I miss my kids terribly.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology I still get to talk to them essentially every day, and I usually get to see them through video chat. I’m not sure if this actually makes the whole thing easier or harder, but I enjoy it either way.
On my way to church this morning I called to talk to them as they would be in bed before I got home from church. I was only really able to talk to my wife and one daughter as the reception was pretty crappy.
About a half an hour after getting to church my wife messaged me saying that my oldest really wanted to talk to me. Once they were in better cell coverage she called and I was able to talk to her.
She told me about the fun they had had at Lake Tahoe that day, and the good time she had with a friend the night before at a show for her birthday. She also told me she missed me and she loved me.
It was a simple conversation that lasted barely five minutes, but I know it meant a lot to both of us. It is important to connect, even if only briefly, with those we love on a regular basis.
She has such a tender heart and I am always in awe of the love she is able to express to me in so many different ways. It is totally pure and unfettered by any of the cares of the world. She has no ulterior motive other than wanting to share some time with someone she loves.
I am not around nearly as much as I would like thanks to work and these long absences, but I am eternally grateful for the love of a child that gets me through these challenging times.
What are you grateful for?
I don’t have a lot of deep thought to go with my gratitude tonight, only the fact that love conquers all.
No matter how hard we think life is or how much we struggle the love of a Heavenly Father can, and will, get us through.
Some days there is not much else I know in the world, but tonight I am grateful for love.
What are you grateful for?
For those of you that may not know a lot about Mormons, eternal families are right at the heart of everything we do. We believe that through the power of the priesthood we can be sealed together not just until we die, but that we can actually be a family even after we die.
In order to do that we must be sealed in one of the 150 or so temples that we have around the world. Because my Queenie and I were sealed as a couple before our first three kids were born they are automatically sealed to us, but Ty is in a little bit of a different situation since he was adopted.
In order for him to be sealed to us we had to go to the temple again and have him sealed to our family for eternity. The awesome thing about that is that all of our kids, along with tons of our other family, were able to be there for the actual sealing which just made the whole thing super special.
As we sat in the temple together surrounded by friends and family that love us, and I heard the prayer said to seal our new little wonder boy to our family all I could do was stare at him and his mom and take in the magnitude of the moment. Three months ago this little guy was in a crowded orphanage with dozens of other kids not really receiving love and affection, a good diet, or much physical exercise.
Now he runs around with two sisters and a brother that love him, eats just about anything we put in front of him, and shares a room with a big brother that adores him. Today he was surrounded by about 30 other people who also love him and will gladly take care of him for the rest of his life. On top of all of that, he is now part of an eternal family that will love and care for him through thick and thin.
The magnitude of that reality is a little overwhelming.
In the 15 months or so since we started this process there have been plenty of ups and downs and trials along the way, but witnessing my newest son snuggle up to his mommy who was crying tears of joy as we were sealed together as a family will forever be etched in the most sacred memories of my mind.
The love of family is the most important thing that I have ever experienced, and continue to experience, and that is why today I am grateful for eternal families.
Maybe it is a little cliche to be grateful for my father on Father’s Day, but it’s my blog and I do what I want. I did consider writing about some of the other “fathers” I have had in my life but maybe I will go there next year.
Now that I am writing I am not exactly sure where to start.
Many of my earliest memories involve my dad and developing what has become the biggest passion of my life, airplanes. I remember traveling to the airport with my dad way before we would need to pick someone up just so we could watch the airplanes. This was pre-9/11 so sometimes we would even go when we didn’t have to pick someone up and just walk around the airport.
One of the biggest life-changing moments was visiting the Boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. We were there shortly after the end of the Cold War so there were miles and miles (at least it felt that way to a kid) of B-52s that we drove through on the tour.
I was just in awe of these amazingly large aircraft and just the wonder of flight. I don’t know that I realized it at the time, but that was probably the point at which I knew in my heart which direction I would go in my career.
To say that everything in our relationship was perfect would simply not be true. We had our ups and downs like any child and parent, but I have always known that my Dad loves me.
That is probably the greatest gift that any child can receive, and is something that has been reinforced as I brought another son into my family through adoption. Not every child has a father that loves them which completely sucks.
That’s why today I am so grateful today for my Dad.