Sampler: Sarah’s Home by Vicky Whedbee
January 18, 2020
Vicky’s characters are flawed, and real with heart and warmth. You can “see” them as surely as if they were in front of you. Her writing made me laugh and cry. Read an excerpt from Sarah’s Home.
The story of those you came to know and love in Sarah’s Song continues in rural Appalachia, Hurricane Hollow, Tennessee, in 1956!
After learning of the horrific abuse of her adopted son endured during his childhood with nowhere to escape to, and then losing her best friend to more senseless violence, Millicent Thornton embarks on a journey to provide a safe haven for anyone that needs it.
She builds Sarah’s Home in honor of her late friend, bringing her dream to fruition, however, it isn’t long before she realizes she has seriously underestimated the need of such a facility.
Nor could she ever have imagined that her life and the lives of those closest to her would be turned upside down with the arrival of the first few occupants, and changed forevermore when the identity of another patient is learned!
Sampler: Sarah’s Home
She became a beloved fixture at the hospital and some say Tenley’s parents’ ignorance of her deformity had been a blessing, for had they not sent her away, she surely would have died.
After a year, she was moved to another facility, until a home was located that could tend to her continued medical needs. Due to the issues with feeding and many surgeries, she was much smaller and less advanced than most children her age. When she was a little over two years old the family that had been caring for her had another child of their own, and the extra care Tenley required was too much for them to continue with. So again, Tenley was sent from home to home, until it became apparent she was too fragile to be around even other children her own age, much less older, more physically active or aggressive children.
She was three years old, homeless, tiny, and barely walked or talked when word got around of the opening of Sarah’s Home. The fact that the home was new with no other children in residence as yet, and the specialized care she would receive immediately, made it a perfect choice, and more correctly, the only option available.
Millicent couldn’t believe that she and Virgil had gone so long yearning for a child, and now they not only had Adohy, but this little girl, who had been shuffled around for three years before finding her way to them. Sure, she realized that Tenley had been sent to the Home, not to her and Virgil, but the fact remained that she had no family, none that accepted her anyway, and if Millicent’s heart had any say, she suspected Tenley would soon become the newest member of the Thornton family. Such was why she knew she would have to learn to control her maternal instincts. It wasn’t feasible to think they could legally adopt every orphan that would grace their doorstep. And though Sarah’s Home was created to help the helpless, and a loving tribute to Sarah, Millicent never dreamed until now that it was going to be a culmination of all of her and Virgil’s thought to be unanswered prayers.
For now Tenley resided in Sarah’s Home, as Faith and Adohy were still in Virgil and Millicent’s guest room, not to mention the fact that Millicent had, as yet, to let Virgil in on where her heart was leading her.
The third new occupant was Chalmer. He was five years old and born to a young unwed girl who put him up for adoption in hopes of giving him a better life than she could. He was a little chunky, and when he smiled, dimples appeared on both cheeks. He had reddish brown hair with a sprinkling of freckles across his nose, and there was a little gap between his front teeth. With times as hard as they were in rural Appalachia, he stayed in the orphanage until he was three, before a foster home took him in. But Chalmer was on the precocious side and a year later the foster parents threw in the towel when he slipped off one day and wasn’t found for several nerve wracking hours until he came casually strolling back down a mountain side with a cork gun slung over his shoulder saying he’d been bear hunting. It had been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
From there, he went from home to home until, out of options, he ended up at Sarah’s Home. So far, he’d been a little rambunctious but between Virgil, Adohy, and Faith, they had managed to keep him occupied enough with the animals to keep him out of trouble. Their biggest concern was taking care to see that he and Tenley were kept separated, or closely monitored, when they were together. He was a little too rough and tumble for frail Tenley.
Chalmer was making the rounds now, thrilled to be meeting all the kids from the community. Out of the population of about one hundred fifty from Hurricane Hollow, or “Holler” as they called it, almost fifty percent were children under the age of eighteen. Narrowing that down to children between the ages of five to fifteen, made it approximately thirty kids. Reducing it even further to kids his age, give or take a year, left about fourteen boys and girls. Chalmer thought the possibilities of making some mischief today was endless and he couldn’t wait to get started!
Please click HERE to find Sarah’s Home on Amazon.