by Branden DesCarpentrie
Last night I sat down to dinner across the table from my beautiful wife Julia. To my right sat my daughter Ashlyn whose bright blue eyes witness to her mom’s genes. Devon, my son, was seated to my left. As usual, he was acting a little goofy. A trait Julia blames on me. A loving wife, a daughter, and a son . . . it is what I always wanted.
But there were two more chairs filled at my dinner table, filled in ways not entirely expected when I got married. My youngest son Kilyan was there. He has narrow brown eyes, an infectious smile, and hands built for assembling Lego spaces ships. He joined our family from Xining, China six years ago through the blessing of adoption. Next to Julia sat a toddler we call Sweet Pea. Her huge brown eyes, silliness, and ornery attitude have charmed us for almost two years. She is my daughter in every way but legally. Fostered in our home since she was about nine weeks old and, we’re praying she can join our family permanently.
When I think of being a father, I am grateful to a God whose blueprints for family are crafted with more creativity and forethought than my own small mind. Being a dad to biological children, through adoption, and foster care, all at the same time, was not part of the plan in my younger years. But what God designed is a far richer experience. Ashlyn and Devon have deepened my understanding of God’s love for His creation. Kilyan has brought crystal clarity to the truth of our spiritual adoption into His family. Sweet Pea has taught me how to die to self and do good, even when it’s risky to my heart.
This Father’s Day I will celebrate at my dinner table surrounded by my family, thankful He uses me to build His kingdom as a dad, and grateful that He is the architect.
Taking it One-to-One: