On Wednesday, March 6th, we celebrated our son Jacob’s 19th “Happy ‘Gotcha’ Day” — a day we celebrate much like a birthday, because it’s the day he officially joined our family through the miracle of adoption.

As with marriage, someone who is licensed to officiate an adoption — namely, a judge — says it is so, and so it is. Just like that.

Truly amazing, one goes from being a “legal guardian” to a parent for life with one strike of a gavel.

We remember it well — that day in 2000 when a SC judge proclaimed us Jacob’s parents. But even more engraved upon our hearts and minds is the day he was dedicated to God — by our pastor at First Church of the Nazarene in Greenville, SC.

When Jacob was held up before his heavenly Papa and prayed for so beautifully, it was a dedication to God — that His plans and purposes might be established in an infant’s heart, to be fulfilled, perhaps years later, when a pacifier and diapers were but a memory.

This was and continues to be…

Our Prayer for Jacob 

Dearest Jacob, our beloved son,
Today we dedicate you to the Lord;
We offer our praises to God above,
With hearts and minds in one accord.

How long we waited for you,
Often asking our Father, “Why?” —
But He knew best, His timing’s divine,
And now that you’re here, time sure seems to fly.

It was in the waiting season
That God made His presence known;
And as we sought His heart and will
He made His dreams inside us grow.

Just like a beautiful flower
Fed by the rain and sun,
Our dream of you never died
Because it came straight from the One

Who longs for us to seek Him,
To make His desires our own;
His ways are always perfect,
And His plans are never wrong.

It’s often in those lonely hours
When the dream is dim, not bright,
That He’ll meet us right where we are
And fill our hearts with Jesus’ light.

As Jacob of so long ago
Lay his head upon a stone,
And in a dream saw a ladder there
That led to God’s eternal home,

We long for you, our precious boy,
To also believe in this place,
And know that this is truly where
You’ll forever see His face.

Just like this Jacob, we know there’ll be times
As you shall surely see
When you will wrestle with both God
And with the enemy.

But this, our humble prayer —
Our hope above all hopes —
By God’s grace, we’ll have helped equip you
With all you’ll need to cope,

To be victorious in the battles
That you will certainly face;
For He’s given you His armor,
And He’ll run with you the race.

Keep your eyes upon the goal, son,
A new name will be your reward;
No longer Jacob but Israel
As you hold out your shield and your sword.

And until that day when Heaven is ours,
When flesh falls away to reveal
Our beautiful spirits that God Himself made
And His glory to all He’ll unveil,

We’re ever so thankful that God chose us
To be your mom and dad;
Our home is your home —you’ve helped make it complete;
And your presence makes our hearts glad.

Now all the pain is indeed worthwhile,
Our tears are ones of joy;
We praise God today for giving us you,
Our Jacob, our Israel-boy.

(Written on December 14, 1999 — just before Jacob’s baby dedication on 12/19/99)