Saturday, February 27, 2010

Her Father's Joy

Surrounded by babies and pregnancies.

But for us, just monthly disappointment.

We signed up to adopt a baby through the state of Georgia--a list years long.

I went back to the doctor. "You're just waiting to become pregnant," he said.


Dennis came home one day and said, "They want us to move to Florida. Just for 12-18 months. They want us to rent out the house, not sell it."

"You'll be coming back with a baby," my friend, Judy, predicted.

That move was so hard. I wrote about it in an article published in Evangel several years ago. But I'll share that another time.

We said our goodbyes, and off we went to the land of beaches and orange blossoms. But still no baby. So we began the process of infertility testing. More on that here. (And a followup here.)

Over. Finished. We'd done all we knew to do. My plumbing was disconnected. We did not feel led to go forth with extraordinary means at that point. Tired. We began to make other plans that did not include children. We gave it all to the Lord.

And then our pastor called with news.

"I went to this meeting. There's an interdenominational group that's been counseling young, unmarried, pregnant girls. They feel they need to offer an option. It's not an official adoption agency so there's not official paperwork, and the adoptions will take place privately through an attorney."

Without a lot of hope, we put together a packet that included resumes, biographical and spiritual histories, and a financial report. I still have copies of those on yellow carbon paper!  I also wrote a poem.


Love to share
Through joy and care
Bound with ties as yet unseen
We'll learn together the way to grow
That to the world His ways we'll show.

          As God is my Parent, you'll be my child
          We both are adopted in one family
          So I'll care for you as He cares for me
          That you can be all He wants you to be.

          We'll bake cookies for Dad, play catch outside
          We'll listen to music or read a book
          I'll check your homework, we'll talk of your day
          At bedtime I'll tuck you in while we pray.

          We'll share the wonders of butterfly wings
          We'll climb a mountain and walk on the shore
          In nature's classroom with childlike surprise
          We'll find new things that will open our eyes.

          Love has to be tough if it's love at all
          And it may hurt when I have to say, "No"
          But I'll kiss your bruises, always be there
          To comfort and hold you through every tear.

Love to share
Through joy and care
Bound with ties as yet unseen.
He chose you long ago, you see
A special gift wrapped up for me.

Sandy King, May 1984

The group  liked the packet enough to send out a state social worker to interview us and inspect our environment.

And we waited. Without much hope.

The 12-18 months stretched into 4 years! There were a couple false alarms about moving back to Georgia, but they fell through.

And then.  


A baby girl. A newborn. Come and get her! My heart still pounds when I think about it.

Two days after her birth, I cradled and cried over this special gift. A gift given by Him 25 years ago today.

Planned before time began.

Almost immediately and before the adoption was finalized, the company transferred us back to Georgia.

Judy was right. We came back with a baby.

Abigail Elizabeth. 

Her father's joy. Consecrated to God.


My gift.

My daughter.

My best girlfriend.

I love you.

Happy 25th Birthday!

    Welcome home, Abby!

So blessed!

Cake awaits. First toys. And snacks for the cats.
New daddy heading off to work in a pink shirt with a basket of pink bubblegum!

With Pastor Jack at 1-1/2 weeks.

Just look at her now!
 Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Husband's Hand

I lay awake on my back in the dark listening to my husband's soft breathing. He lay on his stomach, his right arm tossed across my neck, hand resting on my face. I held that hand with my left and nestled my cheek into its cup, seeing it in my mind. My right hand gently brushed the arm hair, traced the outline of the fingers, encountered the roughness of a hangnail and the scab of a cut.

Not a large hand. But not small. And big enough to swallow mine when he grabs it while we cross an icy street or hike over rough terrain.

A balanced hand.

A kind hand.

Not a rough hand. But a hand that handles paper and holds phones. But not a soft hand, either. A hand that hauls wood into the house after a 16-hour day so I don't need to. That empties the litter box and fishes recyclables out of the trash (and sometimes food, but that's another story). A hand that spent several weekends trying to reconstruct our daughter's walkway.

A caring hand.

A kind hand.

Not a pasty hand. But a hand sprinkled with sun spots from summers working in the field. A hand that steered a tractor when it was only 6 years old and bottle fed calves and and bedded bulls and showed horses. A hand that created gifts for his mother, including a piece of clay art that I display in my office. I wish I'd seen that child hand.

A precious hand.

A kind hand.

Not a weak hand. A hand with roping veins and a strong slow pulse at the wrist. A pulse that beats with love for his family. A hand that shovels snow before I'm up--and then shovels for a neighbor. A hand that washes dishes and cleans bathrooms and vacuums carpets. A hand that helps my son's girlfriend with her taxes after a long day at the office.

A helpful hand.

A kind hand.

A hand that carried Frostys and other special treats to his nursing home-confined father, in spite of verbal abuse. A hand that helped his dad to and from his wheelchair, to and from his car to drive him to doctor's appointments and out to eat.

A compassionate hand.

A kind hand.

Not a grasping hand. An open hand. A hand that pulls bills from his pocket to give to a man on the street or a child that needs (wants) a little extra, leaving him with enough for something off the dollar menu or a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

A sacrificial hand.

A kind hand.

A hand that changed diapers and plays board games and reads books and searches under covers for a hiding child when he can hardly keep his eyes open.

A patient hand.

A kind hand.

A hand that grasps a stray dog or cuddles a lost kitten or carries an unwelcome housebound insect outside. A hand that walked a colic-suffering horse all night, in the depth of winter. That brushed an icy tear from his own eye.

A tender hand.

A kind hand.

A hand that held me when I wanted to beat the stuffing out of one of our kids for some reason.

A restraining hand.

A kind hand.

A hand that stroked my forehead as I awakened from anesthesia.

A gentle hand.

A kind hand.

A hand that grasped mine when he noticed a single tear as I recently lay on an emergency room gurney. Even after my frustrated and angry and undeserved tirade against him earlier that evening.

A forgiving hand.

A kind hand.

A hand that slipped a ring on my finger over 38 years ago when he promised to love and cherish me through better and worse until parted by death.

A loving hand.

A kind hand.

My husband's hand.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Colossians. 3:12

Have you encountered a kind hand?

NOTE: This post is part of the Blog Carnival on KINDNESS. For more thoughts, visit One Word at a Time.

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sickness--A Gift?

I think my left side is permanently wrinkled.

I spent most of yesterday on it. I started by sitting on the couch to watch the news. And slid down ever so slowly. Basically into a stupor. One of those weird days where eyes refuse to focus. Momentarily sort of awake, sometimes, but not really. Incorporating news reports into my dreams. Hovering between the real and the unreal. Choking a devil dog that had me in its grip--and being relieved to find my kitty alive and well lying on my shoulder.

And then to bed, again on my left side. I'll probably be deformed.

I've been ill for the last couple of weeks. And I thought the cure might just do me in.

I almost gave up. But I made it through. One dose at a time. Several prayers at a time.

And today, I'm so grateful for evaporated drug effects.

Sickness. Not a gift I asked for. Not a gift I wanted. But a gift allowed. And as I opened it layer by layer, I discovered and rediscovered:

1. A greater empathy for those who struggle with daily nausea and fatigue from whatever reason, and especially for those undergoing longterm chemotherapy.

2. A caring and supportive family and affirmation that I'd be missed if anything happened to me. (This after telling my husband to "just shoot me" if I ever contract this illness again or--worse--wind up with the same prescription "bomb" again.)

3. A circle of friends who prayed me through day by day, dose by dose, in spite of my whining.

4. The knowledge that my "suffering" paled in comparison to that of others, and also the knowledge that I'm still such a "weakling" I'm apparently not ready yet for big time challenges.

5. A reaffirmation to take better care of my body in terms of diet and exercise.

6. A better grasp of the wise words, "This, too shall pass" and "Do not worry about tomorrow."

7. A reminder that sometimes it's okay to just let go and REST!

And today, I feel more rested. I'm eating again. And though my body might be slightly wrinkled and deformed, I sport a smoother and stronger spirit.

Have you ever found sickness to be a gift? 

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:27

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Patience Now

I want it.
But it is precious produce
Sown in the soil of adversity.
Timid tendril
Pressing upward
Until the fullness of time.
His time.
And so I wait.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control . . ." Galatians 5:22-23

How does YOUR patience grow?

NOTE: This post is part of the Blog Carnival on PATIENCE. For more thoughts, visit One Word at a Time .

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

He Opened His Mouth

When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them. Matthew 5:1-2 (NASB)

He opened His mouth.

That tickled me. How else was He going to teach? Was He going to practice ventriloquist skills with a stubborn donkey?

Then it dawned on me. He'd been teaching already. A lot by example. Touching and healing and loving on folks.

He'd taught and preached in the synagogues and gathered quite a following. And a huge crowd from all over the area joined up and traveled with Him. Probably more than could fit in the synagogue. And some who would not be welcome in a synagogue.

So He climbed up on a hill where the crowd could see Him, in a natural, open-air amphitheater. Maybe His voice would carry further. And He sat down on the hill. Sitting could have signified the coming of an important, official word.

Or it could have meant He planned a long sermon, and the group might miss the afternoon fishing tournament!

The committed ones jostled their way up the hill to be close to Him. I get that. I always want to be in the front row to see and catch every word of an inspiring speaker. I mean I crashed through the door and knocked fifty people to the ground to catch the enthusiasm of Richard Simmons up front and personal.

(Okay, I know some of you aren't going there, but I had a great time!)

And He opened his mouth. To speak loudly? To speak clearly? To be heard and understood?

He opened His mouth. He didn't speak through clenched teeth like I've been known to do in an angry moment--spitting venom and hissing orders and hurtful words, like a pharasitical snake.

Not such a great example of caring and love on my part.

And He began to speak words that would knock their sandals off. Words overflowing from a superabundant heart full of love and compassion. With authority and power. Words that challenged what the listeners believed, that contradicted what they had been taught.

New words. Odd words.

Blessed are . . .

Are others likely to listen to you because you've already taught by example?

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King
Related Posts with Thumbnails