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From the Blackest Cloud begins with a young, post–World War II couple, floating on the proverbial Cloud 9. Their hopes and dreams are to fulfill a dual commitment in life—to have a family, and to provide a home for them. The billowy, white cloud is overshadowed by a touch of gray as anxiety grows concerning a second pregnancy and the birth of Dorothy (Dottie) Lynn. When she is hospitalized for the third time in six months, an anguished mother pleads, “Please God, let her live.” At home once more, Dottie does not develop at a normal pace. Her parents ask themselves, “What did we do? How did this happen? Why our child? Why us?” Fear and guilt take hold. They search for answers, and are stymied at every turn as they struggle to build a substantial home. They move into the basement of their unfinished house. The distraught mother turns to the Bible for guidance. “These little ones will be saints you know,” says an understanding clergyman to Dottie's mother (referring to children with disabilities). She stares at him incredulously. However, would something beyond conventional healing methods be the answer for Dottie's recovery? “Have you ever though of an institution?” asks the family doctor. “Never!” she proclaims. The parents run the gamut of distance, time, and money seeking help for their handicapped child. From medical specialists to chiropractors, from a faith healer to a shrine. Although the story does not end in the way they had hoped, they are finally convinced that faith in God will give them courage to accept the things they cannot change. They are a family. They have a home.

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