Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful ... by Scott

My wife doesn't know it, buy I'm hijacking her blog for a few minutes while she chases four kids and packs up various travel bags while preparing her fight-your-brother-for-the-last-one deviled eggs.

I didn't participate in the November daily Thank-a-thon for the same reason I poo-poo the Elf-on-a-Shelf thing: It's one more daily requirement I wouldn't keep up with. Today, though, I'm going to take a few minutes to do something that should be on my daily schedule. I'm thankful for a lot of things, but these are going to focus on the woman who still causes other men to check out her butt.

Nightly dances in the kitchen. Smart phones are awesome for a number of reasons. One of them is that I can quickly dial up Billy Vera's "At the Moment," which my wife is powerless against and leads to a slow sashay in front of the stove. The kids have yet to act grossed out about it and, actually, wear big smiles as we dance.

Her sense of humor. It took a special lady to marry me and be able to tolerate, and even encourage in her own subtle way, my humor. Lots of inside jokes that exist just between us. I can't even give a witty attempt at an example. It just wouldn't connect to any of you.

Slowly changing me ... for the better. Without her I'd probably still be thinking high-top basketball shoes with shorts were appropriate casual attire.

Her cooking. She has her regular meals, but also ventures out. In our house, I've continued my campaign for her meat loaf to be higher on the rotation. I will not rest until I succeed.

The way she quietly motivates me. Even in the midst of the chaos, she takes time to connect with our children one-on-one, despite how exhausting that can be. She finds nooks of time for not just reading her Bible, but studying it. Recently she's gotten on a health kick and lost around 20 pounds. That would be like me losing the equivalent of a Twilight kid.

She's fun. Take a look at that photo above. There wasn't any prompting in that, no "C'mon babe! Let's get a good pic of you joining in!" That was her seeing a pile of leaves that needed to be jumped in.

So thank you, Amy, for who God created you to be and how you've continued to live out His calling. Love ya. As a reward, I'll give a special performance of the Mwaba Man Dance at some point soon. (See, told you it wouldn't make sense to an outsider.).

Your thankful husband,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Orphan Sunday

This has been a big weekend for our family! Saturday we celebrated Scott's 39th (for real) birthday and Jackson's sixth birthday. We had a great day at the state park with family and friends and perfect weather. 

Then today was Charlotte's dedication at church ... on what just happens to be Orphan Sunday. It was such a sweet time to stand before our church family, who rallied around us with prayers and support throughout this journey, and commit to raise our daughter as God leads. 

As I sit here and reflect on both these events – on both of these children – my heart is so full. Six years ago God used a tiny, perfect baby boy to completely change my life. The process of adoption is so emotionally exhausting, I remember thinking I could not do it again. But God had other plans. I prayed that He would break my heart for what breaks His, and He completely wrecked me for orphans in this world. 

Do you know what it does to a person's spirit to belong to no one? To be no one's top priority? To have no one's eyes light up when they walk into a room? I'd never personally known anyone who'd been deprived of the love of a family for so long. My first three children have been adored and cherished from the day they were born (and even before, really). But the emptiness and hopelessness I saw in Charlotte's eyes will haunt me until the day I die. God help me if I ever get over it, because then I may forget the children who are still waiting.  

People tell me all the time that I'm a good person for "taking in" my children. That statement astounds me. I feel totally unworthy and privileged beyond measure that God allowed a wretch like me to parent His children. I am no more a good person for saying "yes" than a lottery winner is for "accepting" his winnings. I hit the jackpot! God is father to the fatherless ... and it is an honor to be entrusted to care for them in any way possible. Especially as their mother. 

The good news ... and what fills me with hope ... is that there are NO orphans living in this house. Every child in this house is a daughter or a son. They belong. They are my top priority. And my eyes will always light up when they enter the room. They are creations of the Most High God ... and by HIS grace ... they are mine.