Thursday, March 1, 2012

Run With Endurance

"What a blessing it is that God gave us a way, through our laws, to be able to add to our families in this way." The words echoed in my head as we stood before the judge this past Monday. In this beautiful moment my mind raced, reliving the last two years in seconds. Heartbreak. Joy. What an incredible journey it has been. There have been moments where this journey has been more exhausting that the longest run and moments more wonderful than crossing any finish line.

If you have read this blog, even a couple of times you are probably aware that Chanda and I are the parents of six children. What you probably are not aware of is that two are biologically ours, two are foster children, and as of Monday when the adoption of James was finalized, two are adopted. And as I stood in that courtroom on Monday with my wife and all six of our children, surrounded by extended family, in the presence of social workers, a judge and God, I couldn't help but think of a bible passage that has often been my running mantra. Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with endurance the race marked out for us."

"Run with Endurance" is what I say to myself when I am struggling through a long run. But on this day the application was so much bigger! Parenting is an endurance sport. There's no other comparison that fits quite as well. I read one time that in an ultra-marathon you hit "the wall" and stay there for hours. In parenting...it can be days, weeks and even months. Like a marathon, each child comes with their own set of challenges, specifically unique to them. And like running a marathon, successful parenting requires, at times, that you dig deep in your moment of exhaustion and give, possibly more than you even knew you could. But once you finally break through that wall the "runners high" is unimaginable!

These last two years have been an emotional roller-coaster. We've witnessed more joy and heartache than I could fit into a thousand posts. We have experienced the joys of bringing home a baby from the hospital, the fear that accompanies sitting by that babies hospital bed a few months later while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with him, the heartbreak of watching his birth-mom make the hardest decision of her life to give James a better life, and on this day, the joy of knowing that we are officially his "forever family." But let me tell you, it has been worth every second!

If you are a parent, especially one who's child has special needs or circumstances, I want to encourage you. This race was marked out for you. You have it within you to be victorious! And the people around you, that great cloud of witnesses, the spectators standing on the sidelines, they're cheering for you and your success will be their inspiration. Don't give up. Don't give in. Run with endurance!


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1 comment:

  1. Great post. We too have a child with special needs, and I've never thought of it in the context of endurance. Rather, I get motivation from two thoughts - the first being that God doesn't give us more than we are capable of handling. For the second, I look around at other parents who would be far less equipped to handle such a challenge than we are, and am grateful for our son that he came to us.

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