Mike Cope blogged the other day about the special role of second parents that so many play in the lives of others in our society today, where oftentimes parental role models are lacking. Several commenters on the blog then pointed out that oftentimes it’s not just the parent-less to benefit from the surrogate parents; oftentimes those of us with wonderful familial support are also blessed by having adopted moms and dads. I know that I have, so today I’d like to give them blog props. :)

In college I was doubly blessed to gain both an adopted set of parents and grandparents.

Bob and Donna Carpenter are… great. :) Just mentioning them brings a smile to my face. I first met them when I went to Brazil the first time; they were kind enough to host a dinner my mission team since they were missionaries in Brazil for several years. Bob’s a professor of missions and world religions at OC, and so over the years I took several classes with him (I can think of 5 off the top of my head). Bob and Donna trained my mission team the second year I went to Brazil, and Bob was actually on the team, so you know those 4 weeks provided some great bonding time. All these experiences were great for growing in friendship and even a mentoring relationship, but they became my second parents when I was sick. They were at the hospital the morning of my surgery with my parents and the McBrides. They stayed with my family throughout the whole surgery (5+ hours) and then were at the hospital nearly every day that I was there (over a month). Donna was the only person I let sit with me other than my mom or dad, and even spent the night in the hospital to give my mom a break. After I was out of the hospital and for the next semester of school, whenever I was sick (which was often) I always had a room at their house where I could hide from it all. Donna would go to the doctors visits with me whenever my mom couldn’t come up. And although I’m sure having a sickly pseudo-daughter complicated their life, they never once made me feel like a burden. I love them for their example of Godliness and faithfulness and generosity of time and love (and house!).

*I don’t have a picture of Bob and Donna! :( If someone has one (M&K?) could you send it to me so I can show them off?

Bailey and Joyce McBride, who I’ve referenced several times on the blog (yes, I’m an admitted Baileyite), are my second grandparents. Bailey is the director of the honors program at OC, so I met him in the interview process before I even attended the school. Although we weren’t close for my first year or two of school, I was always taken back by the amount of interest and compassion he showed for his students. He always closely followed my mission trips and told me how proud of me he was. Despite a lack of a personal relationship, there came a time my junior year when I needed help, and I turned to him and he welcomed me with open arms. He loved on me and prayed over me and carried me through some hard times. Then of course was the baptism of fire that came when I was sick. Much like Bob and Donna, Bailey and Joyce were always there. I actually met Joyce on the day of my surgery, but you’d never know it the way she was showering my family and me with love and attention. But she and Bailey were also there just about every day that I was in the hospital. More than anything I am eternally grateful for their prayers. When they say they pray for me daily I know those aren’t idle words; they truly do pray for me. And I know those prayers have carried me through times I wouldn’t have been able to go through alone.

Bailey and Joyce McBride (and me)

I have been blessed unimaginably by my “extended family.” I pray that God gives me the opportunities to pass on and reflect this love that I’ve been shown.

I have an idea. I would like to decree that May 29 is “Second Parents Day.” It falls right between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, so it’s perfect. Hallmark will love me for this. But really, take a day… maybe May 29th… and thank those who have adopted you into their families.