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He'll never leave you or forsake you

I help administer a private group on Facebook for foster and adoptive dads, and posted this today for encouragement, because I needed it myself:

So lately I’ve been struggling with the strong wills of my boys, and of my own. The constant tug-of-war. My wife and I were talking about it over lunch today, because she shares in the frustration (she’s strong-willed as well), and I reminded her, as much as myself, that they act this way because they feel securely attached to us.

“Well, it would be nice if they weren’t complete JERKS about it!” she sighed. She didn’t use the word “jerks,” but I’m trying to keep this family-friendly.

I mention this because I know I’m not alone in being a dad frustrated with the behaviors of his kids from hard places. Especially when they’ve been in our home for so long (birth for two of them, 9 months old for the third, and they’re 16, 11, and 8 now), and it just doesn’t feel like things are getting better.

Then God decides to plant a reminder on you in an unexpected way. In an email newsletter unrelated to parenting, there was this verse of encouragement from Hebrews, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God always has our back, and we just need to go to Him with our frustrations, seek His peace.

And because I’m an ’80s metalhead, this verse and the feeling behind it will always be enshrined for me in the opening song from Rage of Angels' self-titled, 1989, debut album:

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I’m doing important work here

I would go to Dad Land.

I would go so bad.

Take my money.

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Running off some energy from Chris Turner on Vimeo.

Eight hours in the car, and no backyard to play in like normal means going to to the empty corner of the hotel parking lot to bleed off some energy before bed time.


A couple of hams on Flickr.

At the Texas Rangers game today.

First time in the ocean on Flickr.

First time the boys have been in an ocean (even if it was only their feet this time). This was something of a scouting trip, taken at the end of a relaxing day around the resort.


First time he’s pulled himself all the way up! (Taken with instagram)


This is the way a parent always wants to be greeted. on Flickr.


“One miiiillllion dollars!” on Flickr.

The boy cracks me up.


How long until pitchers and catchers report? on Flickr.

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Getting some real laughs.

Of course, his giggles here aren’t nearly as hearty as they were just seconds before, before the camera made an appearance. Still, pretty great.


What I’m doing with my Christmas present. on Flickr.

Pretty much the best Christmas ever.


Introducing Nathaniel Pierre Turner on Flickr.

So I’m a few days late in posting this here, but here’s the new addition to our family. Getting his court ruling cleared and permission from the nuns to keep him overnight until, well, pretty much forever, since once the final paperwork clears, we don’t need anyone’s permission for that, pretty much made this year’s Thanksgiving the best ever.

Nathaniel was born April 1, 2011, and is seven months old in this photo. Pierre is what the nuns at the Home of Hope Orphanage named him, and is what will be his legal name on all of his Rwandan documentation, including his passport.


There is so much awesomeness here, I’m parentally giddy. (Taken with picplz.)


Three generations. (Taken with picplz.)


Another by-himself haircut going well! (Taken with picplz.)


Got @davisturner’s new map hung, with pushpins noting where family lives. (Taken with picplz.)


Handsome devil. (Grunged up with Snapseed app.)

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You may not be able to hear it, but there was music they were dancing to.

Alas, seconds later Davis would accidentally smack Sam’s head on the table and the evening went rapidly downhill.


Checking out a graphic novel at the library. (Taken with picplz.)


Minor Ikea hack: two Trofast storage units bolted together. (Taken with picplz.)

Used three flat brackets in the rear to bind the two units to one another, and then affix it to a stud in the wall.


Mile 529: Having breakfast for dinner, like his old man. (Taken with picplz.)


Davis, and his friend Jacob, with LEGO Dirk. (Taken with picplz.)


They are obsessed with Hungry Hungry Hippos. Obsessed, I tell you. (Taken with picplz.)

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Used the Super 8 app on my iPhone to shoot video of Kelly and Samuel singing “The Wheels on the Bus” while we were eating out.


Bedtime story (Taken with picplz.)