It's a dreary, cold Sunday morning & I'm currently typing as my husband & son are upstairs snuggled comfortably & safely in their beds. For this, my heart is happy.
It's been just over a month since our family & friends joined us for the inaugural Chosen Charlotte 10 Mile Race. In this post, I detailed the events of the days before the race & how God showed up & showed off in His perfect timing to bring our second son into our family. Good stuff y'all.
So race day. Oh man, race day. Prior to this race, I would not call myself a "real" runner. I had dappled in the sport several times, even buying an expensive pair of shoes several summers ago (that in all fairness, did change my running world for the better). Then I experienced an injury & carried a lot of fear when it came to running.
Then the opportunity to take part in the Chosen Race came around & I knew I'd have to face my fears, strap on a new pair of shoes, & start training. Boy am I glad I did!
Participating in Chosen felt a bit like a wedding to me: there were lots of questions & things to organize ahead of time; things that didn't exactly quite right, & unexpected, unplanned wonderful things. Then the day got here & there were so many of the people we love in one space celebrating what God is doing in & through our family. Then exhaustion & processing through it all :) Not all that different from a wedding....ha!
So the night before the race, family & out-of-town friends flooded in for the celebration. People came in to volunteer, walk, & run the race with us. And we lied to many of them...eeek! We are still sorry about lying, but we are not sorry about why ;-)
Many times on Friday night, we were asked if we had heard anything about the little 5-yr old guy we hoped would become our son. As you know from my previous post, we found out just that morning that we would have the opportunity to become his family. But we wanted to tell our family in person first.
Then Friday night (kinda) fell apart & we missed that opportunity.
Jonathan & I stayed up late, processing through the events of the day, making a poster for our teammates to sign, & cherishing the news that we are getting 2 sons!
The next morning was only slightly chaotic ;-)
Everyone seemed to make it to the race in plenty of time; there were only 2 registration packets we couldn't locate (which we eventually did); & the atmosphere was electric & exciting as many families gathered with their loved ones to volunteer, run, & walk for someone besides themselves.
We gathered EqualsZero--Team Patterson around to pray & take pictures prior to the race starting, & it was at this moment that Jonathan, Jayson, & I were able to share publicly that we are getting 2 boys.
It was, by far, one of the BEST moments of the day & this journey for us!!
People signed our poster, we snapped a few team pictures & prayed together before we took off
|Doctors Bobby Levy & Robert Poetta|
|(Most of) EqualsZero--Team Patterson|
|getting ready to start|
|teammates signing the poster|
|Cousin Erica signing the psoter|
|JP pinning on his bib|
|The BEST Papa in the world!!|
|Cousins Erica & Emily showing their support--& being photobomed by Dr. Stephen Renfrow :)|
|Our fabulous residency friends, Lauren Thomas, Lauren Paul, & Erica Pate (& little baby Pate)|
These lovely ladies manned water station 4 & were a HUGE encouragement!!
|pre-race strategizing with our resident marathon friend, Gray Riley|
|We had a balloon release & a moment of silence in honor of the 10 members of the Hendrick family & crew that died 10 years ago.|
|Some of the beautiful women of our family that came out to walk: Cousins Erica & Emily, the PROUDEST Gammie around, & our loving Aunt Donna|
|The best accountability partner & friend a girl could ask for, Alexis Morris|
And with that, we were off!
There are countless stories of the how & why people decided to jump feet first into this crazy journey with us, but I want to share 2 of them with the world: I love my parents. 100%. Completely & wholeheartedly for the very imperfect, very wonderful, God-fearing people they are. My Mama & Daddy did a killer job raising us in a very broken, hurting world & by far the best thing they did for us was to show us God's love. Mess up? There's His grace. Get angry? There's His forgiveness. Let Satan win a battle? There's stubbornness that knows he does not get to win the war. Show up. Be present. Love with everything you have, even when it hurts or requires sacrifices. Make allowances for each other's faults but by golly, challenge each other to press into God that much harder next time. Laugh often. Notice others. Be loyal. Be grateful. Serve well. Give 100% in everything you do. Forgive. Love.
All of that being said, I honestly wasn't sure if or what my parent's roles might become for this race. Knowing they support our adoption journey, I expected them to be present, but I honestly didn't expect this:
When I think of my Dad, I think of a man that is loyal. He shares his opinions boldly & unashamedly. He does not quit. He is a man of great conviction & those close to him know exactly where his heart & his loyalties lie. I love these things about him. And on race day, I got to see all these qualities reflected in my Mama. Like me, she has never done anything like this before, but she decided months ago she was going to walk the 10 miles & "not finish last." Months of training & a die-hard commitment paid off: she never quit & she did not finish last!!
My Mama is a gifted server & grace-giver. I'm convinced that on a good day, she could out-give Mother Theresa. She has a quite strength about her that is not to be underestimated. She always put her family's needs before her own. She serves well. She has a natural gift for meeting the needs of others. On race day, I got to see these qualities reflected in my Daddy. Less than 6 months out from knee repair surgery, he was there waiting at the finish line on bended knee, the official "tag cutter" of Chosen 2014.
None of the qualities listed above are exclusive to either of my parents, but what touched me the most is to experience what God desires marriages to be: an exchange of the best qualities in each other that demonstrate Christ's love to those around. Such an unexpected blessing from this day.
I cannot even verbalize how humbled & blessed our family is knowing how loved & supported we are!!!!
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you~
Jonathan, DeAnna, Jayson, & our China boys