In the Heart of the Finger Lakes, Chosen to Adopt

 I heard of a church in upstate New York

Searching for a pastor.

It was just two towns over from Alice’s parents.

I wasn’t looking to leave, but the location seemed perfect.

We went through the process and a call was confirmed.

Ovid rests between the two largest fingers of the Finger Lakes.

If you climb the church steeple, you can see

Cayuga Lake to the north and

Seneca Lake to the west.

I was the only pastor in town,

So I became the village vicar.

We ran a Thrift Shop where you could get any item of clothing

For less than a buck.

We housed the Food Pantry where you could get a week’s worth of groceries

For free.

People came for prayer and stayed for service.

I led a twelve-step Bible study group at a local addiction treatment center.

I cheered on the basketball teams,

And went to the school plays.

My devotion to ministry fueled

My commitment as a father.

We homeschooled Sarah and Grace.

I kept the shelves stocked

With the best books I could find.

We wrote our own stories, went camping,

Danced in the park.

My journals from our Ovid years show shortcomings,

Spiritual and relational struggles that kept it from being

Paradise on earth.

But when God created the earth, He didn’t call it great.

He called it good. And then He rested.


While at Ovid,

We were blessed to be a blessing.

Inspired by a book called Expecting Adam

We chose to adopt a child with Down syndrome.

Within a few months,

We got a call from an agency in Albany

For an eight-week old boy we named

Caleb Ezra Anthony.

The church adored Caleb,

Lavishing him with affection.

He would raise his hands in praise,

And direct the people to sing with joy.

In time, we chose to be chosen again.

We flew to New Orleans for our BUFA girl –

Baby Up For Adoption, we named

Hannah Elizabeth Sarai.

Our ugly duckling soon became

A beautiful swan.


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