I think the first time I heard the phrase “History only describes you, it does not define you” was from Rob Bell.
It’s not dismissing one’s history and past but to remind us that our future does not have to be dictated by our past.
At the time of writing this, all we have to do is go to court, sign some papers, and adoption is final. This post will probably go live on the day of our court date.
At our final meeting with our social worker, we were handed a stack, and I mean a stack, of paper work. It probably weighed over a pound.
Amongst the paper work was N’s family history and the detail of events that led N to us.
Before we began reading it, I told our social worker, “I want to know this, but I don’t want to know this…”
We had our suspicions of the things that N may have experienced.
To have those suspicions actually be confirmed — and now become facts — it was heartbreaking.
And now I’m in more awe of his resilience and the light that continues to pour out of him since day 1.
He’s charming. He’s cute. He tugs at your heart. People are drawn to him. And now he uses his power not for good, but for evil because lil dude is a schemer. He (for the second time) was able to con someone into getting him coffee. COFFEE! Thankfully another church member was there to disrupt his plans. He knew what he was doing. He flashed his “oh well” smile to the lady that interfered with his master plans.
Yea, he’s had a bit of a rough past. But we’re not going to let him be limited by his past. Nor are we going to scrub out his past. It’s always going to be a dance in letting him know where he came from and the boundless options of where he can go.
Part our job now is to do our best to not completely snuff out the light that shines in him. To guide him, nurture him, discipline him, push him, support him, love him to the best of our abilities. To make sure we do everything we can to let God’s light shine in and through him. (And to curb his scheming ways…)
This past weekend, we were at my friend’s wedding.
I’m always weary when we have to be around a whole bunch of Koreans.
The concept of fostering is still a bit foreign to many Koreans — particularly the first generation. (At the beginning even my parents were a bit… apprehensive. When we were discerning adoption, they were a bit hesitant at first.)
Some will stare.
Some will say awkward things.
“Oh. He’s so handsome. He looks just like you.”
And once they found out N’s adopted, “Oh…. It’s still amazing how much he looks like you!” (Although, more and more people are saying that there’s a strong resemblance…)
Others will say ignorant things.
Once at my dad’s former church, we swung by for a celebration after their service. N got in line with one of the youth kids to get food. I was about an earshot away and the lady in charge of doling out kimchi looked at N and said, “이거 뭐야?” which means, “what is this?” (not a “who” but “what”…) It took all that I have not to say anything — after all this was my dad’s church and I didn’t want to cause drama in his church.
But man, if there ever was a time to utilize the kimchi slap…
but turn the other cheek, right?
I was happy to see my friend get married. I was weary of the reception to follow with all the other Korean pastors and first generation Koreans — and not just because of N. I just don’t like talking to people. I’m the introvert at the party that would rather sit down and talk to the house dog than any other living thing.
My mom, bless her heart, made everything much more bearable.
She took N and started taking him around introducing him as, “my grandson born from the heart.”
I know that phrase, “born from the heart” has been a divisive one with some adoptive families. But hell, I don’t care. It was meaningful and so touching.
June 2016 will be a special month with many milestones.
We moved to Texas.
My wife became commissioned as a provisional deacon.
We celebrated our 10th anniversary.
And after 2 years and 5 months, I would like to officially introduce you to Nathanael Lee Yoo.
1. I want my own luchadore mask. His is too small for my fat head.
2. Most likely will not share an actual picture of him on the blog. But I do occasionally post pictures of him on Facebook and Instagram (but all the privacy settings are set on those platforms, just FYI)