The Boy Who Made A Difference–How Adoption Changed My Life

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Son #3 and Kevman

Today, I’m beyond pleased to feature a guest post from our youngest son, Preston. He has been married to an awesome young woman for the past six years and is the dad of the grandsons, Kevman and Einstein. His experience in the food industry covers the entire range from the farm to the plate and he is currently retailing food to the health conscious of north central Oklahoma. His writing ability speaks for itself, and most of all, he has a heart for the Lord. Enjoy.

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I am not a blogger or a writer. I can barely text. I am, however, the father of a boy who turns eleven today, and I have something that I need to share with the world.

     Eleven years ago I was sixteen years old. I was fixing to graduate from twelve years of homeschooling under the watchful eye of Mrs. McGriffith, and getting ready to spread my wings and change the world. I had a Dodge Intrepid that hadn’t been wrecked yet, a job at a small town steakhouse, and dreams of how I was going to make a difference in people’s lives. Little did I know that the person that was going to make the difference in my life had just entered the world.
     So I went to college, dropped out of college, and started running my own restaurant. I got married to the love of my life, and we were enjoying our first year of wedded bliss. Shortly after celebrating our one year anniversary, we got a call from my wife’s sister. There was a little boy that needed a home and would we be interested in taking him?
     Now, we had discussed adoption some and had decided that we would be willing to do it, but never thought that it would happen so soon. We prayed about it, felt good about it, and went to meet our son.
     You never know what to expect in those life altering moments. Will he like us? What will he be like? How will he feel about coming to live with us? We arrived at the trailer, where he was with his biological father and some family. We walked in, and standing there in front of us was a little boy that had the most penetratingly blue eyes you will ever see. He had sandy blond hair, pants that were too big and shoes that were too small. He came over to my wife and said, “You have blue eyes just like I have blue eyes!”
     We visited with his family for about fifteen minutes before they told us we could take him to the park. He has been with us ever since.
     People like for things to be clean and orderly. We like for situations to be pleasant, problems to be quickly resolved, and for abnormalities to be quickly changed into normalities. Adoption doesn’t work that way. Adoptive situations are rarely clean. Many times they are situations where selfish adults have trampled on the well-being of their children, leaving them hurt and broken. Someone may come along and try to help heal those wounds, but where there was a cut, there will always be a scar.
     We have loved our son from the moment we met him. We have struggled from the moment we met him. How do you compensate for the years of bonding time that you missed? I didn’t see his first tooth or help him take his first step. I missed his first birthday party. I didn’t get to spend sleepless nights holding him in the rocking chair while singing to him, or change his diapers, or give him a bath. I joked at first that getting a six year old would be great because you didn’t have to do any of that stuff, but I quickly realized that those times are times to be treasured. The only picture we have of him before he turned six years old, is a grainy black and white picture from off of a paternity test report.
     How do you answer when someone finds out that your son is adopted and says, “So he isn’t really yours.”? How do you explain to people that it really isn’t your fault that this little boy is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the store, because you have only had an influence on him for a week? How do you explain to the other kids that your son doesn’t play the same as they do because he wasn’t taught how to play by a loving mother and father? How do you deal with the fact that one day you know that your son may choose to leave the nest and go find his “real” mom and dad?
     What if he asks why? Why did my dad let complete strangers come and take me after only knowing them for fifteen minutes? Why did my mom never come see me even though she had visitation rights? How do you impress on this child that none of it was his fault, that the people that have missed out the most are his biological parents? How do you let him know that it is okay to ask these questions?
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     I have always wanted to change the world, to make a difference in someone’s life. I didn’t know that someone could make such a difference in my life. My life changed when my son went from calling me “Boy” to calling me by the name I now go by: “Pops”. It changed when we went into the backyard to play catch and he actually caught the ball! It changed when I saw the look on his face when we got him a puppy, and when I heard him playing by himself and he was pretending to have a conversation with me saying, “Good job, bub!”. It changed my life when he hugged and kissed me good night for the first time. It changed when I would sing his bed time song, “Whisper a prayer in the morning, Whisper a prayer at noon, Whisper a prayer in the evening to keep your HEART in tune!” and I would grab him when I said “HEART” and he would shriek with laughter. It changed when I helped him pray for the first time, and knew that he knew who God is. It changed when I heard him talking to someone else about me and he told them that I was his dad. My life changed when I heard my son say “I love you” for the first time.
     Why is it worth adopting a child? Because it changes your life; and maybe, just maybe, it will change theirs too.
     I am so proud to be the dad of a boy that turns eleven today.
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And Gramps and I are so proud to be the grandparents to that boy. Happy, happy birthday, Kevman. Gramps and Nana bless the day God brought you into our family.
Thank you so much for the awesome post, Pres. It’s my very favorite Ranch Pen post to date. God bless all y’all and enjoy #3’s song choice, Steven Curtis Chapman singing All I Really Want For Christmas.
[youtube.com/watch?v=xi6NJHVmQTw]
*This artist doesn’t necessarily endorse my blog, we just love his songs.

20 thoughts on “The Boy Who Made A Difference–How Adoption Changed My Life

  1. Pingback: The Health Food Go-To Guy At The Ranch Pen | From the Ranch Pen–A Danni McGriffith Blog

  2. Pingback: Top Five Ranch Pen Posts Of 2013–#1 | From the Ranch Pen–A Danni McGriffith Blog

  3. Hi Diane! You probably don’t remember me from the possibly two times I’ve seen you. Earnest and Lois were both my cousins. My friend, LaDonna, messaged me about this story, thinking I would like it. She was so right. It is so sweet and heartwarming. Such a wonderful testament of our God of second chances. I looked around a little at other stories on your blog and just love it. You are a very talented writer. I will be sure to check in on you now and then.

  4. Your kids have always been so amazing and kind Di. I’m thankful they adopted Kev and gave him a real family. All children deserve a loving home. Merry Christmas to you all.

    • Thank you, JoAnn. What a coincidence! I always think of YOU as amazing and kind. And smiling. 🙂
      I absolutely agree–all kids do deserve a loving home, but there are SO many without one. It’s heartbreaking.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Merry Christmas and God bless to all of you.

  5. God knew that He had a little boy on this earth that the Stork put in the wrong house at the wrong time, so HE had to make it right and brought that little boy to two loving parents to raise knowing he was loved for whom he is and where he can in turn he can love others like Jesus does. We worried about the kids getting a little boy but we knew that it takes very special people to untake the raising of a child and they (Preston and Chantel) are very special. Kevman is a very special young man. He shows his love and care towards his family and that is wonderful. GOD knows whats best!!! Aunt Candy

  6. Wow what a heartwarming, amazing and selfless story. Both of my parents were adopted out and my youngest sister was adopted by my parents into our rather large family. No matter who gave birth to a child when they come into a family who loves them as their own they are indeed their child. Wow.

    • Yes, it is amazing the stories i have heard of how adoption can change people’s lives for generations to come! Thanks for reading!

  7. @ Anna, thank you for your kind words! We definitely know that God chosen our son to come be with us. I have often marveled at the plan that God started in motion when i was so young, to bring our family together!

  8. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And I think the most miraculous thing about adoption is that, while the nagging questions of “why did my parents give me up” can have such painful answers, you also can say to your child, “You have been chosen. You are desired, and you are loved.” Always a reflection of the Father’s love and desire for us. Gotta agree, Danni, best post to date.Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your family.

    • Thanks for the kind words aunti! I feel my failings as a parent every day, but i pray God can help me be a better dad. Thankfully Chantel is an awesome mom, so hopefully they will turn out ok!

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