Friday, August 12, 2011

Joshua Daniel

Sixteen years ago (on August 9), my family adopted my youngest brother Josh.  He has brought me so much joy & I can't tell you how thankful I am that he's my little brother!  Here's an excerpt from an email my dad sent out on Tuesday:

"On this day 16 years ago, Becky and I came home with a surprise for our 5 children- we brought home Joshua!!  2 days prior we had gotten a call from Brightside Homes in Massachusetts telling us to come right away and that we did.  Oh my was I in for a surprise/shock!  We knew that Josh had Down's Syndrome, but didn't exactly know what that would entail.  To put it mildly, life as we had known it was about to change! Josh brought nothing with him- no potential for athletic prowess, no valedictorian possibility, no potential to provide in later years for my retirement (isn't that what kids are supposed to do for us???!!).  We were beginning a journey of giving all of ourselves to him with the hopes of little in return.  We were doing this because he needed a home.....
         Well, after 16 years of "serving his needs", I wonder who really has benefitted the most.  Other than our salvation, God has probably used Josh to teach us more about unconditional love, forgiveness and trust.  Josh exudes unconditional love; he is quick to forget the wrongs done to him and never holds a grudge; and his trust in us to take care of him is especially scary- especially around swimming pools!
        Each of our children have been impacted by his "needy" life.  We have noticed our children seem to have a keen awareness to those who are "different" and are sensitive to their needs.  Several have made life choices directly related to the influence of Joshua on their lives.
        Romans 8 says that, as Christians, we are adopted into God's family!  We also have little to offer God, but He loves us anyway and without measure. 1 John 3:1 says behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the sons and daughters of God.  Part of His family- wow!!!   It's so amazing that He really enjoys being our Father."
If you haven't met my little brother, you should...he's pretty great.  :)

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