Wow! My Blog debut! I feel at such a loss of words (I know, surprising for those of you that know me on a personal levelJ)
I guess I should start by introducing myself. I am Jake, the husband of Ashley and the “soon to be dad” of our boy Carter Benjamin. I am so excited about becoming a first time dad. Never in my wildest or even craziest dreams did I think I would be a dad for the first time through adoption, let alone an international adoption, and even still to a 3 or 4 year old and even further a boy blessed with Down Syndrome.
So I guess I need to explain a bit why this seems so crazy. I am a planner. Six months ago my plan did not include adoption. It did not include far away countries, and most certainly, undoubtedly did not include Down Syndrome. Six months ago my plan did not even include children. Period. I knew I would be a dad at some point. Just not right now, I had a lot important things to do, (fishing, hunting, vacationing, working, fishing, truck buying, did I mention fishing?) or so I thought. Then Ashley got the idea that we should start having kids. I thought, okay. Maybe it is time. Then a few weeks went by and she brought up this outrageous idea of adoption. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I
adamantly stomped politely said no, not now. I knew that deep down in my heart we would adopt at some point in our life because of its important impact on Ashley’s life, but definitely not before having our own kids. Ashley went further into her idea that maybe we should consider praying about a child from Reece’s Rainbow. Again, I responded, no. That was that. After a few tears on Ash’s part and a final Hail Mary attempt at some discussion about the issue, there was no more to talk about - my mind was made up.
I would flip through the RR website from time to time while sitting at my desk, asking God to reveal if there was something he wanted me to know or do. Nothing. I don’t like to see my wife in anguish, so I tried, I really did, but nothing. No feeling one way or the other. I thought that is was “nice” what other families were doing but, nope, not this guy. Again, the fishing thing.
But then it happened. One day I am doing my usual morning routine at the office: check email, read the online news paper, read the Birschbach’s blog, chat with some of my youth group kids, and quickly check out faces at RR. Then, BAM. It hit me. I fell in love. I had seen this face before, but it was different this time. He was mine. I can’t explain why one day “nothing” but the next - an overjoyed outpouring of fatherly emotion. THAT’S MY BOY! ANTONIO! I finally realized that my life is not about me. It is all about bringing glory to God - and bringing this boy home would be just that. Not something “nice” or “commendable” but a sacrifice to care for this boy as my own, as Christ called us to do.
Fast forward to today, we are
anxiously patiently waiting and walking through the process to bring our boy home. I know that God works in mysterious ways, he did when he showed me my boy. Months earlier Ashley had fallen in love with that same boy, a God thing!
I know there are folks out there that may have a resistant husband or family to the idea of adoption or even special needs adoption, but a bit of advice.....pray. One of the most encouraging things to me was the fact that Ashley prayed and prayed, but never once pushed the issue with me. She valued my thoughts but knew that if her desires were of God’s design, then I would come around at some point. She trusted, trusted that God would reveal himself to me a very real way. He did, and I am grateful.
One thing I know for sure: I can’t wait to teach my boy how to fish!