Thursday, November 14, 2013

Adoption Update: Special Needs? Wait...what Kind of Special Needs?

A big apology to all two of my blog followers.  I realize I haven't posted in almost 3 months and, much like the rest of the world, you're on pins and needles waiting for my next post.  Now that we're out of the 1-Bedroom 700 sq ft house, my big stupid brain has more room to think, soooo here's what you've been waiting for.

Apparently, the twists and turns of life are not over.  Apparently I was wrong when I was young and thought I'd have everything figured out by 35 (granted...I don't turn 35 for another 3+ months, so there's some hope).  Apparently God isn't done teaching me lessons (go figure).

My latest lesson, which I shared at church a couple Sundays ago is this...I'm selfish.  Yes, selfish.  Now before you jump on the phone and call the local newspaper in shear shock, let me explain (kidding, of course).

I've always known I was "a bit" selfish.  I've put myself first plenty of times and manipulated many people to get what I want, so figuring out that I was selfish wasn't a huge step for me.  But recently, I had a conversation with my wife that rocked me, even though it was one of the simplest conversations we've had.

So here we go...  About a month ago, my wife and I decided we wanted to "officially" start the adoption process and that, this time, we would open the door to a "special needs" child.  Becca asked me what special needs I was comfortable with and I answered candidly.  Now you can't really fault us on this, as it's a huge decision and I realize this sounds harsh, but trust me... this wasn't a case where we created some sort of shopping list for our next child.  This was an honest question which I thought I was ready to answer, until I actually did.

I started off with, "Lost limbs, cleft pallet (easy fix BTW), mild-deformity and.."  Becca cut in, "What about down syndrome?"  Obviously, I was caught off guard, but answered honestly.  "They're (yes, I said "they're", like people with down-syndrome are some separate species) ... so much fun, but sometimes they never leave the house.  I mean, I want to retire someday and travel with you."  Aaaaaand that's where it hit selfishness.  (Note:  There is nothing wrong with retirement and travel.  This is MY conviction.  God calls each of us to care for the widows and orphans.  He doesn't call all of us to adopt.)

In saying those words, I realized I was actually putting retirement and travel ahead of some child who has no one and nothing.  Retirement?!  Travel?!  I'm focused on those things, instead of a child who really has nothing but simple joy in them?  A child who could remind me everyday of the faith and innocence I once had, before the world crept in and setup camp in my brain?  A child that can literally make anyone smile?  A child who God could use to steal away my selfishness and make it disappear?  Needless to say, I stopped dead in my tracks and thought, "WOW.  I'M FREAKING SELFISH!!!"

To make things worse (ok...better), God pointed out to me that literally everything, every sin I've ever encountered and struggled with has centered around selfishness.  Oh the familiar sting of realizing I'm an idiot.

So here I sit, reading stories of highly capable children and adults with down-syndrome who are living and have led perfectly normal lives, while dealing with the constant attack and insult of the word, "retarded" ... knowing I may have to deal with someone calling my "possible" future child that same stupid word.  I try and imagine my response and the best I can come up with is this.

"Sir/Ma'am, my child has down-syndrome.  He/She isn't retarded.  They are full of a joy and innocence which neither of us can possibly imagine.  The only "retarded" person you see in front of you is a man who almost gave up the opportunity to experience this sweet child and build into them.  I hope you have a nice day, Kevin."  (Note:  I randomly picked that name.  Sorry Kevins of the world.)

And that's the truth.  Look, I'm not naive enough to think bringing home a child with down-syndrome will be easy and to be honest, it might not even happen.  I'm not totally ok with the idea yet and maybe that's the point.  Maybe God is just working on me to the point where I'm ok with it.  Our next child may be perfectly healthy, they may have one less arm than me or they may have a cleft lip.  The fact is that I need to not only be ok with whatever child God has for me, but I need to be excited for that moment where I hug that child for the first time.  To be honest, in my mind it's really no different than the moment I met every one of my other children.  I knew there would be hard times.  I knew there might be a moment when they're being made fun of or picked on.  I knew their lives and mine would never be perfect.  So what's stopping me now?  Answer: Selfishness.

For now, I suppose I need to work on this whole selfishness thing and hope that in the meantime, I don't miss out on whatever God has for me on the other end.

Here's where you come in... Please pray for Becca and I, and really our entire family, as we set out on the second of our adoption journeys.  Please pray that whatever child God has for us, that we will be excited about him/her (Emmy really wants a sister).  And please pray that I will take my eyes off the mirror in front of me and refocus them on the One who created me to make a difference.  (That's right...big stupid-brained me was put on this earth to make a difference.  Go figure.)

Oh...and that whole "retirement and travel" thing?  I'm pretty sure when I close my eyes for the last time, I'll awake in the ultimate paradise getaway, complete with an eternal stay.  So yeah, I'm good with that.

Thank you!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tales of a Tiny House

It's been a while since I've posted anything for one simple brain has lost all functionality and will to exist, let alone process enough thought to type even the simplest of words on this dusty computer screen.

Why? you ask.  Well, months ago, my wife and I agreed it would be a great time of bonding for us to move into a 715 sq ft, one bedroom house with our loving family of five, while our new house is being built.  We would live in an eclectic part of town where the river is only 100 yards away, downtown is a lazy 10 minute walk away, and most of all, we could grow closer as a family.  Not to mention, the owners were the only people willing to do a month-to-month lease and we could save a little extra money for our down-payment.  Yes it would be tough having to shed some alone time and a bit of privacy, but man would it be worth it!

Cue the prick of Captain Hook's sword in my back, as I willfully walk the plank.  I'm ready to fall, nay...jump into the shark-infested sea below.  Hopefully, they don't toy with their prey too much before ending my existence, but if they do, it still won't be as bad as the bites sustained by the... constant tiptoeing over creaky, uneven floors...or the nights when Levi sleeping (or not sleeping I should say) in the same room as his older siblings, keeping them (and us) up all hours of the night...or the lack of a retreat to escape the forever-running mouth of my 4 year-old ("Daddy, can I have a snack?  Daddy, watch this!  Daddy, can you get me some water?  Daddy, watch this!  Daddy, can I play with my legos?  Daddy, watch this!  Daddy, watch THIS!  DADDY, WATCH THIS!!!!  Daddy, why are your ears bleeding?)  I could go on, but you get the point.

Yes, the plank has never looked so inviting before now.  Please understand, I look forward to seeing Jesus when I die.  I do!  But I've always wanted to stay on this earth long enough to walk Emmy down the aisle on her wedding teach my kids how to play sports, ride a bike, instill love, patience, and strength into each of them.  Now...not so much.  "Excuse me, Mr. Reaper.  You have a call from a Charlie Beal on line one."

"Come on, Charlie.  It can't be that bad." 

"I'm sorry.  What?  I can't hear you.  Come a tiny bit closer, so I can smack you in the mouth.  A little closer.  A liiiiiittle closer."

Have you ever shared a Kleenex-sized bathroom with 4 other people?  Have you ever had to put off making sandwiches (on a 10" x 10" portion of counter space mind you) because you were afraid of waking your children in the next room?  Have you ever tippy-toed across a floor, as if you were avoiding lasers while robbing a museum, in order to not wake your sleeping wife?  Have you ever been in the same room as your children for every waking hour you're not at work?  Have you ever changed right in front of your living room window (that's where our dresser is) at the risk of your neighbors seeing you naked, because closing the window equates to instant claustrophobia?  As Becca says, "It's like a never-ending camping trip in a really nice tent!"  Shall I go on?

Have I mentioned we still have 3 months (best case scenario) left in the tiny house?  I've never been a big fan of "hard-alcohol," but at this point, an IV with a constant flow of Jack Daniels sounds intriguing.

To top it off, I'm pretty sure Levi hates me now.  Before moving, I was 'The Man' when it came to putting him to bed.  I'd sing one song to which he would reply with his cute little hands bumping together, "Mo Mo."  I'd sing another song, "Mo Mo."  After the third song, I'd rock him slowly and he'd eventually give me a kiss and lean toward his crib.  Within 5 minutes, he was asleep and Becca and I were hanging out.

When I try (Key Word: Try) to put him to bed now, there's weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Seriously!  It's like there's an alien trying to escape his body.  (Googling Exorcism)  To make matters worse, I'm pretty sure he flipped me off last night...and not just with one hand.  Apparently, my plan of having him watch 'The Departed' to get him sleepy was a bad choice.

So here I sit befuddled by life's choices.  Choices Becca and I thought were good.  Choices we felt would bring our family closer.  Choices which have culminated in me waking up in a cold sweat after dreaming my kids were beating me to death with a bunch of tiny houses made of legos.

To our house-builders...please hurry.  To our family and friends...please pray.  To my coroner...let me save you some time.  Cause of Death: Lethal combination of Tiny House and Children (otherwise known as "THC").

PS... James 1:2-4: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

While I'm frustrated with our current situation, I absolutely believe we will look back on this time with fond memories and a new appreciation for what God has and continues to bless us with.  But seriously, you should pray that we find more joy than pain in our current trial. 

PSS... Last night (really this morning), Levi kept Becca and I up until 3:00 and 1:30 respectively...I woke up at 5.  Yay perseverance...kinda! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Here We Go Again...Adoption 2.0

"Hey Charlie!  I realize you just sold your house, you're moving into a 720 sq ft 1-bedroom house with a family of five, and your offer just got accepted on another house, but I have an idea...adopt.  Yes, adopt!"

"I'm sorry...what?"

Yep, the words you see above are downright crazy.  Some might even say stupid.  But when God speaks, I tend to listen.  Don't give me that look!  I always listen, but I may not always obey, especially in crazy times such as this.  But here we are.  The call has been made and it's time I answer.

"But Charlie, WHY?!" The last time you guys adopted, it sent you into a tail spin of debt and stress.  The only reason you sold a house you're happy in is to settle your debt.  And now...NOW you want to set yourself up for that again?!!!"

You're so vain.  You probably think this post is about you.  Don't you?  Don't you?

No, those critical, Doubting Thomas, and really...somewhat appropriate questions written above are from me

So to answer my own questions one word, youredamnright.

Sorry for the whole "damn" thing, but it feels appropriate.  When you've fought something you know is right for so long, you tend to cuss.  Well, I do.  Sorry Mom and Dad.

Now don't get me wrong.  I'm not approaching this whole adoption thing, like "It's ok if we build up a bunch of debt for an adoption.  Let's break out the credit card apps and roll, baby!"  I know we have to change some things to change some lives and (Becca, cover your ears) if that means skipping some rounds of golf or a guys weekend trip, that's ok.  (Becca.  Becca!  You can uncover your ears now.)

So let's go back to that whole "Why?" thing. one word, Jeremiah.  Yes, my little Ethiopian Prince.  My sweet, fiery son who's purpose, at least in his younger years (prayerfully), has been to teach me patience.  To teach me that I'm still able to pull my hair out even right after I shave my head.  To teach me that I can hear the same question 57 times in 15 minutes without putting my fist through a wall.  To teach me that crying and screaming in a very public place such as Target, Church and wherever you might imagine is a degree.  To teach me that getting hit or kicked in the "man area" is tolerable (yes, vomit is forming in my mouth at the very thought).  But above son has taught me that I can love any child God has called me to, as my own.

"We get it, Charlie.  You love your son...he's cool...yada yada yada, but why would you risk falling back into debt?"  Oh, that pesky question!!!

Ok, you might be a little frustrated with my answer, but here we go... Why not?  Yes, why friggin not?!!!  Look, I get frustrated with the stress of life and sometimes even with my family.  I fly off the handle.  I cuss.  I bitch.  I moan.  I look at other men who are single and sometimes envy them because their lives seem a bit more carefree.  I struggle with stuff I know I shouldn't.  I screw up and don't have things in order nearly at much as I would like.  But if I wait for the point where I'm perfect, before I actually help someone, I'll help no one because it will never happen.

So again...Why not?  You see, God has given me a heart to love on people.  A heart to pick children up who may not know what's going on, even though a big nasty world is crumbling all around them.  A heart to do right, even when I can't muster the energy to do so (I rarely succeed in this area).  A heart to do something that may be seen as foolish in the eyes of the world because I feel called to (again...I rarely succeed in this area).  Really...a heart for those who are hurting because I've been someone who has hurt.  I know the burn.  I know the regret.  I know the sorrow and the longing for something better.

Now that last paragraph isn't a "Praise Me"sort of thing.  Trust me...I fall short plenty more times than I do well.

What I'm trying to explain here is that I'm far from perfect, but it seems foolish not to help someone.  Knowing my love for my own children, it seems foolish not to offer that same love to another child.

So here's where you come us out.  Look, adoption is extremely expensive and I could easily buy the truck of my dreams for less than the cost of adopting a sweet child.  But I don't want your money, unless you feel called to help us out in that way.  What I really want is your prayers.  Throw our names and desires up to the heavens if you will.  Anytime you see a helpless or downtrodden individual, pray for them and after that, pray for our next child.  Heck, if it helps, pray for a sweet soul who will run up and hit or kick me in the "junk."  Ahhh...I can see I've stuck a cord.  So whatever it takes to inspire you, please lift our family up in prayer and ask for wisdom as to where our fourth child lies and how God can provide a way to get to him or her.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.  Cheers to many more years of providing love to the little ones in our lives and cheers to you for joining us in this adventure.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A "Smart" Bit of Truth

Smart phones?  Yes, smart phones.  I never would have guessed this type of technology could be such a huge benefit to me.  The internet, Facebook and email accessibility...the calendars, reminders, on-the-spot photos...  The way we can use them is absolutely incredible!  However, I recently discovered a benefit I never could have imagined with smart phones...a benefit I've never even seen or heard marketed by Apple, Samsung or any of the major manufacturers of these great devices.

Now I saw the following video shared on my wife's Facebook account and, using my iPhone, I clicked on it to view whatever it was she decided to share with all her Facebook friends.  I thought, "Well if she thinks it's worth sharing, I better check it out."

Oh, how great smart phones are!  I can simply click a link to a video and before I can say, "Chowder," in a Boston accent (a stupid hobby of mine), the video is already playing on my phone.

Well, the unknown benefit to my iPhone was quickly realized as the video ended.  There I was with a black screen and no real applicable conclusion to the video, except for the heart-pumping "I'm going to change the world!" feeling raised by such videos.  Those feelings quickly subside, so really, I was left with an empty promise to myself and a blank screen.  To a smart phone junkie like myself, this was an unwelcome, uncomfortable, and somewhat nauseating feeling which I absolutely hate.  But there it was before me...a simple bit of truth...  With a black screen in front of me and nothing else to look at, I stared blankly at the reflection on the face.

Yes, with the message set before me and the conviction deep in my heart, I saw the true realization that who God was speaking to through this video was me.  Think about it.  How many times have you watched a deeply moving, heart-wrenching, convicting piece on Facebook or any other media stream, through the means of your cell phone, only to have the end-result be you looking at yourself through a $200+ mirror?

That end-result left me fathomed at how much I really focus on me.  How I look at nearly every decision as to how it would affect me.  How every dollar I may or may not hand to a homeless person will affect me.  How every time my wife wants some time away to reflect or refill might affect me.  How every time I choose to give up my free time for others' benefit might affect me.

Well, the time is now to change that whole load of crap.  The amazement I found in the reflection I saw in my "Smart Phone," wasn't based on an incredible app or what the phone's technology could provide me.  It was based on a simple was my face.  It was the realization that what I had encountered on the screen of my incredible phone had nothing to do with the phone.  It had absolutely nothing to do with Apple, the technicians or the designers behind the phone.  It did, however, have everything to do with the Creator.

I have every reason to believe that God had me watch this video on my phone, rather than a mega-pixel, high-def computer screen, for a huge reason...He wanted me to see my reflection.  The simple image everyone sees, or would see, when they have an in-person encounter with me.  The main thing that would identify me, if anyone saw me on the street.  Basically, how I'm seen through any eye that falls upon me.

The simple fact is this...I'm concerned with the now...with my enjoyment here on earth...with my playing golf twice a month...with my alone time...with the comfort and fulfillment in my day-to-day routine.  In actuality, as Mr. Chan would say, I'm concerned with the tiniest piece of my eternity and that is absolutely stupid.

Will I change?  I hope so.  I hope the reflection seen in my most prized material possession, will someday communicate a man who is confident when presented with such a challenge...such a truth.  Until then, I suppose what I look at on my phone, when it ends, will present a simple truth as to who I am and where my treasure lies (Matthew 6:21).  I hope and pray when each video I view on my phone ends, I will be able to consciously see where I'm at in my search for what God has for me.  I hope that reflection shows contentment and pride in what my God is doing in and through me.  I hope it shows a life filled with purpose!

So here's my challenge to you... What are you going to notice the next time that screen goes black after a video?  Will you see shame, conflict, sadness...or will you see thankfulness, contentment, gladness, etc...?  Better yet, will you allow whatever it is you see to change you into what you were meant to be?

Whatever you see, I hope it pushes you to excel in what it is your heart...not your mind...desires.  I hate to say it (screw's my pleasure to say it), but you were put here on this earth to help others and reap the benefits accordingly.  So do it!

PS...You really never know what technology will have to offer you or where it will take you.  For me, a simple reflection will be all I ever really need from it.  It has provided me with something programmers and designers probably never set as a goal...a mirror into my soul.  Cheers to Apple and Samsung and whatever other smart phone company is out there.  I raise this glass to you for creating a shiny, reflective screen, so I might see my faults.  I may be able to check the latest sports scores, email and Facebook on the go, but without that screen, I may never have seen my obligation and purpose played out.  Thank you!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Tale of Two Balls: From Fertility to Futility

A Tale of Two Balls: From Fertility to Futility
By: Balls

It started off like any other day.  We woke up, got scratched and headed out to a doctor’s appointment of some sort.  When we pulled into the parking lot of the local medical clinic, everything seemed fine, but as we headed in the door, we began to feel a rush of adrenaline.  This wasn’t a new feeling.  It reminded us of how we felt before a big baseball game or when we stood above an important putt.  TODAY WAS GOING TO BE FUN!!!

In the waiting room, we began to feel really nervous, but the feeling quickly subsided, as we remembered how well we’ve been protected over the last 33 years.  When we played baseball, he wore a cup and anytime our kids run towards us, he quickly throws up a two-handed block.  Sure we’ve been knocked around from time to time, but he’s always cared for us, so we weren’t worried.

Over the next hour, things took a strange twist and before we knew it, he was laying on a bed talking to a doctor.  Neither of us could make out what they were saying, but we could see the whole conversation, which is something we’re not entirely used to.  But he was calm, so again, we were calm.  That calm, tranquil feeling quickly turned to anger, confusion, light-headedness, and pain.

The first thing that really caught our attention was the doctor gave us a shot this time.  Not the arm, not the butt, but US!  At this point, we knew something was about to go terribly wrong.  The only thing either of us saw, before losing consciousness, was the doctor’s hand coming at us with a knife.  Yes…A FREAKING KNIFE!  Now this wasn’t the first time we had experienced something like this.  The “Circumcision” or as I refer to it, the “The Severing of 79,” scared the hell out of us, but this time, there was no wiggling out of the way.  THE KNIFE WAS COMING RIGHT TOWARD US!!!

Within a flash, there we were hovering above the whole thing, watching as everything we had ever known was being savagely changed.  I mean, everyone hears about “Out-of-Ball Experiences,” but this time it was our Out-of-Ball Experience!  Amazed and horrified at the same time, we watched as the doc, nay…The Butcher, picked up tool after tool.  Needles, clamps, knives, scissors…  Even this seemed like a ‘Saw’ movie gone wrong, but there we were watching the whole thing.  If it was physically possible, both of us would have thrown up right then and there.

Needless to say, we could watch no longer, so we dizzily turned our attention to the big idiot who had walked us into this place and what was he doing?  Calmly discussing football.  Yes…FREAKING FOOTBALL and to top it off, he almost seemed happy at what was going on.  The same guy who had guarded us countless times, who had cringed and moaned anytime we were harmed in the past, was now talking about football as we were being damaged repeatedly!  “HEY CHARLIE!  DOWN HERE, YOU TRAITOR!  IT’S US!!!  YOU KNOW THE GUYS WHO HAD A PRETTY BIG PART IN HELPING TO CREATE 2 OF THOSE 3 KIDS YOU RAVE ABOUT!  THE TWO WHO ARE PRAISED WHENEVER YOU DO SOMETHING BRAVE.  DO THE PHRAISES, ‘THAT TOOK SOME BALLS’ OR ‘MAN, YOU HAVE BALLS OF STEEL’ MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU?!!!  HELLO!!!!!”  And there he sat, not even giving us a courtesy glance, as he continued to discuss a sport which praises manliness, while our own was being savagely taken.  As we pondered how to end our 33 year-long relationship with Gutless Chuck, the pain, anger, and disgust were too much to handle and we again lost consciousness.

We awoke in our normal, warm surroundings.  It was comforting, but we both knew things would never be the same.  Something deep inside the two of us had been stolen.  As balls, we play a pretty big part in indicating the person we’re a part of is a man, but we couldn’t have felt less manly.  I mean, yeah we felt new, but in an empty sort of way.  All we could think about at that point was how we would be viewed in the future.  Would either of us ever be looked at the same when hanging out in a gym or pool locker room?  Would we be laughed at, frowned upon or pitied…or maybe, just maybe there were others like us?  If so, maybe there’s a support group or we can all go to counseling together or something!  But how would Right-Side Roger and I ever be able to tell if another set had encountered the same horrifying thing we did?  We can’t talk and clearly can’t do sign language, so what the hell can we do?!!!

It’s been a rough couple of days, since the “Snip Snip,” as the Big Idiot likes to call it.  We’ve heard plenty of jokes, met Mr. Ice Bag (avoid him if you can), but we’ve also had a few conversations with the Big Id…ok… with Charlie.  He explained that he did what he did for a reason.  Explained a few advantages resulting from the “procedure,” with the biggest being no more new children excitedly running up and accidentally head-butting us.  I suppose that’s a good thing.  I think one day, when the images are no longer trapped in our brains, we’ll be able to forgive him.  In the meantime, whether it’s standing over a five-foot putt to win a match or watching a closely contested sporting event, neither of us look forward to the next adrenaline filled moment of our lives, as it will no doubt remind us of the “Double-Murder of 2012.”

PS…Can someone please explain to Charlie and men everywhere, that when Bob Barker says, “Please spay and neuter you pets,” HE’S NOT REFERING TO YOUR BALLS!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thanks Daisy

Today, and maybe even more so tonight, was pretty frustrating.  Along with an incredibly busy week at work, we’re doing last minute cosmetic fixes to our house, as it goes on the market Monday morning.  The kicker…Emmy came down with a fever, Becca is sick, and Levi has been up screaming, while grabbing his ears for the last hour.  What can I say?  The life of a parent is exhilarating!  A fly-by-your-seat joy ride consisting of poopy diapers, sibling fights, whiny children, bill paying, and whatever else you can imagine.  Overall…pure joy.
As I hovered over Levi’s crib, stroking his hair with frustration boiling over, it hit me…I’M INCREDIBLY FORTUNATE.  Earlier this afternoon, I read a friend’s post on Facebook, “Sad to hear Daisy went to be with Jesus. Praying for the Merricks.”  You see, Daisy is a special girl who’s been on my heart for the last couple months.  You can read more about her here,, but the gist is this…a child who defeated cancer not once, but twice, only to have a third and ultimate battle with cancer.  The end result?  She went to be with Jesus at 2:40am this morning.  Simply put, my encounter with reality was a huge and deserving kick to the side of my head.
There I was, frustrated with the cards I had been dealt for this one small week of my life, while a family dealt with a loss of a child.  That’s right…A CHILD!  I’m bitching and cursing in my mind about what I may have to deal with over the next 24, possibly 48 hours and someone just lost an immeasurable ray of sunshine in their lives.  A parent’s worst nightmare, a loss of a dream, a decisive blow in a 3 year-long battle, which they thought they had won twice.  An unnerving, stomach pumping, wrestle with God saga and these parents who had just suffered a Titanic-sized punch to the gut, had only these words to say…
At 2:40am this morning our sweet Daisy went to be with Jesus. She was sleeping and in no pain. Christ is with us as the God of all comfort. We are thankful.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Daisy believed this and so do we. More than ever.
The Merricks”
Are you fricken kidding me?!!!  Your child just left this world, along with every hug, kiss, and snuggle you may have ever experienced for the rest of her life, not to mention every funny, joyful thing she could say or ever do and you’re praising God and saying thank you for His comfort?!  I’m not faulting them.  As I said, it was a huge and deserving kick to the side of my head.  [Merrick family, I am SO thankful for your words and example.  I won’t stop praying for you and the affect you will undoubtedly have on those you come in contact with.]
You see, I’m a very selfish person.  I don’t know exactly how many selfish thoughts I have in a day, but I have to imagine it’s in the high double-digits, if not triple-digits.  So much so, that apparently the thought of putting off my weekend ‘To Do List’ to take care of my family and stay up with a sick baby is way too much to comprehend.  Yeah, big idiot over here!
That realization led me to this...My life is not my own.  Yup, the motto I was determined to live by ever since adopting our son in March of 2010.  The motto I’ve spoke about with countless people.  The motto I wrote about on my wife’s blog (  The very words I had tattooed on my bicep in Amharic.  The meaning of those words and how I’ve lived since taking them on as my life’s goal couldn’t be more different.  Most people’s biggest hit on Christians is that they are too hypocritical.  If they’re looking to point a finger at someone, here I am.
Let’s take it a step further.  My wife, the Incredible Rebecca Beal, has been asking me about adopting again ever since we brought our son home from Ethiopia.  If you’re keeping track, that’s nearly 3 years and for every time she’s brought up the subject, I’ve had a reply having something to do with the following… 1. Let’s wait until... [fill in the blank] 2. It’s a lot of money and we don’t have anything close to that in our bank account.  3. I’m really not ready for more children.  Our hands are pretty full as it is.
Now I’m not saying number 3 isn’t a valid reason for not having more children, but let me point to a quote from my post on her blog from the above mentioned link…
“…“My life is not my own.” Those words never ring so true than when I imagine if something happened to Becca and I, and our children were left with no one to love them, care for them, read to them, or hold them. I would want someone to take them in, no matter the cost or hardship their new parents may face. When I think of our children alone, the conviction can’t be any greater. My life is not my own.”
Yeah.  If you’re keeping track at home, as far as kicks to the side of my head, the count is…Holy Spirit 2, Charlie 0. 
Well, I don’t know about you, but for me, two kicks in the head from the Holy Spirit are all I need (most of the time).
I guess that can only mean one thing for this guy (thumb pointed directly at my oversized forehead), it’s time to sell out.  Yes, IT’S TIME TO SELL OUT!  I’ve talked the talk.  It’s time to walk the walk.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not waiting up all night for my wife to wake up, so we can have this conversation in the morning.  And with everything going on right now, I’m not looking forward to taking up a bunch of ‘To Do List’ time tomorrow to have this conversation, but Daisy’s passing has brought me a sense of urgency.  It’s brought me back to the same fire and urgency I had back on December 13th, 2010 when I first wrote “My Life is Not My Own.”  That original fire dwindled quickly.  It's time to throw on some lighter-fluid and watch it burn like the sands of Bolsa Chica!
Becca, if you’re reading this, this is my unconditional surrender.  The white flag is out, I’ve laid down my weapons, and I’m officially a POW of our Savior and all He has for us.  I’m not saying I’ll sign official adoption documents tomorrow, but when Christ says, “Go,” I’ll go.  Let’s bring as many in as He calls us to and let’s do it well.  In the meantime, let’s have some fun with what He has given us.  As Daisy’s story has clearly told us, tomorrow is not promised for any of us, so let’s make today count and consider my here-on-out motto, ‘My Life is Not My Own,’ absolute truth. 
I’ll close with this…It’s amazing what childlike faith can show us.  Daisy believed she would be healed and guess what…she is. 
'Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)'
Daisy wasn’t concerned with the worries of tomorrow because she wasn't concerned with tomorrow.  She wasn’t even concerned with herself!  Daisy was having fun where she was at…in the moment.  From the videos I’ve seen and her quoted words, I saw a true thankfulness for everyday and a true trust in her Savior…Our Savior.
My Life is Not My Own?  Yup!
PS…In one of the videos on their blog, Daisy says, “Thanks for praying for me.”  Now, we all speak those words from time to time, but she said it as one who believed those prayers worked…because they did!  Those are the prayers that move mountains.  Please pray those mountain-moving-prayers for us as we seek Him.
Thank you.