Friday, June 16, 2017

A Letter to the Birth Fathers of My Sons

Dear birth fathers,


On Mother's Day last month I wrote a letter to our sons' birth mothers. Since I've been thinking about you too, I wanted to write to you on Father's Day.

Earlier this week I took David to a physical therapy appointment. In the waiting room, I noticed an Asian couple with their child in a baby carrier. When the nurse said it was their time to see the doctor, the dad carried the baby back. And I thought about you and how you were with our boys when they were this young. This scene reminded me of how important dads are and how much you might be missing David 丁一凡and Daniel 华明安. Maybe there are certain dates that especially cause you to wonder how they're doing: their birthdays (we have estimate dates in December of 2004 and 2005 but you know the days they were actually born), the days they were taken to the hospital and secretly left in places where they would be found but you wouldn't be discovered for abandoning them, June 1 儿童节 Children's Day...

When I think about a Dad's role in his child's life I think about providing and protecting. I can't imagine how heart-wrenching it must have been for both of you, after waiting with great expectation for 9 months for the births of your children, to discover that they had medical conditions you didn't feel you could provide for. You did your best to care for them for an estimated 1 and 3 months before you and your wives decided that you were not able to keep them. So you protectively wrapped them up, kissed them goodbye, and left them in a safe place in a hospital. Maybe you hid in the shadows, with your heart pounding, until you saw that someone had discovered them and you knew that they would be taken to the Lanzhou orphanage. And then you returned home heavy-hearted and empty-handed.

As I've been reading The Jesus Storybook Bible to Daniel recently, he's been asking questions and telling me his thoughts about the Bible stories. This week as we were reading about how God the Father abandoned Jesus temporarily on the cross, in order for Him to bear the full weight of our sin, I read that Jesus' heart was torn in two. Daniel commented that he thought His Father's heart was torn in two as well.

Just as David and Daniel's hearts were torn with the loss of a father in their lives for 7 and 8 years, we know that your hearts were torn too. A huge loss on both sides.

David has gotten interested in books that are part of a series. He really wants the story to go on. And so it has, in their lives. Book 1 began with their birth families, book 2 was called the Orphanage, and now God is writing the pages of book 3 with our family. Each part of their stories is significant and has shaped them into the special young men that they are.

I believe that you would be proud of them for their resilience, their courage, and their strength. They are both fighters with hearts of compassion. They are overcomers. (Maybe they got these qualities from you.) And they are growing in their understanding that God loves them and has had His hand on them for their entire lives.

You haven't had the opportunity to see your precious sons grow up. We missed years of their lives as well. But we believe that they are children of God and that He has been their Father, their ultimate Provider and Protector, all along.

Even though you didn't hand them directly to us (we wish that could have happened), we thank you for entrusting them to us. We would love for David and Daniel to get to know you.

Happy Father's Day. 父亲节快乐


God bless you,
The Pines

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