December 16, 2014
To My Son on His 30th Birthday,
I do not remember what happened on the day you were born. I never held your tiny hand or wrapped you in a tiny blanket as I did my other children. I don’t have any baby pictures of you. I don’t know how old you were when you took your first steps or first rode a bike without training wheels. Our story is different. Our story is a story of mutual choices. We chose you, and you chose us. It is a story of bumpy adolescence, of struggles, and only a few years of shared living spaces. Ours is a story of family, permanent bonds that cannot be broken. Ours is a story of God’s hand of providence.
Jeremiah 29:11says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosperand not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” You know these words, because they were the words we gave you when you first became a part of our family. These are words that God spoke to you. I know this because I sawthe note you wrote a few months before you came to us, a crying out for purpose and a future. Those words you wrote will forever be etched in my mind. God reached out of heaven and answered you when you didn’t even know he was listening. Perhaps it seems his response came too late. Perhaps you wondered where he was all those years before. I cannot answer that for Him, you will have to wait on Him for that answer some day. God in His sovereignty is beyond comprehension. What I do know is that had he reached down any earlier you would not have come into our home. Any sooner and I am certain we would have been unable to make you our own. Perhaps God waited until we were ready. I am glad he did. I am glad His timing, as some consider slow, brought you to us.
I have learned many things in my years as your mother. I have learned about the importance of family. I have learned how ill equipped I am to be a parent outside of the grace of God. I have learned that love is not about feelings, genes, history, but is much more, so very much more. But of all things I learned there is one thing I learned that goes above all those things. I learned that God speaks and when He speaks He fulfills His promises. He spoke to me. He told me that you were to be my son and it is the only time in my entire life that I knew God was speaking to me and then fulfilled that promise. You are the son of my promise, like Isaac to Abraham. You are the answer to my prayers.
Here is what I hope you have learned from us. I hope you learned that we are family, and that family is forever. I hope you have learned that we are people you can count on, people who are here to care for you, to support you, to love you through thick and thin. I hope you have learned to trust, hope, and love. But most of all I hope you have learned about faith. I hope you have learned that God is real, personal, and good. I hope you have found the purpose and future that God planned for you even from the foundation of the earth. I hope you have not only learned the story of God’s redemption, but that you will come to embrace that truth in your heart. I hope that one day you will find the deepest healing that comes from the Great Physician, and use your experiences to be God’s tool to bring healing to others. I hope I will some day see you living out the plan God has for you.
I did not name you. Your name was chosen by God and appointed to you before we met. Your name, Sean, is the Irish name derived from John. It means “God is Gracious.” Grace is undeserved blessing, unmerited favor. For each of our children we have prayed that they would live up to their names and their namesakes. For you my prayer is that you would find the Grace of God and dwell in that grace. I pray you will be like John, “The disciple whom Jesus loved.” I pray you would love God with all your heart as John did, and you would be blessed as he was.
So on this, your 30th Birthday, I wish for you not the treasures of this world, as many will wish for you. I wish for you something greater, deeper, far more wonderful. I wish for you all the treasures of heaven, your name written in The Book of Life, and your adoption into a whole new family, together with us, so that we can all dwell together for eternity. Happy Brithday!