Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Suddenly Steffany burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably.
"I wanna go home," was all she would say between sobs.

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#53- Willingly Wanted

A Character story about love.

Julie and her new friend Steffany bounded up the stairs to Julie's room.
"Come on," Julie suggested, laying her book bag her desk, "you can help me pick up these books and toys first." Julie began to work happily, not noticing that Steffany was standing in the corner, covering her face. Finally Julie stopped and looked up. "Come on, Steffany, aren't you going to help me?" Then noticing her strange posture, Julie got up and walked over to her. "Is something wrong?" Suddenly Steffany burst into tears, sobbing uncontrollably.
"I wanna go home," was all she would say between sobs.
"I can't take you home because your mom won't be home for another hour." Julie encouraged her to sit down on the edge of the bed where she put her arm around Steffany and sat quietly until she stopped crying.
"You feel better now?" Julie asked with a smile. Steffany nodded, smearing tears across her face with the back of her hand. "Here's a tissue. It works a lot better. When I get upset about something, I always feel better after a good cry too. You shouldn't be ashamed of that. Can you tell me what's upsetting you?" Steffany looked down and shook her head. "Well, I usually feel better when I talk to someone about what's upsetting me. You might feel better if you could talk it out. I can keep a secret."
A long silence followed and finally Steffany looked over at Julie. "I've got a secret that I haven't told anyone else here. You have to promise not to tell anyone."
Julie thought back just a few weeks before at what happened when she promised Jason she wouldn't tell about the mysterious garage. "I won't tell anyone . . . that is, unless it would hurt you to keep it secret."
"It only hurts when other kids find out . . . You wouldn't make fun of me, would you?"
"Oh, I promise I wouldn't make fun of you, no matter what it is." Julie braced herself as Steffany continued.
"O.K . . . Well . . . uh . . . I mean . . . Well, I-I'm adopted. And so is my brother and sister."
"That's it?" Julie asked in surprise. "That's the whole secret?" Steffany nodded. "Well, that's a relief. I thought maybe you robbed a bank or something the way-" but Julie caught herself when she saw how serious Steffany was. "So why are you crying about that?" Julie asked. "Lots of kids are adopted."
"Because when you were talking with your dad about that cowbird, I began to think I must be just like that because . . . well . . . they aren't my real parents either."
"Oh, I don't think it's the same at all! After all-" Just then there was a wrap on Julie's door. "Come in," she said as Steffany wiped her face off to conceal any evidence of crying. Mrs. Jensen opened the door and entered, carrying a plate of cookies and two cups of milk.
"Hi. I thought you two might like a little treat. I'll put it on the desk here."
"Wow! Thanks, Mom," Julie grinned. "Mom, this is my new friend Steffany. She's Jonathan's sister."
"How do you do, Steffany. I'm glad to meet you."
"Nice to meet you, too," Steffany responded looking down shyly.
"We were just talking about adop-" but Julie caught herself. "I mean we were just . . . talking." Julie looked at Steffany feeling ashamed that she almost gave away her secret already.
"It's O.K." Steffany said to Julie. "You can tell your mother."
"Tell me what?" Mrs. Jensen asked.
"Well, Steffany was just telling me that she is adopted."
"Oh? Well, that's very special, Steffany. In fact, . . uh . . . I'm adopted too."
"You are?" Steffany responded in surprise.
"Mom, you never told me that," Julie said.
"Well, it's true, but not in the sense you're thinking right now. I mean that I was adopted into God's family. I was just reading about it this morning in Romans 8 verse 15. It says we have received the 'Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father.' This means that when we receive the Lord Jesus as our Saviour, we can then call God Father and even 'Pappa' because He adopts us into His heavenly family. Isn't that wonderful?!"
Steffany's face began to brighten. "But why do other kids laugh at me when they find out?"
"I don't know, Dear," Mrs. Jensen said, sitting next to Steffany and giving her a hug. "But in some ways being adopted is even more special than being born into a family. After all, your parents had a choice and they wanted you and chose you. That's extra special, isn't it?!" Steffany looked up at Mrs. Jensen with a slight grin and nodded. "Let me tell you a story that best describes my adoption," Mrs. Jensen continued. "In one shepherd's flock both a mother sheep and another baby sheep died. The lamb whose mother died would soon starve to death without a mother. But the mother who lost her baby would not adopt the orphan as her own. Finally the shepherd got an idea. He skinned the dead lamb and then draped the bloody skin over the back of the orphaned lamb. The lonely mother lamb walked over to the baby and smelled it. It smelled like her own. Soon both mother and baby were happy for she willingly accepted it as her own. She adopted it, didn't she? You see, because the dead lamb shed its blood, another lamb was allowed to live. That's just what happened to me, girls. The Bible says we were as sheep going astray in sin. When Jesus died for us, He was like a lamb going to the slaughter. But because He was willing to go to the cross and die for me, I am made acceptable to the Father for Christ took my sins away. Now I'm 'chosen in Him.'"
"Wow!" Steffany responded, sounding even brighter. "That's a wonderful story. I guess being adopted isn't something to be ashamed of at all."
After Jonathan and Steffany left, Julie found her mother in the kitchen. "That was great that you came in just when you did, Mom. Thanks for sharing too. I know it made Steffany feel tons better."
"It wasn't exactly a coincidence. Your father saw that Bethany was hurt about something and suggested I might be of help. I waited until she stopped crying before I came in so I didn't embarrass her."
Julie grinned. "You're really great, Mom. I know I couldn't have gotten better parents, even if I got a choice!"
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On the lighter side:

QUESTION: What did Cinderella say when her photographs of the ball did not arrive? ANSWER: Oh, well. Some day my prints will come.

Did you hear about the Panda Bear that went into a restaurant, ate a hearty meal, then pulled out a gun and shot up the place? As he was leaving, the proprietor asked, "Hey, where are you going?" Panda: "Check in the dictionary." So the proprietor looked up Panda in the dictionary: large bear-like mammal, identified with black and white patches. Eats shoots and leaves."