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God music parenting

He’ll never leave you or forsake you

I help administer a private group on Facebook for foster and adoptive dads, and posted this today for encouragement, because I needed it myself:

So lately I’ve been struggling with the strong wills of my boys, and of my own. The constant tug-of-war. My wife and I were talking about it over lunch today, because she shares in the frustration (she’s strong-willed as well), and I reminded her, as much as myself, that they act this way because they feel securely attached to us.

“Well, it would be nice if they weren’t complete JERKS about it!” she sighed. She didn’t use the word “jerks,” but I’m trying to keep this family-friendly.

I mention this because I know I’m not alone in being a dad frustrated with the behaviors of his kids from hard places. Especially when they’ve been in our home for so long (birth for two of them, 9 months old for the third, and they’re 16, 11, and 8 now), and it just doesn’t feel like things are getting better.

Then God decides to plant a reminder on you in an unexpected way. In an email newsletter unrelated to parenting, there was this verse of encouragement from Hebrews, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God always has our back, and we just need to go to Him with our frustrations, seek His peace.

And because I’m an ’80s metalhead, this verse and the feeling behind it will always be enshrined for me in the opening song from Rage of Angels’ self-titled, 1989, debut album:

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baseball parenting photo Tumblr

A couple of hams on Flickr.

At the Texas Rangers game today.

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parenting travel Tumblr

First time in the ocean on Flickr.

First time the boys have been in an ocean (even if it was only their feet this time). This was something of a scouting trip, taken at the end of a relaxing day around the resort.

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parenting Tumblr

First time he’s pulled himself all the way up! (Taken with instagram)

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parenting Tumblr

This is the way a parent always wants to be greeted. on Flickr.

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parenting Tumblr

“One miiiillllion dollars!” on Flickr.

The boy cracks me up.

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baseball parenting Tumblr

How long until pitchers and catchers report? on Flickr.

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parenting Tumblr video

Getting some real laughs.

Of course, his giggles here aren’t nearly as hearty as they were just seconds before, before the camera made an appearance. Still, pretty great.

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parenting Tumblr

What I’m doing with my Christmas present. on Flickr.

Pretty much the best Christmas ever.

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parenting photo Tumblr

Introducing Nathaniel Pierre Turner on Flickr.

So I’m a few days late in posting this here, but here’s the new addition to our family. Getting his court ruling cleared and permission from the nuns to keep him overnight until, well, pretty much forever, since once the final paperwork clears, we don’t need anyone’s permission for that, pretty much made this year’s Thanksgiving the best ever.

Nathaniel was born April 1, 2011, and is seven months old in this photo. Pierre is what the nuns at the Home of Hope Orphanage named him, and is what will be his legal name on all of his Rwandan documentation, including his passport.