Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Going after the one

The Good Doctor's Perspective 

I am a functionally single working father of seven these days. That may sound overwhelming to many of you, and quite frankly it is for me as someone who has depended on my wife of 21 years who is the ultimate organizer in our home.  But as I have lived as a single parent now for a couple of weeks, I have realized a few things. 

First, I have been blown away at all the help and support of people who believe in what we are doing.  Quite honestly, I didn't know how supportive people would be with us stepping out of the boat like we did, and yet we keep hearing from many different people about how this adoption is affecting them emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and in a multitude of ways.  Our grocery bill is roughly about 25% of what it was.  We are using less gas in our cars.  Our kids are very loved and cared for.  We are incredibly grateful.

Second, I am drawn to the idea of Christ's extravagant love for us as we have stepped out in faith to do what we really believe that God is calling us to do.  This idea of extravagance came from a woman named Tracie from the Kansas City area who has been walking with us for a while in this adoption adventure, long before Victor was even conceived.  In one of her comments to us recently, she used the word "extravagant" to describe what we were doing.  I pondered that as I realized that the very first day we showed up at the hospital.  On the day we met Victor, we signed legal documents taking legal custody of him and all the responsibility that came.  He is on our insurance.  We are going through incredible red tape and paperwork that no one can even understand until you go through it yourself.  

In many ways, we could have easily said no.  Easily.  Everyone in the world would have understood if we would have backed out of the situation.  And yet, we are choosing to love a child who had no hope and future.  It is extremely costly.  It is costly when our schedules are incredibly disrupted.  It is costly when our finances are uprooted and changed considerably within a month.  It is costly for me personally because I miss my wife very, very dearly.  It is costly in having little girls missing their mommy.  It is costly with less sleep over a period of a couple of weeks.  It is costly to not have us all together when we are celebrating great news with our children these days.

And yet... this brings me to the third realization.  The heart of God is to go after the one who is lost.  Our family is safe and secure... generally speaking.  Oh sure, our kids are getting used to their mama away, and it is a disruption.  And yet Luke 15 and the Parable of the Lost Sheep gives new meaning to me:

Luke 15 - Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

In the wake of the Gosnell trial in Philadelphia, we see the heart of God more clearly than ever when we leave the 99 safe children/sheep and go after the vulnerable one.  And we are rejoicing, because Victor Noah - Victorious Long Life - is beating the odds.  He is doing REALLY well for his gestational age (31 weeks today).  I think that has something to do with the fact that his mama is out there every day with him, holding him as longer as she can.  Humming and singing to him.  Praying over him as she holds his hands.

And how are the sheep doing at home, people keep asking me?  We are surviving... actually more than surviving.  I think on some level we are seeing 99 other sheep in the Church and the community rallying around us and supporting us in so many ways.  This whole experience has changed our family forever.  Some of our children have "grown up" more.  Some of our children have significantly matured in prayer.  Ask our 8-year-old daughter who prayed and prayed that God would bring a baby to our family on April 20 and 5:00 p.m. and it happened.  And on top of all that, our kids got something they've been wanting for a long time, text messaging on their phones.  Mama is a texting machine now because she can't always take the time to call.  And the spiritual depth that is coming from her computer in Utah these days is extremely fulfilling to me.

So thank you for caring and praying.  I can't wait for all of us to be together as a family.  I think on that day, I may say to all of you, "Rejoice with us, we have found our lost sheep."  Yet at the same time, I also wonder what God may call you to, whether you might be willing to go after the one when you are in a place of safety and comfort. "The one" doesn't mean adoption, there are many different "ones" who need love.  You may decide that you want to start praying about that and asking God to open your heart to something more dangerous than where you are currently.  But be careful; God may joyfully answer your prayer.

As John already mentioned, our little man's gestational age would be 31 weeks.  Instead he is 6 weeks old today.  He had such a great week and is doing amazingly well.  

He had lost a little weight but was back up to 2 lbs. 4 oz. yesterday.  The doctor increased his feeds from 20 ml to 22 ml.  

Pray that he feeds and grows.  And breathes.

1 comment:

  1. Always good for whichever parent isn't the usual caregiver to step in to that role periodically - just to be aware of all that goes in to keeping the chaos under control! At work, I periodically see single parents with small children who have NO support system at all to help -- I can not fathom how to do that. Being a part of a caring community is an extravagance to be fully appreciated.... despite the separation your family is going through, I'm sure the kids are growing and finding new strengths of their own as well --- blessing to you all! Lori