Saturday, June 22, 2013

The {belated} Father's Day post

So, the whole reason I stayed up super late last week to write the name post was because this post was coming.  I asked Jonathan if he would write some thoughts on being a dad.  I won't say much, because I want this to be his post, but I will say he is an incredible dad. Silas, Eli, Cooper and I are so blessed by his love.  Get a tissue ready...



I will readily admit I am cautious.  Why jump into the deep end of the pool, when you can ease yourself in down the stairs and into the shallow end?  It is much easier on the body and you can go at your own pace.  This is not how adoption works.  There is only one end of the pool and it is deep.  So we said a prayer and jumped in.  Feet first, eyes closed.  We just jumped not knowing what was going to happen.   I still don’t know what is going to happen, but I believe with all my heart that God will join us with a little girl.  He has picked her out.  He knows her name.  We haven’t seen her, at least not with our two eyes, but we see her through God’s eyes.   I see her most clearly when my three boys pray that she won't feel lonely or sad.

It is such a blessing to be a dad.  A couple of days ago Eli came up to me and asked, “What time is it?”  I told him the time.  He then asked again with a grin on his face, “Are you sure it is not tickle time?”  You know what my first response was?  It was “No”.  I then turned around, picked him up and said, “YES.  Why yes it is tickle time.”   Between the no and yes it hit me that he is here and I am here so why not tickle.  And boy did he get a tickling.  

I can’t tickle my little girl.  Not yet.  I want to hug her, hold her hand, teach her how to skip.  I can’t whisper I love you in her ear, but I am going to anyways. 

Dear Tallulah,

There are so many things I want to tell you; about how much your brothers love you and they don’t even know it, how your mom lights up every time she talks about you, how you got your name...  For now, I will begin and end with this thought.

I love you with all of my heart. And there will never be another man in your life who will love you as much as I do.

I don’t ever want you to forget that your worth and value and beauty come from God and God alone… and that is the most liberating reality you will ever experience.
Lean into God and you will grow into what He wants you to be.  Love Him and you will bloom.

I love you, Lulah.  I will leap over oceans for you...soon.

Dad




Sunday, June 16, 2013

I have called you by name, you are mine.

For a looooong time I have had this name in my head.  I have no idea when I really started thinking about it or where it came from.  Every time since starting this adoption process when I would bring up the name thing with Jonathan he would always say, "I can't go there yet."  So, in my head and in my heart this name just stayed.  Picking out names for our kids has not ever been an easy task for us. We would both come up with lists of several names that we each liked (not usually ever both liking any of the same names from the start) and start crossing them off based on how strong of a reaction we get from each other when we mentioned the name.  Silas was not quite as difficult as Eli and Cooper.  Two names, that we both liked, liked together and that didn't rhyme or sound too cutesy together.  It was HARD.  Many hours were spent discussing names, looking in books, researching meanings, etc.  I'm talking HOURS, people.  I always had a ton of girl names on my list that I loved (which also made this time around strange- just one), but God kept giving us boys and the boy list was way shorter for some reason.  During these last few months when Jonathan wouldn't talk about it with me and I was trying to get my list ready for when he actually was able to "go there", I came up with nothing.  Nothing except this one name that had been on my heart since the beginning of our journey.  Couldn't get it out of my head and couldn't think of one single other name that I liked for this little girl that is across oceans from us.

Finally, a couple of months ago, we started a film project  for a fundraiser that's coming up (that we are SUPER excited about, btw) and I brought up the name thing again with Jonathan.  I said, "You know we really need to pick a name before we start filming.  She needs a name so we can talk about her and make her real to everyone."  He reluctantly agreed that we could "go there".  Now, don't think because we hadn't been allowed to talk about it that I hadn't at least let it slip over the last few months the name that was on my heart. I at least wanted to let it be brewing in his subconscious.  And I guess it had been, because although he was cautious at first about it being that easy, within a few days of us thinking and praying about it, he couldn't come up with anything else either.  I literally couldn't believe that it just might be this easy either.  It NEVER had been.  So, the last deciding factor was to look up the meaning of this name. I had never even thought of doing that.  DUH!  We both got on our isomethings and started researching.  This is where it gets good.  The first meaning we found was of Gaelic origin and was "abundant princess".  Okay, so you had me at that, but to top it all off and for complete confirmation, the next meaning that came up and the more well-known one is of Indian origin (Choctaw to be exact).  And.  it. is...  "leaping water".  Okay, maybe I'm being dramatic here, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!?  We were totally sold.

This little girl, God's little princess, that He is  abundantly  providing for so that she can  leap over waters  to get to her forever family;

is her name.



"But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I give Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in My eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you,
peoples in exchange for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
and from the west I will gather you.
I will say to the north, Give up,
and to the south, Do not withhold;
bring my sons from afar
and My daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by My name,
whom I created for My glory,
whom I formed and made.”
{Isaiah 43: 1-7}

He is so good.