In 2008, I launched a new series at our church called Godonomics. That same month an emotional hurricane hit my house. We had adopted my son Quinn a few months earlier. We met his birthmother almost a year prior. Her name was Jacci. She was 18. She was pregnant. She had cried her way out of an abortion clinic. She couldn’t get herself to abort this life kicking and growing within her. She also knew she was not up for the challenges of motherhood. She knew she didn’t have the financial backing or emotional support to raise a child.
The next few months as we met, we developed a friendship. More than that, my wife and I were reminded of the challenges of single motherhood. Jacci worked at a fast food restaurant trying to make ends meet. She was barely able to pay her bills and had no money for things like prenatal vitamins. My wife and I gave her an old laptop we owned so she could get on the internet. We gave her a cell phone since hers had broken. We were prompted to be generous because we saw her real needs. We realized how often we live insulated lives that don’t intersect with others in different seasons and sectors of life.
My wife and I are smart savers and spenders, but adoption was an expensive endeavor. It’s not just the emotional and physical demands. There are financial demands as well. We had a decision to make: Would we put our money where our mouth is? Would we practice what we preach? It’s one thing to say life is precious and sacred… It’s another to restart our family when my youngest was 10. With empty nest less than a decade away, my wife and I prayed and decided to reset the financial and retirement clock.
We named my son Quinn. A name picked out my his birthmother Jacci as well as my wife and I. His middle name Jaxon (Jacci’s son) was a way to honor her for her precious trust and gift. She placed her most valuable commodity with us. A part of her. An invaluable child into our arms.
Fast forward to June of 2009. My son was born. I held him in my arms 5 minutes after my wife assisted Jacci in the delivery room. Life was starting over. The joy of a new child. The flashback of thousands of memories from our first two children. My eleven year old daughter was watching my wife and I fall in love with our children all over again. Precious. Timeless. Incalculable Moments. Could life get any better than this moment?
Several months later, we got the news. I sensed something might not be right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. In the midst of the joy and elation of the delivery room, I’d overlooked the way… Well, the way Quinn “looked” at me.
Four Months later we’d learn my son has an incurable medical condition called ONH (Optic Nerve Hypoplasia). His eyes are fine. His brain is probably fine. His optic nerves are too small. The result: his eyes bounce back and forth like popcorn. He can only see things at a certain angle and distance. I was not prepared to hear the word “incurable,” “blind,” and “your son” -all in the same sentence. And whatever he can see isn’t what you and I see. Whatever I look like in his eyes, I knew what I looked like in October of 2009. I was a mess. My wife and I wept. We wondered if we were up to the challenge. We wondered if we had what it takes to be parents to a special needs child. Did we have the finances to support whatever the future held? Did we have the strength in our marriage to endure this challenge? How would we lead our 9 year old and 11 year old through this family crisis?
A year and half later, we have great hope. We’ve leaned on God like never before. We’ve prayed like few times in the past. We’ve called out for His “manifold grace” to assist us in our manifold trials. We’ve asked for wisdom to provide for Quinn’s future. In fact, that is where the idea for Godonomics was born. I’ve never put any of my series into a usable format outside our church’s walls. I felt a compelling “nudge” from God to make this series the first. I went in studio and turned this series into a two DVD teaching curriculum for churches, small groups, and bible studies. God was pushing me to “practice what I preach.” To practice Godonomics by producing a product that would help others learn the basics of work, profit, and others-focused living. I hoped to design a series that would help those who want a road map to get out of poverty. I wanted to challenge those with means to bless those who were struggling.
I am a video producer and communicator by trade, but have despised the “televangelist” caricature of pastors who try to sell their stuff. I’ve always secretly questioned their motives or at least wondered about their endgame. So why go public? Why produce a DVD? Why risk people questioning your motivation?
Well, you should see my motivation. My motivation dances in my living room each evening. My endgame sits in my lap each night. Quinn has become the love of our life. We have learned so much about special needs, adapting as a family, and the joy than can only be found through the unexpected. We have learned that God pushes us to help the hurting. God calls us out of our comfort zones. God calls us to promote His kingdom here on earth. We also are learning that where God guides, He provides.
For more information, check out www.godonomics.com