Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So how did the two of you meet?

This seems like a benign church supper kind of question, right? But the poor folks who ask this are often in for a shocker. When I was a baby Christian at 16, I was in a relationship with a volatile and angry young man. I became pregnant and was suddenly faced with life and death decisions, for myself and for my child. I needed to get out of my abusive relationship and I needed to find a way to keep my baby. I left home and lived with a dear Christian family who loved me as if I was their own daughter. I grew in so many ways. I went to a school for unwed mothers in the inner city; the only girl to ever openly plan to place her child for adoption. I was just as openly hated. In that culture, being an unwed mother who lives on government assistance and never finishes high school is more acceptable than choosing for that child to be adopted. I learned to care less about what others thought of me and more of what God thought about me. I resigned myself to being single for the rest of my life. But God brought Dave to me. He was my support system and my best friend. When my son was adopted, I moved back home and agreed to my mom’s request that I not return to my church or youth group. The only person she trusted was…Dave. After three weeks of daily visits from Dave, (he was concerned that I have constant encouragement after my pregnancy). I was smitten beyond recovery. If you’ve ever read Jane Eyre, my heart was as torn as Jane’s when she thought she was being sent to Ireland. Dave was just as quiet as Rochester so I wasn’t sure if he felt the same way. He’s also 5 years older than me; at the time that difference was significant. One night Dave’s mom told him that if he was interested in me, it was fine with her. That was all it took. The next day was July 3, 1984. In Jane Eyre, Rochester described their relationship as hearts that were attached. That is exactly how we felt. For us, once the leap was made, there was no going back.
Whatever happened to my son? His name is Wade. He grew up in a loving Christian home in Oklahoma. I met him when he was 18 and we have enjoyed a special relationship ever since. One of our stops on this Aloha journey was Oklahoma. We stayed with Wade and his parents for two days. Here are a few pictures from our time with them. For those Baltimore Colts fans out there, Wade’s father was the center for the Colts and he played with Burt Jones. Wade is the bearded one in the middle. He is a teacher with Outward Bound and he thinks the beard makes him look older…no comment.

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