Fourteen years ago today I held my baby boy for the first time. At 18 inches and about six pounds, he was about the length of my forearm down to the hand. I cuddled him in my arm, knowing nothing at that time about how to hold a baby, and silently saying, “God please don’t let me drop him.” As he wiggled in his newborn blanket compliments of San Antonio Community Hospital, I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the knowledge that this tiny mass of fragility is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. A son born in my image and likeness, but also a life born in the image and likeness of our common Creator. every breath of his mouth and every tiny sound of his cooing seemed to reach deep down to my soul. At that moment, I was overwhelmed with love–for my wife who sat exhausted on the bed after a 24-hour delivery, for my new son who now depended on me for every fiber of his survival, but especially for my God. Somehow I began to understand how fragile my life is, and how desperately I need him for every fiber of my existence. The tears flowed freely, tears of joy, tears of humanity crying out, “God make me a father worthy of this precious child.” At that time, we were so unprepared, we had no idea that when we went to the hospital for a routine checkup, that we were going to be leaving with a baby. The only thing we had was a car seat, we didn’t even have blankets or bottles or diapers. Had it not been for the new-born packet supplied to us by the amazing staff at San Antonio Community Hospital we would have been at a total loss. We took our baby home in the tiny carseat but it was sprinkling and we were ill-equipped. I took off my sweater and covered my new boy as we carried him to the car. The nurse who was accompanying us said, “Good daddy.” Maybe a small affirmation, but those words were heard and received deep down to my soul.
Sometimes, God just seems to rain blessings in a man’s life that clearly paint his generosity. The arrival of my son on March 22, 1997 was that masterpiece of God’s generosity in my life. And then, there are those times when God seems to just go above and beyond when generosity doesn’t begin to describe His love. That’s when our daughter came exactly three years later, March 22, 2000.
The joy, the love, the humility one feels, the smallness of one’s own being, and the excitement of seeing new life. It all came back three years later.
For a boy from an overcrowded Korean orphanage, and having grown up with all the emotional and psychological baggage that adoptees often seem to carry. This new life was God’s gift of restoring my life and all the hopes and dreams that I could have ever desired. Since then I haven’t wanted anything more than to make my wife and children happy and to make them know that they are loved.
Now exactly 14 years after my son was born, and 11 years after my daughter was born I have never skipped a day of thanking God for these two precious lives. I cannot go a day without making sure that my son and daughter know that they are loved.
Dear Alan and Eirene, I love you with all my heart. You have brought life and joy to us, your mother and father. You surprise us every day–Alan with all your new jokes, and Eirene with all your creative drawings and stories you write. We have cherished every day of our lives together. Your mother and I thank God for you each and every day. Love Daddy.