Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Today is a Gift...
I don't think I can put into words, what went on in our home tonight, but I will try...
Every day is gift from God...I admit that most of the time, I do not embrace each day that way. It is so easy to get caught up in the routines of life and forget what is right in front of us. But today...today WAS a very special gift, straight from the heart of God to our family.
In 2005, God allowed Dave and I's paths to cross via internet dating, and the rest as they say, is history! We were married on June 17, 2005. Sarah was 10, Kaitlyn was 7, and Trevor was 3. We became a family of 9, with his+mine!! We had no clue the twists and turns that life would throw our way in the next 8 years.
My kids have had a difficult road since their dad left us in 2002. Their relationship with him has been hard on them. I have seen the affects of divorce more times than I would like to count and have wished numerous times that life could have been different for them. The past couple of years have been the hardest for them. My kids have not known much life without Dave. Trevor, being 3, remembers little before him. Dave has been like a dad to them.
A week ago, Sarah asked that we allow Dave to legally adopt her before he passes away. I was shocked, but fully understood the whys behind this. I started looking into this option. At first I assumed that it would be a process that required an attorney, a couple of appointments, a court date or two, and we know that our time is limited.
My first contact was a friend from my church who has a heart for adoption and knows it firsthand. She has even started an adoption agency in Springfield. She started looking into the details of what it would take to make this official. As the day went on, a friend of Sarah's called me, who just recently was adopted by his grandmother. It required little...fill out the papers that can be printed on line, go to the courthouse, pay the fee and file the papers, get a court date, appear once, (and usually within a few days of filing), and it is official. So, his grandmother, emailed me the forms, I printed them all off and we were going to go file within a day or two.
I sat down and told Dave her wishes. Tears appeared in his eyes and he said he felt very honored and was willing to do this. What an honor to be chosen to be a dad...
The next day, Sarah had an appointment with a specialist in Columbus for a jaw issue. The treatment she needs requires up to 10 appointments in their office, a special pillow, and a custom made mouth piece. If Dave adopted her, we would lose child support for her and also her dad's insurance. This issues needs fixed and I can not afford to pay cash for it...now we had to decide-fix her jaw or go through with the adoption...I was devastated...a choice needed made and our time is limited...
I vented to a couple of my friends about it all. And one of them told me they were going to pray that when I woke up in the morning, I would know what to do. I went to bed, hoping, praying, that this would be the case!
I woke up and I can't say I knew immediately...but it wasn't long into that morning when the Lord laid on my heart what we were to do. The friend that I had originally contacted concerning an adoption had recommended that if we didn't have time to do things legally, we could do this spiritually. We could take it before the Lord and He would honor it. So, I went to Sarah's room to speak with her about it. A vow made before the Lord is an eternal one. Let's face it, legalities can be changed. I had concerns for Kaitlyn and Trevor and how they would feel with it. A spiritual adoption could include them. I felt like this was the direction the Lord wanted us to go...she agreed.
I spoke with Kaitlyn and Trevor and they were both ready and excited to do this as well.
I started contacting some people influential to my kids, and close to us as friends and asked them to join us to witness this event. I even ordered a cake to celebrate...it said, "Forever Family"...And tonight was the night...
We gathered around Dave's bed. One of our worship pastor's played "Blessed Be Your Name" and "Your Love Never Fails". The girls' youth pastor offered to do whatever I needed, so I asked him to share a verse and say what the Lord laid on his heart. We opened in prayer and sang the words to that wonderful song. Tears flowed quickly from many eyes. The presence of God, the Love of God, was heavy in the room. He shared from 1 John 3:1&2 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God..." When they adopted in New Testament times, it was forever...NOTHING could separate that relationship. We then prayed and then the kids and Dave, signed their contract. They read...
"Certificate of Adoption
This is to certify that
has been adopted as the daughter/son of Dave Szalla
under the Court of the Lord
on this 12th day of June, 2013"
MANY tears were shed...as we made it official in the eyes of the Lord and the witnesses in the room. The kids each shared what Dave meant to them, Dave shared his heart, and I did too. I think Dave was overwhelmed that my kids CHOSE him to be their dad. And my kids needed to belong to a dad, one that has been there through life with them.
I believe tonight was a night of healing. And it wasn't just for one person in particular. Wounds that go deep, received the love that was freely given...lives that needed to belong to someone, were chosen...and God was honored and glorified in the process.
THANK YOU to each person that had a part in tonight...this was a precious gift that my children and I will cherish in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. We know Dave's time here is getting short. I am so thankful that he is the father of my children...and that my children belong to him!
I am also thankful that when the Lord calls Dave home, they still have their Abba Father to lean on! That his perfect love will never fail them and He will guide them through their life!
Today was a gift....