Today the Otott household faced something I care not to ever see again. Today, Lisa and I witnessed our wayward, yet beloved daughter lose her parental rights. The safety and well-being of our granddaughter was at stake. Events that began on September 21, 2008; January 30, 2009; February 12, 2009; and February 14, 2009; played out before us. Dates forever etched in my memory. Dates punctuated by fear, anger, love and tears. Dates of which I will remember the details until I draw my final breath.
The process is now in play for Lisa and I to adopt our third child. Imagine, a couple who has been childless for the first 15 years of their marriage adopting a little girl who as I write this turns 20 months old today. This beautiful child has been with us off and on for the past 16 months of her life. Several times over those 16 months, we had to bid her farewell, never to know the next time we would get to see her. Today, she is home. “Nana” and “Papa” rejoice. “Nana” and “Papa” ponder the future.
As the legal hurdles begin that will end when a judge bangs the gavel and decrees the adoption finalized, changes will take place in the Otott home. Insurance needs to be reviewed. Work on a will must begin. Instead of the prospect of an empty nest in the year 2013, the nest will remain occupied until the year 2027 just before this writer’s 63rd birthday.
Do you realize how hard this is for the one who looks at things with sarcasm and biting skepticism? Oh, don’t worry, I am not feeling sorry for myself. At the moment, I am chuckling and shaking my head. Tomorrow, the sun will either shine or I will stand in the presence of my God and my King. If the sun shines, I will take what He directs my way. If I am standing before Him, then I will be a part of the “great cloud of witnesses”. Either way, I will live my Psalm 40 moment.
Will I be a good middle-age father? With the Lord’s help, I should pass the grade. The bigger question in the back of my mind is, “will I be a good father to my wayward child?” What some would say was her neediest moment, brought a helpless child into our home. Yet she still lives in her neediest moment, which can only be helped by the Heavenly Father.
So as you rejoice with us over the girl who is only 20 months old, please pray for the girl who is 22 years old.