We’ve been with our son for five days now and this is my first time sitting down to write.  With our first adoption, I wrote detailed descriptions of the events at the end of each day.  I haven’t written yet this time, in part, because it’s not as amazing and new and earth-shattering as it was the first time.  I suppose this is the “second-child syndrome” some parents get. 
“…Another trip to India to meet our son and complete his adoption? Eh, been there, done that.”
 
That is part of the reason.
But the main reason is that the events I would document in a blog about this trip, so far, have none of the storybook elements characteristic of our last visit.  Isaiah warmed up to us rather quickly, was very expressive, and hardly looked back in his bonding process.  So this time, I was expecting to write several heartwarming posts about meeting our son. I was expecting to draw correlations to the lost sheep being found and brought home.  I was going to write about salvation and glory and all that good stuff.  And I know others are waiting for my first blog with Enoch as well.
Some part of me just wants to post, “you can’t handle the truth!” and be done with it.
 
 
The Truth
 
The truth is our son wouldn’t come near us in the orphanage.  He screamed when he was given to us.  The truth is he cried while Candice fed him and his four year old friend had to take over.  The truth is he cried himself to sleep in my arms and then cried again when he woke up.
The truth is harder than the fantasy. 
IMG_0810Enoch will let Candice hold him, and only Candice.  It’s good that he’s beginning to bond with his Mama, but his Papa is feeling a bit left out.  Also, Candice’s back is hurting and she’s having an allergic reaction to something which is causing her face to hurt a bit.  I can’t help her with our son because he cries when I look at him. He is very serious except when he’s upset.  Subtle facial expressions are all we can coax out of him. 
He cries every time he wakes up, whether from a nap or from a night of sleep.  We think he’s grieving the orphanage.  We know we took him from everything he knew and we know that it can’t be easy for him. We want him to process this in a healthy way, but it’s hard to comfort him when he recoils at my touch.
 
He looks away when I talk to him or try to hand him food.
 
We are cherishing the little things. When I gave him a bottle of juice and he actually took it from my hand tears of joy filled my eyes. 
 
Obviously we know adoption and parenting aren’t easy.  But I guess we had assumed that since we’d been through it once, this time would be, at least, no harder than the first time.  But it is harder, much harder.  I spent Father’s Day with one son who runs from me in fear and thousands of miles away from my other son.  It’s not that Father’s Day is overly special to me, but it would be nice to get a hug from one of my boys. I know not all Father’s Days are great for all fathers, but I had seen a potentially poetic moment this year in that I would be meeting my second son just in time for the holiday. 
 
We thought he might like the pool here at the hotel.  While we were checking it out, both Candice and I couldn’t help but think, “Isaiah would love this pool”
But Enoch would have nothing to do with it.  He tolerated the water while Candice held him and walked in until she was about waist deep and it reached his knees.  He screamed in terror when she tried to dip a little lower.
 
Enoch whimpered and whined while Candice held him and I swam around the pool. I swam to one side and waved at my wife and son.  Despite her encouragement, he looked away from me.  I swam to the other side and yelled and waved and smiled.  He looked away.
 
 
Another Perspective
 
As I floated in the middle of the pool I thought, “It’s not over. It’s never over.”
And I thought of the Hound of Heaven.
Constant and unrelenting the Father chases us, deliberately, never tiring, His love follows us.
 
 
The Father pursues us till salvation and I, for one, often forget that the pursuit doesn’t stop there.  I’m adopted into his family, legally His son.  But sometimes I don’t want anything to do with him. I scream when he comes near.  But the Father’s love doesn’t stop.  His pursuit is never over.
 
I stumble and fall and He is there.  I don’t fully understand his love and He shows it to me again. I run back to what I once knew and he follows me. 
 
 
As I rejoice in the incremental steps Enoch is making I gain a little perspective.
I am prepared for the journey ahead.  I am prepared to continue to pursue my son even after we return from India and even for the rest of his life. 
Maybe God isn’t sitting back wishing I am living better since justification has taken place.
Maybe my sanctification is a continual giving in to his deliberate love.
Maybe He’s not upset and frustrated with me when I step away from Him.
Maybe He rejoices with uncontrollable tears when I move ever so slightly nearer to Him.
 
 
 
 
 
Even as I typed the “concluding paragraph” above, Enoch was trying to climb up onto the bed in our hotel room.  I got up and offered him my hand to help him up.  After he took my hand and allowed me to help him I stepped back, smile covering my face and tears filling my eyes.
Maybe the Father’s joy abounds every single time we acknowledge our need for his help.  

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Fatherhood Unfinished

  1. Lori De Witt says:

    Dear Jared,
    I rejoice at the adoption of your new son with you and after reading this, I understand why my daughter wanted me to read this. While our stories are vastly different, the reaction you are receiving from your second son is SOOOOOO much the same as I have been getting from her youngest child. Already at just 3 weeks old up through today he has not been able to look at me nor does he want me to hold him. As tears even now stream down my face, I can’t help but feel great pains in my heart at being rejected for so long from my 4th grandchild. I love being a grandparent more than I could have ever imagined and feel so much love from the older three. Though I joke about it, it pains me a great deal for him to reject me so vehemently. The subtle act of Enoch allowing you to help him encourages me also as I can tell you were. So thank you for writing this. You reminded me that everything is in God’s Hands and that He is always waiting for us to call upon Him. I will pray for you and your family that the bond between all of you continues to grows.
    Sincerely,
    Lori

    • Jared Begg says:

      Lori,
      I am touched that you would find encouragement in these words and that you would share your story. We are blessed by your sharing. We all know that God is in control, but hearing stories of people who believe it in spite of their circumstances makes it real for us, gives it flesh. I am honored that you found something valuable in my writing, and my wife and I are likewise encouraged by your story.
      jared

      • Lori De Witt says:

        Dear Jared,
        What an amazing God we serve! God has certainly heard my cries and answered prayers! I just wanted to let you and your wife share in the absolute miracle that just happened today! My grandson did a TOTAL 180 degree turn in relating to me just today! It is nothing short of a miracle! Tonight as I write back to you there are again tears streaming down my face but this time they are tears of great joy! I want to thank you again for posting this and for any prayers from you or your readers who sent up any prayers on our behalf. When circumstances seem hopeless, God is all the hope we need. Keep looking to Him in all you do and He will surpass all understanding. Thank you again, Jared. I will continue to lift up your family in my prayers!
        Sincerely,
        Lori

  2. Megan miller says:

    Jared,
    Thank you and wow.
    Megs

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