The walls must come down. For if not how shall we ever truly give you life? I will never pretend to know the pain that my Son endured as an orphan, my only option is to be there when the dam breaks and the memories come flooding back and begin to pour from his sockets. Yes, my only option is to be there to dry those tears and ensure him that the horror of it all is over. Yet still it hurts, it hurts to know that there is a pain so deeply imbedded in your child’s heart that the best of surgeons could not find it. That is except for Christ.

Last night me and Ty had a very candid discussion that came on the heels of him being disciplined for his disobedience. I’m not sure what triggers his relapses, it does however seem to happen whenever he is being chastised about a matter. He is quick to defend himself anytime he is wrong, he is just as quick to project and deflect onto the other children as well. But last night my worst fears came true when he uttered the words…”you treat them differently than me”.  For a moment it took my breath away as I processed what he had said. The fact is this is something I have worked very hard not to do. Perhaps others who have adopted will understand this struggle. In retrospect I think Ty was right and I acknowledged such, I apologized and reassured him that he was loved equally. I told him that often times our feelings can mislead us into believing certain things that are not true. We discussed God’s love for his children and how often times in our worst moments we too can feel as if God does not love us, yet these momentary afflictions are in contrast to his words. God has affirmed his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

I then reiterated why we came to China in the first place. That because God had given us a love for Ty we came for him. I then assured him that this was all God’s plan…that God loves the orphan and that his word says I will not leave you as orphans. (Not thinking about the theological implications of this statement) Ty then looked at me and through his tears asked the most difficult question I have ever been asked. “Than why is there still so many orphans, why has God not given them a family”. I simply cannot answer that question other than to say…as the body of Christ we too have been disobedient. If you haven’t considered foster care or adoption please at the very least pray about it and ask God what He would have you do. You might be surprised at his response. For too long now this body of believer’s has looked into the eyes of children everywhere and in our hearts said to them…”damn you straight to hell”.

    Here is a poem I found that I really wanted to share.

“Once there were two women who never knew each other
One you do not remember, the other you call Mother
Two different lives shaped to make you one
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun
The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it
The first gave you a need for love, the second was there to give it
One gave you a nationality, the other gave you a name
One gave you a talent, the other gave you aim
One gave you emotions, the other calmed your fears
One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried you tears
One made an adoption plan, that was all that she could do
The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.
Now, which of these two women, Are you the product of?
Both, my darling, Both, Just two different types of love.”
Julie Anderson

DARKNESS: Invisible to the BLIND and BLINDING to all who see.

Over the last several months I have tried to make an extra effort at paying attention to the details. This was a discipline pounded in me during my stint in the service. However I must admit that over the years I have grown complacent.  The first observation I have made and admitably one that I have missed is this:

Whenever we load our growing family into the vehicle and head out onto the highways and Byways, I have noticed that Justin sits quietly and stares out the window. He does this until we arrive at our destination. I asked him once what he was thinking about…”nothing” was his reply. This then has left me to discern his thoughts myself.  What could he possibly be thinking as we travel down these old dirt roads? When he sees the deer in the fields across the road…is he thinking about the one that got away, or is he just simply enjoying the beauty of God’s creation?  His eyes seem so full of wonder, which makes me wonder…is he thinking about all the vast areas of wilderness that he has yet to explore in his many adventures?  Is he thinking about his future, or what kind of father he will be? Is he thinking about his future children with a love that already exists within his heart? The truth is I just don’t know, and he is unwilling to say. One thing is for sure, his eyes are lit with possibility, and his heart is ready for opportunity. He has had the privilege of being shielded from much of the darkness that exists in this world. In fact he is blind to it, I really don’t think he sees the dangers that exist in the wilderness he longs for, the potential perils of fatherhood, or the fantastic failures of Husbandry. His eyes are full of light, of purity, and promise. How can a man keep his way pure? That he might store up the word of God in his heart.

This is all in contrast to my other son Ty. For those that don’t know Ty was an orphan for much of his life. Having a family has not been the easiest transition for any of us. Every now and then Ty will say something that rocks me to my core and reminds me why adoption is worth it. Last week My amazing wife gave birth to our fourth biological child, a little boy named Jonathan David. We came home on Wednesday and of course we had the usual visitors (friends and family).  Ty immediately went on to continue his normal routine, playing with Legos and assisting Ironman in saving the World. It was during one of Lego sessions that he turned on the overhead light, which immediately blinded the ne baby. I instructed Ty to turn the light off because the babies eyes were still sensitive too sensitive to absorb it all. Why? he asked. “The baby has been living in darkness for nine months Ty, his eyes need some time to adjust”. To this Ty responded “Daddy I lived in darkness for 10 years and my eyes are fine”.  My mouth was stopped, and I chose then to plead the fifth. I will never know the pain that he speaks of (neither will Justin), and Ty will never unsee the darkness he lived in for the bulk of his life. While they are separated by only two years their world’s couldn’t be further apart. I love them both dearly, and my prayer is that someday they will each catch a glimpse of the other’s world and learn to appreciate the fact that a brother is born for adversity.