Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

I am not a Calvinist and I don't believe in eternal security. That means I believe I cooperated with God on my salvation and I know I could walk away.

I didn't do anything to earn my salvation. I said yes. I followed. Yes it's very mysterious and miraculous. I don't understand exactly how it happened but I do understand the theology completely; so much so that my family was once thrown out of a church and I was publicly branded as a heretic because I disagreed with Calvinism.

On eternal security, I don't believe salvation comes and goes and I don't live in fear of losing it. But I do believe that if you willingly mess with sin enough, you just might end up walking to a point of no return. Again I don't know the fine points of how it would happen but I know the theology.

The point here is not to bring debate. People disagree and on these two, sometimes violently. I will not debate it here but I want to celebrate.

Thank you Jesus for what you did for me. I know I barely realize what you - God - went through to be born into this earth and what it was like for you to suffer one of the most horrific tortures and deaths possible.

For the joy set before you, you endured the cross. You looked forward to me. You rejoiced that we could and would be reconciled.

I know I have a long way to go but I can't imagine what my life would have been like without you. Thank you that you are changing me and minimizing the trail of damage that follows me.

Despite the lingering effects of sin I am a restored son of the Sovereign Lord. Thank you that you loved me before I came to you and that you love me now, even in times of active rebellion.

Thank you for making Easter more than ham, eggs and bunnies. Thank you for making my life something that at times seems impossible.

I love you,

Philip

Here is my conversion story.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So what is my story?



To my kids: I want you to understand the journey I am on and how it came about. I have found huge areas of my life and emotions have been shut away because for whatever reason, I was afraid to admit them, let alone explore them.

A big realization is that if I am curious about the circumstances of my birth and the family I came from, that in no way diminishes my adopted family, how I feel about them, and the gratitude I feel for being adopted into the family I was.

I hope you can understand this so that you can allow me to travel this path. I don't know where it will lead and am on the roller coaster of emotion as I travel it.

I hope as I let myself live this experience and the emotions involved I may become a better husband and father. I suspect that the shut off areas of my emotions prevented me from relating to all of you as I should have.

I love you,

Dad


If you haven't seen the movie October Baby, some of this may be hard to follow. Solution: see it!


12-18-2012

So what is my story?

I watched the movie October Baby tonight and I am overwhelmed with emotion as I have been every time I have seen it.

Where did I come from?

I was adopted into a wonderful, imperfect family with a mom and dad who loved me and wanted me.

Why am I afraid to feel?

I have been afraid to admit that I wonder who my birth mom is. Could I even wonder if there was a guy who was my dad?

I think if I have these feelings it somehow diminishes the family I was raised in.

Was I wanted?

This thought is present in almost every day I live.

I remember how sick my adopted mom was. I remember my dad asking my mom if something should be done with us kids, as my mom was not coping well. Can I admit that the overheard conversation took root deep in me and has, like a vine, intertwined itself through my everything?

Could other people want me?

I have a hard time believing that other people care about me. I feel so wrong to feel that way. It seems so wrong to even have an expectation that people should care or want to be my friend.

So I don't know what to do with all of this but I see that it is part of my story. Right or wrong, it is I and how I feel. I will admit that I feel.


12-19-2012

So I realize there is a hole.

Not realize but admit.

I don't know if it is big or small, deep or shallow. It may not even be a hole -  just a black spot in the distance.

Throughout my life, I have wondered.

I know my birth name: William Paul Bibelhausen; Born on July 20, 1955 at Porter Sanitarium and Hospital.

I have searched the Internet a little and looked in the phone book. Never found anything that seemed worthwhile.

But do I even want to go there. Are things better left as they are? Could I find more pain? Would I be happy or sad if I found out more?

I have thoughts but I will wait, think, and move slow.

12-20-2012

Why the tears?

Why am I moved so deeply by October Baby?

It has opened something so deep. I feel pulled to watch it over and over until I find what it is.

12-21-2012

A trail to the past?

My adoption papers are the only ones that survived. I have what my siblings David and Lucille don't - my birth name. I can't remember when I first discovered that. It almost seems like I have always known but I know that is not true.

So I have printed out the papers to request my birth records. One of these days I will look them over and maybe fill them out. It is not a request to find who my birth mother was directly although a name may come from the records. It would be interesting to see what information is contained in them.

12-22-2012

I watched October Baby again this afternoon. Here are my thoughts.

Writing

A journal is a safe place to "think out loud" - to put feelings and thoughts into words. Sometimes I need a private place and sometimes I want to blog and reveal my inmost place to anyone who would care.

Unwanted?

Hanna felt unwanted and as if she had no right to exist.

I have felt unwanted a lot. Another feeling is that many things I become involved with stagnate. It's like there is something inherently wrong with me. As if things would have been better without me.

Who am I?

Hanna wanted to see her birth certificate - "To know who I am." "I want to know who my birth mother is."

 I know who I am - I think. Yet there is mystery. What kind of person was my mother or father? What kind of family did they come from? Were they good or bad people?

Did my mother hate me or did she give me up with pain, regret and hope of something better. Did she wonder about me through the years? Did she try to forget me?

Answers?

Hanna said, "I want answers; I want to get on with my life; Right now I feel stuck."

I don't know if feel stuck but sometimes I wonder why I feel so insecure and afraid of being abandoned. Does that emotion come from this black hole in my life?

I don't even know me...

Sometimes I think I am a good person. Most of the time I feel like a huge failure who probably should never have been married or had children so less people would have been hurt by me. Am I really a bad person?

I do my job well and get many good comments. Why not in the rest of my life - at least by the people who matter most?

Questions?

The policeman asks, "What will you say if you find your mother?

I think I would be so scared of that meeting unless I had an indication before of something good to come from it.


Hanna later said, "I'm starting to think that I shouldn't have found out about all this."

The search may reveal things that could not have been imagined or expected - good or bad.


Hanna: "I found my mom."

How loaded that was. Yes she found her and fresh rejection.

20 weeks

Hannah's mother tells her that she was pregnant and lost twins at 20 weeks.

I know that place. Wendy and I had twin boys who died at 20 weeks. If only we had known how we should have dealt with it. There should have been a funeral - a proper good bye. Instead there were and probably still are wounds.

Will things be different?

In the church, Hanna says, "Somehow I thought I would get all these answers and when I got back would feel different."

Is that the risk? Should I avoid the risk - play it safe so I avoid something that is possible?

Hanna: "Why didn't she want me? What is so wrong with me?"

That is the feeling we have. It is us. We are somehow defective. But maybe it isn't. Maybe it is the other person who is. This could be true in many other areas too.

Hope

The priest to Hanna: "Live your life - live it to the full!"

Yes - hope of something better.

Healing

Hanna to her dad: "Thank you...for wanting me."

Wanting to be wanted. I know it well.

2-14-2013

Valentine's Day

I filled out the papers to request my birth records. Also the papers to put my name on the Colorado Volunteer Adoption Registry. I sent them in the mail. I won't know anything for at least a month. I wonder what there will be? Dare I hope for something?

March 6, 2013
My original birth certificate came in the mail today. I now know the names of my birth mother and father. They were married and 23 when I was born. No previous children.

To be continued in My New Story

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dear Mom



Here is the letter I sent to my birth mom today. I included pictures of me as a baby, in the second grade, and now. Also sent a picture of the kids when they were younger. I feel peaceful and anxious.


2nd Grade
March 13, 2013


Dear (removed),

My name is Philip John Faustin. I was born on July 20, 1955 at Porter Hospital in Denver, Colorado. My birth name was William Paul Bibelhausen.

Thank you so much for giving me life and bringing me into this world.

I recently requested and received a copy of my original birth certificate and found out your and my father's names. After doing an Internet search I found that (removed) was deceased. Through his obituary I learned that you have two daughters and a son.

Let me tell you a little about myself and my family. I was adopted by Al and Ida Faustin. I was raised in a very good home. Both my adopted mom and dad are now deceased. I have an older brother and a younger sister, both adopted as well.

I have been married since 1978 and my wife Wendy and I have been blessed with eight children. The oldest is 31 and the youngest 11 - six boys and two girls.  

I hope I am not invading your life in a bad way. I am sure this letter is quite a shock to you. I myself feel like my life has been turned upside down in finding out about all of you.

Since I don't know the circumstances surrounding your decision to put me up for adoption I understand that this letter could bring up unpleasant and painful memories. If so, I am very sorry. If this situation is something you would prefer to leave in the past I understand. If that is the case I will do nothing else to contact you or your family. Just let me know.

On the other hand, if you feel differently, I would love to know more about you and the rest of your family.

Again I thank you so much for giving me the gift of life and releasing me into the arms of my loving adopted parents.

Best wishes,


Philip Faustin

Monday, March 11, 2013

Denver Samson Society



Friendship and Discipleship for Christian Men

If you are in the Denver area we invite you to join us.

We meet every Saturday night from 6:30 - 7:30. After, we gather at a restaurant for some real fellowship and encouragement.

See our website for the meeting location, for what happens at a meeting and information on what the Samson Society is all about.

I hope to see you there!

Philip

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Transgender Child Trojan Horse

With sadness I read the story of the supposed transgender child in the news this week. If you are not familiar with the story, here it is

The first thing I would say is it's not this child who has come up with this distinction. The parents claim he has known he was a girl since infancy. That is a fiction. For whatever reason, either misguided or sick, it is the parents who have created and fed this. 

If I had my way, I would remove the child from this home and place him in a safe place far away from such messed up adults. 

But here is the main reason I am concerned about this whole situation. Imagine with me for a moment that this child decides that he wants to express his sexuality with other children or adults. The parents claim that he has always expressed the desire to have sexual relations and understands what it is all about. There are groups of pedophiles who are pushing for this "right" for children. They claim children should be able to "love" whoever they want. If you think about it, if we accept the notion that a child has the right to change gender then the other is not far behind legally or morally.

I wonder if the parents plan to start administering hormones to this child so he develops into a she? Will surgery soon follow to get rid of the male genitals?

There is much more to this story than many understand.

Philip

Friday, March 1, 2013

My son Nathaniel

You would have been nineteen soon.

On March 1, 1994 my son Nathaniel, who was due to be born two weeks later, died in the womb. His death was confirmed by an ultrasound. After returning from the doctor, we gathered our other five children and told them what we had just found out. The grief hit each of us in different ways.

Immediately we started to make plans for both the birth and the funeral. We contacted our pastor who was helpful and a friend of ours who is a funeral director.

The next several days were some of the best and worst of my life. The best was the gathering around us by family and friends.

We met with the funeral director who has a beautiful cemetery in the mountains. They told us that they give a free plot to stillborn children. We walked through the cemetery and picked one out. We were given literature on markers which we could choose later. Then we looked at caskets. They all seemed too funeral like.

I decided that I would build one myself. The boys and I went to the lumber yard and bought the wood that we needed. My wife and the girls went to the fabric store and bought material for the lining, pillow and outside. Many tears were shed as we put it all together.

We decided the service with our pastor. It was fairly simple. He did several readings from Scripture and then preached a sermon that deeply moved us both then and at times that we have listened to it since.

I wrote a memorial folder that was handed out at the service and mailed to some friends as an announcement. It had Nathaniel's name and footprints on the cover. Inside were two notes. One I had written to Nathaniel on the day that he was born (March 5, 1994). The second was to the reader. It spoke of our families trust in God and acceptance of His will for our son and our life. Also included on the inside were the dates of his death, birth, celebration service, weight, length, eye and hair color. On the back was a list of pro-life ministries that gifts could be sent to in lieu of flowers, etc.

After the service my friend helped me carry the casket to our van. My family and I then led the procession to the cemetery which was about 30 minutes into the mountains. My sons and I then carried the casket from the van to the plot. After everyone gathered, our pastor shared some final words from scripture. My friend and I then set the casket into the ground. I picked up a shovel and filled in the dirt until the casket was covered. My two oldest sons also put in several shovels of dirt. We then received many hugs and words of encouragement from family and friends.

Spontaneously, several friends picked up the shovel and finished filling in the grave. I cannot express in words how moving this was.

One thing that we found out was that being involved in the intimacies of planning and carrying out the service and burial helped us work through our grief. That is one thing that I would emphasize. Modern funerals take away from the reality of death. In times past, the families were the ones who handled the body and prepared it for burial. Of course, that is not always possible but we cannot shut off ourselves from what has happened.

The job of a Christian Funeral Service is twofold. One is to confront us with the reality of death and the other is to confront us with the blessed reality of eternal life.

Many in our family are not Christians. Some of them were touched through the service and burial in a way that they could not be in any other way.

Looking back, I have no regrets of how we handled our son's funeral. The pictures of it remain a vivid and pleasant memory in my mind.

Happy Birthday son.

Philip

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