Month: November 2010

this past Saturday


we celebrated a milestone in our youngest son’s life.

he became a permanent and forever part of our family when we adopted Hosea Kael Allen Harris.

this ended a 3 1/2 year ordeal that started with him being brought to our house straight from the hospital at 5 days old.

actually the story is starts in 2005 when God placed the thought of adoption in mine and Amy’s hearts.  we were lying in bed on a Saturday morning listening to our girls rummage through the pantry in search of cereal and watch cartoons, when Amy turned to me and said, “we need to look into adopting a baby”. we had actually talked about adoption even before we got married, but we both agreed this is what God was leading us to.

we went to meeting at CPS down by Reliant Stadium in Houston.  we were told there were no Anglo babies (which was fine because we really wanted a baby that needed us and that meant a minority or bi-racial child). we signed up for PRIDE classes.  filled out more paperwork than we had ever seen in our lives.  allowed every facet of our home, family and life to be examined with a finetooth comb.  we got licensed as a foster/adoptive home.  we had our homestudy and got a caseworker assigned, and we waited.

in July of 2006 we still had no placement and i was offered a job at a church in Frisco, so we moved and requested that all of our files be transferred to Collin County.  the files finally arrived the week after Thanksgiving in 2006.  we moved into our house in McKinney in January of 2007 and i began calling the CPS supervisor once a day until he assigned us a caseworker.  she came and updated our home study the week before spring break, she went on vacation and on March 19th, they called and asked if we would take a Hispanic male child.  we scrambled to get everything together that a newborn would need and they dropped him off at the house.

we were told his name was baby boy as the mom had left him at the hospital and not given him a name.  we were told we could name him, so we called him Kael Allen Harris.  then on day 6, mom decided she wanted him after all and gave him the name Jose Antonio Hernandez Guerrero, and so began the process.

CPS’s first goal is always reunification and we were supportive of that.  we knew we may not get to keep him.  we went to all of the meetings with the birth mom and took him to his visits. 

during this time, we received another call from CPS asking if we would be interested in another little boy.  he was free and clear for adoption, but he didn’t fit our criteria because he was white with blonde hair and blue eyes.  we went to meet him and saw that he needed a family like we could provide, so in May we brought Dakota Wayne Welch home and in November of 2007, we adopted John Kooper Harris

flash forward to June of 2008.  birth mom has not met her requirements and CPS thinks that termination is in the best interest for Jose.  CPS wins the case and we think it’s over, but it’s not.  the case goes to appeals.  in May of 2009 we receive a call saying the Appellate Court has thrown the case out on technicalities.  CPS appeals to the Supreme Court and in January of 2010,the Supreme Court says the Appellate Court has to look at the case.  The court upholds the original ruling in May of 2010 and hands down it’s mandate in August of 2010.  that is kindof a whirlwind of what happened minus the hurricane of emotions that we were going through.  we just never thought it was going to be over, that there was not going to be permanence for our son.  what relief when we finally had him put in adoptive placement, and even more so when the judge said he was ours  forever.

we are so thankful to God and to all of the family, friends, church members and even perfect strangers who prayed, contributed funds, and offered support to us.  we believe that God has placed these boys in our home so that He might receive the glory for what their lives become.  we promise to train them and teach them about Jesus Christ.  we pray that as they come to know Him, that they will do amazing things for the kingdom of God.

we held to this bible verse all through this story.

James 1:27

 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

 Every 15 seconds another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa

Every DAY  5,760 more children become orphans

Every YEAR  2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone)

143,000,000 orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home

Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…

Every YEAR  14,050,000 still grow up as orphans and age out of the system

Every DAY  38,493 children age out of the system

Every 2.2 seconds a child ages out with no family and no place to call home

Many of these children become orphans not because of death, but because their parents can’t take care of them, or just don’t want them

we who call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ can make a difference.  either you have space or you have resources.  i once heard John Piper say to young people, “so you are going to stand before the almighty God of the universe someday and say, Have you seen my boat?  that is a TRAGEDY” what can you do to help the orphans of your city, your country, your world?

there are many things you can do.  you can be a foster parent or an adoptive parent.  you can be a Court Appointed Special Advocate or CASA.  you can adopt children across the world through organizations like Compassion , World Vision or Every Orphan’s Hope.  you can help other people adopt by contributing to adoption grants at sites like Show Hope

will you be obedient to God and help these many little ones who need your help?  i would encourage you to, it will change your life.

some thoughts…poems actually.


i wish someone would teach me how to get single spacing on wordpress.com

 

Empty journal page

Staring me in the face

I’ve got nothing to say

Though I desperately want to scream something

I want to be more than I am

I want to say more than I do

But yet, I still stare at this empty page

 

 

Why do lyrics have to rhyme?

I don’t really care if they do

It just seems like you have to find the right scheme

Or you’re not thoughtful enough

Or maybe you’re too thoughtful…and deep

Or maybe you’re crazy

I could stand for being crazy

It would explain some things

As in this conversation I’m having with myself

What was I saying?

Oh yeah, why do lyrics have to rhyme?

 

 

One thousand suns cannot outshine a mere glimpse of You

This same glory dwells in me, but I’m so blind I miss it

Mere words don’t seem to express all You are

Even at my most eloquent moments I simply fall short

Your glory shines in every color that we see

And we so often miss it because we’re bored and preoccupied with lesser things

 

all three poems by Chuck Harris 2010

my wife went to see…


Miranda Lambert last Thursday and has now extended her new country phase as i like to call it.  she was rocking out to Jason Aldean and Carrie Underwood, but now is singing “White Liar” and “Gunpowder and Lead” in the car.

i guess the Miranda Lambert song that resonates with me the most is “The House That Built Me”.  it got me to thinking about the things that have formed me over my 39 years.

of course my parents are huge influences on my life as were my grandparents.  my mother taught me her love for Christ by showing me, molding me, telling me that i could do things differently.  single most important person in my spiritual formation.  my father taught me to love music and appreciate art.  he taught me how to play the trombone and many other instruments.  he awakened in me a lifelong desire to create. 

my grandparents were formational factors as well.  my maternal grandfather taught me about spirtuality and the power of the holy spirit.  my maternal grandmother taught me about unconditional love and kindness.  my paternal grandfather taught me the value of hard work and diligence.  my paternal grandmother taught me about missional living and provided me with great learning opportunities through books and trips.

i can think of a few teachers who helped move me to where i am today.  Mrs. White in 1st grade who took me to her house and cared for me when my sister died.  Mrs. Jordan in 3rd grade who demanded my best.  Mrs. Howell in 5th grade who continually put down my writing and so i set out to prove her wrong and later won awards for journalism.  Mrs. White freshman year who encouraged me to keep being myself.  Coach Mitchell who believed that i had a champion deep down in my heart.  Coach Snodgrass who has forgotten more about chemistry than he ever taught me.  of course my father who taught me music and band all the way through JH and HS.  Mr. Macon who believed in me enough to let me write and ended up coaching me to a silver medal inFeature Writing at UIL State.

then on to college where many experiences, friends, classes and mentors formed me.  From John Faraone and Greg Davis at Sul Ross, to Bob Deahl and Bob Henry at Texas Tech. there were those professors at Tech that tried to crush my dreams and tell me that i couldn’t do it, but that just drove me to prove i could.  my good friends and roomates Brent Dragoo, Doug Garrett and Shane Wade.  my mentors Bill Davis, John Strappazon and Job Buschmann.

moving onto my first teaching job in Dublin, TX where i met people like Scott Hooper and Mike Fritscher.  where i eventually met Amy, my wife.  my other teaching jobs in places like Gail, Hico, East Bernard and Cypress, TX.  people like Lonnie Davis, Tim Presson, Brantley Smith, Buddy Ritter and Brandon Baca.  through manysuccesses and failures, i begin to see that school teaching was a season that was passing, and God provided me full time church work.

through my time in Dallas with people like Jeff Powell, Zach Neese and Warren Jacobs.  even when my dream of leading worship fell apart i learned more about myself.  it was in those dark times that i came in contact with Randy Elrod, Jim Drake and the community known as Re:create.

now as i’m continually being formed and transformed through working with people like David Runnels, Mike Tyson, Ernest Boamah and Nick Sholars in the local sense here in Lufkin.  Randy Elrod, Jim Drake, Robert Comeaux, Rich Kirkpatrick, Joe Day, John Voelz and Louis Tagliaboschi from a distance.  i can’t count the number of times that these people have been of invaluable help.

i would also be remiss if i didn’t mention the amazing impact that my wife Amy Harris has had on my life.  she has pushed and encouraged and been my biggest fan at times when i thought all was lost.  my children also have had an profound influence on the man i am today.

so i continue to grow.  continue to become more like Christ.  and as i think of what built me, it was never a place or a house.  it was circumstances and the God and people who were around me that made me what i am today, and for that, i am forever thankful and grateful.

who helped form you?