Reflecting on the Birth of Our New Son, Dylan

I happen to be in a beautiful season of life right now.  For those who don’t know me or our story, this wasn’t always the case.  My wife, Susan, and I will have been married for 10 years this coming January and we have just started our family last year with the adoption of our first son, Nathan. This week brought us our second child, Dylan.

After years of fertility treatments and going through a series of unfortunate events from a family tragedy to the proverbial first church experience, we find ourselves reflecting on this journey we’ve been on.  It’s funny  (for lack of a better word) how life unfolds.  When you get married in your early 20’s to a beautiful girl, life looks pretty optimistic.  There’s the beautiful struggle of getting rid of college loans, clothes and vehicles and the needed transition to appear as an “adult”. But as you get older, you realize so much of adulthood is a mirage created by media, expectations and that inner voice that’s always questioned your self-worth.  Add the negative people you meet and subtract the freedom you once enjoyed and you’re on your way to a life so many call “the same old, same old”.  From bad bosses to tragedies to bad movie sequels you just paid $10 to see, it’s easy to understand why so many twenty-somethings get jaded.

I’m not sure we ever knew how rough it was getting for us.  My wife and I tried to keep each other encouraged.  I remember when everyone was getting pregnant around us, we’d laugh and say the one thing all these people had in common was that they knew us.  In our first church, we had began a Married WithOUT Children group and it was the coolest thing to “kick” someone out because it meant that they just celebrated the arrival of a baby.  It got rough when we realized the entire group we started with had “graduated”.  We never begrudged anyone for getting pregnant.  In fact, we were sort of relieved that our loved ones weren’t going through what we were going through.  The only time we felt felt that it wasn’t fair was when someone complained that they were pregnant.

One of the worst days I remember happened while I was a in movie theater.  My wife and I had different days off and I would end up going to a matinee by myself. I went regularly because one, I like movies, but two, I needed the escape.  One day, I sat in the theater watching a movie that carried a strong element of tragedy and in my mind I heard the unspoken theme, “Not all of our dreams come true.”  And while I never gave up on wanting to see my wife be a mother and wanting to be a dad, something changed. I realized it very well may never happen.  I had to release it. The closest thing I could compare it to was letting go after my grandmother passed away.  While you can’t ever forget the memory or the knowledge of someone you cared about, you move on knowing that you won’t see them at Christmas.

Then life got cruel.  Susan’s brother was killed in a motorcycle accident.  A young driver thought he could beat him through an intersection.  In his second day of surgery, I knew he was going to be ok.  It was a Sunday in fact, and it was my turn to preach.  The passage was on God promising Abraham that he would have a son.  This was a very special sermon for me as it revolved around faith, obedience and promise.  Add to it that we were going through fertility treatments and I thought about God and Abraham almost every day.  My wife flew down to FL to be with her family and I stepped into the pulpit with the faith that could move mountains.  I knew that everything was going to be ok.  I knew it, though it sometimes take a while and sometimes you have to go through the pain, that there would be joy in the end.  I was in the church lobby enjoying the high from an appreciated message when one of the secretaries told me my wife was on the phone.  Susan told me her brother didn’t make it.  I couldn’t believe it – I was so stunned, especially because I really, really believed everything was going to be ok.  He left behind a beautiful 2 year old boy and a wonderful wife that didn’t know she was pregnant when she buried her husband.

We stopped fertility treatments that year.  Then after 5 years, I resigned from my first church.  Then we got pregnant!  I remember the joy of feeling vindicated when my wife told me the news. Things were going to be ok.  A very short while later, Susan miscarried and waves of pain spilled over us once again.

Eventually we found a church that we wanted to be a part of.  And while the new start would usher in a time of healing, we hesitated in getting our hopes up.  That’s the thing I learned about going through depressing times – you can never imagine life getting better. Don’t get me wrong, I was never clinically depressed, or suicidal, nor did I question God’s love for me, but I do remember feeling the numbness of life. Laughing at Seinfeld, drinking a Guinness while eating my wife’s cooking were the pleasures I knew not to take for granted because not too long before that, nothing was funny and nothing tasted good.  But for a while, this was as good as life got.

So a few years ago, had someone told me that  2009 would be finishing like this, I would have cursed you for tempting me to get my hopes up.

I know that we have no guarantees regarding health, difficult times, and further tragedy. As believers,  we see the mysterious hand of God at work in our lives (not that I necessarily believe that God fore-ordained all this to happen this way) and we have chosen to enjoy this time as opposed to living in fear that these blessings will be stripped from us.  We’ve come to learn some of the different aspects of living by faith.  For years it seemed that we were living on the faith of the impossible.  Fighting despair was the challenge.  The past couple years have been living on the faith brought about from joy.  Fighting fear has been the newest challenge but the Lord is near.  For now this is is where we are and while nothing is perfect, there’s a lot of wonderful things happening, we can’t help but be grateful.


  1. Awesome story, Tim. Life can be fearsome. I’m glad you have persevered in faith and that you have so much to celebrate right now.

  2. Man, I wish I could respond in a way that truly expressed what I’m feeling as I read and remembered your story. I relate to so much of it, even with different circumstances.

    Sure do wish God would get to work on putting us in the same town. Would love to see you guys again some day sooner than November 2035 (when the world ends).

  3. Tim, I don’t have any words that do your post justice… I am rejoicing with you and your wife (though I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her). Thanks for your honesty and your insight on your own journey. It has made an impact on many, including me. Blessings to you, brother! Many, many blessings!

  4. Bassim Ibrahim says:

    Tim, I’m a horrible friend because you told me about your blog several years ago but I’m just looking at it for the first time today. Having said that, I’m glad this was the first post I read. Your story is a great reminder about the blessings that come to those who put their trust in the Lord. I feel privileged to have witnessed you live through the events you wrote about. I’ll do well in bad times to go through them with half the class and grace that you and Susan did. I couldn’t be happier for anybody else. I love you man.

  5. Bassim Ibrahim says:

    …and just so my last post isn’t remembered as the most sappy thing I’ve ever written, I’d like to add the following:

    I understand that God has rewarded you with countless blessings lately – but did he have to allow your Yankees to win their 27th on top of it! Ugh!

  6. @ Dan – thanks for reading and thanks for the kind words.

    @JasonB – Truly wish we lived closer. Can’t wait to meet Jude.

    @KrissAnne – Tuesdays aren’t the same without you. Thanks for the encouragement.

    @Bass – I honestly thought you had read every post from the beginning – lol. Thanks for the fist comment and thanks for being there. You’re a great friend, a great husband and God-willing, I’m sure you’ll be a great father one day. Remember, the grace of God can overcome even the bitterness of a Red Sox fan ;-)


  1. […] we genuinely were happy for those that were going through beautiful seasons of life and like I mentioned in post shortly after Dylan’s birth, we were relieved that no one we knew was going through the same thing. Sadly, we now know numerous […]

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