Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Dose of Life

You may recall our story from about a year and a half ago about meeting a couple through our accountant that goes to our church that adopted a girl from China.  Joe and Diane are their names, and they couldn't have been friendlier and more encouraging at that early point in our adoption journey.  Several months later, Joe helped us with some notary work.  And in the in-between months, one of their daughters babysat our two a couple of times.  Just a really neat family.

Today at Sam's Club we ran into Diane.  Interesting, because our paths don't cross with any degree of regular frequency.  She saw Henry for the first time, exchanged some pleasantries with Jenn, and I could see that it would be a good thing for the two of them to have some alone minutes, thinking they'd chat about adoption stuff.

After the kids and I meandered around the store for a while Jenn came and found us.  The first thing she told me:  Joe, 51, has terminal pancreatic cancer and they don't expect him to live another couple of weeks.

It made me physically sick to hear the news, and we're so sad for Joe and his family.  Diane told Jenn a number of details, both recent and historical with regard to their family, and theirs is a genuine marriage success story.  Further, they each came to know Jesus midway through their marriage, so Joe will soon be fine.  But wow, is it sad for the here and now.

I've probably spoken with Joe four, maybe five times.  I don't know him in any intimate sense, but I've observed him a couple of times, and I've seen his kids a couple of times.  Joe is as generous as one could be.  He and Diane were so gracious to Jenn and me before they even knew us.  His example resonated with me, and will impact how Jenn and I befriend younger married couples as we move through life.

Life is not fair.  In fact, it is distinctly unfair.  As time has gone by, I've become more confident in believing that it is a correct position to expect bad things, pain and suffering to come.  Only one thing will change this, and that is our Savior's return.

Before you click on another link, or before you hit the back button on your browser, please take a moment and pray for Joe and Diane, and also for their three daughters.  Ask the LORD to give each of them the very thing that they need in the coming days.

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Birthday/Halloween

Here are some more photos from the bit Birthday/Halloween Extravaganza, courtesy of Uncle Jeremy & Auntie Em and Grandpa Doug & Grandma Paulette...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Birthday, meet Halloween!"

On Saturday we celebrated Lydia's and Henry's birthdays by combining them with a Halloween party with family and friends. Here's a sampling of the families in costume along with the food:

The morning after, the kids got to play with some new presents form Great Grandparents Mullen. Lydia received a nice outfit and some gear for her kitchen set. Henry got a lawn mower that pops and has some cool accessories.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Halloween is underway at the Gates Home. Last Saturday we joined our friends, Michael & Annie, and their daughter, Grace, at Akron Zoo's "Boo At The Zoo." Lincoln did the Trick-or-Treating, Lydia and Henry just watched the animals while looking good in their costumes.

On Sunday, we carved our pumpkins. Lincoln's always been reluctant to handle the pumpkin guts, and Lydia wasn't thrilled about the sliminess, but Henry dived right in and grabbed the guts and threw them in the bucket. Once Lincoln and Lydia saw that, I had three kids wanting to disembowel Jack-O-Lanterns.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lydia Turns Two!

Our pretty little girl turned 2 yesterday, and what a fun day it was!

Lydia started the day with a birthday balloon and watching some of Bug's Life in Mommy & Daddy's room, and ended the day with some fun birthday presents and a fantastic meal with Grandma Paulette, Grandpa Doug and Great Grandma Gates. Our menu for the evening included Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel pancakes and homemade Apple Dumplings. Wow!