Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Sean, yesterday and today
2:55 p.m. Today's project was to have our new microwave oven installed by Steve and our oldest son Sean. It's been operating nicely on the kitchen counter for about three weeks, awaiting a convenient time for Sean to come over. Steve had begun the project the afternoon we bought the microwave, but lost track of the way to remove the old one from its spot above the stove. So we called our most mechanically inclined child.
Steve adopted Sean, my son from my first marriage, as soon as the State law allowed for it. We had to be married for one year before the home inspection visit could be scheduled. I remember the social worker's visit as clearly as if it had been yesterday. We were in our first house in the La Sierra area of Riverside at the time. Steve and I, and the boys (Sean, 7 and Kriss, 1) tolerated her chain smoking, the three of us answered questions, and the stability of our home was approved. Then notices of the pending adoption had to run in the newspapers in both San Bernardino and Riverside counties after our marriage so that Sean's biological father could respond if he chose to.
We had been blessed by our friend from Calvary Chapel Riverside, Corona attorney Kurt Seidler, who agreed to handle the adoption at no charge. Cindy Seidler is still a friend, our daughters having grown up together at the home Bible study I taught in that house for 6 years.
The legal procedures went smoothly, with no problems at all, and we celebrated on February 21, 1984, five days before Heidi's birth!
I guess I'm inclined to ruminate on memories about Sean, because, of all of my children, Sean is the only one with Steve's excellent mechanical abilities, a case of "nurture trumping nature." . The two of them spent hours, most evenings after dinner, with Steve fixing our cars, appliances, anything and everything, Sean observing and then trying anything he was able to do. Eventually, Sean was changing the oil and doing repairs on his own vehicles and all kinds of handyman work.
A veteran, Sean also had his own armed security business in San Diego years ago, and runs an auto mechanic business these days.
Steve and I were cub scout leaders at Harvest when Sean was involved. With Steve's expert guidance, Sean's Pinewood Derby cars were winners, as would be the case later when Kriss became old enough to participate. The resemblance stops there, however! While Kriss is able to do some basic car maintenance, he never was one to get that grease under his fingernails! He is definitely the musical and artistic type, with strengths in written and verbal communication, and applies those skills to business management. Heidi has good automotive instincts and she does share her dad's love of cars, but applies her logical mind and eye for detail to her teaching profession. Heather is a creative and social being, which serves her well in her vocation as a political liaison and her avocation of photography. Baby Steven? A pure athlete, totally physical, possessing people and street smarts--an evangelist, healer and youth minister. Ever seen a 9 month old baby go up and down stairs independently? I wouldn't have believed it either till Steven came along!!
Our God Almighty really shook up the ability genes when He gave us our five children! Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." This verse has been explained to mean that we parents are to train up EACH child in the way that child should go. In other words, don't put Kriss under a car or make Sean run a clothing store!! If Heidi had to gladhand the public, or Heather was trapped in a room with 10 year olds, I think you'd hear some screaming. And Steven? Don't make him sit down for long anywhere!!
What I am still learning from my children is that God is not limited in any way--not by birthplace, genes, birth order, or ethnicity. He takes the elements He designed for us to physically, socially, or culturally inherit, and works them for each person's good, in whatever way they will be most useful to His kingdom! Those who had a tough, deprived childhood end up with a glorious testimony of God's mercy and goodness to them throughout their lives. Those who grew up with everything handed to them may need to face tragedy later on...God is sovereign. His ways are unfathomable to us, except when we are privileged to see the effects that redound to His glory and our highest good.
In Isaiah 55:9, God reminds us that "as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts are higher than your thoughts."
As a mother, I had all kinds of dreams for my children and thought I knew what was best, and so I prayerfully guided them accordingly. But their gifts, talents, and relationships with the Lord are their own, not mine, no matter how well I know them and constantly, fervently pray for them!
Mychildren's stories are not all told yet, any more than mine is!!