Sunday, August 31, 2014

Happy Birthday Brendon!!

I always get a little choked up on Brendon’s birthday as we sing Happy Birthday to him. I can’t help but think about all the years I longed for a child to celebrate a birthday with. And I can’t help but think about what his life may have been like if he wasn’t part of our family. I think about his biological mother and wonder if she remembers that it’s his birthday. 

For years I longed for a child, begged God to grow our family. I remember our first year with Brendon celebrating his birthday. He had only been with our family for a month when his birthday arrived. It sort of became his “coming out party” with our family. I remember him turning and looking at me and saying “who are all these presents for?” I said, “they are for you!” He was so excited and so appreciative of everything. He was so loved on that day (and still is)! And Jimmy and I brimmed with thankfulness. Thankful to our families for loving this little boy so much and mostly thankful to God for allowing us to care for him. 

I always seem to reflect on Brendon’s biological mother on his birthday too. I wonder what she’s doing, if she celebrates his birthday in her own way. I wonder if she reflects on his birth like most birth mothers do. I always say a prayer of thanks for her, especially on Brendon’s birthday. I thank God that she was somehow guided to chose life for this child. I thank God that she allowed us to become Brendon’s parents.

Brendon may not have come into our family the traditional way, not even a traditional adoption, but he’s my child, forever. And I’m so thankful to celebrate his life, especially on his birthday. 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Happy 40th Birthday Jimmy

Today would have been Jimmy’s 40th birthday. I’m still heartbroken that he’s gone but I’m so grateful for all he taught me through his life. 

This past Saturday I had the chance to share our adoption story with someone facing infertility. Oddly enough it was during the process of choosing and ordering Jimmy’s grave marker that this conversation took place. I won’t go into all of the details but through telling our story I was reminded of how much I learned from Jimmy throughout our whole adoption experience. 

From the beginning of the whole adoption process, Jimmy and I were always in agreement about everything. It was such a blessing. We agreed that we were open to adopting an older child through foster care. We didn’t care what color the child was or what issues they might have. I truly believe this was all because Jimmy sought God in everything. He was always quoting Philippians 4:6 “In everything by prayer and petition” and that’s how he lived. He took everything to God. 

Every single time we had a phone call, a meeting, a hearing, whatever about our adoption, Jimmy prayed before. I recall driving to Nicholasville on the day we hoped to get custody of Brendon and Jimmy and I just begged God to give us a child. At the same time we told God we’d be content no matter what.

I remember before we even started the adoption process, I expressed some fears to Jimmy about having a child that wouldn’t look like us or have similar personalities to ours. Looking back I realize how silly this fear even was. When I shared this concern with Jimmy, he graciously reminded me that no matter if our child was biological or adopted, our only goal should be for them to look and act like Jesus. He reminded me that a parent’s job isn’t to raise a child who was a “mini-me.” It was to raise a child to love God and love others like Jesus would. 

Jimmy was so wise. I think that’s one of the things I miss the most, his wisdom. I know it came straight from God but he had such insight into God’s Word. 

Over the past 9 months since Jimmy’s passing, I’ve reflected on all the things he stood for, the things he believed in. I continue to live each day standing for and believing in the same things.

Here’s some things I learned from Jimmy:
  1. Trust God in ALL things, no matter the outcome. He’s got this!
  2. Pray all the time.
  3. Read and know God’s Word. All we need for life is in there.
  4. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting.
  5. Love people like Jesus would.
  6. Have fun.
  7. Never stop growing and learning.
  8. Tell people you love them.
  9. Don’t be slave to a lender. Live without being in debt to others.
  10. Love God and Love People. That’s what it all comes down to.


Celebrate Jimmy’s birthday today by reflecting on the things you learned from him. Rejoice that he’s no longer suffering and that he’s celebrating his birthday with Jesus. Drink an Ale 8. Watch Goonies. Thank God that He allowed you to know Jimmy!