Monday, February 23, 2015


I find that a lot of times I come here to sort out my fragmented thoughts.  This is one of those times.

And I hate writing in chronological order (sorry, but that makes way too much sense) but I'm afraid that's the way this is all going to come out.  But don't hold me to that.

Exactly 12 hours ago, I sat across the table from a judge who asked me to very candidly speak with her about my past and to explain to her the mistakes I had made and further explain why I believed I should be granted an appeal for fingerprint clearance.  It was only forty minutes.  But it was intense.  And to my surprise-- it was emotional.  I've come to realize that no matter the number of years that have passed since that time in my life, the dredging up of the past is still most painful.  The deliberate picking at scars that have long since taken the place of wounds that were once fresh-- it seems to pierce right through to my heart.  And I feel the ugliness, the mortification, the distress all over again.

But as she listened, it was evident that she was drawn in.  That she perhaps was hearing something  a little different than she usually does.

And after I had spoken, and my three character witnesses had shared, we sat in silence waiting to hear if the judge had any response to the 4 hearts that had been poured out before her.

And finally she sat back, she looked directly at me and stated that in all of her years both as a human being and as one practicing law, she had never heard a story quite like this one.  It was clear that an impact had been made on her and that although she wasn't able to say what her recommendation to the board would be, all present felt that perhaps she had been convinced to recommend a second chance.

And I was reminded yet again that none of this has anything to do with me at all.  God clearly has a plan in allowing this giant legal hurdle-- if not simply to allow one more person to bear witness to a God that can redeem even the most broken of people and of situations.

  And as I think back now to the ball of tissue that I grasped in my hand and the intent gaze of the judge as she listened to my words, I wonder if the painful experience of recounting it all wasn't a bit of a blessing for me too.  God has done so much.  And He has brought me so far.  And He has redeemed my life up one side and down the other.  And given it all back ten fold.  Pressed down.  Shaken together.  And running over.

But oh.

How quickly I forget.

How quickly I forget the despair that was the deep dark pit.  How quickly I forget the darkness.  The hopelessness.  The lack of desire to even see another day.

And how quickly I forget.  The One who rescued me from it all. Who put me back together piece by piece.  Turned the ugly into good.  Restored what had been smashed beyond recognition.  Put a new song in my heart.  And gave me life again.

But today.  Today I remembered.  And I am redeemed.  And I am grateful.

I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.  Joel 2:25

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!  Psalm 30:12

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2 Months

A Note to Our Friends and Supporters:

I am astonished that it has been 2 months. Izzie was 2 months old on Sunday, and to be honest, life with a 2 month old means that time is a blur, and so here I am, however many days later (I don't know what day it is), taking a minute to let the world know how things are going. I apologize in advance if I lose my train of thought. Izzie is happily snoring away in her swing near by, but that could change at the drop of a hat. 

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this journey. Maybe we should call it something more than a journey. An odyssey? But without the Greek implications....
Without each and every one of you, this would not have been possible. My list of thank-yous is growing, and well, I still haven't sent out thank you notes from my birthday a year and a half ago, so please know that we are grateful for you, even if I have terrible time-management skills, amplified by a 2 month old.

So we of course have a lot of little stories, parenting type things, to share with everyone. Some of which, we should probably save for when we get the chance to see you in person, so that we are not repeating ourselves.

We do want to let you know that Izzie is doing well, and fitting in well with the family. She jumped up in weight from the 20th percentile to the 40th percentile in something like two weeks. Which just means that now she has a double chin for lint to get stuck in. (I maintain that it is at least a triple chin.) The dogs love her, and we have grabbed a few pictures of them sneaking in to give her a kiss when she is sleeping, or just to check on her. Juno seems to do particularly well with her, while Ellie just wants to know what all the ruckus is about when Izzie is fussing about something. 

I've been doing the usual fatherly things, taking pictures of Izzie when she makes funny faces, and adding captions to them. One of which was a pretty knowing smirk of hers that she gives, with the caption... "I pooped". Some of the others don't need captions, but will undoubtedly be the pictures that she is most embarrassed of  when she gets to be a little older. I may need another phone to store all of them, since every single woman I work with wants to see every single picture of Izzie everyday, and frankly, I want to show them. 

Here are a few of my favorites, which I will probably be told are not the best ones to have shared. I also, will not post the picture of Izzie's recent diaper that I sent to Becky. You're welcome.

 So those are pretty much in reverse chronological order. Or some sort of disorder.
As you can see, she smiles a lot now, and has pretty much had her tongue out since we met her. The one super-man pose in her big-girl bed was just last night.

She is a hoot all the time, we just get distracted from her antics when she's upset about something. 

As far as the process goes, our big update is that we're in it. We just had our fourth adoption class, which has been a real eye-opener. We have met a lot of people with similar stories, and a lot with totally different ones. And our speakers have been pretty amazing. We have had guest speakers who are adoptive parents, and even a couple who were birth parents, reflecting on their relationships with the adoptive parents and the choices they have made and why. 

Our home study is done, as far as the part that we do, and we are waiting to have it written up, which is a long process, and submitted to the state. So the study part is done, but the process is not. 

Most of what we're doing is trying to live life, and focus on the time that we have with Izzie, and not be distracted by all the background stuff going on. 

Also, Sarah's pregnancy counselor took pictures of Izzie for her to see last week at their meeting. We think that based on her response to them, she feels like Izzie is in a good place, and she made a good choice. It's a small step forward, but it's also an amazing one. 

I feel that we need to update you on prayer requests, because you truly have been an amazing support system for us. 
 1. Becky has a hearing date on monday for her fingerprint clearance. 
 2. We've been alternating who is sick for the last month or so. Please pray for health, and sleep.
 3. We found out last week that our birth mother, Sarah, was denied for insurance coverage. We don't know the extent of the costs, but we will now be paying her hospital bills for the delivery. She also had some after-care complications that caused her to be in the hospital 2 more times. We're not sure what happens to those bills. 
 4. Izzie gets to get her first round of shots since the hospital tomorrow morning. Becky will be at work. It will be fun. 
 5. We just ask that you would continue to pray for the whole situation. For Izzie's health, with sick parents, for our health with lack of sleep. For patience, for wisdom, for our witness to the people we have met along the way.

Thanks, friends and family, for your continued prayers, and for your continued support....