“I need to make them like me.”
“They’ll like you.” Matt put her toiletries into the suitcase.
“Are you kidding? I drop out of nowhere and say, ‘Hi, I’m your biological mother and I need a lobe of your liver.’ They’re just girls, Matt.”
“They’re grown women now, honey.”
Twenty-four and twenty-two years old-but in her mind, Julia saw her daughters as infants. Born seventeen months apart of different fathers, they didn’t know they had a biological half-brother. They didn’t know they had each other, and they didn’t know her.
Adoption had been the right thing to do. The loving thing to do. The only thing she could have done, and survived.
Destiny Connors–the eldest–was just a plane ride away in Los Angeles. Matt said that the adoptive parents kept her name. An impulsive choice because Julia had been only twenty and thought maybe the name would bring her child the strength Julia didn’t have.
“I’ll have one shot to make a good first impression and oh-my hair! I can’t work the curling iron and brush with one hand.”
“So stop at a salon on your way to . . . um . . .” He coughed to hide the catch in his throat.
It could not have been easy to hear about Julia McCord, the girl who had gotten pregnant by two different men and bore two babies out of wedlock. She and Matt had buried that past so many years ago, had lived in the present every day of their marriage, because that’s what Jesus said to do and that’s what Dillon needed.
…Matt drew her into his arms. He breathed steadily, his eyes closed. After twenty years of marriage, she knew what he prayed. God, please don’t let Julia drive herself crazy in Los Angeles. Please give her wisdom, strength, graciousness. Please heal her hand. Please save our son. Please afflict me in his place. Thy kingdom come . . . Thy will be done.
Julia pressed her lips to his–gently–to taste his goodness, his steadfastness. Matt kissed her back and suddenly, she was famished for him.
“Julia, your arm . . .” he murmured. Though she was insufficient in so many ways, somehow Julia knew she was–and had always been–what Matthew Whittaker needed.
“We’ll work around it,” she said.
Excerpted from To Know You by Shannon Ethridge and Kathryn Mackel. Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.