What I Did for my Thanksgiving Weekend
I want to tell you about what happened today, but before I do, I need to tell you another story. I need to set it up for you.
When Jodi and I first got married, it only took us a few weeks to decide that we wanted to go off birth control and have kids as soon as the Lord would give them to us. We figured that would be pretty quick.
But it wasn’t. After a year or two of trying, we went in and had some infertility treatments, that didn’t really do anything more than flip Jodi’s hormones crazy. Years went by, and along the way we did some foster parenting, mostly later teenagers, but occasionally younger. But with no children of our own, we became more and more frustrated along the way.
We looked at adopting, but a lot of things made that not right for us to pursue at the time.
Eventually, we decided that we were simply not meant to have kids. But there was a sentence in my Patriarchal Blessing that referred to it, and did so in a way that implied that we would have biological children. It said that I would “sire children”. So, even when our faith sagged, I still clung to the hope of one day being a father.
Years went by. It became an accepted, unspoken rule that Jodi would stay home from church on Mother’s Day. I still went of Father’s Day. Partly because I felt like, with all the grief we got from delinquent teenage foster kids, I’d earned my wings, but mostly because, frankly, Father’s Day isn’t really that big a deal anyway.
Then, after two rounds of a frightening medication named Clomid, we got pregnant. We were ecstatic! After eight years, we were finally going to be parents.
Not so. Halfway through the pregnancy, it miscarried. We were devastated. At the time, I was working for a foundation, teaching music to kids in an elementary school. My supervisor made it clear that she expected me back in for work the following Monday. It was seriously tough for me to go back to work teaching other people’s children when I’d been denied that privilege of my own.
About a year later, there was another pregnancy and another miscarriage, this one much earlier.
Finally, another round of Clomid, and a third pregnancy happened. We were very careful this time. The OB/Gyn literally sewed Jodi's cervix shut. She was on full bed rest THE ENTIRE NINE MONTHS, if you can imagine that. But it worked. Ten years after making that initial decision to try for a child, we had our first son, Brendon.
A few years later, without any extra medication, Jacob was conceived and brought into the world, and anyone that follows this blog knows more about that than they’ll ever need to…
But I tell you that whole story to tell you this: Many years after coming to believe that I’d never be a father, I had the amazing privilege today of leading my boy Brendon into a warm baptismal font, saying the requisite prayer, and dipping him into the water. When I pulled him out and hugged him, I felt so incredibly grateful that I have him. This son that I thought I’d never have is now eight years old, and accepting the covenant of baptism.
Then, we all gathered around him, placed our hands on his head, and confirmed him a member of the church, and gave him the Gift of the Holy Ghost. My parents were in town (they live in Indiana), so I thought it would be special to ask my dad to confirm. It was a wonderful glowing moment, and one I will remember and treasure for a very very long time to come.
And that’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving!