Tomorrow, you will be 7, and you have experienced more in your brief 7 years then most. Our life today isn’t what I thought it would be when you first came into this world.
When you were born, I was bound in chosen captivity. A captivity that made your life selected for you. You were destined to be a farmer, to carry a last name that wasn’t yours(a name your dad and I carried also that wasn’t ours), and to walk a path without choice. You could only be what your dad was, and do what the family was doing. God was bigger though, and he broke us free. Your birth drove your dad to no longer settle for complacency, and choosing captivity was more intimidating with you in the world.
The story is long, detailed and I hear often it needs to be in a book, yet at the end we left that family. You, Me and your dad; three strangers practically; forging our way into a world we had hid from. Yet we couldn’t stop, we couldn’t quit. We had you. We needed to be okay. To keep moving, to keeping chasing the Lord wherever we felt led.
I am grateful because it led us to our community. The one we have to this very day. A community full of choices, broken people pursing health, messes, and brave communication.
When your sister was born, it was that community that held us. And it was you who pushed us to not stop. To not quit. But to be okay, to keep moving, to keep chasing the Lord wherever he led. You needed us to be okay, to find the strength to do life with Katie Grace well. You needed us to be the example of how to find God in the pain. To watch us learn how to lean into his chest and breathe in his peace as your heartbreaks. You needed to see us trust him when it looked like we shouldn’t. To chose forgiveness when we had every right to chose bitterness. To chose grace when could have been angry and to chose to be powerful when we could have been a victim.
Not only did your presence push us but you met us there. You embraced your sister in the fullness of who she was from the moment we brought her home. You were insistent upon reading her books each night before bed. You were careful and aware of how fragile she was. As her care demanded more, and equipment began to fill our house, you carried an awareness of tubes and cords, diligently making sure not to pull or trip over anything. That tenderness that wraps your heart and oozes out your pores, drew you to her. Letting her nurses step in as your playmates but always pretending she was playing with you, sitting next to her as you worked on your leapster including her in your games and photos.
To be honest son, some days I get lost in all that you have had to negotiate in your life. Between your dad and I learning how to do marriage, our sweet Katie Grace, and our rocky beginning; I wonder how on earth you have turned out so well. Earnest to makes those around you laugh, so free with your love and compliments, your tenderness. And then I write this, and as I type I am overwhelmed with the bigger picture. You see you are a catalyst son. Your dad and I would not be where we are today without you. We wouldn’t be who we are today without your sister, but surely we would not be where we are without you. You have held us in account for how we do life. Your presence has called us to chase after the deeper. To be better and to keep moving. You are one, Isaac Adam, who will call people to health.
Please forgive me for every moment, my heart mourned that you didn’t have a “normal” life. That I thought my “mistakes” took away from you. I see now…..I see how much I couldn’t have done what I did, if I didn’t have you. And how much that is apart of your destiny. A part of the greatness that God has for you.
I am going to swap my mourning for dancing and my sorrow for joy. I am going to dance on injustice and declare the goodness. Thank you my boy, for being you. For running the race with your dad and I. For saying yes to your sister. For being the watching eyes that called us to greater. For giving us your laughter, your love, and your tenderness. You have changed my world in ways I am just beginning to understand.
I love you man child. Happy Birthday!