Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Preface for Joshua

When I was in my mid twenties, I floated from one relationship to another. I was going to church and active in a Single's Department, but I wasn't really living a life according to what I professed to believe. At one point, I decided I couldn't live that way anymore...professing one thing but living another. So I purposed in my heart to change my ways and align myself more with my beliefs.

However, that decision came a little late. About two months after I made the decision to clean up my act, I discovered I was pregnant. I think I'd seen the father one or two other times after being together in the biblical way. We weren't that into each other. He'd recently broke off an engagement, was about to separate from the Navy and go back home to earn his Masters degree in Business Administration. I had been emotionally jerked around by a number of men, so when I met him, I was of the mind set I'd use a guy for a change. He was the type that I would always be drawn too...good looking and quiet. The first time I saw him, I was at the Naval Officer's club with a former college friend.

All the women were whispering about how much he looked like Tom Cruise. And he did. The same height, build, hair color and style, eyes and even lopsided smile. However, he was shy. He stood by the wall eating off a paper plate and watching a hockey game on the bar TV. I'm shy too, but I'm a trained reporter (and was a paid reporter at the time), so I approached him and started "interviewing him." I don't think we "hooked up" right away. But because he was my college friend's co-worker and he belonged to my Mega-Church, we'd run into each other. Eventually he needed a date for a military function and asked me to attend. I had season tickets to the local minor league hockey team. Since it was a mutual interest, I'd invite him to have my other seat. From the "get go" we both knew where the other stood. We were mutually using each other. We'd get together when it was convenient, but didn't call each other all the time or see each other on any regular basis.

I had decided that I would try harder to live my life the way a Christian should, so I didn't bother calling him. He stopped calling me, which was fine with me. So I wasn't sure how the conversation would go when I eventually called him to tell him about the pregnancy. However, I felt that I owed him the knowledge that he was a father. He said he wasn't interested. He laid out his preferences of dealing with this as 1) abortion and 2) adoption. Abortion never crossed my mind, but I was leaning heavily toward adoption. I asked him to come talk to adoption agencies with me because I was sure that they would want as much of his medical history and background as he'd provide. He told me to go to the agencies and get the paperwork, he'd fill it out and return it. True to his word, he did complete the paperwork and return it to me.

In the meantime I was back in church and really seeking what the Lord wanted me to do. I'd talked to a number of adoption agencies and attorneys. I looked into both open and closed adoptions. I talked to a young woman my age who went with the open adoption. In the end I felt like the Lord said, "It's your decision. I will bless it either way because I know your heart is to honor me and do what is best for the baby. If you give him away I will make sure he is raised in a family who will teach him about me. If you keep him, I will be his father and your husband and provide for you."

I decided to keep him. It came down to the fact that I wanted to know without a doubt that the baby would be raised to know the Lord. (In my arrogance, I thought I knew and understood the Lord enough to teach him...the Lord has a sense of humor. Seventeen years later, I'm still learning and having to correct the wrong things I've taught him.)

I called the father and told him my decision. He didn't agree with it and told me that he couldn't help support it because he was going back to graduate school and leaving the navy. It didn't matter to me, I was confident the Lord would provide for us. I even told the Lord, "If you want him to be a part of our lives, then I will leave it up to you. If not, I will trust you there too."

Five and a half years later when Scott proposed to me, he also asked if he could adopt Joshua as his own son. We tracked down the father, who readily signed the adoption paperwork... signing his rights as the natural father over to Scott. We gave Joshua the option of keeping my maiden name as part of his new adopted name or just taking on Scott's last name. Josh said, "I want my new name to be Joshua Indiana Jones Howe." We laughed and told him, "No."

Amazingly, Joshua stopped calling Scott by his first name on the day of our marriage. Joshua has called him "Dad" since, never once making the mistake of calling him Scott. Joshua also spent the first six months of my marriage reminding me when I signed something that I used our former last names. I guess it was easier for him because he'd had never written his last name while I had written mine for 34 years.


  1. What a beautiful post. Anyone can father a child but it takes someone very special to be a Dad.

  2. You snagged yourself an amazing man. It takes a very special person to take on a child who is not their's biologically and love them like they are.

  3. What a beautiful story of putting your faith in God's hands and he will lead you to the place you are meant to be. What an amazing boy Joshua is (well man to be) and Scott for being such a wonderful force of bright light into your life. Oh man you made me cry again!

  4. That was beautiful, Corrie. You guys are a special, blessed family.