God meant 5 kids, not 5 cats
In a column this past fall, I shared as a single pastor that I have been trying to adopt children. I wrote of heartbreak at that time. Now it’s time to share joy.
I became a foster-to-adopt dad of five siblings two days before Thanksgiving, 2019.
It was best to wait and share my news. And I share my news now because as I mention a foster son or daughter here in this column over the coming months, you may wonder, “Did I miss something?”
You aren’t missing anything. This is proof of a God who is present, persistent and provisional. His plan was perfect all along, and allow me to share why—and how.
Five years ago, I returned from a one-week mid-December trip to Iowa. Heads up. Unless your pastor has friends or family in Iowa during Advent, and something there comes along in the form of an emergency, he or she never leaves the pulpit pre-Christmas. Just not a thing we do.
There was an adoption potential there in Iowa that crushed me. Literally. Truly.
Coming back to the church on a quiet, dark, lonely winter Monday, I hurt badly. [This is an understatement, fyi.] As I entered the church’s single back door, I repeatedly heard this single word, “Fine.”
Nothing was fine. That word burned so deeply. After minutes of searching, I figured out the sound was coming from the one place I didn’t want to enter under any circumstances—the nursery. In one corner, where our crib now rests, a wooden puzzle that involved numbers and animals rested among other toys. As I pulled the puzzle out of its hiding place, the word was no longer “fine”, it was five. At that point, free in my hand, the puzzle repeated these two words: five cats.
I wrote a fictional novel titled Jesus Cloned. (Read it! It’s good!) I mention fiction here because you don’t make this stuff up. Five cats. Five kiddos.
There’s more. Before Thanksgiving this past year, I saw the Mr. Rodger’s movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Beyond the last credits, a clip is shown of Fred himself. He is singing and holding a similar wooden puzzle with five pieces.
The five cats are coming here in stages as they have been in three different foster homes. I shared when I was interviewed by a team of social workers on November 7th that all those pains over all those years will be answered if they allow me the gift of these five who, at the time, were under the age of 7.
For 7 long years I’ve been in the adoption or foster process. It was horribly painful to watch other families grow with their children ages 7 and under when I was empty-handed.
A received a card today from an amazing soul who lives in Hallstead who said what is true, that this gift is my new ministry.
If this ends tomorrow, if a phone call changes everything, I have had today, and I am the most joyful, blessed guy you’ll meet because of it.
The future is unclear for any of us. For me, adoption may or may not happen. I can’t share more on this, but close with what we all need to know—that in walking through uncertain times we all have a certain God. And that God is good.
This blog first appeared in The Susquehanna Independent on January 22, 2020.