Welcome Pooh Bear!

JacksonObservant readers will have noticed that there are only 6 children in the banner picture, but the name of the blog is “Seven on Earth.”  That is not because I have been negligent in updating the picture.  It is because little Pooh Bear was not allowed to have his happy smile distributed as bits across the Internet.  You were missing out. 

We were in one of the most difficult periods in the adoption process with little Pooh Bear:  The Waiting Period.  The rest of the phases involve you and your lovely bride doing something (assuming you have a lovely bride).  Not so the waiting period.  There is nothing to do but wait.

All of the paperwork, the background checks, the home study, the planning meetings are all over and done.  The petition has been filled out, duplicated, signed, notarized and filed.  Then you wait.  You know it won’t get done in a couple of weeks so you can relax for the first few months.  After that, every trip to the mail box is a cycle of “today could be the day” followed by “nope, not today.”

Well, today was the day.  The plain, unremarkable manila envelope was in the mail box.  Contained within that envelope was the paper we have waited months for.  Pooh Bear’s adoption decree!  The Lord has been faithful beyond our understanding, but we truly are blessed to overflowing here.  We officially have seven children in our quiver now.  It truly is the closest thing to heaven I can imagine.  It truly is Seven on Earth.

On being really, truly Colorblind

Our little family is comprised of a veritable rainbow of race and color.  We have white, we have black, and we have all the shades in between.  Our children are beautiful.  I know that as their father, I am biased, but I am making absolutely no apologies for that bias!

My children talk about their skin color in the most superficial of senses.  They see it as no different than eye color, or eyelash length, or tall or short, or any other attribute.  That is how it should be.  They know God made them the way they are and they have no reason to be ashamed, nor does anyone else.

You see, our children are colorblind.  They are colorblind not because they don’t notice color, but because they understand what it is, nothing more than a physical attribute.  They understand that all people have value and that you measure a person by their character and their character alone.

That is the rub.  You cannot ever achieve colorblindness in any society where there is a vacuum of value.  The world is built around comparative value.  It cannot be ignored nor denied. The world is not egalitarian.  There will always be smarter, prettier, richer people than others.  There will always be people that can perform better, say things better, write better, paint better, and so on.  Kids understand this inherently.

If you teach them that every choice is as good as another, you are teaching them a lie, and what is worse, you are robbing them of the only true way to measure humans.  What are they going to fill that void with?  If you think they won’t you are kidding yourself.  Just walk into a classroom of any age and you will see their little “value” system at work.  They will establish a pecking order.  It is unavoidable.  The only question that remains is what is the basis of their pecking order.

You don’t solve the “race issue” by continuing to talk about it (even if you are the President).  You don’t solve it by the media highlighting some racial tragedy.  You don’t solve it by forums, coalitions, or task forces.  You don’t solve the race issue by legislating “hate crimes.”  And you certainly don’t get there by treating someone special because of their color (or lack).  These things just fan the flames with more attention to what should not be.

I remember when our President was elected and how everyone claimed it was a victory for the race issue.  It demonstrated how far we had progressed as a nation.  I remember kneeling next to my son’s bed that night and crying.  Crying for him and our nation in prayer.  If we are talking about the man’s color, we haven’t achieved a thing.  If people cannot look at our President the way I look at my son and only notice his skin in a completely secondary way, then there is no victory.

If you want your children to be truly colorblind, don’t teach them that everyone is the same.  Rather teach them to love their differences and value character.  You see, being colorblind cannot happen when we are blind to everything

Colorblindness can only happen when we see character in 20/20.

Some are just born with talent

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There is no way I can do this conversation justice without you having experienced P.C. firsthand.  The boy is a force of nature.  He was just born with talent that I cannot explain.  His talent is rare and frankly is scares me a bit.

It scares me because it is my job to shape his talent and I am WAY out of my depth here.  I had to learn all of this.  He just knows it.  To be honest, I am learning a great deal from him.

Knowing his Mother had a very busy day and was feeling a bit overwhelmed, he bursts into the office.  The veins on the sides of his neck are bulging from the excitement, and you could light a fire with the sparkle in his eyes.  He begins:

P.C.:  “Guys!  I have exciting news!  Just wait here.”

Mother: “Okay buddy, what is your news.”

P.C.: “We are making you a Rrrrooomantic dinner with fake food!”  (Yes he drew out that word – don’t ask me how he knows this).

The picture above is the dinner spread that he and Curly Girly put together for us.  It is on the small trampoline that serves as a low table.  We were to recline at the table (Roman style) while he served our dinner.

Yes,  some have to carefully cultivate their talent in order to give a middling performance.  Some, like P.C., are born with a gift.  Now I have to make sure he uses his Super Power for good!

Time to go take Beautiful on a date.

Climbing Trees

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P.C. is a character.  If you haven’t picked that up from this blog yet, you just aren’t paying attention (or you are new – Welcome, pull up a chair!).  Despite the fact that he will have an engaging conversation with anyone, he is actually a cautious young man.  Consequently, he has never climbed a tree.  Until now.

His older brother, Thunder, has been playing on an All-Star team for our area so we are experiencing travel baseball for the first time.  We having been taking this on as a family and we are having a ball.  Just to help give you the full appreciation of what that means for Beautiful let me help provide some context.  She is packing drinks, food, snacks, toys, sunscreen, etc. for 9 people for 3 days every time we hit the road.  That does not include the logistics of a tent to keep the sun off, the chairs to sit on, and where all of this stuff is going to go in our van as we travel.  Yes, she is a rare woman.

The list of what has made this whole experience worth every bit of effort and planning is too long to put into this post.  In addition to being able to meet all kinds of new people and share their lives, while they share ours, we have been able to experience some genuinely new things – even the little ones.  While at the last tournament, P.C. noticed a particularly inviting tree.  I thought it was the perfect tree to learn how to climb so we spent some time learning the highs and lows of tree climbing.  He was beside himself with joy at having tackled his first tree without assistance.  After demonstrating for his Mother, he was ready to move to the next new thing.  He had “been there, done that.”

While he may not remember that tree or even having climbed it, I will remember it as the place my son conquered a new hurdle and gained a little more confidence in life.  We have always believed in “blooming where you are planted” and in this case, it is climbing where the tree is.  Sometimes the tree is in your backyard, and sometimes you travel a hundred miles for some other reason completely.  It doesn’t make any difference if you are living life thankful to our Lord for the moment He has provided with your little ones.  They are only little once.  Let them climb the trees.