. . . At this bittersweet time of their departure.

1. They are second row people, too.

2. Dorothy put a picture of my wife directing the kid’s choir up on her blog.

3. While it makes us sad, their departure plays right into our family’s secret plan to finally get in the top ten biggest families at Bethlehem.

4. Looking over at their family and seeing two of their daughters dancing (this past Easter Sunday – during ‘We Will Dance’) brought happy tears to my eyes.

5. And seeing these daughters regularly run over and embrace a smiling Pastor John right after he gives the benediction cheers the hearts of everyone who sees them.

6. They have given us a serious quantity of Baby Stuff that they no longer needed – including a top quality baby stroller and a leather baby Bjorn, not to mention clothes. We have appreciated it. 

7. This one takes a little background – Every Sunday our church puts a rose on the piano for every child born that week. As was pointed out from the pulpit last Sunday, at least one Sunday the Bode family, by adopting a child, has saved Bethlehem from having a bare piano.

8. More than once Dorothy has given Debbie and I no-nonsense advice when we’ve had difficulties with a child and it’s always been encouraging. Her theme: Yes, I’ve experienced that. No, you’re not crazy and/or evil and/or a failure as parents.

9. This week their son James raised his hand as I was leading the K/1 Wednesday night connection class and told us with tears in his eyes that this was going to be his last Wednesday.  I didn’t know this and I was so glad he let us all know. It gave us an opportunity to pray that he and his siblings will make new friends soon (not to mention glorify God in a new town, neighborhood and church).

10.  One indirect message everywhere they go:  Having a large family is a joyful and God-blessed enterprise.

11.  Another: Inter-racial Adoption is a joyful and God-blessed enterprise.

Both of these messages Glorify God and Edify People. Really, what more could you ask of a family?