Your Prince is in Another Castle: A #bethegood tale

At the end of last week we had a conversation with our adoption agency.  One which we forgot about the day before, but our agent got swamped as well and lost track of time.  So we both forgot, which is good I guess.

The conversation was bitter sweet.  We wanted to call to check to see what we needed to do now that our dossier (fancy word for “crap ton of paperwork) was in the Hattian Government.  She assured us that there was little we could do.  In a little while we will need to make sure we are up to date with the home study paperwork, get fingerprinted again (time number 5 or so) so that all of the information while the matching process happens is current and we will not hit any snags along the way.  Perfect!

We could also continue to write and apply for grants for travel expenses and other bits along the way that add up after a while of this multiyear process.

This was great, but now time for the bitter part.  We wanted to know about our timeframe….

Well because of the recent change in the status of Haiti to a Hague Convention nation the process is both more intensive on the paperwork side as well as streamlined and hopefully smoother and faster.  But Haiti is just trying now to close out all of the pre-Hague cases it still has hanging over it from a previous era.

This means that what we thought would be a total of 2 years for the process from beginning with the start of the official application process will not be much longer.  As in the typical case is taking about 2.5 years from the point we are now until our son would be at home with us.   Which would make the whole process- from start to finish 4 years. (We are 1 year in.)

This was not the timeline that had been communicated to us throughout the process.  We were clear in asking questions about timeline.  If there is one thing a 2 pastor household knows from countless hospital visits, working through social services and court cases with people, it is that we always ask about the timeline.  So when she said we would essentially be starting the 2+ year time clock over again it was like a punch in the gut.

This sucks…. It is this strange kind of grief.  It is not like when we had a miscarriage and there was a physical loss, but rather it feels like a loss of something that we never had in the first place.  And it is not really loss just postponement.  Words don’t really do it justice, but at the same time I want to write a post about how deflated it makes us, weird right?  Katie is more articulate than I am about this new timeline.  The best way that I can put it into visuals is the first time you play Mario and realize that your princess is in another castle.  It takes the wind out of your sail- but you know that you have to soldier on.

But here is the crazy part.  We know we are not in this alone.  Katie and I were talking about how there were a hand full of people every day at the week of middle school camp that we do who were wearing our “Be the Good” shirt.  From capers, to staff and our volunteers every day we were reminded of the community who is in this journey with us.

It has been a blessing that we know that there are people around the world on this journey with us.  We know that our shirts and message have been skydiving in California, to numerous orioles baseball games, made their way to other continents and started us some really life giving conversations. I see facebook posts with #bethegood and one of our shirts, our churches leaders wear them and when I go to film people to talk about how God is moving in their lives they are wearing them.  It is amazing.  We have been in the newspaper and you have opened up your businesses to us to sell the shirts and tell our story.

We know your heart breaks along side of ours with this new timeline.  But it is our call and we will soldier on to the next level to bring our son home.  Thank you so much for being a community that is more loving than we could have imagined and a wider reach than we would have dreamed.

While our prince might be in another castle (for now) we continue to work on bringing him home strengthen by the stores you share with us about how one little shirt is making a difference.


10 Things I learned as a solo dad for a week

So at the beginning of the month Katie went to Haiti with her church. At the same time my mom went on a mission trip with her church and the girls and I were determined to do this.
As a side note my mother in law had Bethany for an extra night and my dad was also around (but more of that soon)

So here are the learnings:
10. Planning, planning, planning– I spent much time planning everything that I needed to get done.  I made sure that the first things I tackled were the most mission critical and then if (when) the day got away I would not lose too much ground.  Also I told the kids and anyone who would listen about the plan until I was blue in the face.  This way when it came time to transition to the next thing no one was taken by surprise.
9. Sometimes you have to move at their pace– not everything God done because there were times where I would have to stop and be enamored by a bug that Eden found or play a game with Bethany that involved putting on and taking off socks and shoes about 50 times.  It turns out to be far more enjoyable when you just accept the fact that you will HAVE to go at their pace, after all they are going at mine so much of the time.  I was able to find wonder in bugs and rocks, and got really good at putting little socks on squirming feet.
8. It Sucks Getting Sick with your kids– One of the worst parts was that Bethany and I were sick with a stomach flu together.  There have been few things in parenting that I have felt more helpless in than telling the almost 2 year old just to stand in the tub while we are both getting sick together.  This is not the kind of bonding we look forward to as parents.
7. Planning doesn’t mean it will work like the plan– So we planned and planned and then we have to also be ready to call an audible and shift things up to make the best what you have to work with rather than lamenting on what great and glorious plan you had in mind.
6. Some things are sinking in…–In the middle of the chaos of the week there were some really bright spots with.  I had a bunch of cool conversations with our oldest (6) about where mom was ans about the work she was doing.  Eden then talked about how unfair it is that we have so much while other people are going hungry.  Also when we were sick she did a great job of taking care of us in a way she could only learn from her mom.  Awesome!!
5. The older one has a servant’s heart– This one kind of dovetails with the previous.  There were some times where I would need Eden to help with this or that because I was trying to deal with the sick toddler.  Eden got towels, helped with dinner, made sure the dog was fed…. it was a blessing.
4. The little one is sneaky– Bethany loves to watch and pretend that she is complying with what you ask, then when you turn around she is off like a shot and has snatched your keys and hidden in her room somewhere.
3. The hairy one thinks he should go on every car ride– every time we got in the car the dog would try and hop in too.  He would squish between the 2 car seats and pretend to look small.  This is not an easy feat when you big, hairy and weigh more than both children combine and in the back seat of a Honda Fit.
2.My Dad is AWESOME– while Katie was away so was my mom.  But every time I needed some extra help my dad was there willing to take the girls while I when on visits to the hospital, to connect with unexpected meetings with hurting families or to help build a pinewood derby car.
1. I am glad Katie is home- Katie and I are definitely partners in all areas of life (kids, ministry, work, chaos management) so now that she is back it is so wonderful.

Always on guard

20120507bethany at home-DSC_1805Kronk (our dog) is such an interesting bird. When Eden came home for the first time 4 1/2 years ago he was excited and he thought that she was a new friend to play with.  He was also very kind and was never rough with her. 

As we we have been getting ready for Bethany to come into the picture this time,he has been great.  He would snuggle Katie in the bed while she was on bed rest and he was never too far from her side. 

So a couple of days when Bethany came home we were excited about his reaction.  Once again he took up his post as protector and shepherd of this little bundle.  This picture was taken the first night (about 2am) where he sat and laid all night beside her. 

20120508bethany at home-DSC_1809This second picture is from this morning when Katie got up and he figured he would take the next shift of watching the baby and snuggle down on the couch.  He reminds me of the dog from the Disney version of Peter Pan (nana) who took care of the kids.  What an adventure that the WHOLE Bishop family is on. 

Bethany is here

20120504bethany bday-DSC_1682On May 4th 2012, the Bishop family’s world was turned upside down again with the birth of Bethany Grace.  Eden and I come home from a preschool beach party with a surprise Thai food lunch for mom.  After lunch Katie said the contractions were getting way worse and closer together.  At 1:00 we made our way to Frederick, and by 1:40 were were seen at the doctor’s office.  Just a few minutes after going in, Katie was brought back out by some wide-eyed nurses just about 10 minutes later.  They told us to go to the hospital STAT (there would be people waiting fir us there).  thanks to some heave traffic we got to FMH a little after 2.  Once there everything went very quickly and Bethany was with us 2 hours later.  We have been so blessed to have great doctors and nurses all along the way.  They have gone above and beyond to make everything great for us.

20120505bethany bday-DSC_1717Eden is being a great big sister.  She is loving holding and caring for Bethany.  She has wanted to spend the night so badly, but spent the first night we were in the hospital with the Posey family and then last night with the Bishops.  This morning Eden is going to Middletown Church where I am sure she is going to be showing off some pictures of “her first baby.”  She is going to be a great helper as we make the transition back to home life.  Now the real question is how the dog is going to feel about all of this.  I brought home one of Bethany’s blankets so he could sniff yesterday.  He then looked at me with eyes that said, “I remember when this happened 30 (dog) years ago.”

A new adventure begins today as we make our way home.


20120504bethany bday-DSC_169220120504bethany bday-DSC_170620120504bethany bday-DSC_164320120504bethany bday-DSC_165320120504bethany bday-DSC_1679

It is going to be great!!!!!

how pastors kids sleep


Sunday evening Eden was so tired from the day that she feel sleep in our bed while Katie and I were talking. 

At one point Katie looked at me and said “look at her hands.”

She must have been praying that she would fall asleep before we noticed so that she could stay in the big bed.  It kind of worked.  She was asleep before we knew it, but she still had to go to her bad and sleep the rest of the night. 

my life in a word: Change


So there hasn’t been much posting going on here for the last little bit because it is simply something that has fallen off of the plate for the past little while.

I have notes, drafts and potential posts scattered throughout my bags and notebooks, but there is little progress that is really happening.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  My rationalizations about neglecting my blog are:

  • I have been the one one at the helm for the past little while while our Senior Pastor is on Sabbath rest. 
  • I have a very pregnant wife who just the other day admitted she is nesting (in reality it has been happening for many weeks).  This means painting the baby room, getting furniture set up, grooming the dog and other things around the house. 
  • I have been working on another little digital brainstorm to equip youthworkers in my area with teaching, training and resources.  The hope was it would be a launch pad for community, connection and events.  So some blog energy have been put into which may not see real daylight for a while now. 
  • confirmation class has started which adds another layer of teaching on to my weekend preaching, youth lessons and small group teaching. 
  • We are having a Kid in May.  Baby Bethany Grace will be here soon
  • Finally, I am going to be reappointed in July to Faithpoint church in Urbana.  I am excited at the new ministry opportunities with this community.  SO the next couple of months will be filled with good-byes and finishing well at Middletown UMC, 

Some of you might read this as a list of excuses, but I just wanted to give a heads up as to what is going on in the real life of this dad/pastor that has cut my web time down rather drastically. 

I am hoping to get some stuff up soon because I have some posts that I would like to get out about being the one at the helm, transitions, and how planning for a second kid changes the game (again). 

In the mean time if we haven’t connected recently, let me know how you are or lets connect up for coffee. 

What an adventure this conspiracy of grace is.