The following is the text of what I shared at Isaac’s memorial service, Saturday, 29 June 2013. The bits of poetry are excerpts of lyrics from Sarah Groves’ “Add To The Beauty“, which played while the photos for this section were shown.
61 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek. He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound,
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn,
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.”
New Living Translation (NLT)
1a “Peace and prosperity to you!
2 “I want you all to know about the miraculous signs and wonders the Most High God has performed for me.
3 How great are his signs,
how powerful his wonders!
His kingdom will last forever,
his rule through all generations.
God’s love and intervention in the lives of three people rippled out to include all of you. It is an adventure story full of suffering, delays, plot twists, mysteries:
- The same week I mournfully defiantly wrote of trusting God’s goodness and grace in our suffering, our barren childlessness, a boy baby was born in a far away land
- God sent us dreams that changed a man’s mind and gave hope to a woman that she had not been forgotten
- How in the world did we get the information and contacts needed for all this to happen before the age of computers, cellphones, the internet?
- How did that boy get in that orphanage?
- How did we choose “He laughs” (Isaac) as our son’s name before we ever met him?
- In what way was Isaac the first and the last in Oruro, Bolivia?
We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold
God had a beautiful secret for Isaac. He brought Isaac from a far off land to set him in a family. Being his Mom and Dad was one of the purposes written on our souls. It was not easy. Until his death, walking the road to the day of his legal adoption here in the US was the most difficult time of our lives.
Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are
December 17th, 1992 we arrived at a poor, run-down state orphanage in Oruro, Bolivia. There was no glass in the windows. There was nothing but abject poverty. Children slept on mats on the floor and were fed potatoes.
Eventually we were handed a small, ugly, sick Aymara Indian/Hispanic boy. He was severely malnourished and covered with pox scars. Three weeks shy of two years old he was 29 inches long and weighed 19 pounds. He had a lung infection. He could not walk or speak. There is no doubt in my mind he would not have lived a year in that orphanage.
And I want to add to the beauty
I want to tell a better story,
Shine with the light
That’s burning up inside
He was named Misael Rodrigo Patino. I have never met another living soul named Misael. Misael was the name of one of the three faithful boys taken with Daniel into Babylon to be trained as administrators. Renamed Meshach, he was one of the young men who went into the fiery furnace and then walked out alive. Misael means: Who is like God?
Beauty comes in helping a soul find it’s worth.
God gave us a tremendous gift. He chose our son for us.
You are invited for the weeks and months and years ahead to call, visit, write if you wish to know more and share your story with us.
We thank the Almighty for His love, mercy and grace to Isaac and to us, for opening the way to him, and forging us as a family through the trials it took to make him our son.