Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Baby Shower for Luci

Sunday I traveled home to Harrison for a baby shower in Luci's honor. My wonderful sister-on-law, Betsy, and two of my closest friends for the past 16+ years, Jennifer and Tori, planned and threw a wonderful party. It was so fun to catch up with family and friends that I don't get to see all that often. The table was filled with beautiful flowers, delicious foods, and a picture of Luci right in the center.

How many baby showers have you been to with a picture of the little one right in the middle of the table?

Tori created these delicious cupcakes for us all to enjoy! Aren't they beautiful?!

We received so many wonderful gifts for Luci. I can't wait for her to get home and have the chance to use all her new things and wear all her gorgeous clothes. Thank you to everyone who made this day so special. We couldn't have made it this far without our loving and supportive families and our fabulous friends. Please keep those prayers coming that our wait won't be too much longer.

Luci's mom and grandmothers (my mom, me, Jason's mom)

The hostesses and me (Betsy, me, Tori, Jennifer)

Cute quilt made for Luci by Granny Pearl

Monday, February 16, 2009

7 Months Old Today...

Dearest Luci...

Happy 7 month birthday. Wish you were here with us so we could celebrate. We are hoping and praying for your speedy arrival.

Your mommy and daddy

Sunday, February 1, 2009

An Inauguration Day Letter to Luci - from her daddy

Due to my recent travel schedule and the ice storm that still has us without electricity, I was just today able to make this post. I have carried the draft in my head since the events described below. -Jason

January 20, 2009

My beloved Luci,

Though you are half a world away and haven't yet met your new daddy, know that I'm thinking of you.

Big things are happening in the country that you are destined for. Today I watched as the United States of America's first African American President, Barack Obama, was sworn into office. I gathered in a small camp cafeteria in rural Alabama with 25 other environmental educators from across the USA and Canada and listened, cheered, and nodded as bits of his speech rang through our collective hearts and minds. It is a great moment anchored in hope for our country, though the election, like all presidential elections, is contentious and not without naysayers.

After the speeches, I boarded a bus and traveled to Birmingham, Alabama for an auspicious trip to the National Civil Rights Museum. How strange it was to exit the bus on a cruelly cold January afternoon in downtown Birmingham in the heart of the area that our nation's civil rights movements gained momentum some 50 years ago. I spent a couple of hours reading time lines and looking at exhibits chronicling the struggle of minorities in America for basic freedoms. I read about horrific treatment of brave people who fighting for hope in a time when they were allowed none. I tried to think of how it must be to be treated with hatred simply because your skin is a different color or because you or your parents were born in some other place. I thought of all this on a day that President Barack Obama was sworn in. It wasn't that long ago that a black man couldn't drink from a regular water fountain or sit on a regular park bench.

The gravity of the day was heavy on my mind, but nothing could prepare me for what happened next. After I finished my tour, I sat a moment visiting with the museum docents and greeters, and then walked out into that cold January air once again, this time in full view of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church, where 4 little girls were killed in a racially motivated bombing in September 1963. I stood on the steps of that building and could only think of you. The cold air made my thoughts crystalline. I prayed for you, my dear. I thanked God that you would be coming to our country in a much different time than when the lives of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were ruthlessly murdered - collateral damage in a struggle for the advancement of basic humanity for those with skin that wasn't white. I prayed that you would never be subject to discomfort because you don't look like your mommy and daddy. I prayed that you be faced with nothing but open sidewalks and pathways to success, and I know that you will. I cried to think that had the freedom fighters and protesters (black, white, and otherwise) hadn't had the courage to stand up for what was right those many years ago, I wouldn't be blessed with the opportunity to build a family that included you. You are the gemstone in what is becoming an interacial family, and what a gem you surely are.

I stood there in the shadow of that church thinking of all of this, and listening to the sound of 4 small children playing in a playground across the street. It was truly a poetic setting. I thought of you as 3 of those beautiful kids pulled their baby sister in a wagon down the sidewalk in front of me yelling, "Yes we can!" - the mantra of hope and change that in 3 words sums it all up. I laughed as the little boy was left behind at a street crossing to tie his shoe; his siters changed the chant to "Yes you can!" as he waited for the crossing signal to change.

Some may read this letter and think that I am being overly dramatic. After all, I am a white man and have never suffered any kind of racial prejudice directed at me. Let them think it. They weren't there on that freezing January day under those social and political circumstances. There don't have a beautiful South Korean daughter weighing heavily on their mind and heart. They may not believe that President Obama has any chance of bringing positive change to our nation or may vehemently doubt he is the man for the job. They may not think that his election is a milestone for our nation. I know that it is, and I felt the electricity in the air in that place as I silently prayed for you and your upcoming arrival. If they never understand, then so be it.

You will be a star my dear. You have already brought your mommy and daddy so much joy and you haven't even set foot in your new home save for the photograph above the fireplace. Your parents are ready, your home is ready, and you will be a star. You already are.


Your daddy.