a sense about that,” the farmer offered. “They can always tell which one is theirs.” “Too bad people don’t have that sense,” Tom retorted. His feeling of despair grew until one night he snuck a knife from the kitchen and took it to his room, determined to end his life. Instead, in desperation, he fell weeping to his knees and cried out to God: “Save me! Forgive me and help me to be loved!” After that he felt hope for the future, but the bitterness toward his birth mother remained stuck in his heart, an emotional splinter he could feel but not reach to remove. The years passed, and Tom graduated from high school. Republished by Witnessing Made Easy 2018