Friday, December 18, 2009

My Family

Last night we attended the annual Christmas dinner hosted by BYU's Counseling Center (where Phil works, and where I used to work). A couple of weeks ago he told me that they asked him for a family picture and a spotlight talking about our family's experience with adoption. Although I wasn't all that excited about having the attention come our way, after Phil asked me to email him a family picture, I didn't give it much thought. I had actually forgotten about it until right before they did it and I was curious to see what kind of a spotlight Phil had written. As much as I didn't want the attention, I am 100% positive that Phil wanted it even less than I did. Last night at the dinner, in the midst of several other family spotlights, our family picture was plastered across a giant screen at the front of the room as they read what Phil had written about how our family came to be.

I love my boys. I love Phil. And I love that he gave me this reminder of just how much our Heavenly Father loves us and watches over us, and always does what's best for us even though it may not be apparent to us when we are in the midst of struggles.

This is what Phil wrote:

There really wasn't anything altruistic or remarkable about our decision to adopt. If we wanted a family that included children - this was to be our lot. However, somewhere along our journey to parenthood Julie and I were taught lessons that not only changed our perspective of what it means to be a family, but have fundamentally altered the way we view life and it's many surprises.

You could characterize our first decision to adopt as "simply" looking to create the family that we had, up to this point, been denied by biology. We endured years of pain, grief, and invasive medical procedures. However, little did we realize at the time that God was about to manifest His mercy and extend His healing grace to a young woman in Cache Valley as well as to Julie and myself. The act of adoption placed sweet Adam in our home and was the answer to nine years of prayer. The adoption process, although difficult, taught us the valuable lesson of surrender to the will of the Divine and increased our faith that God is ultimately in control.

Our next experience with adoption put all of those former lessons to the test and set the Rash family on a course that we had never, in a million years, dreamed would be ours. Our plan was to simply add one more child to our family. We envisioned an adoption much like we experienced with Adam. God, on the other hand, had a much different plan. Almost four years ago during Christmas break, Julie and I independently learned, through means that we can only describe as "spiritual", that our next child wasn't in Utah, he wasn't even in the United States. We were most definitely "called" to an orphanage on the small, hopelessly corrupt, and poverty stricken island of Haiti. The end result of this grueling adoption blessed our family with little Noah.

We were again forced (mostly by U.S. Immigration Services) to come to grips with the concepts of surrender and faith. By-the-way, several U.S. Immigration Service employees learned that you'd better not stand in the way of a couple who believe that God has a little boy who is waiting for them to pick him up from an orphanage in Haiti! We also learned in a very powerful way that God's idea of family really doesn't know borders, race, or culture.

Perhaps the greatest lessons from these experiences are still unfolding and we aren't sure what the future has in store for the Rash family. Ultimately, however, we are grateful for the lessons. But most of all we are eternally grateful for our two wonderful little boys!


KJae said...

Words cannot express how grateful I am to you both for bringing Adam and Noah home. They have blessed our lives much like our own three children. You're beautiful and exceptional parents and those two boys are so lucky that you all chose each other. We love you all!

mj said...

i can't believe that was all four years ago with little noah. i love the rash family. :)

Nathan said...

Phil is definitely a wordsmith and captured the whole experience beautifully.

I think he should hire out to write people's talks and Sunday School lessons.

Elaine Brown Billings said...

Wow that was so good. You guys are such good parents, those two cute boys are blessed to have you as parents.

Now let's go on another cruise!!

Lisa said...

Reading that gave me goosebumps, what a wonderful family you have!!

Swim Mom said...

I didn't really need a good cry tonight, but I enjoyed reading Phil's words just the same.

What a blessing.

Craig and Krista said...

What a great reminder of the unique opportunity and blessing to adopt! Thanks! Merry Christmas!

The Good News said...

I love that family photo! And what a beautiful write-up by Phil.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful expression of the blessings of adoption! I get choked up thinking about how even though adoption is hard, it is exactly the way to get your child to your family. Adoption is such a blessing and such an incredible journey that is so hard to put into adequate words!