What are you most proud of your kids for?

Fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. From the Bergchives

My family has been put together like a puzzle.

I never get tired of telling this story. Or embarrassing my kids by telling this story. Just when we thought we would never be parents, our son, Justin, found us. When we went over to bring him home in September 2011 - we flew out September 11th - he introduced us to our son, Ethan.

"This is my brother, Ethan!"
Justin and Ethan
From the Bergchives.

A year after we brought Justin home, we brought Ethan home. December 7th, 2012. Justin introduced us to Ethan; and he introduced us to our daughter, Bella.

We were over in Kiev eight weeks, from early in November through December 7th. I spent Thanksgiving with my son, and our host, a singer and musician.

Dave, Ethan and Tata

Tata, our host, invited some friends over for Thanksgiving. They asked me to say a blessing over the food. It was incredibly humbling to share Thanksgiving.

One of the things I will never forget is that while we were waiting to come back home, Ethan was surfing online, watching videos. He managed to find this movie, Mel Gibson's The Passion. I asked him if he understood what he was watching. I don't think he did. He was twelve. He was riveted, and watched it without flinching.

Ethan's been home almost four years now. Today is his 16th birthday. He starts his first job today.

Our day in court with Ethan,

What I am most proud of him for is his great big, open, generous heart. He's a creative, people person like me. Yeah, he likes video games, bowling and basketball. He likes war movies. He thinks Sharknado is real. He went as a Zombie for Halloween. He went door to door telling people, "Hi! I'm Ethan! I'm a Zombie!" I kept reminding him that zombies don't really introduce themselves. They're kinda like mimes - y'know what, buddy, never mind.

ZombiEthan

But, most of all, he wants to help people.

His goal is to enlist and become a Marine to help others. I've had an opportunity to visit MCRD San Diego and see basic training there. It's very cool. I'm sure he's going to make me even more proud.