June 19, 2011

Father's Day

Today I have the opportunity to celebrate my first Father's Day.  I really wanted to share this entire story at our service this morning, but was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get through it.  Turns out even my abbreviated version was a little too hard for me to get through.  The love a daddy has for his own children is amazing and it completely overwhelmed me again during the first service.

I've shared some of this on the blog already, but here is the whole story that I wanted to share this morning....

On the evening of March 20, our church gathered together for our Annual Meeting.  However, Megan and I missed that meeting because that is the night that we welcomed little Madelyn into the world.  She was born on Sunday night and then on Monday, they decided we should stay another day at the hospital to make sure she was doing okay.  On Tuesday, they felt she was moving along well enough to send her home.  We were excited about taking her home and enjoyed showing her the house, her new room, and the closet full of clothes (that were all too big for her =).

Then, on Wednesday, we went right back to the doctor for her first checkup.  In my mind, I’m thinking this is going to be fun.  We put her in a cute outfit for her first doctor’s appointment and I even brought the camera with me and took some pictures.  I was expecting a quick, "she looks great" and we'd be on our way.
But our attitude pretty quickly changed when the doctor came in.  He looked at her chart and just stared at Madelyn for a few minutes.  She had dropped below 5lbs, she hadn’t been interested in eating enough, she was struggling to keep her temperature up, some of her blood levels were off, and she was showing signs of jaundice.  The doctor was very concerned about her, so he sent us to get some more lab work done.  We went over to the hospital and had tears in our eyes as we watched them drain two test tubes worth of blood out of her foot. 
That is a day I will probably never forget.  For whatever reason, that was the day I realized how strong the love is between a father and his own child.  When I thought there could be something wrong with our little baby, my heart just broke.  I had never felt that kind of love before.

You can see why I would have had a hard time telling that story this morning.  I wanted to share it then, but even now through the blog, to encourage all of our dads to reignite that love you have for your kids.  God has placed each of us in an amazing role to have a HUGE impact on our children.  I know that my three months of daddy-hood experience is only scratching the surface in my understanding of being a Dad.  But, I have found out very quickly that it is such a privilege and such a responsibility.

And, by the way, we took Madelyn back to the doctor the next day and she was already showing signs of improvement.  When I heard that news, I breathed the biggest sigh of relief ever.   We were so grateful that she was going to be okay.
This experience also gave me just a small glimpse of understanding into the love our Heavenly Father has for His children. Wow!  Sure gives you a new perspective for how much we are loved!

As you’re celebrating Father's Day today, I pray you can fall in love with your kids and your family all over again and thank God for the blessings you have in your life. 

You'd never guess who picked out this shirt for her =).