The Metcalf’s Story

Love the Unloved by Dustin FifeHi! I’m thrilled with your interest in James and Rachelle’s story. Below, I’ve included a video of James’s story, a link to the Jasper House (a nonprofit James and Rachelle are a part of) and a “Q and A” of sorts where I talk about what parts of the story are fictional and which parts are actually true. Also, at the end of the article, I’ve linked to the blog posts, which contain a more historically accurate account of James and Rachelle’s story.

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James’s Story: A Video

The Jasper House

The Jasper House is the foundation that both Rachelle and James are a part of. From their website:

Jasper House Haiti exists to restore, heal, and empower young women in Haiti who have experienced pain, trauma and devastation.  We accomplish this through programs within our restoration home that bring wellness to the whole person.

What’s fictional? And what’s non-fiction?

Thanks for your interest. If you’re anything like me, when you hear “based on a true story” you immediately want to know where the artists have taken liberties. Fortunately for me, the liberties taken were minimal. Most of these events actually happened, which is a testament to God’s grace.

So, without further ado…

Is Sandy a real person?

Yes (although her name isn’t actually Sandy). When I asked Rachelle what initially gave her the desire to adopt, she told me of a girl who arrived from foster care and was in her mom’s Sunday School class. The girl was unkempt and obviously depressed. Rachelle said she befriended her, took her to ice cream, spent her own money to get Sandy a haircut, and became a mentor to her. As a novelist, I’m always interested in constructing events as “scenes.” When I asked if she could remember a particular event, she laughed and said, “That was a long time ago.”

So…did Rachelle sit at the lunch table and hum to her? Probably not. Did she show up in dirty clothes and messed up hair? I doubt it. But she did break the girl’s barriers and make her feel loved. And that, my friends, is the important thing 🙂

Did James really receive a Bible as he was contemplating suicide.

Yes! See the video above. God has fantastic timing at times 🙂

Re: Rachelle’s Dad

Here’s what really happened (according to a text message from Rachelle): “He never did get to ask my dad just like your story But dad was in the hospital when he died and I was there…He was in the hospital for 12 days and james came every single day and helped care for him.”

Did James’s case worker really (and miraculously) pick out James’s file and find a loophole?

Yes! She may not have worn a blue blouse and had a pointed nose, but she did indeed find James’s file and help the judge change his sentence just after he made his promise.

Alright, so what about the “angel,” dude? Did an angel really talk to Rachelle?

<<Spoiler alert to blog readers!>>Absolutely! This may be the “most” true of any part of the story. In fact, the description of the woman is taken exactly from Rachelle (with one or two additions). And yes, Addi did actually ask Rachelle about the angel, having had no way of knowing of the experience without divine intervention.

What about Jamesly? Is all that true?

<<Spoiler alert to blog readers!>>This is where the vast majority of my embellishments came in. I struggled to find continuity in the story without adding a Jamesly thread. However, the actual events are wonderful and miraculous in their own way. Here’s how it actually happened: their first visit to Haiti, there was no encounter with Jamesly. When the orphans ran to the Americans, Rachelle did not actually see a boy sitting by himself looking at garbage. They first met Jamesly when Krista paired the two girls + Jamesly with the Metcalfs. As in the book, the Metcalfs fell in love with the three kids and, as in the book, later found out that Krista ripped them off. After adopting Sarah and Selah, they did reconnect with Jamesly (Nicholas) and currently sponsor his education. They report that he’s doing excellent and, miraculously, he remembered Addi when they came to visit after the adoption fiasco (even though he was only a year old at the time they first met).

If you have any other questions, feel free to drop a comment and either I or one of the Metcalfs will gladly reply 🙂

Links to Blog Posts

James’s incarceration and redemption

Rachelle and James meeting

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