Tag Archives: Adoption

An Open Letter to a Birth Mother

Dear birth mother,

I can’t imagine how you must be feeling this day; the eve of Mother’s Day, knowing that you are not mothering the child you brought into this world. But I want you to know how thankful I am for you and for your courage. You made the difficult choice to place your child for adoption. But not only that, you made it possible for me to be a father and my wife to be a mother.

For the longest time I struggled with why God had not chosen me to be a father. I struggled with a God watching my wife and me struggle to get pregnant. I struggled to watch others around me parent children while I waited and wondered; will it ever happen for me? For the longest time I struggled, but through God you brought our struggle to an end.

And now…

Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for the child you entrusted us to raise.
Not a day goes by that I don’t look at my child and smile.
Not a day goes by that I don’t consider your sacrifice.

In my eyes you are an amazing woman and my child (your child) will grow up to know how amazing you are as well. We will never stop speaking of you. We will never stop praying for you. We will never stop remembering you.

But I also want you to know that even though my child does not contain my DNA, that does not mean my love for them is lessened in anyway. The child you brought into this world is loved beyond measure. But even though I love my child there is one that I love more than them: God. And because of this they will know God and His amazing love for His children. And my prayer is that this child will grow to share that love with others.

Birth mother, know that you are remembered, cherished and loved. Your choice will never be forgotten. Your sacrifice will always be remembered. And even though you brought an end to our struggles I recognize that your’s may continue. And so if it is of any comfort to you, know that your child is being showered with love every single moment.

I thank you, again, for entrusting your child to me and I pray that you may always know the love of your heavenly Father. You gave your child up in an attempt to give them a better life (and I pray that I won’t let you down) and God gave up his Son, Jesus, that you may live forever.

So on this Birth Mother’s Day I celebrate you. You may not be “mothering” the child you brought into this world but you will always be a mother in my eyes.

May God bless you always and forever.

Sincerely,
A grateful father

The Pastor -|—

Mayah Day

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Today is Mayah Day.

Two years ago today and at this very hour, my wife and I were in a hotel room with our brand new daughter. After the wild up and down ride that was our adoption process, we were finally parents. And now today we were celebrating Mayah’s birthday (which was last week) with some family and friends. Our little girl has grown up so much.

So today there is nothing too deep and theological for you; just a happy daddy thanking and praising God for entrusting this little girl to us.

Father God, words escape me to express my thanks to You for bringing Mayah into our lives. Help me be a good father as I raise my little girl to know and love You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Celebrating Today :-)

Two years ago my wife and I were still hurting and healing from a devastating failed adoption that took place on March 6, 2013. We were wondering if we were ever going to be parents but at the same time we were still trusting that everything was in God’s hands. It was tough; trusting God while still hurting with a heavy heart. But little did we know then that our daughter was being born on this day in 2013 and that in a few days we would be leaving for Houston, Texas to meet our beautiful little girl.

And now today, I have been enjoying a beautiful day playing outside with my little girl.

God is so good!!!

So much has changed in my life in the past two years. I am definitely a different person; a different pastor.  I have grown in my relationship with God and have grown more into my calling to be a shepherd in the two congregations I get the privilege of serving and serving with.

I have also grown as a father as I continue to commit everything to God. I want to raise a godly child that fears and loves God with all her heart. I want to raise a child that lives for the Lord as her mommy and daddy does. I want to raise a child that will not turn away from the Lord when she is older. And all of this is a daunting task; hence, committing everything to God.

And so today I celebrate my little girl but more importantly I worship God for what he is doing in our lives. I also give God thanks and praise that he kept Connie and me strong so we could see His glorious plan unfold; and unfold it did:

TWO beautiful children.

God is so very good!!!

Father God, I praise Your holy name for this wonderful little girl You have called us to raise. You have entrusted us with this precious child to teach her about Your glorious love. Grant me wisdom along the way; for this vocation of parenting is way too difficult to do without You. May I bring You glory as a father to my/Your little girl. In Jesus name I pray, Amen

The Pastor (happy, proud daddy) -|—

The Difference (Proverbs 15:16)

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it. [Proverbs 15:16]

About three years ago, my wife was bombarding me with information about adoption agencies. And I remember thinking, “This is silly. We don’t have enough money to adopt. And do I really want to go into that much debt to do so?” But I didn’t relate much of this thinking to my wife. Instead I dragged my feet. I wondered aloud,sometimes, if we could afford this. My hope was that my wife would eventually lose interest and give up on this “fantasy”. Basically, I wanted her to let me off the hook because I was nervous about how much we didn’t have.

Thankfully she didn’t give up.

She continued pressing forward and eventually we found this agency and case worker that we would end up using to adopt our children. Yes, that’s plural. I am the proud daddy, now, of two beautiful and wonderful children. And I can’t imagine my life without them.

What was the difference for me?
A faith journey and transformation, and a better understanding of the fear of God through Jesus Christ.

You see, I was comfortable with my comfortable checkbook. I enjoyed my freedom and the flexibility that having “treasures” afforded me. I was still a Christian, serving as a pastor, but I wanted my cake and eat it too. But deep down inside I knew I was missing something; I just couldn’t place my finger on it then. Eventually (and I am not sure what precipitated this) but God pushed me over the ledge and said,

“Trust me”

So I did.

It was still scary to dive into adoption knowing the high cost of it, but along every step of the way, God brought friends and family and other caring community members to help us raise money and eventually finance our adoptions. And I praise God for each and every one of them because I know it was God acting through those people.

Money can’t buy you happiness.
A comfortable checkbook can’t truly make you comfortable.
A peaceful life now can’t bring you true peace.
Treasures in this life will never last.

The author of the Proverbs is not saying that if you have great treasure that you will be miserable and that if you have very little then everything will be great. That’s not what he is saying. The difference, he says, is faith; faith in the living God. And for us Christians, it is faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; truly believing that Jesus died and rose for you that you may have true peace and hope.

That’s the difference.

And so for me, my checkbook is a little thinner, but I don’t seem to care much about that anymore.

[Please don’t praise my faith here, but rather give glory to God where it belongs]

God has provided and I believe God will continue to do so. Sure, I have my moments of worry from time to time; wondering how I am going to pay for certain things for my kids (especially as my oldest approaches school age). But as I worry and wonder and maybe even drag my feet a little from time to time, God continues to push me and say,

“Trust me, my child, trust me”

And so I do. And that is comforting.

Loving Father, please continue to push me when I starting doubting Your provision in my life. Give me those reminders of what you have already done so I may cling to those as Satan tries to plant hopelessness and fear in me. May I see very much even when I have little. And if I ever have very much, may I see that I have very little without you. Grant me the strength, oh God, that you may be glorified in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Glory to God

On my desk I have a picture frame that houses our family’s 2014 Christmas card. The card proudly shows off six pictures. Five of the pictures are of my two beautiful children and the sixth picture is a shot of our family of four. I find myself staring at this picture often; in awe that that is my family.

But as I stare at that beautiful arrangement of pictures; my eyes drift to the bottom left side of the card. There, in that corner are the words:

Glory to God

The words are meant to be a Christmas greeting and proclamation to our family and friends but they also remind me of God’s grace and faithfulness in our lives.

You see, about two years ago, my wife and I were wondering if we would ever be parents (especially after our painful failed adoption in March 2013), but now we are the parents of two beautiful children (both under the age of two, crazy, I know). Life has definitely changed for us, and in more ways than one:

~ Our house is now chaotic as our living room has turned into one big toy room.
~ Our Schedules are more complex.
~ Sleep is a premium.
~ Children’s songs now ring in my head.
~ Packing and traveling is stressful.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way :-)

But also, our faith in God through Jesus has been strengthened (and I definitely wouldn’t have THAT any other way).

Glory to God

You see, I was a Christian before the failed adoption, but afterwards, something “more”. And that’s the best way I can describe it. My wife and I became so much closer to each other and especially to God. We began to look at God differently (and in a good way). We began to lean more on God, especially during the healing process following the failed adoption. God was great before, we just noticed it better after we thought our lives were falling apart. God never deserted us; He was just doing something amazing.

Glory to God

Now I wonder how people do it. How do they navigate life without God? How do they deal with loss without God? How to they deal with tragedy without God? How do they face death without God? All of these questions perplex me and drive me to proclaim the Good News of Jesus. I don’t want anyone to deal with the crap of this world on their own.

I want people to lean on God through faith in Jesus.
I want people to know the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
I want people to see their sinfulness and need for a Savior.
I want people to see their need to confess their sins.
I want people to hear God’s forgiveness through Jesus.
I want people to know the hope of the resurrection.
I want people to know Jesus.
I want people to give…

Glory to God

So in case you wanted to know what drives this pastor to serve and minister and write all these blog posts, well, there you go. It’s about Jesus. It’s about the Gospel. It’s about Life. It’s about giving…

Glory to God

…always and forever; for He is worthy.

The Pastor -|—

Changes and adjustments

I must admit…this new daddy role has taken some getting used to but it is sinking in more and more with each passing day.  There are many things I knew would change and others I didn’t know exactly how they would change.  I guess that just goes with the territory.  I keep learning and keep adjusting.  Eventually I will develop the illusion that I know what I am doing :-)

Anyway…

One of the big things I have been trying to get use to is working from home.  The congregation gave me the gift of working from home during the month of May so I could spend more time bonding with Mayah.  A couple days a week (when my wife is home) I do go into the office.

When this schedule first started I got a little frustrated because I didn’t anticipate how difficult this working from home would be.  I had big plans on how much I was going to get done while Mayah was sleeping.

Silly daddy…

The biggest problem was that I didn’t plan very well; so the first couple days at home not much work got done.  Now…I have planned my week out better and have set more realistic expectations for myself.  I have also adjusted my hours so I can get done everything that is expected of me by others and myself.

Wednesday was worship prep and sermon prep day from home.  I planned worship for Sunday and did some sermon prep reading and research.  Today (Thursday) I am home again but this time I will be fully ready to write the sermon while Mayah is sleeping…despite the fact I didn’t get much sleep last night.  Oh well…that’s what coffee is for.

So here we go…another day at home bonding with my little girl and doing ministry here in Jackson.  The best of both worlds.

The pastor/new daddy -|—

Daddy

Wow, it has been a while since I have posted here but believe me ~ I have a good reason:

I’m a daddy!

On April 26 my wife and I adopted the cutest little baby girl you will ever see.  We received a call on the 23rd that this baby was born on April 18 and that the birth mother has selected us to raise her daughter.  We were overjoyed, scared, nervous, thankful and a host of other emotions.  My wife and I packed up and left for Houston on Wednesday, April 24 at 10:30 p.m.  We drove through the night and arrived in Houston on Thursday afternoon.  Our daughter was placed in our arms on Friday night.

Her name is Mayah Jo.  Mayah is a Hebrew name meaning “close to God“.  And considering the ups and downs and ups we have been on, Mayah’s name is very appropriate and meaningful to us.  Our prayer is that Mayah grows up to realize this for herself; that God is close to her.

My wife and I will be sharing more about this amazing experience on our adoption blog ~ Adopted as an Heir.  We haven’t updated there for a while but it is coming.  And because of some privacy issues with adoption I will not be posting pictures of Mayah online (but like I said, she is cute).  I may sound over-protective but I am O.K. with that.  So I hope you understand.

Wow ~ daddy ~ it just boggles my mind that I can be referred as that.
God is so good!
God is so awesome!
God is so faithful (even when I’m not)!

Let all people praise and worship Him.

Let’s prayer together…
Loving God…you are so good.  You are so awesome.  Even when times are tough and the road looks bleak, you are there.  Even when the valley is dark and long, even when the storms rage oh so strong, you are there. Even when the hurt hurts so bad and the outlook looks so dim, you are there.  On the highest mountain top and lowest valley, you are there.  Satan would have us forget your goodness in the midst of despair; trying to convince us that you are some cosmic bully.  Satan would have us forget you in the good times; trying to convince us that we don’t need You.  But the Good News is that you reign supreme and you have chosen us.  We belong to you and Satan has no claim on us.  Help us to see you near us in the dark and tough times.  Help us to see you near in the bright and joyous times.  You are close to us always and forever.  God, Oh God, you are so, so good and we praise your holy name.  Through Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

The Pastor a.k.a. Daddy -|—