Wednesday, August 27, 2014

To Papa John

Today was a hard day for me... 

Today was the retirement celebration of my friend and pastor, Pam.
Tomorrow, I will post about my my lovely friend and what she has meant to me over the last 7 years. Tomorrow is her last official day of work.

Today was also hard for us because, today would have been my father-in-law's 66th birthday. 

This was his first birthday since he died back in October. 


Here he is with Aunt B!

Papa John was a loving and passionate man. He would set his mind to something and work at it until he met his goal, or had thoroughly fleshed out all possibilities of meeting that goal.


He was always so proud of his kids.

I don't know much about his early life, but he had several fun jobs. He worked in the studio recording business. He was in the U.S. Navy. In my opinion, the most fun job he held, was that of pilot. He learned to fly in the Navy, then became a private pilot. 

Here he is as a little chap in boy scouts. Second from the left.

It makes me sad to think that he never got to meet our kids face to face. Luckily, we got to Skype with him a few times while we were in Poland and he got to see the kids. He loved our kids.

The greatest gift he gave me was my husband. CC (Forever Dad's Mom) and Papa John raised the best man. He is my better half and a man of dignity. He has kept me sane throughout our transition home. He is a wise and patient man. A very patient man. Even though I have not been the easiest person to live with, he still loves me. I have to believe that is a testament to his upbringing. 
  


We miss you Papa John. Thank you for your love.
Happy Birthday.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Benediction

Just over a year ago, Forever Dad and I sat in our Senior Pastor's office to discuss how one makes life changing decisions. It was just after Mother's Day of 2013 and we had seen a photo of what are now our four children. We were in much prayer about the path to take. We were unsure if we were to pursue these children, or remain on the path to adopt two from Hungary. 

The decision became solely a spiritual one. We were certain that we could handle having four children, we just weren't sure if these were our children. We could not decide if the bigger journey was adopting these children, or remaining faithful to our unknown children in Hungary. We all know the answer to that question now, but during those few weeks of soul searching, Forever Dad and I were really questioning. 

We were really secretive and private about our decision and only shared our heart with a handful of people. A few we shared with because we knew they would pray with us. We talked with a couple at our church that had to make the same decision, continue to pursue an international adoption, or adopt a precious domestic toddler. How do you choose? How do you know God's plan? How can you be sure?

These wise friends advised us to pray and fast, and to talk to our Pastor. As we sat in Dr. Hull's office, we did so coming off a time of fasting and prayer. I'll never forget the look on his sweet face when we told him that we were asking for wisdom on adopting FOUR children. It was a look of genuine excitement, joy and shock. What a tender moment for me. 

Dr. Hull shared his final words with our congregation today. He is retiring and following his sweet wife, Jane, into ministry in Georgia. Perhaps, I should say, he has retired.

As this year has become the year of transition for our family, we are still not quite settled, as our preacher leaves. He has been the only preacher our children have known. When we came here, Jane was the Interim Children's Minister and was the first to minister to our sweet children. She has loved my children well. What an amazing call she has followed with us.

She has waited so patiently for God to complete the calling and inspiration He put in her heart years ago. We have walked a similar waiting as he put the desire for our children in our hearts but had to wait for a completeness in bringing them home. Today, both of our callings have officially come to fruition and we begin to walk into areas that are brand new to both of us. Blessings and peace on you Mrs. Jane. Thanking God for you today.

Today we celebrated their ministry and his retirement.


Today, during the children's time, I had the opportunity to sit next to him with my precious daughter in my lap. I had a weepy moment as I realized that this is the last time I will sit next to him during worship. 
The children gave Dr. Hull a benediction too.  "Go in peace. God will be the bond between you and us."


Today we shared communion also. Here is God's man breaking bread for us one last time. It has been our joy to have you as our pastor. Thank you for giving us the spiritual bread that has sustained our church for the last 12 years and for our family for the last 7 years.


Unfortunately/Fortunately I will be weeping over a new transition in our church. Whereas, our Senior Pastor is retiring this week, in just 3 weeks, MY pastor will also be retiring. The minister to young and median adults is moving into a new season of life. On that day, I will say congratulations and good-bye to my friend, Pam. What a bittersweet time in our church. There will be a blubbery blog that day too...

It fits with the theme of the year... transition and change.

Dr. Hull and Mrs. Jane, go in peace. God will be the bond between you and us.