A Taste of Chapter 2 (and a prayer request)

Hi friend! I’ve been editing my memoir lately instead of blogging — thus the silence over here! Want a tiny excerpt?

Jen Writing

From In A Sun-Scorched Land by Jennifer Ebenhack

Chicago 2000

There we’d snuggled, happy newlyweds, on our hand-me-down couch several months into the new millennium, until I’d bolted straight up and looked at Jarod like I’d never seen him before.

“Wait, what did you just say?”

For the split second my question hung in the air, I heard the typical men’s dorm noises all around us — freshman bravado and senior dominance playing out in some version of football that no college kid’s mother would have allowed in her home. But apparently the guys who’d sat in Moody Bible Institute’s Greek and World Religious Systems classes all day were in need of a study break.

“I’d like to adopt.” Jarod repeated, still lounging under the afghan with our names and wedding date embroidered in a heart. “I’ve always wanted to adopt.”

“Always?” I wracked my brain for a memory of any past reference to said life-changing subject. Mission field? Check. Papua New Guinea? Definitely. A love for kids? Yep. Adoption? Nothing.

“Uhhh, I don’t think so, Hon. That definitely would have stood out to me!”

He shrugged, pulling off an understated response that would characterize our conversations for years to come. “Sorry. I thought I had.”

The third floor football game rocked the crystal candle holders on my be-doilyed coffee table, while visions of a completely unexpected future stampeded my brain.

“Are you gonna need to do something about that, Mr. Resident Director?” I asked distractedly, waving at the bedlam above us.

“I’ll give their R.A. a few minutes. He’ll put a stop to it soon.”

I pulled my feet off our apartment’s industrial grade carpet, and perched myself on the couch’s arm. “You do realize this is kind of a big thing not to mention in the whole four years we’ve known each other, right?” I hoped he saw the twinkle alongside the shock in my eyes. But still… Seriously, Jarod? “What if I hated the idea?”

“Well, do you hate it?”

I just squinted at him. “Tell me more. How did this start?”

“I guess with Dr. Badgero. So maybe that’s not quite “always.” Jarod conceded.

“Ah.” Of course it had to do with the prof that everyone raved about. The prof I’d just missed. He’d left his position as the missions department chair the year I came in. “Okay… keep going.”

“He and his wife adopted from a few continents. You knew that, right?”

I nodded.

“It was a calling to them, not just a last resort. Why not parent some of the millions of kids already out there? It’s a mission field. An unreached people group.”

I leaned my elbows onto my knees, letting these thoughts lead mine in a hundred directions. The football game upstairs had been dispersed, but the stillness of the dorm was overtaken by the wail of a fire engine. Chicago streets were never silent.

“So you agree with him?” I finally asked, “You think adoption should be viewed as a mission? A calling?”

But his answer was already clear. And as I dug down deep in my own heart, I found a surprising answer, ready-made somehow, all wrapped up in a bow waiting to be discovered.

I may not have sat under Dr. Badgero’s teaching, but it seemed he’d turn out to have a lifelong influence on me anyway.

Well, there’s lots more where that came from! In a Sun-Scorched Land is all about our years in Haiti living out that call to adopt. We had no idea where that conversation on the couch would lead us, let me tell you!

While we’re talking about this book, can I ask a big favor of you? Would you pray for me to finish writing and editing it this summer? After that, my agent will help me seek publication (which can be a lengthy process).

This is a story of crazy drama, heartbreak, terror, and miracles. I sometimes marvel that I lived it all out. 🙂

But the bottom line is that it was all about God. He is AMAZING. I am dying to put this story of His sovereignty, grace, protection, and love into your hands. So would you pray that He would make it all possible?

Thank you SO much!



8 comments on “A Taste of Chapter 2 (and a prayer request)

  1. All I can say is WOW! This is so where my husband and I are at right now… living out adoption through foster care and calling it out in those around us. Praying for you!

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