Part 1: Reunion or Farewell?
The story begins as Colleen and Newell Cerak first learn the doubtful, then shocking news that their daughter, buried five weeks earlier, may still be alive. It continues with Colleen's drive to the hospital with the dental records, amidst desperate calls to Newell, overseas on a mission, and finally the reunion. Forming a backdrop to the reunion are the faces of the Van Ryn family, strangers to the Ceraks, who are just coming to terms with the harsh reality that the girl whose bedside they have been posted at for five weeks is not their daughter after all - and that their own daughter, Laura, has already been buried under the name of Whitney Cerak.Part 2: Five Weeks or a Lifetime?
Part 2 begins the night of the accident and continues up through "Laura's" arrival in the emergency room. The rest of this section centers upon the five weeks when the Ceraks believed their daughter to be dead, and the Van Ryns cared for a girl that was not their own. Woven into these chapters are the back stories of both families and their daughters, including the key questions of how each of these individuals reached a point at which they could respond to this tragedy as they did. A strong element of this story is how the families came to faith and how that faith developed to the point where they could trust God through the unthinkable. The characters all take on full dimensions in this part, and listeners will identify with and feel a strong affection for them. In this section, both families are still separated, traveling down two different arcs. These arcs come together in the night first described in chapter one. Finally, this section will explore the unfolding drama of the Van Ryn's growing doubts that the girl in the hospital is their daughter.
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