I previously dedicated an entire post to each Max
, and Zoey
. I was going to wait to post Kasey's on her birthday, but it's bugging me that she's the only one without an individual post dedicated to her. Plus, grandma just asked me where it was.
It actually dawned on me last night as I made the rounds, praying for each of my children, tucking them in, and having that last conversation of the day, I was in Wes's room and I was looking at him thinking, "I have four children." I was like, "Wow, this is a full house. What a blessing. What a journey." That's when I realized that I needed a prelude post before I could write Kasey's post. I had not been procrastinating because I had nothing to say about Kasey. Quite the opposite! So, I'll be writing this prelude first. After that, I'll be ready to write the "Kasey" post.
Before Chrisy and I got married, I actually told her I only wanted one child. She thought that was crazy and told me that being an "only child" isn't the best thing in her book and she strongly desired at least two. My response? "You'd better pray the first one isn't a girl then, because, if it is, I will probably want to be done," I said.
I didn't know this at the time, but it wasn't that I didn't want a boy. Indeed, Max and Wes have been HUGE blessings in my life. It turns out that I was actually scared
to parent a male. Again, I didn't know this at the time, but I've spent a lot of time thinking about, praying about, journaling about, and talking about this topic and I now know that I actually had an "issue" with having a boy. There's a word for it: Fear.
It turns out that the relationships with both my birth-father and my step-father were strained and didn't come easy. Whereas my mom and I, as well as my dad's second wife, Cory, got along without any effort. My grandfather, John, was an Ogre and I never knew his wife. I got along splendedly with my grandmother, Ann, but her husband died before I could know him. I did have my Uncle John, but things got difficult between us when he started taking a strong stand against my self-destructive habits. His concern and unwillingness to slip into denial were not something I appreciated until I really grew-up.
As far as siblings go, I fought constantly with my brother Mark, but my relationship with my new step-sisters, Cami and Renay were great from the getgo. My sister Lori and I literally never had an arguement from the day she was born until the day I moved out of the house. In high school, I had "best friends" that were female and it caused problems between my girlfriends and I; however, the arguments were worth it because I got along so well with those other females too. In short, I thought girls would be no effort, but boys intimated me. Mostly, it was because I had not actually seen a real life model of how I perceived a father should relate to his son. I knew I could love a male, but could I do the impossible: Could I express
So, how did the guy who was adamant about having only one child end up being the guy that was pushing his wife to have the fourth? It has a lot to do with how God used my boys to transform me. Long story short, it was kinda like God said, "Instead of whining about what you needed from a father, how about I give you some boys, you step-up and be THAT father you thought you needed. You're done being the boy. Be the man now!"
Oddly enough, I came up with the name Kasey back in 1996 before Max was born. I revisited it in 1998 when Chrisy was pregnant with Wes too. For me it was always Kasey, but for a girl. So, when our first two were boys, "Kasey" got shelved. Of course, I revisited the name when we found out that our third child was a girl. For some reason, Chrisy didn't want the name Kasey in 2002 so we went with Zoey and it's a good thing because Zoey is the Zoeiest person I've ever known! Nevertheless, Kasey was unfinished business for me.
I remember when Chrisy was pregnant with Zoey and I was praying, you could call it that, but it was more like screaming, "Okay, I get it God! I understand it now! My dads did the best they could with what they were handed. My boys mean the world to me. I'm ready for the girl now! I really understand now!" I couldn't imagine life without Max and Wes. It's little things, like I've had the good fortune of saying those three words I craved to my boys every single day of their life: "I love you." It's hard to explain how that's helped me. I fixed a lot of things within me simply by just doing something I thought was lacking or by not doing something that I felt hurt.
In 2002 God and Chrisy's Valentine gift to me was my girl. Right from the start, Zoey has been a tremendous gift; yet, I found myself, even before her first birthday, really wanting a fourth baby. Indeed, it was in part due to the fact that the first three were so joyous and part of it was because I was smitten with the radiance of my pregnant wife, but there was something more
than all that. It was something mysterious and I took it to God many times. He kept saying, "Yes." I couldn't shake it. In fact, in a strange turn of events, I spent the greater part of 2003 pretty much badgering my poor wife into having just one more. One of the final conversations went like this:
Doah: "Come on, it'll be perfect, two boys and two girls."
Chrisy: "But, you don't know if this one will turn out to be a girl."
Doah: "Actually, I can guarantee it."
Chrisy: "That's pretty arrogant! How could you know?"
Doah: "God told me so."
Okay, so that might sound crazy to you now, but it was true. Not only do I really believe that I heard from God that he would give me another girl, I felt like I knew it would be Kasey, this particular human, even before conception. And, I really wanted her