Mentoring Mondays: 27Apr15
Yes, this is a longer post.
The outcome, years in the making, is remarkable.
Read when you have an extra 2 minutes in your busy life.
What would be your own response to a beautiful 15yo girl, from a good home, who finds herself pregnant? What would be the care and nurture you would give her and her family concerning this unplanned, but very evident circumstance? What if this meaning-filled, hope-filled young woman were your very own daughter?
The year is 1978. The date was April 26. A healthy baby boy was born. That was 37 years ago, yesterday.
The call, from another state, was for real, asking for care, seeking assistance, valuing guidance, needing some rays of hope. Her pastor had heard me speak at a conference and reference the heartwarming adoption of our own daughter two years earlier. He asked for help navigating this momentous moment.
Long, and special story, wAy short, adoption of the baby was the chosen path by the family. The ensuing grief of adopting was going to be even more real. It was not an easy moment in time for all concerned…the family…or the care-givers of this girl and her family…as this family of four moved to Denver for several months from several hundred miles away.
(…purposeful time warp here…) People will often ask me, “Isn’t mentoring just another form of counseling?” To which I respond, “That’s sometimes a part of mentoring.”
Or others will ask, “”Mentoring, that’s just life coaching, isn’t it?” My care-filled answer goes something like, “Well, that’s a valued part of mentoring, but only a part.”
Recently someone suggested that mentoring is simply another form of teaching. They are partially correct.
Some, from the Christian faith, may determine that mentoring is simply discipleship, but that’s not all that mentoring is. It is always much, much, much more.
the best of mentoring is not one dimensional.
Not just one problem to solve.
Nor one issue to consider.
It simply cannot be, no matter whether the mentoring is for only a few hours or a few years, mentoring is always about the whole person, not just what is evident, no matter the topic or idea up for exploration and discovery. The best of mentors know that and actively care for others with an informed whole person mindset.
On our Leadership Design Group website you can read about whole person mentoring. The ebook, that you can download, begins to help you know about what we refer to as whole person mentoring.
37+ years ago, we went into high gear. Helping to form a careful team of care-giving people around the family mentioned above, everyone was concerned about the needs of the girl, her younger brother, her mother, her father…and especially the healthy baby boy who was about to make his appearance in our world.
Now, to you alert souls, of course we do not mentor a new born. But the birth mom, her parents and her brother were, in varying ways, each of these whole people were taken care of, mentored, counseled, prayed for, taught, nurtured, encouraged, loved in the midst of these circumstances. It was a deep and sacred honor to walk with them into this new future in which they found themselves.
Fast forward just over two years ago from right now, the birth mom and the son, now a strapping young adult, found each other. Reunions began. Stories shared. Families expanded. Even more wholeness was added to these precious lives. Tears, this time of deep joy, were shed and shared. The time warps of lives now had a narrative, a story, of amazing grace and love…even after all these years.
Last week I was in Boston at the annual Q Conference (fourth time…) that always stretches my own soul in ways it needs to be stretched. This past Saturday I even got to meet that “little boy child,” who has now grown into one fine man, caring husband and father to four delight-filled, significant kids…two daughters, two sons.
A hope, a dream, came true.
37 years ago I prayed a prayer over that newborn baby boy, for his protection and care by whomever adopted him. Only our God knew his future, and even the future of this family who were making these exceptional choices. I briefly held him, less than one day old, as I prayed that prayer.
This past Saturday, I finally got to meet him as he, his beautiful wife and four sincerely remarkable kids drove down to Boston from Maine. The anticipation of giving him a hug, 37 years in the waiting, the praying, the wondering, was palpable.
The several hours together last Saturday, the Italian lunch, the gelato, the talk, the laughter, one more concluding prayer of blessing over this whole family, and over his birth mom and her family (…now with one good husband and three fine young adult sons…whom we’ve yet to meet, but hope to soon…), well last week, my own soul was stretched and stunned and encouraged by all that took place…from the Q Conference, to being there with other leaders I mentor, to experiencing the sincerely amazing outcome of hard decisions that took place almost four decades ago.
The best of mentoring often will yield timeless dividends in relationships made whole, no matter the circumstances. Wondering what has taken place has given way to knowing that, for these good people, prayers have been more than answered. Healing for all continues in even deeper ways.
The honor of whole person mentoring will, in time, yield relational fruit for future generations. It’s humbling to have been a part of this unfolding story.
With Boston in the background we are near Quincy Market
The lively, engaged, really fun family.
If the carousel is operative, of course it needs to be enjoyed!
Here he and I are saying goodbye at the Logan Airport in Boston late Saturday afternoon. The picture his wife took was a welcome surprise.
I look forward to seeing him and his family again, soon…and his birth mom’s family hopefully this summer. From infant to stellar, vibrant man. Indeed, amazing and strong grace.
Happy 37th birthday yesterday!!!
And the story continues…….