If you are anything like me, the idea of staying at home, distancing yourself and isolating your family is an uncomfortable way to feel like you are making a difference during these uncertain times. I find myself wanting to do more, to add more value, to bring more hope, to share something that will uplift and encourage. I feel rather useless and a little guilty that the most I can do is stay home while others are on the front lines of this new evil, protecting, healing, serving and fighting back. I feel a little out of sorts.
As a dad, a husband and a man, something inside is calling me to war, to take a stand, to declare that as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. When I think of this my mind conjures up a scene where I am the gatekeeper to myself and my loved ones preventing the onslaught of an invisible enemy called Covid-19. My minds creates a battle of magnificent proportions where I am the victor and I end the day having given hope and conquered against all odds.
But then I look up and see my kids in the lounge, my wife reading a book and my front door locked. I am reminded that in this frustrating time, the most I can do is also the least. We find ourselves in a situation where our greatest efforts will result in the smallest movement. As a father, where will my great victory come from if I can only go as far as the end of my driveway? Continue reading
As I sit looking back on 2019 I cannot escape the fact that this has been, unquestionably, our hardest year yet. As a parent, a husband, a business owner, a believer and as someone who wants to be significant, not simply successful.
2019 has also been a year of the impossible becoming reality, of moving forward in faith and seeing the God of more than enough move obstacles from our path. So it seems 2019 has been hard but it has also left me with fewer excuses.
We thought we’d look back over the last 10 years and as we we usher in the next decade, share a few lessons we have been exposed to. Not in any order nor is the list complete, but it is always helpful to pause, take a breath and reflect, so here we go:
What can I say? What can I do? How am I a part of the solution?
These are some of the questions setting up residence in my mind as I find myself working through the sheer volume of tragedies that have been poured over women and children in the past few weeks.
These women, these girls, innocent, victims, moms, daughters, WHY?
8 Years ago we began a journey. It was a journey of discovery, a journey with highs and lows but as with all journeys, it starts a process that seems to show that when one ends another begins.
8 Years ago we started dreaming and planning to make adoption a part of who we are and how we grow our family. Today, with two adoptions under our belt and while busy with a third, we are continually amazed at how the process of giving a family to child may seem to bless the child the most, but actually, it is the family who receives the greatest blessing and honour of being able to extend love to another in a way that profoundly changes everything about everyones lives. We are truly honoured to have the love of our children, no matter how they enter our hearts!
Today we are also blessed, as the first family assisted by the The Father Heart Fund is about to become a reality. A special woman is about to become an incredible mom and a little girl is about to be grafted into the hearts of Many. Continue reading
Raising a blended family, brings certain perks. If I am honest, I love being slightly different, I love going to the shops and seeing that double take on a stranger’s face when they see me and then they see one of my brown people. I say “my brown people” because my son refers to people of similar colour that way, and seeing as he is mine, so are they.
I like thinking I am part of a solution, I like to think I am creating a bridge between pink and brown. I like to think my son’s and daughter will be better positioned because colour won’t matter to them, it won’t feature in their thought processes, it won’t inform their value judgements or influence their opinions. BUT, am I foolish in believing this, because it will matter to YOU?
We pride ourselves in the knowledge that we live in a time like no other. A time where the amount of information created, consumed and freely available is beyond anything we’ve experienced in the past. We exist in a time where at the push of a button, we achieve access to nearly every answer man has ever discovered or needed. I have in the palm of my hand a venerable magic wand which, when fully charged, is able to give its possessor God like knowledge and understanding.
From the correct spelling of the world longest word (pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis for those of you who’d like to know) to the requirements to produce atomic energy, every single person has the ability to answer every single question ever asked, and in most cases correctly.
So why do I get the sense that in spite of limitless knowledge, common sense and general good choices seem to be on the decline?
I have heard it said that those without children, know the most about parenting. It seems as though the moment we are thrust in the reality of parenthood, we lose all that wisdom that seemed to ooze out whenever we saw a child acting out or a mom/dad attempting to get their little one to do something. Oh how I long for those days where I knew it all and unashamedly would let parents know with my gaze of all-knowing-ness.
But as much as those without children may have attained new heights of enlightenment, the one thing they will never know until they themselves are parents is the almost spiritual connectedness we as parents feel toward other parents and their challenges, successes and losses. I feel this when watching things like America’s Got Talent. I have absolutely no connection to the 12 year old girl who blows the crowd away with her voice, but when I see the love in her parents eyes, the pride, the hope and the joy as she gets that golden buzzer, at this moment I find I connect with them. I am proud, I feel emotion and I’m so happy!
But as much as we can feel joy for one another’s successes, we feel an equal but opposite loss when there is pain. When moments arise where worlds are shattered, time stands still and people battle to breathe as a result of their loss. In these times, our worlds shatter with yours, out time stands still too and we lose our breath with you.
South Africa is a country with a fractured past a challenging present, and at times, a worrying future. adding fuel to the complexities that come with 11 national languages, many different tribes, huge economic divides, massive unemployment and unresolved racism/prejudices are worldwide events such as #BLACKLIVESMATTER, #BLUELIVESMATTER, ISIS and general uncertainty.
I sit today a little scared! Not because of crime, not because of the uncertainty, not even because of terrorism. Today I find myself more aware than I have ever been that my children may experience things I cannot prepare them for. They may experience things that many have been exposed to for centuries, but for them it will be a lesson that I feel ill-equipped to teach effectively. Continue reading
I’m feeling a little despondent today! I’m sensing the enormity of the challenge and I’m weighed down by the reality of the need. I’m troubled that so many believe and have accepted our own adoption as sons’ and daughters’ into God’s family, and yet the idea of adoption for many is as far from them them as the East is from the West.
We have freely received and therefore should freely give, as Jesus says, but what does this mean? Continue reading
I remember several years ago, sitting in my first adoption class, learning, discovering, being challenged and without my knowing, having my path severely altered.
I also remember the group being asked to give our thoughts on birth moms. Quick as a cat I rememb shuffling my position to one of complete ignorance and judgement. The exact words escape me but my position was based on judging a mom who could give away her child because I could never do that. Thankfully, the lady leading us was skillfully able to highlight the errors in my position in a way that simultaneously corrected my mindset and convicted me to be part of the solution.
Of course I couldn’t relate, of course I could never have given up my first-born, but then again, I never had to! I never stared into the dark only to have fear look back at me, I never viewed my wives pregnancy as anything other than a joy. I never had my dreams shattered over a period of 9 months, I never was abandoned to live out the consequences of my decisions, or perhaps abandoned to live out the consequences of someone elses choices on my body. I never endured ridicule at the possibility of having to drop out of school, to explain to people why I didn’t use protection or couldn’t say no. Continue reading